Allstate Closes $1 Billion Purchase of Esurance and Answer Financial

Allstate Insurance has completed its acquisition of Esurance and Answer Financial from White Mountains Insurance Group for a purchase price of about $1 billion, according to company officials.

Allstate officials say the deal, which cleared its remaining regulatory hurdles earlier this month, will help the insurer tap into new segments of the auto insurance market while allowing the two smaller operations to benefit from its brand recognition.

Esurance, a direct-to-consumer coverage provider, helps motorists in 30 states purchase car insurance online. Answer Financial is not a writer of coverage, but helps consumers shop for policies by providing informational and quote-comparison services.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Allstate wrote nearly $17 billion in auto premiums in 2010—roughly 17 times as many as were written by the White Mountains group, the former parent company of Esurance and Answer Financial.

The acquisition means that “Allstate is uniquely positioned to serve different customer segments with unique products and services,” Thomas J. Wilson—Allstate president, chairman and chief executive officer—said in a statement.

“Esurance provides the business platform to serve the self-directed, brand-sensitive market segment. Answer Financial strengthens our offering to self-directed consumers who want a choice between insurance carriers.”

Allstate officials said they intend to maintain the current headquarters of Esurance in San Francisco and Answer Financial in Los Angeles.

To read the experiences of current and former Esurance policyholders, readers can find user-submitted Esurance auto insurance reviews online.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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