Banking & Finance and Technology

Partners launching AI-powered insurance platform

September 24, 2019
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Acrisure patients forms paperwork
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A locally based insurance broker is partnering with a holding company in the tech industry to create a new automated insurance platform.

Caledonia-based Acrisure and Pittsburgh-based Tulco LLC — the parent of artificial intelligence, or AI, company Tulco Labs — said today they are launching a direct-to-consumer insurance brokerage platform called Altway, which will be “fully supported” by AI.

The joint venture will be headquartered in Austin, Texas. Its first product offering — following the development of its web application and tech platforms, which are underway — is expected to be commercially available in mid-2020.

“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,” said Thomas Tull, chair and CEO, Tulco.

“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.”

Greg Williams, president and CEO, Acrisure, said his company has been looking for a technology partner “to drive substantial innovation” for some time.

“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,” he said.

How it will work

Google Cloud is working with Altway to integrate AI into the new brokerage platform by automating client-facing operations, marketing, sales and product-distribution channels.

Altway will target markets that already rely on automation, such as shared and gig workforces, and will market risk solutions, such as voluntary benefit policies, by using proprietary technology to “tailor coverage options, compare products and simplify insurance buying through automated processes.”

Startup leadership

At launch, Altway will be led by Brendan McCord, who specializes in AI transformation and was architect of the U.S. Department of Defense’s first AI strategy.

McCord currently serves as president of Tulco Labs, where he oversees Tulco’s machine learning engineers and data scientists, as well as AI research partnerships with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie Mellon University.

Other key executives at launch will include CTO Eric Allen, who previously served as senior vice president and AI researcher at the New York-based hedge fund Two Sigma.

Acrisure

Founded in 2006, Acrisure provides insurance services and risk solutions through its global network of agency partners.

The majority employee-owned company has more than 450 locations in 37 states and six countries.

It reports annual revenue of nearly $1.7 billion.

Tulco

Founded in 2017 by former Hollywood film executive Thomas Tull, Tulco is an alternative investing platform structured as a holding company.

It uses a partnership model between its subsidiaries and Tulco’s in-house AI lab to combine capital, management expertise and AI resources to achieve scalable growth within underserved industries.

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