Berkshire Hathaway's Insurance Group has launched a comprehensive insurance product for small businesses that combines multiple coverings, and the legendary chairman of the conglomerate has endorsed it.
The product, called THREE, is three pages long and combines coverage for employee compensation, multiple liability coverage (including general liability, errors and omissions and cyber), ownership and auto, according to the product announcement. THREE will be rolled out nationally as Berkshire Hathaway receives government registrations and approvals, and can be viewed at threeinsure.com. "
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett praised the new product in a statement from the company.
"Insurance is an important protection for any business, but few small businesses have the time to see through the policies that are supposed to protect them," Buffett said in prepared comments. "With THREE, a small company can have confidence in the protection it gets, because the entire policy can be read in a few moments."
An analyst said the product has potential despite an expected slow launch as a direct channel offering.
"Although direct channel penetration is likely to be slow (as is the case with personal car), today we expect some weakness from competing small commercial insurers and brokers," said analysts Meyer Shields and Sean Reitenback of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in a Feb. 11 note.
Berkshire Hathaway said the product addresses the reality that small businesses usually need different types of insurance to protect their interests. To do this, the company said, companies have usually bought multiple and unrelated policies that can be dozens of pages long individually.
THREE is invoiced as a more efficient alternative, which can be purchased in one go and is also directly available to small businesses, so they do not have to go through an intermediary or a third party. By combining the cover, Berkshire Hathaway said that small businesses could reduce the risk of not knowing what the cover is and what individual policies could apply.
The new reports from Berkshire Hathaway could generate a pretty powerful answer. Accenture research published at the end of 2018 concluded that business owners were frustrated about the process of buying commercial insurance, a process that they called "overwhelming", "confusing" and "not fun". Among the findings: small business owners wanted a much simpler and simpler purchasing process than they currently encounter.
Berkshire Hathaway itself has focused on small business customers in other areas. For example, with its biBERK unit, small business owners can shop online for commercial vehicles, general liability, insurance for property and employees, and other coverages.
Berkshire Hathaway said it will use licensed agents to help with the THREE coverage.
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