April 27, 2018 by Jason Contant
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) has purchased a 15% stake in a Calgary-based online brokerage, a move designed to help the insurer develop real-time data exchange capabilities to sell products online.
“This is an investment in a brokerage, not an acquisition,” SGI president and CEO Andrew Cartmell told Canadian Underwriter Friday. “We are always exploring partnerships and opportunities to work with brokers.”
The partnership with Nuera Insurance will help SGI Canada develop real-time capabilities to sell products online to consumers through digital brokers. The deal is worth $3 million and is expected to close at the end of April.
Cartmell explained that Nuera Insurance approached SGI with a “great opportunity: a working prototype selling policies online – all backed by a solid business plan.” The digital brokerage has partnered with several insurance companies to sell insurance products online and established a track record of online sales and experience reaching online insurance customers, he added.
“This will help SGI Canada and the brokers we partner with to stay competitive and meet the expectations of online consumers,” Cartmell said. “We wanted to plug into that experience by developing our real-time data exchange capabilities to offer our products to consumers online and to leverage what we learn to partner with other brokers to do the same.”
The next generation of insurance customers wants to research and buy online, Cartmell said. “This investment provides SGI Canada with an ownership stake in Nuera’s cutting-edge capabilities and access to their customer data, providing valuable insights into how online consumers research and purchase insurance,” he said. “That knowledge is key to SGI Canada’s ability to grow and remain competitive in partnership with brokers.”
SGI Canada sells P&C insurance products in five Canadian provinces through the independent broker channel. SGI Canada’s subsidiaries include SGI Canada in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, and as SGI Canada and the Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario.