One of Agentero’s pitches as an InsurTech startup is to connect insurance agents to “modern carriers” to help boost their revenue. Carriers, in turn, can use the California-based InsurTechs’s platform to integrate into what the company bills as a tech-enabled agent channel.
Agentero’s list of participating carriers consists primarily of upstart digital insurers rather than legacy carriers, however. The listing thus far includes Openly, Hippo, Branch, Clearcover, Cover, Elephant, Coterie, Pie Insurance and Get Covered. There’s also Haven Life, and Aon Edge, a division of consultant/broker conglomerate Aon that provides private flood insurance.
Founder and CEO Luis Pino, billed by Agentero as the first employee at CoverWallet, said the platform right now connects agents to “top rated digital carriers” who “are integrated into our solution and a technology platform that helps them grow their agencies.” He defines carriers as tech-forward and then some.
“For us a digital carrier is a tech-forward digital carrier that has traits such as quote APIs, online binds and being completely paperless. These are just some examples of the traits,” Pino told Carrier Management via email. “There are many more that a carrier could have that would make them a digital carrier.”
Pino insists that legacy carriers can participate with Agentero’s platform. They just have to meet minimum technological standards to access Agentero’s more than 800 participating independent agencies. (The digital carriers, in turn, provide multiple coverage options.)
“As legacy carriers continue to improve their tech stack, we will include them,” Pino said.
Matteo Carbone, Founder and Director of the IoT Insurance Observatory, said he sees Agentero as trying to provide processes that independent agents already tap into through wholesalers and others. Agentero’s lack of legacy carriers right now isn’t necessarily a big deal either, he added.
“There are more than 30,000 independent agents in the U.S. and 800 that are working with Agentero,” Carbone said, noting that being a full-fledged digital insurer “is almost irrelevant” for large incumbents.”
Carbone also questioned the lure Agentero would have for independent agents.
“I don’t see independent agents craving to work with a digital carrier,” he said. “I would expect they will give the worst risks they are not able to place in any other way.”
Agentero, a California-based InsurTech that launched in 2017, recently disclosed it raised $13.5 million in new financing designed to boost and help expand its digital insurance network for agents. Pino said the company’s model and growth trajectory is a solid lure for agents hoping to tap into InsurTechs/digital insurers.
“They have a central place to manage multiple appointments with carriers that provide a superior customer experience for their clients [and] they have access to a tech platform that boosts their growth,” Pino said. “For carriers, they have the benefit of having access to more than 800 agencies that are all tech-enabled by us. It’s a win-win.”
Pino said he sees his company as having a prominent role in the insurance industry.
“We are enablers of the distribution channel,” Pino said. “Agents sell about 60 percent of P/C premiums, but they are often ill equipped in terms of technology. We are bringing technology and digital carriers to this channel and ultimately improving the insurance buying experience. We act as a network between the carriers and the agencies.”
Over the next few years, Pino said, Agentero will focus on building an insurance ecosystem that is smarter and more intuitive.
“We are on a mission to provide the industry’s simplest path to distributing insurance products,” he said.
Agentero, currently with 30 employees, plans to nearly double that number in the next year or so, Pino said.