Nationwide is partnering with Bold Penguin, a digital portal startup for commercial lines property/casualty agents, in an effort to speed up the underwriting process for its products.
The insurer said that technology developed by Ohio-based Bold Penguin will provide agents a digital storefront that boosts efficiency, increasing their ability to provide customers affordable, unique and appropriate coverage options. Bold Penguin’s technology enables quick building of user interfaces while keeping operations flexible, Nationwide added.
“We have listened to independent agents and clearly understand the need for ease and efficiency in transactions,” Mark Berven, president & COO of Nationwide Property & Casualty, said in prepared remarks. “We are enabling technology to leverage data and digital capabilities to customize for agents and know this will help them grow their business.”
Product offerings will be based on Nationwide’s portfolio and its partners’ risk appetite. Coverage options in the digital platform will eventually include traditional BOP, general liability, professional liability, workers compensation and business auto, excess and surplus. More rollouts within the system will come in 2019 and 2020, Nationwide said.
Nationwide said its alliance with Bold Penguin builds on an initiative announced in April involving expanded 24-hour access to more types of small businesses for its Commercial Digital Direct online commercial insurance platform. That system allows Nationwide to sell and service its commercial insurance products and services digitally and the insurer said businesses can typically get a quote online or over the phone in under 10 minutes. As well, an agent can be brought in to complete the transaction.
A Nationwide spokesperson explained that its partnership with Bold Penguin will complement Commercial Digital Direct.
“Bold Penguin’s digital technology enables matching of product solutions to best fit the protection needs of a business through a dynamic rules engine. The single entry interface is designed to speed up the underwriting process and provide a streamlined quote and bind experience,” the spokesperson said.
Nationwide announced in April 2018 that it would shift to an independent agency distribution model over the subsequent two years. At the same time, it has committed to offering direct-to-consumer options for members who prefer doing business online or over the phone.
*Comments from a Nationwide spokesperson have been added to this story.