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Weekly News Roundup, January 12

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In this week's news will talk about State Farm to raise homeowners rates in California, Insurtech completes $73m funding round, and much more...

Why is pet insurance having a moment?

The awareness around pet health has hit fever pitch, according to Spot Pet Insurance’s president, Scott Taylor, prompted in part by better financial planning and the continued humanization of animals as more than just a companion, but a family member.

“I think part of that trend could be the awareness of pet health insurance - it’s just not for when you get a new pet, it’s also for people who are seeing veterinary costs rise considerably and are looking for that financial relief that pet insurance brings,” Taylor said.

With almost a decade of experience working in the pet insurance industry, Taylor has witnessed firsthand the demographic shift in pet ownership and those who are seeking insurance.

Fidelity National Financial cyberattack – more than one million impacted

Around 1.3 million Fidelity National Financial (FNF) customers had their data stolen by the hackers responsible for a cyberattack that paralyzed the company last November.

The firm, which provides title insurance and real estate services across North America, confirmed the data leak in its latest SEC filing, stating that “an unauthorized third-party accessed certain FNF systems, deployed a type of malware that is not self-propagating, and exfiltrated certain data.”

It added that affected customers have been informed of the leak, as well as “applicable state attorneys general and regulators.”
The cyberattack that hit FNF in late November caused week-long service disruptions. It also brought down the company’s website and left certain systems inaccessible.

State Farm to raise homeowners rates in California

State Farm policyholders in California are bracing for higher home insurance premiums after regulators approved a rate increase for the insurance giant this year.

The approved 20% adjustment applies to renewed policies and will be effective from March 15, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

A spokesperson said the hike is a necessary move for the company, which recorded a homeowners loss ratio of 84% during the first nine months of 2023.

Orion180 expands into two new states

Orion180 has announced the expansion of its homeowners insurance products into Georgia and Indiana.

Orion180 will offer the coverage through independent agency distribution partners in the states and will underwrite the products through Orion180 Select Insurance Co., an admitted insurance company domiciled in Indiana. The company is seeking distribution partners in both states.

The firm was recently ranked number 229 on the 2023 Inc. 5000 list of the country’s fastest-growing companies, and number three among insurance companies. Between 2019 and 2022, it experienced growth of 2,441%.

Insurtech completes $73m funding round

London-based hyperexponential, a provider of pricing decision intelligence (PDI) software, has announced the completion of a $73 million Series B funding round led by tech-focused investment firm Battery Ventures, with participation from Silicon Valley investor a16z and existing Series A investor Highland Europe. The funding will support hyperexponential’s expansion into the US.

hyperexponential serves insurance and reinsurance companies in the P&C space. The company’s PDI platform, hx Renew, allows insurers to utilize large and alternative data sets, rapidly develop and refine rating tools, and use machine-learning approaches to price risks. Since the hyperexponential’s Series A funding round in 2021, it has grown sales by a factor of 10 while remaining profitable. The company serves some of the world’s largest insurers, including Aviva, HDI and Conduit Re.

The latest funding round will support hyperexponential’s US expansion, with plans to open a New York office later this year. It will also enable increased investment in new product capabilities. The company also plans to double its headcount to over 200 in the next year.