Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company has started accepting cryptocurrency for premium payments.

The reason why: to increase its competitive market position as part of a broader innovation plan.

John Lucker

“Early in the development of UFCIC’s innovation plan it became evident that the use of crypto for mainstream customer insurance transactions was not a matter of if, but when,” John Lucker, the company’s EVP, chief strategy and analytics officer, said in prepared remarks. “When we implemented our new direct online surety bond portal, cryptocurrency was a way to provide our customers with a broader and flexible array of convenient payment options that the marketplace is demanding.”

UFCIC said it accepts a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, for premium payments for direct online license and permit bonds and other surety bond products. The company claims its customer payment transaction process is seamless through the portal with the monetary exchange facilitated automatically by UFCIC’s payment processor.

UFCIC, based in Waterford, Mich., writes traditional P/C lines of business including commercial property, general liability, inland marine, business owners’ policies and commercial surety.

Chris Timm

UFCIC CEO Chris Tim (father of Root CEO Alex Timm), said that cryptocurrency is part of a larger push to diversify in multiple ways.

“UFCIC is uniquely propelling itself forward as a multi-line, multi-product insurer by embracing innovative technologies, highly-responsive distribution options and customer service portals, unique product positioning, and advanced analytics leveraging predictive models, artificial intelligence and Big Data resources,” Timm said in prepared remarks.

The insurer isn’t the only insurance company letting customers use Bitcoin to by insurance. In May, Metromile, a digital insurance platform and pay-per-mile auto insurer, announced that it would let customers use bitcoin to buy insurance or receive payments for insured claims, starting later this year.

Source: Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company