The Zebra Newsroom

Insurance M&As and partnerships: April 2021

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Here’s a round-up of this month’s latest insurance industry-related M&As and partnerships. 

Allstate partners with Synchronoss Technologies for cloud backup 

Customers of  Allstate Protection Plans  will be able to back up contacts, photos, videos, music and other digital assets to  Synchronoss Technologies’ personal cloud service from protected Android and Apple iOS devices. This new partnership allows  Allstate  to safeguard a customer’s total mobile ecosystem and bolster a more comprehensive relationship with customers. 

AmFam teams up with ADT

Under this new partnership,  AmFamcustomerscan receive a discount on ADT products, installation and professional monitoring services as well as be eligible for policy discounts.New and existing customers will be able to receive  ADT’s advanced smart home security system, complete with burglary, life safety and water intrusion monitoring devices, as well as other smart home devices and 24/7 professional monitoring. The carrier plans to roll out this service in 19 states by the end of 2021. 

AXA XL goes to space 

AXA XL Insurance  announced its global partnership with  SpaceAble, a company specializing in space situational awareness, to better support satellite operators and organizations operating in space. The  insurance provider will have access to SpaceAble’s solutions and enhance their underwriting and risk management capabilities, allowing the carrier to further enhance its insurance solutions for satellite operators. 

Erie Insurance expands partnership with Majesco 

Erie Insurance  has been trying to reshape its digital strategies by investing in emerging technologies like cloud computing, digital payment capabilities and contactless claims services since the pandemic. By expanding their partnership with cloud-based insurance software providerMajesco, this will  allow the carrier to streamline its business operations, respond to market scenarios and customer demands quickly

GM thinking about expanding into the insurance market 

GM  has been steadily incubating its own startups with intent to diversify their services to customers. In addition to expanding its business lines and investing in electric vehicles, the car manufacturer is looking into vamping up its auto insurance sector with OnStar telematics. By having the capability to offer policies to owners when they buy or lease a vehicle, OnStar could  provide discounts to better drivers, speed up the claims process and even offer home insurance as a part of the package

The Hartford rejects three acquisition offers from Chubb, plans to expand two new business insurance products

Chubb  came back with two more offers after its initial offer to acquire  The Hartford, and The carriers board of directors unanimously rejected each of its proposals stating that the  transaction would not be in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. The Hartford CEO Christopher Swift stated that the company intends to stick to its cost-cutting initiative, called Hartford Next, to  build out the carrier’s future as an independent company and improve margins.  

The carrier is also looking to expand its semi-digital direct-to-consumer brand  Putty Insurance, which offers general liability coverage priced by the hour/day. Putty automatically adjusts coverage when volume changes and targets businesses with seasonal swings, cyclical sales patterns or rapid growth spurts. Putty BOP fills the gap in protection for home business insurance by offering personalized bundles in three different ways. 

Hyundai joins Verisk’s data exchange 

Hyundai Motor America  became  Verisk’s  latest auto manufacturer to opt into sharing its  driving behavior information with Verisk’s data exchange platform. This partnership uses the power of connected cars to create a more  streamlined experience for consumers and efficiencies for insurers on providing accurate rates for user-based insurance. Other car manufacturers a part of this program include Ford, General Motors and Honda. 

Insurify teams up with Toyota’s insurance agency 

AI-powered comparison platform  Insurify  is  integrating with Toyota’s in-house insurance agency, TIMS, to allow customers to compare and buy car insurance policies online using Insurify’s data-driven recommendations and personalized purchase experience.  Toyota customers and employees at select dealerships across the nation can access to the insurtech’s  quote comparison program starting in April 2021. 

Walmart invests in GM’s autonomous car startup Cruise

Walmart  is following Microsoft’s footsteps in backing  Cruise LLC. This new investment aligns with Walmart’s mission to create a home-delivery logistics network by preparing the retailer for a future when shoppers don't have to drive to the store. For Cruise,  this new support gives the autonomous vehicle startup a retail partner with thousands of stores and deep pockets. Cruise and Walmart have been working together on a delivery pilot program in Arizona since November 2020. 

Lemonade plans to roll out car insurance 

Although the offering has yet to launch,  Lemonade has started offering interested policyholders early registration, product updates and a “behind-the-scenes”look at  Lemonade Car. With a customer base to which the company can cross-sell,  Lemonade  plans to roll out policies that use technology to quickly handle claims, offer great prices to safe, electric vehicle and environment-friendly drivers later this year. The insurtech started out in renters’ and homeowners’ insurance and recently expanded into pet insurance. 

Next Insurance launches commercial property coverage 

Next Insurance  added commercial property coverage to market a full suite of coverages to its small business customers. The insurtech company now offers  new coverage alongside business personal property, business income, building insurance and equipment breakdown coverage. The company still serves as an MGA, but continues to expand and transform as a full-stack carrier and a one-stop shop for “main street’ businesses like restaurants, retailers, and small professional offices. 

State Farm partners up with Twitch 

State Farm has become the official marketing partner and insurance provider of Twitch Rivals North America, a gaming tournament and online competitive event which pits  Twitchstreamers against former pro players across a range of video games. State Farm has been building its presence in the gaming scene through major sponsorships in the recent years, and maintains a presence in the League of Legends scene and has sponsored popular Fortnite streamer DrLupo. 

State Farm’s digital-only unit looks to expand to a second state 

State Farm’s auto insurtech subsidiary,  HiRoad Assurance, is  seeking approval to expand its personal auto and renter’s coverage to another state, potentially placing it as a direct competitor to Root Insurance in Nevada by November. HiRoad policies are different from State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save and currently only has a presence in Rhode Island. 

Toyota subsidiary acquires Lyft’s self-driving car division

Lyftannounced that it will be selling its self-driving car unit to  Woven Planet, so the two companies can work together on enhancing and accelerating automated driving technology safety. Similarly ,Uber recently sold its self-driving unit to Hyundai and Amazon-backed startup Aurora.  Under the acquisition, Woven Planet and Lyft have signed commercial agreements for the utilization of Lyft system and fleet data, and Lyft’s Open Platform team will become the new Lyft Autonomous Team. This transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. 

USAA planning to expand SafePilot to 10 more states 

The personal lines carrier stated that it would be expanding its telematics coverage to 10 more states due to heightened interest in its behavior — about half of new USAA auto customers in 2020 signed up for SafePilot.  Members who enroll in the program receive an initial 10% participation discount and can earn as much as 30% discounts depending on their driving behavior

Carrier Highlight: Farmers Insurance

Farmers Insurance has been actively looking for ways to diversify its offerings to its customers. As the carrier continues to build out its strategy of expanding its reach across several insurance sectors, here are some moves Farmers has made this month. 

Farmers partners up with SimpliSafe

Farmers Insurance linked up with  SimpliSafe  to offer consumers in three states smart home options. Policyholders in Ohio, Iowa and Alabama can now purchase smart home security systems and bind their new policy at no extra charge. The system will include key components, including the  SimpliCam®HD camera and both water and motion sensors, as well as one month of SimpliSafe’s 24/7 professional monitoring

Farmers launches FairMile program 

Farmers also announced its new usage-based  commercial auto insurance  program FairMile in Washington state.  Business owners can now choose per-mile insurance pricing and have the opportunity to save on insurance  when business vehicles are not being driven. This new program is ideally suited for customers that have a seasonal or cyclical business such as landscapers or florists, businesses where driving is infrequent, or businesses where certain vehicles are used sparingly. 

Farmers ties up partnership with Metromile 

Farmers’ digital brand  Toggle  partnered up with  Metromile  to deploy an enterprise platform across its  renters insurance and auto book, ultimately helping Farmers significantly improve its customer claims systems by allowing customers to submit claims online. Farmers rolled out Toggle in 2018 to better compete with InsurTech companies like Lemonade in the renters’ insurance market and is now available in 25 states. 

Farmers and Zurich acquires Metlife’s P&C business 

Farmers Insurance and its parent company,  Zurich Insurance, closed a deal on  Metlife’s P&C business for $3.94 billion, marking a major milestone in accelerating growth and allowing Farmers-branded products to be available nationwide. Under this acquisition,  Farmers gained 2.4 million policies

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