Branch raises $50M to offer bundled auto & home insurance via an API – TechCrunch



Department Insurance coverage, a startup providing bundled dwelling and auto insurance coverage, has raised $50 million in a Collection B funding spherical led by Anthemis Group.

Acrew, Cherry Creek Holdings and current backers Greycroft, HSCM Bermuda, American Household Ventures, SignalFire, SCOR P&C Ventures, Basis Capital and Tower IV additionally participated within the spherical. With this newest financing, Columbus, Ohio-based Department has raised $82.5 million in complete funding since its 2017 inception.

With so many gamers within the insurtech house, it will possibly get robust distinguishing the assorted choices. Department claims that it’s distinctive in that it is ready to present clients with “an instantaneous insurance coverage provide” for bundled dwelling and auto insurance coverage “inside seconds” utilizing just some items of knowledge.

Co-founder and CEO Steve Lekas started his profession at Allstate, the place he went on to carry roles in underwriting, know-how and product administration. He then went on to construct Esurance’s first on-line dwelling insurance coverage enterprise.

However behind his thoughts, Lekas yearned to determine a technique to make insurance coverage extra accessible for extra folks. And so he teamed up with Joe Emison, and Department was born.

“The trade is structurally flawed and it harms customers. Difficult insurance policies, rising prices and advertising and marketing warfare all contribute to a vicious cycle that ends in overpriced insurance coverage,” stated Lekas. “We’re a full-stack insurance coverage firm remodeling the way in which folks take into consideration their dwelling and automotive insurance coverage.”

Department, he claims, is the one insurance coverage firm that he’s conscious of that may bind insurance coverage via an API, and the one one that may bundle auto and residential insurance coverage in a single transaction.

One other manner Department is exclusive, in accordance with Lekas, is that it may be embedded into the shopping for expertise. In different phrases, the corporate has partnered with firms similar to Rocket Mortgage and ADT to combine insurance coverage on the level of sale of their merchandise. For instance, if an individual is closing on a house, they’ve the choice of buying Department insurance coverage on the similar time.

Department co-founder and CEO Steve Lekas. Photograph: Robb McCormick Pictures

“Each dwelling or automotive coverage begins with one other transaction,” Lekas stated. “Insurance coverage is a product that exists solely due to the opposite transaction. It’s by no means earlier than been potential to embed in that major buy earlier than.”

This distribution mannequin signifies that Department shells out much less to accumulate clients and thus, it claims, is ready to provide premiums for a cheaper price than opponents.


“In simply two clicks, a client can have dwelling and automotive insurance coverage or simply dwelling and we’ll cancel the outdated insurance coverage on their deadline, and transmit all the info to their current mortgage,” Lekas stated.

Department additionally presents its insurance coverage direct-to-consumer and thru companies.

The corporate plans to make use of its new capital partially to speed up its rollout throughout the U.S. in order that it will possibly signal extra such partnerships the place it will possibly embed its providing. Presently, Department has greater than 30 partnerships of various sizes, and is “including extra each week” because it launches in additional states.

“It’s actually onerous to maneuver rapidly,” Lekas stated. “The system is constructed to make you progress slowly. Each state regulator has to approve individually and independently with their very own guidelines.”

Lekas predicts Department will probably be out there in additional than 80% of the U.S. earlier than the 12 months’s out.

Department has seen elevated momentum since its $24 million Collection A in July 2020.

Particularly, the startup says it has achieved a 435% development in its accomplice channel, 660% development in lively insurance policies and a 734% enhance in lively premium lower than one 12 months after its final increase.

Anthemis Group Accomplice Ruth Foxe Blader notes that Department marks her agency’s first funding from its new development fund.

Blader says she has invested in insurance coverage innovation over the previous decade, and is especially interested in insurtech companies that signify three issues: important know-how and information science innovation; important product innovation and important cultural innovation.

“Department simply ticks these containers,” Blader advised TechCrunch. “Department’s merchandise are each embedded and bundled, making them inexpensive and extra handy to buy, and fewer prone to go away clients with crucial safety gaps.”

The startup, she added, successfully combines information science and know-how to create “distinctive, automated product bundles.”

With what it describes as a “built-for-savings” construction, Department stated it has created linked dwelling reductions in addition to applications that reward members for making referrals and training secure driving behaviors, for instance.

Department additionally has fashioned a nonprofit, SafetyNest, to assist those that are un- or underinsured.


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