Ascend and The Agency Collective | August 22, 2022
Ascend, the first modern insurance payments platform, has been officially endorsed by The AC as their preferred payments and financing platform for its vast member network.
Ascend is the first modern insurance payments platform that provides automated all-in-one financing, collections, and payables. The AC is a premier network partner for insurance agencies. They host a network of over 700 agencies and help agents transition from captive to independent models. They are committed to the success of the independent agency channel across the insurance industry.
"We are thrilled to partner with The AC and their network of agency members as we believe in serving the independent agency channel and their clients, This partnership will help ease the transition so many agents are making into the independent model by providing them with our modern payments platform that simplifies and streamlines the insurance payments process for all parties involved – including agents and agencies of all sizes."
-Chris Peabody, Head of Strategic Partnerships
The AC is aligned with Ascend in terms of forward-thinking technology solutions for independent agents to improve internal processes and provide a modern checkout. Their network of agency members will be able to leverage Ascend's technology to solve the inefficiencies of today's agency bill and premium financing processes.
We pride ourselves on working with innovators and companies that not only align with our mission to help independent agents but also enhance it, Ascend is tackling one of, if not the, biggest pain points that agents are dealing with – the antiquated and cumbersome payments system. We're proud to endorse them and engrain them into our network of agents,says Kenny Urbania, CEO at The AC.
This is one of many partnerships and alignments Ascend has been a part of this year, as they deepen their relationships with other insurtechs, MGAs, AMS, and carriers to complement the innovations being made by companies in the insurance market.
Ascend is the modern insurance payments platform that provides automated all-in-one financing, collections, and payables. Founded by two-time insurtech entrepreneurs Andrew Wynn and Praveen Chekuri, Ascend helps distributors sell more by eliminating labor-intensive, expensive processes while providing customers with the great online checkout and financing experience they've come to expect.
About The Agency Collective
The AC is a new type of agency network that offers a suite of tools to its partner agencies. It was founded in 2019 by a group of formerly Nationwide agents who are now independent. The AC currently works with close to 700 agencies of all sizes, whose continued growth is supported through carrier access, business tools, and services.
MULBERRI | July 29, 2022
Mulberri, the business insurance platform for modern PEOs and brokers, announced it has raised a $4 million Series Seed led by a consortium that includes Hanover Technology Management, MS&AD Ventures, and Altamont Capital Partners (via insurance enterprises in its portfolio). A shared platform that makes business insurance easier to access and manage, Mulberri will use the funding to continue to expand its infrastructure and data modeling to help make business insurance more simple, efficient, and transparent.
“For far too long, business insurance has been stuck in the 20th century, and that has had major ramifications for PEOs and brokers who have wanted modern solutions, but lacked access to them,” said Hamesh Chawla, CEO and co-founder of Mulberri.
“For far too long, business insurance has been stuck in the 20th century, and that has had major ramifications for PEOs and brokers who have wanted modern solutions, but lacked access to them,” said Hamesh Chawla, CEO and co-founder of Mulberri. “We’ve been gratified by the enthusiastic response to Mulberri from investors and insurtechs alike. Looking towards the future, we’re excited to continue building out our technology so we can help even more PEOs and brokers reach their highest potential.”
The process of buying, selling, and managing business insurance has always been complex, but increasingly it has become too slow. With manual workflows, archaic processes, and low-tech solutions, business insurance processes have lagged behind other insurance sectors, which have embraced automation and data-first approaches. But that’s where Mulberri comes in.
Launched in 2021, Mulberri is the first business insurance solution purpose-built for PEOs and brokers. Mulberri’s technology enables PEOs, brokers, and carriers to come together to write business and helps them make intelligent data-driven decisions.
“Business insurance processes have been long overdue for an overhaul,” said Jon Soberg, Managing Partner at MS&AD Ventures. “Mulberri recognized this problem and has developed an innovative, streamlined solution.”
Mulberri delivers on the speed, transparency, and efficiency that PEOs and brokers have been asking for. The platform provides smart submission intake, automated quote and bind, data-driven insurance management, and easily accessible protection and monitoring services. It also optimizes PEO business workflows, speeds up client acquisition, and provides risk analytics by integrating with multiple systems like HRIS, Payroll and others.
“Mulberri’s embedded platform empowers each one of the critical parties –– the SMB, the PEO, the broker, and the carrier –– while meaningfully leveling up automation and ease of doing business for the industry as a whole. Mulberri uses the sort of convolutional neural networks that we have successfully deployed in other industries, from energy to defense,” said Joseph Malchow, founding partner of Hanover Technology Investment Management. “Ultimately, that means a faster-growing book of business and happier customers. Hanover is proud to partner with Hamesh and the Mulberri team to transform business insurance.”
Mulberri is a pioneering embedded insurtech that is revamping the way insurance is delivered. Launched in 2021, Mulberri is the first business insurance solution purpose-built for PEOs and brokers. Mulberri’s technology enables PEOs, brokers, and carriers to come together to write business and helps them make intelligent data-driven decisions. To learn more, visit https://www.mulberri.io/.
OneAmerica | September 21, 2022
The companies of OneAmerica announce the expansion of their product portfolio to offer OneAmerica® Variable Universal Life (VUL) insurance. Distributed through the Individual Life and Financial Services (ILFS) line of business, this new product provides customers with a strong vehicle for protection, while also offering them the opportunity to invest in the financial markets. VUL customers have the flexibility to use the policy for life insurance protection, cash value accumulation or other financial needs.
"We're excited to bring our unique VUL product to today's marketplace, The product's guarantees and transparency make it an attractive, new option for people to help protect their loved ones and create an opportunity for potential financial growth."
-Dennis Martin, president of ILFS
The OneAmerica VUL life insurance policy includes a guaranteed death benefit provision and fully guaranteed policy charges, which are first-of-its-kind in the VUL space. These guarantees offer customers confidence that their policy charge structure won't change in the future. They also add an additional layer of protection against policy lapse and loss of the death benefit.
In addition, the OneAmerica VUL offers two investment-related differentiators to the marketplace. The product offers a low-cost, transparent fund lineup of well-known industry asset managers, and it includes two defined outcome funds — again, a first in the industry for a VUL product. The investment lineup offers customers more than 50 diverse investment options, customizable to their portfolios and goals. These innovations reflect the client-centered approach that OneAmerica brings to the marketplace.
VUL will give our distribution channels a strong product to match the needs of new and existing customers, Ultimately, our VUL is a robust product built on our strong foundation and commitment to deliver on our promises when customers need us most,said Mark Scalercio, senior vice president and head of distribution for ILFS.
The new product also includes extra protection and added benefits through optional riders.
OneAmerica VUL is currently available through the OneAmerica career agency distribution channel in all states except California, Florida, New York, North Dakota and South Dakota.
A national provider of insurance and financial services for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers.