Coverager’s Week in Review: Jan 22-28, 2024
Written by ChatGPT based on Coverager Data
🚗 Polly: Based on information obtained by Coverager, Polly’s president and COO Tom Lyons has decided to pursue other opportunities. Lyons joined the company in April 2022, back when Travis Fitzgerald was still CEO. He was responsible for Polly’s insurance platform and agency distribution. Prior to joining Polly, Lyons was with Plymouth Rock for 15 years. In just over a year, Polly’s headcount declined significantly – going from ~335 employees in late 2022 to ~190 employees today.
🐶 Pawlicy: Co-founder and CTO of online pet insurance marketplace Pawlicy Advisor Travis Bloom announced on LinkedIn that he is leaving the startup to join Coinbase where he will lead engineering for the fintech’s crypto advocacy efforts. Founded in 2018, Pawlicy Advisor operates a pet insurance comparison site. The startup, which has ~27 employees, publicly disclosed ~$20 million in funding. According to his LinkedIn profile, Bloom was the sole developer and product owner for the first two years after the company was established.
📣 Amazon: Amazon is shutting down the Amazon Insurance Store, an initiative that was introduced in October 2022 to allow consumers in the UK to shop for home insurance. The retailer partnered with three insurers when the new venture was launched, Ageas, Co-op, and LV=, and it later added two additional partners – Policy Expert and Urban Jungle.
💰 Progressive: Progressive released its financial results for December, ending the month with a combined ratio of 83.4% and a combined ratio of 94.9% for 2023, which is below the company’s 96% yearly target. The insurer ended the month with a net income of $901 million and net income reached $3.9 billion for 2023. The company ended the month with 29.68 million policies, an increase of ~106.7k policies compared to November. Progressive added 84k policies to its personal auto count during December. Between 2022 and 2023, the insurer’s in-force policy count increased by 2.3 million.
📣 Northwestern Mutual: After 14 years as Northwestern Mutual’s CEO and 37 years at the company, John E. Schlifske has announced his plans to retire, as of December 31, 2024, in accordance with the company’s long-standing mandatory retirement age policy. Northwestern Mutual’s board of trustees has elected Tim Gerend, 52, to serve as the next CEO, effective January 1, 2025.
📱Apple: This past week, Apple released a new version of iOS which included Stolen Device Protection, a feature that adds a layer of security if an iPhone is stolen. When Stolen Device Protection is enabled, some features and actions have additional security requirements when the iPhone is away from familiar locations such as the home or work to help prevent someone who has stolen the device and knows its passcode from making critical changes to the owner’s account or device. One example is enforcing a delay of an hour when attempting to change the Apple ID password, which will later require a second Face ID or Touch ID authentication. The security delay can give the owner additional time to wipe their iPhone remotely so that their data (such as credit cards) remains secured.
📣 Cincinnati: Cincinnati Financial Corporation announced that as of the May 4, 2024, president Stephen Spray will assume the title of chief executive officer of the company and all US subsidiaries, completing the executive leadership transition that began when Spray was named president of the company in 2022. Steven Johnston will remain as executive chairman of the company and its US subsidiaries.
- According to a report by Sifted, Allianz Direct, the digital insurance subsidiary of Allianz, is set to buy French insurance startup Luko for €4.3 million. Last June, Admiral announced that it would acquire the troubled insurance startup. According to reports, the British insurer agreed to pay €11 million, with an additional €3 million in potential earnouts. However, Admiral backed out of the deal and Luko needed to find a new buyer to avoid liquidation.
- Allianz Partners has launched the allyz mobile app, a digital tool for travelers with added features like lounge access and health information. This app was developed by Allianz’s Simplesurance and powered by Amadeus Hey!.
- Video safety and telematics provider Lytx has rolled out hazardous weather alerts as a project within the Lytx Lab. The new feature, overlays NOAA weather warnings (including thunderstorms, floods, tornadoes, snow, and more) onto fleet maps. Fleet managers can filter Weather Hazard Alerts by geographic location, timeframe, and type of severe weather. Once the filtered conditions are met, an alert is automatically sent to the fleet manager with a description of the event, an image on the map, how many vehicles may be impacted, and when and where that weather event is forecast to occur.
- San Francisco-based small business MGA Embroker has partnered with SecurityScorecard to introduce a streamlined insurance application process for businesses applying for technology errors and omissions and cyber liability insurance through Embroker. In addition, Embroker will leverage SecurityScorecard’s data and analytics to gain real-time cyber risk insights and define risk mitigation strategies.
- QBE’s data science and claims analytics teams in North America use Snorkel Flow across various predictive analytics applications, notably in claims and underwriting. The platform converts corporate data into actionable insights for ML solutions.
- FOXO uses KR8’s AI-driven analytics software and proprietary algorithms in its direct-to-consumer health and wellness app.
- Hanover collaborates with Artigem for jewelry appraisals and the updated valuation of contents.
- Rhodian offers Renaissance member agencies managed IT services, both with and without virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), alongside cybersecurity tools, services, and cyber policy assistance. Additionally, Rhodian will provide educational resources on the latest IT and cybersecurity trends in insurance, as well as an array of cybersecurity services and consulting, including vulnerability scanning, risk assessments, and incident response.
- Flood mapping platform Floodbase is working with satellite solutions company Capella Space. This collaboration integrates Capella’s high-resolution SAR satellite data into Floodbase’s parametric insurance solutions. Unlike traditional insurance, this approach, enhanced by Capella’s SAR imagery, allows for precise flood magnitude assessments and payout triggers, functioning effectively even in cloudy or nighttime conditions.
- Akur8 selected by Spanish insurer MAPFRE to enhance pricing capabilities.
- CoreLogic, in collaboration with Artigem, is launching new contents estimation capabilities within its Claims | Workspace platform. This will enable claims pros to access tools to provide homeowners with estimates in a timely manner following a property loss.
- After announcing plans for a multi-year partnership to co-develop integrated and affordable pet health, Nationwide and Petco are introducing a new pet insurance offering that is now available on petco.com. The companies announced their exclusive partnership in October 2022, with plans to launch a product in 2023. The co-branded experience enables visitors to build a policy that includes coverage for accidents or accidents and illnesses. There’s also the option to add wellness benefits.
- Manulife and Aeroplan, a loyalty program owned by Air Canada, announced a new multi-year partnership to give Manulife Group Benefits members the ability to earn Aeroplan points by engaging in behaviors and activities that encourage health and wellbeing.
- Cybersecurity firm Torq has raised an additional $42 million in an extended Series B funding round, originally initiated in 2021. Founded in 2020, Torq’s AI-based hyperautomation platform integrates with the full range of an organization’s security infrastructure, enabling companies to address security incidents and manage intricate security operations on a large scale. Lemonade, Carvana and Rivian are clients.
- Insurance broker NFP and the NHL announced a new multiyear North American partnership, naming NFP the official business insurance brokerage partner of the NHL.
- Vouch Insurance, a provider of business insurance for startups, is now working with brokers for the distribution of its products. The startup announced a partnership with IMA Financial Group, a broker with over 2k associates.
- Porch Group, the parent company of insurer/MGA Homeowners of America, is announcing a “strategic business collaboration agreement” with Aon and Aon Re, to provide a variety of services to Porch Group companies, resulting in payments to Porch of approximately $25 million upfront and an expected approximately $5 million over the following four years. Aon and Porch Group will work together to place 2024 reinsurance coverage.
- Digital freight forwarding platform Flexport is raising $260 million from e-commerce platform Shopify. The company also offers cargo insurance and most recently it introduced trade credit insurance.
- Ansel Health has raised $20 million in a new round of funding. Founded in 2019 and formerly known as Brella Insurance, Ansel is a provider of supplemental health insurance, backed by Fidelity Security Life Insurance. Ansel’s product covers 13,000+ injuries and illnesses, helping policyholders reduce the burden of high health insurance deductibles.
- QBE Ventures has recently invested in Snorkel AI, a company that allows for a faster AI development by transforming manual AI development processes into programmatic solutions. QBE’s data science and claims analytics teams in North America use Snorkel Flow across various predictive analytics applications, notably in claims and underwriting. The platform converts corporate data into actionable insights for ML solutions.
- New York-based Spark Advisors has raised $25 million in Series B funding. Founded in 2020, the company helps Medicare brokers improve their operations by offering marketing, sales support, and back office services.
- Microinsurance provider MIC Global has raised $6 million in a seed funding round that included participation from Greenlight Re. MIC Global offers embedded microinsurance products for underserved and unserved individuals and micro, small, and medium enterprises. The company operates in ~17 countries and its coverages address loss of income, everyday risks, and identity theft.
- AVLA, a provider of surety and trade credit solutions, has raised $25 million. The Chile-based company generated approximately $150 million of insurance revenue in 2023 and ranks as a top five provider of surety and trade credit solutions in Latin America, with operations in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru. The capital will support the company’s international growth strategy and its plans to enter the US market.