CALEDONIA — Acrisure LLC has launched a joint venture to sell insurance coverage directly to consumers through a digital platform backed by artificial intelligence.
Altway Insurance, formed with investment holding company Tulco Holdings in Pittsburgh, Pa., targets consumers who work in the so-called gig and shared workforce sectors.
“As we have redefined what could be accomplished in terms of growth in the insurance broker space, we have looked for the right moment to partner with the strongest technology player to drive substantial innovation,” said Greg Williams, president and CEO of the Caledonia-based Acrisure, which has become one of the largest insurance brokers globally via an aggressive M&A strategy.
“In Altway, we’re confident that Acrisure’s unique capabilities and Tulco’s leading edge technology will drive new opportunities and create innovation in insurance distribution,” Williams said in a statement.
Acrisure has 450 locations in 37 states and six countries and more than $1.7 billion in revenue.
Tulco describes itself as an alternative investing platform structured as a holding company that seeks to disrupt large economic sectors through partnerships that use artificial intelligence (AI).
In forming Altway Insurance, Acrisure and Tulco aim “to create truly the broker of the future fully supported by artificial intelligence,” said Elliott Bundy, chief communications and marketing officer for Acrisure.
As an example, Bundy cites people who drive for ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft, or secure work through mobile apps for the professional services they provide.
“That way of working where you’re sort of on for a bit, off for a bit, it’s a dynamic way of working where you might not need insurance coverage 24/7,” Bundy said. “There’s a dynamic way of making the risk for the role that hasn’t been achieved today. That’s what we think we can really blend.”
Because those types of workforces are generally nontraditional, “the insurance industry hasn’t yet caught up to the way that they work,” Bundy said. That’s where Acrisure and Tulco see the business opportunity.
“With the way workforces have developed in the last five years especially, there are opportunities in that segment where we don’t think the traditional way of buying and retaining insurance quite fits the way those workforces work or conduct themselves. This is an opportunity through the use of the AI cloud to find those individuals in a different way than has been done before,” Bundy said. “We think there’s a potential to revolutionize everything in this space from the way that we find them, from a marketing opportunity and a distribution opportunity, to the way they buy and procure their services.”
An announcement of the company’s launch said Altway Insurance would market insurance and risk services “by using proprietary technology to tailor coverage options, compare products, and simplify insurance buying through automated processes.”
The joint venture came together after a mutual acquaintance introduced Williams and Tulco Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull, Bundy said.
Altway Insurance launched in mid September and should become fully operational in 2020 with its first product offering by midyear, he added.
“While there has been substantial investment to fuse technology and insurance, today, there remains a massive and unmet opportunity to truly create the broker of the future,” Tull said in a statement. “To meet that opportunity, we’re thrilled to combine the AI and analytics leadership of Tulco with the phenomenal growth and global distribution power of Acrisure.”