Bunker and Chubb will work together to develop new usage-based insurance products focused on freelance workers.
Chubb has also become a minority investor in Bunker as part of their partnership, committing at least $2 million to the startup digital broker and its focus on the small business insurance market. Bunker has raised more than $10 million to date, including a $2 million seed round in 2016 and a $6 million Series A financing in mid-2017.
Previous investors include Comcast Ventures, Route 66 Ventures, Omidyar Network (now Spero Ventures), Hiscox and American Family.
Chad Nitschke, Bunker’s co-founder and CEO, explained to Carrier Management that the investment was an outgrowth of beginning a working relationship with Chubb in late 2016, which led to the development of an insurance product focused on freelancers and independent workers.
“They were [sold] on what we had built, our approach to the market, and at that point we decided to partner with them, building [a] usage-based general and professional liability product for independent workers,” Nitschke recalled.
He said that Chubb’s investment was an outgrowth of that relationship.
“They had expressed interest in investing in Bunker, purely as a [minor] equity investor,” Nitschke said, noting that Bunker also counts Hiscox and American Family Ventures as investors in the company.
Digital small business insurance-related startups are drawing plenty of investment from carriers, including Starr Companies, Berkshire Hathaway, Liberty Mutual, Markel and Munich Re. Chubb and Hiscox have invested in other startups beyond Bunker.
Bunker, based in San Francisco, has expanded into Madison, Wis., and now employs 22 people, a big jump from the six it had on staff in the middle of last year. Plans call for boosting that number to between 30 and 40 people by the end of 2018, Nitschke said.
Longer term, Nitschke said Bunker is planning on staying independent, focused on its vision of embedding insurance into the contacting process.
“Our investors understand and they are committed to the long-term opportunity,” Nitschke said.