Berkshire skunkworks online project doubles growth

The major insurer hopes its new direct-to-consumer baby will follow the trajectory of Geico

Berkshire skunkworks online project doubles growth


By Allie Sanchez

In a bid to get a chunk of the small-business insurance pie, major insurer Berkshire Hathaway rebranded its direct-to-consumer platform, which will enable online selling of targeted insurance products to the market.

The biBERK platform will push commercial vehicle, general liability, property, workers’ compensation and eventually professional liability insurance to small-business owners more efficiently, but bypassing agents in the process.

The biBERK service was formerly known as “Cover Your Business,” according to Reuters. The company assumed new nomenclature in March. The new name is expected to improve brand recall, according to Ajit Jain, a top Berkshire insurance executive who cooked up the name. The contraction stands for Business Insurance Berkshire Hathaway.

Through the platform, small-business owners are able to get a quote for their preferred product a mere five minutes after answering a simple questionnaire.

The platform’s chief operating officer, Rakesh Gupta, said that biBERK is attracting double the crowd this year compared to last year.

He added that the company is crossing its fingers that the platform will follow in the footsteps of Geico, a technology-enabled car insurance sales service, which allowed Berkshire to gobble up a sizeable market share from incumbent leaders.

Currently, biBERK provides instant quotes to 60 % of applicants, while it denies 20% of applications, and 20% are directed to live conversations with representatives.

The sign up process was improved as well so that automated applications account for 50% of sales compared with 10% from a year ago.

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