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Employee Benefits Site Utilizes a B2B Model

A team of entrepreneurs has created a new website to provide information to employees about worker benefits. MyProtectionHero, in Calabasas, offers not only comparative rates on life, auto and home insurance but also warranty products, pet insurance, telemedicine services and content such as articles, newsletters and live webinars on topics such as healthy living, exercise and financial well-being. Doug Plank, the chief executive, said that the parent company QuoteHero is an aggregator of life management services, similar to what Travelocity does for the travel industry. “There is a need for this,” Plank said. “It is easy for the company; it is valuable to employee and we do all the work so there is a quality control that is really important.” QuoteHero was founded in 2017 by Steve Weber and Harris Wali. Weber was in the entertainment industry until an accident while on a motorcycle tour in Mexico got him thinking about life insurance. In 2009, he joined Wali’s company, HW Premier Insurance Services Inc., also in Calabasas, as president. The motivation behind MyProtectionHero was Weber’s dislike of how insurance companies sell customers’ information – phone numbers and email addresses – to third parties who would then contact them incessantly to get them to buy additional products. “I decided to go online with the insurance business and selling people insurance but do it by not selling people’s information,” said Weber, who serves as president. “Those (insurance company) partners have signed an agreement with us that they will not sell the name and number so that our model truly is protected,” Plank added. QuoteHero started out by selling life insurance only directly to consumers. Later, Weber and Plank pivoted the company to a business-to-business model. In the meantime, it began to add other types of insurance and other services to the website. “The list is endless on what we can put on there,” Weber said. “It is a place for employees to start looking at stuff.” The company makes money two ways – one is through the monthly model for access to its website and the content there. The cost is $300 a month for companies with less than 100 employees, or $1 a month per employee for larger businesses. When it comes to those companies with thousands of employees the cost can come down as low as 20 to 30 cents per worker each month, Weber said. The secondary revenue stream is through commissions on some of the products sold through the website, Plank said. Jon Austin, operations and sales manager at QuoteHero, said that he has gotten both health insurance and pet insurance through the site. “You can get a quote immediately,” Austin said. “You can apply, set up your exam and everything without having to speak to anybody.” Brian Hemsworth, the marketing and communications manager, said that with millennials and Generation Z becoming the dominant part of the workforce, both are willing to go online to find worker benefits. They are not part of the generations that would stop off at a State Farm agency on Ventura Boulevard to buy insurance, Hemsworth said. “It is serving a need that is much more important now than it was 10 years ago,” he added. “People were not comfortable shopping for this kind of product online. Now it is the exact opposite. Now the vast majority of people prefer that to the face-to-face.” Plank said nondisclosure agreements prevent him from naming any QuoteHero clients. But the company is in discussion with some large companies, national brands and at least one entity that owns several thousand business. “Part of our objective is to leverage that B2B relationship and have some explosive growth here,” Plank said. “We have a pipeline right now that is pretty significant. And we are getting really good feedback. We have not had anyone give us any kind of pushback on this.”

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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