Week in Review: On Layoffs and Leaders

Coverager’s Week in Review: November 5 – 11, 2023

Top Story: Haven Life to Shut Down

MassMutual is closing down Haven Life, a direct-to-consumer agency founded in 2014 that offered online term life insurance, often without medical exams.

Layoffs

  • Hiscox has cut 10% of its US workforce, eliminating 42 positions in a restructuring focused on customer service and digital tools.
  • CNA has reportedly laid off around 20 top executives, including Vice Presidents and higher, according to a Coverager source.

M&A

  • MGA DOXA, majority-owned by Century Equity Partners, will be acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Founded in 2016, DOXA has a portfolio that generates over $600 million in premiums across various insurance segments. The acquisition aims to boost DOXA’s growth and acquisition strategies, with its management and employee shareholders retaining significant stakes. The deal is expected to finalize in Q4 2023.
  • James River Group is selling its casualty reinsurance business, JRG Reinsurance Company, to Fleming Intermediate Holdings for an estimated $277 million.
  • Evans Bancorp is selling its commercial insurance brokerage, The Evans Agency, to Arthur J. Gallagher for $40 million.
  • Zurich has announced a strategic partnership with India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank, involving the acquisition of a 51% stake in Kotak Mahindra General Insurance for $488 million. This deal, pending regulatory approvals, includes both fresh capital and share purchase.
  • Zurich‘s planned $760 million acquisition of three brokerages and a flood program servicing arm, aims to improve customer offerings and retention. The acquisition of Kraft Lake Insurance Agency, Western Star Insurance Services, and Farmers General Insurance Agency will enable Farmers Exchanges to offer a more comprehensive range of products and services.

Beyond Insurance

  • Allstate‘s updated mobile app now includes features beyond insurance: a GasBuddy-powered gas finder, SpotHero’s parking reservation platform, Risk Factor’s weather risk tool, and a Good Hands Repair Network shop locator. Enhancements include adding ID cards to Google Wallet and improved message and help centers.
  • Waze has introduced a feature that warns users about roads with high accident rates, using AI and community input to analyze historical data and route specifics. To minimize distractions, the app limits alerts, particularly on well-traveled paths. Acquired by Google in 2013, Waze continues to enhance its navigation software with such safety-focused updates.
  • Amazon has introduced a new Prime benefit offering discounted access to One Medical’s healthcare services. The $3.9 billion acquisition allows Prime members to join One Medical at reduced rates ($9/month or $99/year, compared to the usual $199/year). This membership includes 24/7 virtual care, with services for common health concerns and an easy-to-use app. Members can also add up to five additional memberships at a lower cost. This initiative aims to improve health engagement and outcomes for Prime members.

Embedded Insurance

  • Zillion & CD Peacock Jewelers: CD Peacock clients can now receive insurance quotes from Zillion for jewelry coverage coverage in the US.
  • Blitz Insurance & Dutchie Insurance : Dutchie Insurance is now offering quotes from Blitz Insurance for property & casualty, specifically catering to the cannabis industry in the US.
  • Tint‘s clients can transfer their risk to RVI Group, enhancing Tint’s services in creating and managing embedded protection programs.
  • Kiavi offers access to Obie‘s digital hazard insurance quoting system via its online portal. This integration allows borrowers, who are required by Kiavi to have hazard insurance, to procure insurance through Obie’s streamlined process.
  • MetLife is launching MetLife Xcelerator, an embedded insurance platform developed by Argentinian startup Klimber, for Latin American markets. This platform enables banks, retailers, and companies in the region to incorporate a wide range of insurance solutions into their services. Bottom Line: The insurance industry has shifted focus from innovation hubs to embedded insurance hubs, as seen with the emergence of platforms like Assurant APEX, Allianz Partners, AXA Partners, Chubb Studio/Blink, Connect by Admiral, Gallagher Re Emmersa, IptiQ, Next Connect, Zurich eXchange, and the latest addition, MetLife Xcelerator.

Insurance Investments

  1. Hadron Insurance has debuted as a hybrid carrier with an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best and over $250 million in capital from Altamont and others.
  2. CCC Intelligent Solutions: $682.5M in a Post-IPO Secondary round, based in Chicago, focusing on Personal Auto and Property & Casualty.
  3. Diesta: Raised $1.8M in a Seed round in London, with investors like Antler.
  4. Singlife: Secured $132.7M in a Corporate Round in Singapore, spanning multiple insurance areas, funded by Sumitomo Life Insurance Company.
  5. Bimaplan: Bangalore-based, raised $3.5M in a Seed round for health and life insurance, backed by firms like 2 AM Ventures.
  6. Insly.com: London-based, obtained $1.8M through Debt Financing from Hambro Perks Ltd.
  7. Flitter: $3.8M in Seed funding in Paris for Personal Auto and P&C, with investors including FrenchFounders.
  8. Corebridge Financial: New York-based, raised $1B in a Post-IPO Secondary round, specializing in Life & Health and Annuities

Insurer-Backed

  1. BondEvalue (11/09/2023): Raised $6M in a Series B round for financial services in Singapore. Investors include Beacon Venture Capital, Citi, and MassMutual Ventures.
  2. Singlife (11/08/2023): Obtained $132.7M in a Corporate Round for insurance and financial services in Singapore, with Sumitomo Life Insurance Company as an investor.
  3. May Mobility (11/07/2023): Secured $105M in Series D funding for transportation in Ann Arbor, MI, US. Insurer investors include Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, State Farm Ventures, and others.
  4. Flitter (11/06/2023): Raised $3.8M in a Seed round for insurance in Paris, France, with Helvetia Venture Fund among the investors.

Financials

  • GEICO experienced a dramatic turnaround, recovering from a $759 million loss to a $1 billion profit in Q3’23, culminating in a $2.3 billion profit for the first nine months of 2023, in stark contrast to the $1.4 billion loss in the same timeframe last year. This change occurred despite a significant drop in policies due to increased rates and reduced advertising spending.
  • Lemonade has reached 2 million customers.