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Goosehead aims its pro online insurance platform at consumers

NEW YORK : Insurance technology company Goosehead Insurance Inc will launch on Wednesday a web-based service aimed at people shopping for personal coverage online, extending its reach beyond traditional agents now using the system, company leaders said.

Goosehead, which went public in 2018 and expects to write US$1.5 billion in total premiums this year, said it has retooled its professional platform that allows more than 2,000 corporate and independent franchise agents to quickly search quotes at more than 140 carriers.

"We've re-skinned the platform and pointed it at consumers," Brian Pattillo, a vice president at Goosehead, told Reuters.

Industry experts said Goosehead, based in Westlake, Texas, aims to solve a problem consumers often face when seeking insurance online by providing actual quotes, not teaser rates, and not selling user data as consumers move from site to site.

A Reuters check found many sites take personal details and provide options from multiple insurers. The options lead to other sites that import user data and ask more questions before providing a price and routing users to an agent.

Goosehead's "Digital Agent" platform allows customers to quickly see multiple quotes and terms and buy through an agent, said Piper Sandler analyst Paul Newsome, who has seen a demo.

He said the platform may not have a material impact on Goosehead's earnings for a year or two, but added: "if it's even just a little bit successful, it's essentially additive to Goosehead's model," which is already profitable.

Operation centers handle administration of policies, allowing Goosehead agents to focus on generating revenue by finding new customers instead of servicing existing policies.

Goosehead earned US$18.8 million last year on revenue of US$117 million. Revenue has nearly quadrupled since 2016, the earliest data available, according to Refinitiv. In the second quarter, it missed analysts' estimates due to higher expenses from expanding offices and investing in the platform.

Newsome hailed Goosehead's expanding use of its existing profitable technology, and noted that many other insurance tech firms lose money.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott)

Source: Reuters

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