The Zebra Newsroom

Insurance M&As and partnerships: March 2022

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The Zebra Newsroom aims to bring several channels together, sift through insurance industry-related media outlets and equip you with the latest and greatest content that's digestible and all in one place. Check back frequently for breaking news, industry trends, mergers and acquisitions, and significant financial news in the insurance industry.

Here’s a round-up of March’s insurance industry-related M&As and partnerships: 

AAA partners with TaxAct

AAA announced a nationwide partnership with TaxAct, a DIY tax-preparation solution to offer AAA members a comprehensive tax filing experience at a discounted rate. AAA members will receive free access to TaxAct Xpert Assist, so they could connect directly with CPAs and other tax experts. Members will also receive a discount on filing their federal and state tax returns through the program. 

Cypress P&C Insurance partners with CAPE Analytics 

AI-powered geospatial property intelligence company CAPE Analytics announced that it would be partnering with Florida and Texas-based insurer Cypress to speed up and streamline underwriting processes. Through this collaboration, Cypress can use CAPE’s property intelligence to mitigate hurricane risks and gain insight into a structure’s vulnerability to high winds. 

Elephant partners with Smart Choice 

Digital-first auto insurance company Elephant Insurance announced its partnership with Smart Choice to allow independent insurance agents to sell Elephant auto insurance policies. Through this partnership, Smart Choice agents will gain access to Elephant’s variety of auto discounts and add-on products. There are currently over 9,000 independent agents enrolled in the Smart Choice program. 

Ford and Rivian end partnership on electric vehicle development

Executives from Ford and Rivian decided to scrap plans for collaborating on developing an electric vehicle so each company could focus on their own projects. This partnership struck in early 2019, but as both manufacturers continue to develop new technology they decided to separate. Both companies still plan to be investors and allies, and the change of plans came soon after Rivian made its debut on the public markets. 

The Hartford debuts Critical Illness Product 

The Hartford introduced a new critical illness insurance product for employees that is designed to cover more health conditions and provide a wider range of benefits based on the severity of a person’s diagnosis. In addition, the carrier expanded the covered health conditions to include more infectious diseases, mental health conditions, neurological conditions and birth defects, as a direct response to the pandemic’s impact on our day-to-day lives. 

Honda and Sony partner on electric vehicle development 

Honda and Sony are forming a new company to develop and sell electric vehicles by 2025. Honda will contribute its expertise in body manufacturing and after-sales service while Sony will bring expertise in imaging, sensing, telecommunications and networking technologies. 

Jerry launches auto refinancing service 

Jerry is launching an auto refinancing service exclusively via the Jerry app to existing customers. Not only does this service eliminate customer acquisition expenses by streamlining who could be prone to refinancing, but it also benefits Jerry’s lending partners as qualified applicants are twice as likely to pass lenders’ approval standards and reduce underwriting and processing costs. 

Lemonade debuts Crypto Climate Coalition

Lemonade Insurance’s non-profit, The Lemonade Foundation, debuted Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition, an organization dedicated to building and distributing parametric weather insurance to farmers and livestock keepers. Read more about the Coalition here

MetLife Pet Insurance introduces a rewards program

MetLife Pet Insurance partnered with LifeBalance Program to offer employees and health plan members with discounts and offers on pet care essentials. Pet policyholders can redeem up to 5 rewards per calendar year, with new rewards added throughout. 

Nationwide boosts leak-detection offering through a smart home program 

Nationwide is offering customers who opt into the company’s smart home program discounts on leak-detection monitoring systems and a $50 reduction in annual homeowners premiums. The program is backed by Notion smart-home monitoring sensors. By getting policyholders to opt into this program, insureds can stop leaks and other home-related problems before they cause significant losses. 

NSI Insurance Group acquires HoneyQuote 

NSI Insurance Group announced that it would be acquiring Florida-based insurtech startup HoneyQuote.com to help the startup expand nationwide and offer new products. Currently, the insurtech is only licensed in Florida and Texas, and works with 30 property insurance carriers. 

Roamly enters the pet insurance game 

RV insurance specialist Roamly announced that it would be partnering with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance to offer customers pet insurance. Through this pet insurance program, pet parents can select plans for dogs and cats that includes coverage for exam fees, diagnostics, and treatments for accidents and illnesses. Pet owners can also opt into pet preventative care coverage through Roamly. 

Shift acquires assets of Fair.com

Shift, an online secondhand-car marketplace, is acquiring auto leasing company Fair.com for $15 million cash and 2.5% equity. Fair.com initially offered month-to-month car subscription services through its app, and eventually pivoted its business model to offer 2-year and 3-year leases of used cars. This acquisition is Shift’s first step in building out its online marketplace and enables the company to launch new capabilities in the second quarter of 2022. 

Tesla Insurance expands to Oregon and Virginia 

Tesla filed new insurance programs in Oregon and Virginia, underwritten by Tesla General Insurance Inc. The company can provide in-house coverage to Tesla owners in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, Illinois and California as well, but with a third-party underwriter.

Verisk pivots business model 

Verisk announced that it would pivot its business model to be a standalone insurance-focused business so that the company can invest assets and funds into accelerating organic growth and profit margin expansion within the insurance industry. Verisk will now become a data analytics firm supporting the insurance industry as it divests its remaining energy sector holdings by September 2022. Read the press release here

Warren Buffett to buy Alleghany Corp.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. announced that it would buy Alleghany Corp. for $11.6 billion as the company dives deeper into the insurance industry. Through this acquisition, Berkshire will gain a large P&C insurer that also has reinsurance operations through its Transatlantic Holdings unit. This transaction is Berkshire’s largest purchase since 2016. 

March Highlight: Small business insurance 

March saw a lot of action in the small business insurance space as well; here are a few business moves that happened this month. 

Coterie expands small business insurance to Massachusetts 

Small business insurance specialist Coterie Insurance launched its General Liability and BOP insurance products across the state of Massachusetts. Independent agents and brokers can now quote Coterie for micro and small business insurance; according to the Small Business Administration, small business accounts for almost 100% of all businesses across this state.

Hub International and Bold Penguin acquire Insureon

Hub International and Bold Penguin agreed to acquire the assets of Insureon and its affiliates. Insureon is the largest independent agency in the country for digital delivery and fulfillment of commercial insurance to small businesses. Hub will acquire the carrier’s insurance agency and brand, as well as enter into an enterprise agreement with Bold Penguin to license the technology platform. Through this acquisition, Hub can now more efficiently service its association and affinity group clients and expand its network to develop its new generation of insurance products. 

Simply Business partners with RLI 

Simply Business is launching tailored insurance solutions for home-based businesses with RLI Corp as its underwriter. RLI Insurance Company offers tailored home business insurance for a wide range of entrepreneurs, and this partnership allows Simply Business to listen to customer needs and respond with agile products to help protect and grow customers’ businesses.

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Jasmine KimB2B Content Manager

Jasmine is The Zebra’s newsroom content writer. With a background in journalism, she reports on breaking news, trends, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reports related to the insurance industry.