Looking to augment its direct sales channel, Northbrook, Ill.-based Allstate Corp. has purchased Esurance and Answer Financial from White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. for approximately $1 billion. The boards of directors of both companies approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fall of this year.
By acquiring these two companies, Allstate looks to broaden its business model, which has long relied on captive agents for sales. With San Francisco-based Esurance, Allstate acquires the third-largest provider of online auto insurance quotes whose premiums volume has grown an average of 20% over the past five years. It also acquires a Web-based technology stack developed specifically for the needs of self-directed consumers.
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