Amazon has launched a new digital insurance network designed to help small businesses selling on its platform more easily purchase affordable product liability coverage.
Dubbed the Amazon Insurance Accelerator, the service is the product of a collaboration with Marsh, which helped curate/vet carriers and other digital insurance distribution providers available on the site for its U.S.-based sellers.
Participating insurers include Chubb, Harborway Insurance underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Markel and Travelers. Bold Penguin, Simply Business, Inc. and Next Insurance make the policies available digitally. Next is separate from what Marsh curated, according to a Marsh spokesperson, though the company is participating in the Amazon Insurance Accelerator based on a prior relationship.
Next bills itself as the only U.S. carrier participating directly in the initiatve.
[Related: Amazon Will Pay Shoppers Injured by Others’ Products Without Admitting Liability]
Amazon launched the service, in, part, because it now requires third-party sellers to obtain product liability coverage after reaching $10,000 in sales in one month on Amazon, rather than the previous three months. Sellers who go to the Amazon Insurance Accelerator find three “tiles” to click from which to get quotes, facilitated by Bold Penguin, Simply Business and Next, according to the Marsh spokesperson.
At least since March, Next Insurance has been providing coverage for Amazon sellers to address requirements for Amazon Seller Insurance, and the company published a primer on the process in a March 11, 2021 blog posting. That was based on the old three-month requirement, however. Around the same time, Next also formed a partnership with Amazon Business Prime where eligible members can access customized digital small business in a variety of areas. Business Prime members can obtain Next Insurance quotes and then quickly purchase insurance coverage in areas including General Liability, Professional Liability, Workers Compensation, Commercial Auto, and Tools and Equipment.
In its blog, Amazon said it worked with Marsh to create the Accelerator, which is calls a “network of vetted insurance providers who will evaluate and, if appropriate, offer liability insurance at competitive rates to qualifying sellers.” According to the announcement, sellers are not required to use a provider within Amazon Insurance Accelerator; they can continue to obtain insurance from any qualified insurance provider of their choice.
An Amazon representative told Insurance Journal that it is likely other insurance carriers will be able to get involved in the future in the network. Those interested in participating should reach out directly to Marsh, the spokesperson said.
In an announcement regarding the Amazon Insurance Accelerator, Next CEO Guy Goldstein said that the pandemic has led to “a tremendous amount of innovation and growth” for small businesses pursuing e-commerce, making affordable insurance to protect their livelihoods increasingly important.
“We are excited to partner with Amazon to support small businesses in their quest to thrive,” Goldstein said in prepared remarks.
Anitha Sathe, U.S. Affinity Leader for Marsh, said the Amazon Insurance Accelerator would help sellers obtain competitive quotes “from reputable insurers that will stand behind their business and give them peace of mind.”
Ilya Bodner, Bold Penguin’s CEO and founder, told Carrier Management via email that the Amazon Insurance Accelerator fills an important place in the market. He argued there is room for more products like it.
“There are countless digital marketplaces that cover a variety of products, from sporting goods, to cosmetics, to trash bags and everything else that we buy online,” Bodner said. “Each of these digital marketplaces are open to distribute insurance online to supplies, just like we have done with Amazon and Marsh.”
Sources: Marsh, Next Insurance, Bold Penguin
*Material from related Insurance Journal coverage was used for this story.