Nationwide Partners with Bold Penguin on Commercial Insurance ‘Digital Storefront’

The insurer has partnered with Bold Penguin to build an API-based small business insurance site to match Nationwide and other carrier products to customers’ needs.

(Image source: djedj.)

As part of Nationwide’s Commercial Digital Direct (CDL) business owners policy (BOP) platform initiative, the insurer has partnered with Bold Penguin to build an API-based small business insurance site to match Nationwide and other carrier products to customers’ needs. The goal of the Nationwide/Bold Penguin (both of Columbus, Ohio) alliance is the creation of a “digital storefront” which utilizes the CLD BOP platform and is designed to allow small business owners to receive commercial insurance quotes quickly and easily online or over the phone, with the ability to bring in an agent to complete the transaction.

Mark Berven, President & COO, Nationwide Property & Casualty.

Nationwide launched Commercial Digital Direct in Sept. 2018 to meet a changing small business insurance environment wherein agents are feeling increased pressure to provide fast, easy and affordable solutions for business clients with complex protection needs. Built to address the specific needs of businesses with fewer than five employees, the platform provides full-service and end-to-end digital capabilities across the entire insurance life cycle, through a partnership with Guidewire Software (Foster City, Calif.).

The role of Bold Penguin’s digital technology is to enable matching of product solutions to best fit the protection needs of a business, using a dynamic rules engine. The single-entry interface is designed to speed up the underwriting process and provide a streamlined quote and bind experience.

A joint statement from the companies asserts that the Bold Penguin API-first approach allows Nationwide to build user interfaces (UI’s) at an extraordinary speed without sacrificing future flexibility. This technology aims to deliver a digital storefront enabling agents to work more efficiently and seamlessly in providing the right solutions to their customers, while providing business owners affordable, unique coverage solutions based on Nationwide’s product portfolio and risk appetite of its partners, the statement says.

Ease and Efficiency in Transactions

Ilya Bodner, CEO, Bold Penguin.

“We have listened to independent agents and clearly understand the need for ease and efficiency in transactions,” comments Mark Berven, president & COO of Nationwide Property & Casualty.  “We are enabling technology to leverage data and digital capabilities to customize for agents and know this will help them grow their business.”

Coverage options in the digital platform will eventually include traditional BOP, general liability, professional liability, workers compensation and business auto, excess and surplus, according to the joint statement. The companies say they expect additional phases of rollouts in 2019 and 2020.

“Our work with Nationwide is particularly important because of all the facets of the landscape that are addressed with this partnership,” comment Ilya Bodner, founder and CEO of Bold Penguin. “At the end of the day, Nationwide offers a solution for almost anyone interacting with them, through a slew of competitive internal products, partnerships with other carriers, a strong agency base, and superior E&S capabilities.  All of that coupled with a brand that is trusted by small and midsize businesses.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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