New York (PRESS RELEASE – November 20, 2010) – Hiscox USA has taken a giant leap towards reinventing how small professional services businesses buy their insurance in the U.S. The specialist insurer today launched the first U.S. service that enables small businesses to obtain insurance direct through real-time quote and buy online.
The launch comes as research shows there are an average of 135,000 keyword searches for “small business insurance” in the U.S. per month, demonstrating that small businesses are already seeking information on insurance coverage online.
Designed specifically for the small-office/home-office market, Hiscox Small Business Insurance is aimed at businesses with 10 employees or less in knowledge-based professions including IT, management and business consulting and marketing. Professional liability coverage starts from as little as $22.50 a month, making it an affordable and efficient way for small businesses to get coverage compared to more traditional channels.
Available in 21 states and the District of Columbia, the new online offering is backed by trained licensed advisors based at the Hiscox Small Business Insurance Customer Service Center in Virginia Beach, VA.
The products available include:
- professional liability insurance (E&O)
- general liability insurance (CGL)
- workers’ compensation insurance, through EMPLOYERS
A business owner’s policy (BOP) will also be available by the end of the year. This policy combines general liability with business property coverage, for example buildings, office contents and loss of electronic data.
Kevin Kerridge, Head of US Direct, Hiscox USA, comments:
“Small business owners have been underserved by insurers. They are looking for clear information on risks and how to get the right cover. Hiscox’s experience insuring knowledge-based professions means we understand the risks they face and are able to tailor policies to meet their needs. Our real-time online quote and buy system also brings the convenience of 24/7 access to our service.”
Since the launch of Hiscox’s small business insurance coverage in the U.K. in 2005, the business has grown more than 200 percent annually to cover 38,000 small businesses in 2010. The profile and needs of these small business owners are similar in the U.S. and the U.K.
Online insurance purchasing has become the norm for personal lines coverage and small business owners are familiar with this channel. According to a recent industry analyst research survey examining insurance channel preferences in the U.S., more than half of respondents who purchased insurance products over a 12-month span indicated they did so online or by phone, compared to about 1/3 who purchased insurance in-person at a branch office. Additionally, more than half of small business owners surveyed would be comfortable purchasing business insurance online according to a recent Interbrand study.
“Small business owners are looking for fast, convenient and reliable services to help them operate and protect their businesses,” said David Potterton, Vice President, Global Research at IDC Financial Insights. “As many of these businesses already use and are familiar with online channels for their banking and personal insurance products, it seems the logical next step for certain types of business insurance coverage as well.”
About Hiscox U.S.
Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting parts of the Group – Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey and the USA. Hiscox ASM Ltd, Hiscox Underwriting Ltd and Hiscox Syndicates Ltd are authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority. The ability of syndicates at Lloyd’s to do business in the USA and its territories are restricted as they are not US-based insurers.
Hiscox Inc., a Delaware corporation headquartered in New York, d/b/a Hiscox Insurance Agency in CA, is a licensed insurance intermediary for admitted and surplus lines business. Hiscox Inc. underwrites on behalf of, and places business with, Hiscox Insurance Company Inc., other domestic insurers, and syndicates at Lloyd’s. Hiscox Insurance Company Inc. is a Chicago, IL domiciled insurer which is admitted or licensed to do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Inquiries as to insurance, products or services, other than those offered by Hiscox Small Business Insurance, should be directed to an insurance agent or broker licensed to conduct business in the relevant U.S. state. For further information about an insurer’s ability to do business in the USA and US territories please contact a licensed agent or broker for advice.
This communication provides general information on Hiscox’s products and services only and, except with regard to Hiscox Small Business Insurance, is not intended to be, and does not constitute, a solicitation of business by syndicates at Lloyd’s from or in respect of the USA or U.S. territories. The information contained herein is not a part of an insurance policy, and may not be used to modify any insurance policy that might be issued. In the event the actual policy forms are inconsistent with any information provided herein, the language of the policy forms shall govern.
About Hiscox Small Business Insurance
Hiscox is the first company in the U.S. to offer insurance coverage for professional services businesses with 10 employees or less direct and online. We provide professional liability, general liability and business owners insurance. We also offer workers’ compensation insurance provided by EMPLOYERS. Hiscox Insurance Company Inc. is rated ‘A’ (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.
About Employers Holdings, Inc.
Employers Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EIG) is a holding company with subsidiaries that are specialty providers of workers’ compensation insurance and services focused on select small businesses engaged in low-to-medium hazard industries. The company, through its subsidiaries, operates coast to coast. Insurance is offered by Employers Insurance Company of Nevada, Employers Compensation Insurance Company, Employers Preferred Insurance Company, and Employers Assurance Company, all rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.