Weekly Insurtech News Roundup: July 22 | Business Insurance

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Zesty.ai

Zesty.ai has secured $33 million in new financing designed to help expand its existing insurance-related products and develop new ones for the real estate market.

The San Francisco-based startup is a provider of property risk analytics powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision.

Centana Growth Partners led the Series B round. Current and Brex investors also participated in the oversubscribed round with equity and debt.

Zesty.ai said it partners with about half of the top 50 property/casualty insurance companies in the US to underwrite and rate homeowners and business insurance.

Amica, Aon, Berkshire Hathaway, Cincinnati Insurance, Farmers Insurance and The California FAIR Plan are among its clients, according to the company.

TrustedChoice.com

Just over half of independent insurance agents expect a big increase in online business insurance shoppers over the next three years, according to a new survey from business insurance platform Semsee and TrustedChoice.com.

TrustedChoice.com bills itself as the nation’s largest digital marketing platform for independent agents and brokers.

The survey found that 53% of agents expect a jump in shopping for business insurance online, though perceptions vary on how good their digital distribution options are.

Around 60% of agents currently rated their customer-facing digital capabilities as “good or excellent” Only 47% viewed operators’ agent-facing technologies as “good,” around 35% rated “average” and 6% said those technologies rated “excellent.”

Agents cited a lack of consistency from portal to portal, limited interaction with subscribers and a lack of initial indications as to whether operators will accept new business as major concerns.

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On a related note, only 49% of agents said they currently use SEO, or search engine optimization, to find new business. They blamed a lack of time to plan and the fact that no one at the agency understands it.

The majority of respondents, 51%, said they either lack an SEO strategy or aren’t sure they have one.

per hour.io

Former Markel executive Jerico Vinsonhaler will join payroll/workers’ compensation startup Hourly.io as head of underwriting.

Previously, he spent 20 years leading Markel’s underwriting strategy.

In his new job with Hourly.io, Vinsonhaler will oversee Hourly’s overall subscription strategy, portfolio management, and manage the subscription team.

Launched in 2018, Hourly is designed to bridge the gap between workers’ compensation, payroll, and time tracking. It simplifies the payment and insurance of hourly workers for small and medium-sized businesses through its full-service platform, which is based on real-time data.

In June, Hourly raised $27 million Series A funding led by Glilot Capital Partners, with participation from S Capital, Vintage Investment Partners and MS&AD. It has raised $34.2 million in venture capital to date.

Counterpart

Counterpart, an MGA liability management insurtech, has launched its new Excess insurance product for small businesses.

The cover, backed by Aspen, is designed to help small businesses during a time of intense litigation. Counterpart provides Excess insurance on directors and officers, employment practices and fiduciary liability, with a maximum limit of $3 million. Small businesses with fewer than 250 employees and less than $250 million in revenue and total assets are eligible for coverage through Counterpart’s wholesale broker partners.

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Counterpart claims to be the first management liability provider to use proprietary data and cutting-edge technology in response to rising legal and settlement expenses.

corvus insurance

Corvus Insurance has expanded its partnership with SiriusPoint Ltd., a global specialty insurer and reinsurer, and R&Q Accredited, a provider of program management solutions.

Corvus is a specialist insurance MGA offering “smart business insurance” products informed by AI-driven risk data.

R&Q Accredited is the leading insurer in the enhanced program, which follows an initial investment and multi-year underwriting capacity partnership announced in September 2021. The new multi-year investment from SiriusPoint and R&Q Accredited adds an additional $100 million to the program and will allow Corvus is based on its smart cyber insurance offerings.

Corvus Insurance coverage and digital tools are designed to reduce risk, increase transparency and improve the resilience of policyholders and program partners.

Next Insurance

Next Insurance, a technology insurance company focused on small and medium-sized businesses, is partnering with Evident, a provider of third-party insurance verification services. They will focus on creating an integrated secure and custom verification program.

The goal of the association is to help small businesses become and stay compliant with the coverage requirements of their largest insurance customers, said Eric Harnden, vice president of associations and agencies for Next Insurance.

The companies said their combined product will be a fully automated and fully digital insurance verification and compliance product.

Next Insurance recently announced plans to cut 17% of its workforce, reflecting a cut of approximately 150 jobs.