Over the last year, we've covered a number of moves around the US small commercial space from pay-as-you-go workers' comp to gig worker-focused products to startups turning into full-stack insurers.
Now, Progressive is making a bigger move into small commercial insurance that could have broader, long-term implications for the space.
Per its most recent earnings call:
"We...just rolled out what we call BQX, BusinessQuote Explorer. So that is insurance for small business, think of GL and business owner policy. That is something that we believe we have a lot of opportunity.
We have a brand and we have the availability to -- I think really we have a lot of runway I should say to really grow in that space, because of our brand, because of our knowledge of that area, and whether we write it all on our paper or use partners, which we will be using."
Progressive's new portal is in collaboration with Columbus-based startup Bold Penguin, which provides a small commercial insurance marketplace for agents, carriers, and end customers. The platform was soft launched in Q3'18 with initial partners including Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, and Homesite. But Progressive plans to write general liability and business owner policies on its own paper starting next year.
Thus far, Progressive is emphasizing the nascency of the effort, while also hinting at long-term ambitions. Per the same call: It's just getting started there. I'm not going to venture out and talk about 10 years from now...So all I can say is, I'm not going to talk 10 years out, lots of opportunity."
Speaking of small business...
We also mapped out the landscape of fintech startups looking to build customer relationships with small businesses across banking, accounting, payroll, and more.
Over time, we could see more collaborations between these fintech startups and small business insurers. A strategic investment by Nationwide in online working capital provider BlueVine, for example, has led to a partnership to offer online business financing to small businesses through its Business Solutions Center. Get the report here.
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