Pie Insurance announced last week that it has begun providing workers’ compensation insurance to small businesses in Mississippi, New Hampshire, Utah and West Virginia. With these additions, Pie now offers coverage in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
As Louisiana Comp Blog reported last year, Pie expanded into Louisiana accompanied by Texas and Colorado. The online-only, lower-cost firm bills itself as better for small businesses because, Pie claims, “up to 80 percent of small businesses overpay for workers’ comp.” The Pie business model has the potential to change a longstanding method of doing business for lines like workers’ comp, that are always sold through brokers or independent agents. The 80 percent figure comes from the company’s Pie Price Predictor, powered by Valen Analytics, a data analytics company owned by Insurity Inc.
For Timothy Clements of Clements Insurance Services in Chalmette, the issue is primarily one of service rather than industry overhaul. “I still maintain my stance that online direct carriers are a threat to the insureds they serve,” he said. “Our clients rely on us because we are licensed, we constantly educate ourselves on the changing insurance environment, and we care about our insureds on a personal basis. These are our neighbors; we see them at the ballpark, in our kid’s schools and at church.”
Ross Henry of Henry Insurance Service, echoed Clements’ thoughts on the matter, emphasizing the need to look at the entire picture of the client’s coverage needs. “I do not see a benefit for a small business owner to buy one line of coverage from an online-only broker,” he said. “The insured will need other lines of coverage and therefore must now deal with multiple brokers. The majority of independent agencies can operate in a virtual environment nearly as well as the online-only brokers. The difference is that we have a real presence in the market, we are available in person or by phone, we know the local market, and we provide the guidance and expertise needed by most insureds.”
In June, Pie Insurance started doing business in Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, South Carolina and Virginia. It also added five new states in January and four in February. The managing general agency said it expects to be in all states by the end of 2019.
Image Credit: Pie Insurance