The Allstate Corporation today announced that it has
entered into a definitive agreement with White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.,
in which Allstate will purchase Esurance and Answer Financial for about $1 billion.
The transaction is expected to close in the fall.
"Consumers today expect to have their specific needs
met by their insurance companies. Our strategy is to focus on individual
preferences and utilize different value propositions for distinct consumer
segments," said Thomas J. Wilson, Allstate’s president, chairman and chief
executive officer. "Our Allstate agencies do an outstanding job of serving
customers who want a local personal touch and prefer to purchase a branded
product. Esurance will expand our ability to serve customers that are more
self-directed but still prefer a branded product. Answer Financial will
strengthen our offering to individuals who want to be offered a choice between
insurance carriers and are brand-neutral. Allstate will be the only company
serving all of these consumer segments with unique insurance offerings."
Esurance is the third-largest provider of online auto
insurance quotes through its website and combines technology developed specifically for the needs of self-directed and
brand-sensitive consumers with a 24/7 call center. It’s also the third
most-recognized brand for companies that sell personal auto insurance online.
Over the past five years, Esurance has more than doubled policies in force and
grown premiums on average 20 percent per year.
Answer Financial serves self-directed consumers who seek
a choice among insurance companies. Customers are given quote comparisons and
assistance in choosing from 20 brand-name insurance companies.