Hub Partners with Bold Penguin to Make Big Moves in E-commerce with Acquisition and Enterprise License Agreement
Hub International has announced a major move towards broadening and deepening its digital capabilities. In conjunction with the small commercial insurtech platform Bold Penguin, the two companies have announced a combined acquisition of Insureon Holdings, LLC and its affiliates. Founded in 2011, Insureon was a pioneer insurtech focused on “disrupting the insurance industry from the inside.” Since then, the company has grown into the largest independent agency for the online delivery of commercial insurance to small and medium-sized businesses servicing more than 350,000 customers in all 50 states.
According to the terms of the agreement, the closing will involve two separate transactions, upon which Hub will acquire Insureon’s digital insurance agency, while Bold Penguin will acquire Insureon’s technology platform. Once a part of Hub, the Insureon operations will operate under the firm’s Specialty Program Group LLC (SPG). SPG is a fully licensed holding company Hub established to acquire and scale best-in-class insurance underwriting facilities and specialty businesses and which will use Insureon to enhance its digital underwriting capabilities. Upon completion of the transactions, Hub is also entering into an enterprise agreement with Bold Pengiun to license the Insureon technology platform from it.
Jeff Kroeger, Insureon’s Chief Commercial Officer, will join Hub along with the digital agency and front-end ecommerce technology and product teams. Insureon’s platform technology, carrier integration and enterprise/SaaS teams will join Bold Penguin. The team will report to Chris Treanor, SPG President & CEO.
What each company had to say about the announcement
“Today’s announcement substantially increases the scale and depth of Hub’s digital capabilities. Our unwavering commitment to solving the challenges our clients face is made stronger with tech-enabled solutions that allow us to meet customers where they are and how they want to secure insurance,” said Marc Cohen, Hub President and CEO. “The addition of Insureon and our partnership with Bold Penguin – leaders in insurtech innovation – not only strengthens our unique market position but accelerates our digital capabilities. The one constant in our ever-changing climate is that customers want choice. We are positioned to deliver omnichannel solutions that will continue to evolve and keep pace with our client’s needs. This is just the beginning.”
“Bold Penguin shares Hub’s passion for innovation and making small commercial insurance easier and more efficient to access,” said Ben Clarke, Chief Data Officer and co-founder of Bold Penguin. “We have a tremendous future together delivering a digitally transformative experience for Hub’s clients and prospects as we leverage Insureon’s innovative solutions to extend the market-leading capabilities of Bold Penguin’s commercial insurance exchange.”
“From the start, both Hub and Bold Penguin demonstrated their commitment to our vision of creating positive changes in the small commercial marketplace through ecommerce and technology,” said Dan Kazan, CEO of Insureon, who will join both companies to help them continue to grow and innovate. “For more than a decade, Insureon has built the industry leading insurance technology platform for small business. By combining Insureon’s leading technology, Hub’s investment and pulse on customer expectations, and Bold Penguin’s commitment to serving small businesses, we are helping to create the future of the small commercial marketplace.”
The small commercial insurtech community keeps getting smaller
Aside from auto insurance, the small commercial marketplace was one of the key areas where many insurtechs, just a few years ago, saw the opportunity to “disrupt the marketplace”. In addition to Insureon, Bold Penguin, CoverWallet, Next, Hiscox, and Tarmika all set their eyes and insurance technology platforms on this prize. Fast forward a few years and the landscape has changed quite a bit. CoverWallet has been acquired by the legacy carriers, while Next has embraced independent agents and embedded insurance, and Tarmika transitions to more of an online quoting platform for independent agents.
Even Bold Penguin, which had grown through a series of acquisitions into the largest commercial insurance exchange marketplace in the U.S. is owned by American Family.
In any case, similar to the claims of the end of the independent agent, it now appears that the initial reports as to the transformation of the small commercial marketplace through “disruption”, and the demise of legacy carriers in this space, may have been greatly exaggerated.