July 18, 2013
We've had a lot of excellent press coverage at Embrace lately. Some of the good coverage because of our recent change in ownership, and some of it just because.
Our recent change in ownership is our most exciting update since we changed our underwriter to American Modern Insurance a year ago.
Before I get into details of the transaction, the bottom line is that:
- Embrace is staying and growing in northeast Ohio,
- we are remaining independent from other insurance organizations, and
- we will continue to provide the great Embrace experience you've come to know from us. Nothing is going to change that way.
As for details, there's a great Plain Dealer article on the transaction "Embrace Pet Insurance Finds Success Keeping Tails Wagging". A private investor with deep experience in the insurance world, Beauvest (US), acquired all the shares of Embrace except for those belonging to me (Laura Bennett) and Alex Krooglik (we're the co-founders). Once that was complete, five of the original investors bought back in, indicating their continued confidence in Embrace and Alex and me (which was very much appreciated by all of us.)
So, for Alex and me, we are still as invested in Embrace as we were before (no Tesla for me this time around!) and we will continue to run Embrace as we have all these years. We also have a very long-term investor who has no particular time horizon for this investment. It's as perfect as it could have been.
The other part of the transaction is that we locked in our underwriting partnership with American Modern for another 5 years, which I am absolutely delighted about. Not only does that give me great comfort that I won't be looking for another underwriter any time soon, but also, the American Modern folks are a great group of guys and gals backed by the solid support of their owner, Munich Re, the largest reinsurance company in the world.
It's tough to say goodbye to Jumpstart, who got us off the ground, and NCT Ventures, who invested a significant sum back in October 2008 during one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression. Both organizations have supported us for many years and we would not be here without them.
Having said that, I will continue to be very active with Jumpstart, encouraging and supporting other entrepreneurs in northeast Ohio. Personally, I'm delighted that the proceeds from Jumpstart's investment in Embrace will go towards other new companies in the area. Got to love that flywheel!
As for that other press we've been getting:
- COSE magazine profiled Embrace along with two other local entrepreneurial companies, highlighting the exciting entrepreneurial environment here in NEO (and I got to be on the cover - woohoo!)
- Scene Magazine did an extensive article on entrepreneurship in Cleveland in the article "Startup City" mentioning Embrace as well
- Embrace was recently listed as one of 20 Cool Tech Companies in Cleveland
- I recently participated in a Jumpstart podcast "For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs" discussing the importance of culture and opportunities created for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, many of which are focused on peer networking and education.
Definitely exciting times! Onwards and upwards.
Your Chief Embracer,
August 15, 2012
When I announced the Embrace Pet Insurance move to our new underwriter, American Modern, I promised to tell you about our new diminishing deductible feature, also known as the Healthy Pet DeductibleTM.
If it sounds familiar, it's probably because you have seen quite a few TV ads from several large auto insurers with their own versions of the deductible reducing every year of claims-free driving. The Embrace Healthy Pet Deductible is very similar - if you go a year without any claims paid out for your pet, your next year's annual deductible reduces by $50 and so on every year, until you reach a $0 deductible.
Embrace is the first pet insurer in the world to offer this feature.
The point is not to discourage you from sending in your claims but to offer encouragement for those pet parents whose pets stay healthy and are not using their Embrace policy to stick around for when they ultimately will need their pet insurance.
It just kills me when someone cancels their policy because they haven't used it for 3 years and then call in 6 months later asking if we'd cover an accident or illness that has occured after the insurance was stopped. I never want that to happen again.
For specifics, you can learn more on our Health Pet DeductibleTM webpage. For example, it is only available to those policies underwritten by American Modern so you'll have to wait until your policy coverts over to start earning those credits.
In the meantime, here's an example that I put together on how it works.
Consider a multi-pet policy with my cats Rocket (annual deductible $500) and Rosie (annual deductible $200).
Year 1 – one covered claim for Rocket of $300 and one for Rosie for $300 as well.
- Since Rocket’s claim is under her $500 deductible, there is no claim payout; therefore, Rocket accumulates a $50 deductible credit for year 2.
- Rosie’s claim, however, is over her $200 deductible so there will be a claim payout in year 1; therefore, Rosie will not accumulate any deductible credits for year 2.
Year 2 – another covered claim for Rocket of $600 and no claims for Rosie.
- Rocket’s claim is over her deductible ($500 - $50 = $450), so there is a claim payout; therefore, Rocket will not accumulate any deductible credits for year 3 and her accumulated deductible credits are reset to zero.
- Since Rosie has no claims in year 2, she accumulates $50 in deductible credits for year 3.
If we rewrote the example this way, you can see how the Healthy Pet Deductible accumulates:
Year 2 – another covered claim for Rocket but this time for $300 and no claims for Rosie.
- Rocket’s claim is under her deductible ($500 - $50 = $450), so there is no claim payout; therefore, Rocket accumulates another $50 to make her total deductible credits equal to $100 for year 3.
- Since Rosie has no claims in year 2, she accumulates $50 of Deductible Dollars for year 3.
So if you claim, you get reimbursed (if it's above the deductible) and if you don't (it's below the deductible), you get a credit.
What's not to like about that?
Embrace has a new insurance partner - A+ rated American Modern Home Insurance Company
July 31, 2012
As of today, Embrace is selling American Modern Home Insurance Company pet insurance policies in 38 states (see the list on the Embrace's Underwriter page). We are in the process of rolling out all 51 jurisdicitions we work in, so if your state isn't on the list, it will be very soon.
Why are we changing insurance underwriters?
The usual thing that comes to mind when you hear a company changing underwriters is that something has gone amiss with the partnership between the pet insurance program and the underwriter; however, in the case of Embrace Pet Insurance leaving RLI, quite the opposite is true.
In our case, RLI loved the Embrace program so much, they wanted to buy us. Unfortunately, we couldn't come to agreement on the terms and when we agreed to disagree, we then felt it better that Embrace move on to find another underwriting partner. So sad! It's kind of like after you propose to your sweetheart and she turns you down, you don't keep dating, as much as you might want to.
We are very grateful and appreciative of the partnership and support RLI has given us over the last three years. We did make great partners, if I do say so myself.
And now we are transitioning over to American Modern and it's going very smoothly.
Who is American Modern?
I am absolutely delighted to partner with the folks over at the American Modern Insurance Group (AMIG). Here are my top 5 reasons for partnering with AMIG, from the most obvious down to the most important:
- AMIG's subsidiaries that we are working with are A+rated by AM Best, meaning that they have a superior ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations, a most important characteristic if you want a company that is going to be there in the future when you need it the most.
- AMIG is owned by Munich Re, which is one of the world's largest reinsurance companies, with annual premium income of about $62 billion. Munich Re operates in all lines of insurance, with around 47,000 employees throughout the world. What does that all mean? Financial stability and a highly trusted brand, which runs down through all of their companies.
- AMIG is a specialty insurance company serving niche or underserved markets. So they know how to handle focused marketplaces and knows what it takes to succeed.
- AMIG has a history of family-driven entrepreneurship and I still feel that from the everyone I have met there. This get-it-done attitude continues to be very important to me because I want and need an insurance partner that is going to understand the entpreneurial culture at Embrace.
- AMIG has very strong work ethic and a lot of smart people who are wonderful to work with. Again, I need a good partner with people who work as a team, get things done, and who have fun doing it. In my opinion, that leads to building the most value for all involved (from the pet parent to the underwriter) and that's a good thing for everyone.
I expect the transition to be seamless for our Embraced pet parents but it's always good to share the background of why this change has happened so you feel comfortable with our new underwriter.
I will go over the changes to the policies in my next post. *spoiler alert* They are minimal.
Chief Embracer & Co-Founder
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace has a new insurance partner - A+ rated American Modern Home Insurance Company
Embrace's new Healthy Pet Deductible