Insure.com Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Insure.com, Inc. (ticker: NSUR, exchange: NASDAQ) News Release - 3/24/2009
Insure.com Celebrates 25th Anniversary
- Award-winning dot-com survivor thanks customers, employees and shareholders for their contributions over the last 25 years
- Sweepstakes announced as company gears up for its next 25 years
- Life insurance customer count nearing 250,000 mark
- August 2009 to mark 10 years as a publicly held company
DARIEN, Illinois (March 24, 2009) -- Insure.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: NSUR), the only place on earth where you can get auto, life, health, home and business insurance quotes from over 100 leading companies and have the freedom to buy from the company of your choice, marks the 25th anniversary of its founding this month.
Reflecting on the past, present and future, Insure.com chairman and CEO Robert Bland remarked, This is an incredibly exciting time for us. On this special day for our Company, we are marking and celebrating the longevity of our enterprise and our pioneering business mission. We also want to recognize and thank our 150 caring employees, our customers, our contributing insurance company partners and, of course, our shareholders, without whose capital and patience we would not have survived this long. We're busy getting started on our next 25-year stretch, which will have far more growth and opportunities to innovate because the self-directed insurance shopper has truly arrived and wants to be served. Our value proposition for insurance shoppers is set in stone: We make it easy for you to save money on insurance by finding the lowest possible prices from the highest-rated companies.
Founding shareholder and Chief Operating Officer Bill Thoms said, I joined the Company full-time in 1988. We started in March 1984 under the name of Quotesmith Corporation. We could not have done it without the initial financial support, sweat equity and sound guidance provided by Craig Hartman, Jim Bellinger, Bob Baker, Jay Gulotta, Gary Beede, Bill Schaefer and Jeff Dillon. In those early days, we had a lot more ideas than we had capital in the bank, but we were determined to succeed and convinced that something big was going to happen online with insurance.
Phil Perillo, who joined the Company as Chief Financial Officer in May 2002, remarked, Insure.com has a rich history and is now uniquely positioned for the future. Since our public offering in 1999, we boldly invested $85 million in brand-building and customer acquisition. This effort has yielded nearly 250,000 paying customers and a much larger prospect list from which we expect to reap repeat purchases and cross-marketing opportunities on a cost- effective basis for years to come. Happy customers and repeat purchases are at the core of a successful insurance brokerage business and I'm pleased to report that we've been experiencing declining customer acquisition costs in recent years as a result of this very long-range strategy. We're one of the few Internet-era IPOs that survived, thanks to shareholder confidence and a business plan that did not require additional capital infusions. I'm very pleased with our current strategic position in the marketplace. Our business plan for a prosperous future is also enhanced by our $49 million tax loss carryforward.
Rich Claahsen, Vice President and General Counsel, joined the Company in 1997 and said, My dad taught me years ago that the first business of business is staying in business. With that criterion, Insure.com has been a fabulous success over 25 years, constantly adapting to changes in the marketplace. Prospects for the future have never been brighter. Insure.com is an exciting place these days: Our growing in-house agent force is gaining traction; our new lead flow is robust; and our value proposition continues to resonate with customers. It's been difficult over the past 12 years to make money selling term life insurance because prices have dropped 50 percent in that time, but we're now predicting that the long slide in life insurance prices is over and that life insurance companies will move to increase prices this year to make up for portfolio losses.
Bland continued, Insure.com has an excellent management team, a highly talented workforce, a rock-solid balance sheet with no debt, the best name in the business and a strengthening business model. Insure.com is celebrating with a 25th anniversary interactive crossword puzzle and sweepstakes, available at www.insure.com. Because of our frugal culture, we'll also be celebrating at various points throughout this year with ?ice cream days' at Insure.com.
Insure.com Corporate History
Starting in 1984, the Company developed and brought to market a comparative, online group health insurance rating system that was eventually used by 3,000 independent agents.
In 1993, the Company became licensed as a national insurance brokerage and began providing quotes and advice directly to consumers via direct-response advertising of mostly print ads and direct mail.
In 1996, the Company became one of the very first to elevate its insurance databases to the Internet for direct use by insurance shoppers, making it quick and easy for them to view comparative prices from over 100 highly rated insurance companies. The Company's novel platform gave each user the freedom to buy from the company of their choice.
In 1998, the Company changed its name to Quotesmith.com, Inc. and was fortunate to have Intuit come in as a private-market investor.
In August 1999, the Company successfully completed a $63 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) and became a public company.
In December 2001, Quotesmith.com purchased Insure.com, a pro-consumer insurance information Web site that contained thousands of originally authored articles, tools and calculators. At the time, Insure.com ranked among the most highly visited insurance Web sites due to its editorial strength and depth.
In May 2004, the Company purchased a Colorado-based telephone life insurance agency that had some 63,000 sold customers on the books, among other assets.
In February 2006, Quotesmith closed its Colorado sales office and began to build out a telephone sales center at its Darien, Ill., headquarters facility, where such operations are conducted today with a sales force of 60 licensed agents.
The company has many reasons to celebrate, including its exclusive site features:
- Insure.com's Insurance Company Ratings Lookup Tool provides financial strength ratings from Standard & Poor's for more than 2,300 insurers. Today, every savvy consumer needs to be aware of their insurers' stability.
- Insure.com's Car Crash Safety Ratings Tool helps drivers identify the safest cars.
- Insure.com's Life Insurance Needs Estimator Tool helps consumers calculate a suitable life insurance coverage amount.
- Insure.com's originally authored consumer articles help readers make wiser buying decisions and provide tips for saving money and navigating the claims system.
- Insure.com's comprehensive array of comparative auto, life and health quotes allow consumers to comparison shop with ease.
- Each Insure.com term life quote shows the latest independent ratings from A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody's, Standard & Poor's and TheStreet.com Ratings.
- The company also offers customers one-of-a-kind guarantees: View the lowest term life premiums in America or receive $500, and every quote is guaranteed for accuracy or you'll receive $500.
Originally founded in 1984 as Quotesmith Corporation, Insure.com owns and operates a comprehensive consumer information service and companion insurance brokerage service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers. Visitors to the Company's flagship Web site, www.insure.com, are able to obtain free, instant car insurance quotes, instant life insurance quotes, home, business and health insurance quotes from leading insurers and have the freedom to buy online or by phone from any company shown. Insure.com also plays home to over 2,000 originally authored articles on various insurance topics and also provides free insurance decision-making tools that are not available from any other single source. Insure.com generates revenues from receipt of industry-standard commissions, including back-end bonus commissions and volume-based contingent bonus commissions that are paid by participating insurance companies. We also generate advertising revenues from the sale of Web site traffic to various third parties. Shares of the Company's common stock trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol NSUR.
SOURCE: Insure.com, Inc.
CONTACT: At Insure.com, Inc.
Amy Danise, Editor