|Key people||Gary Tolman, President and CEO|
|Revenue||$872 Million USD (2011)|
Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. is an American auto insurance provider. The company, which is owned by Allstate, sells car insurance direct to consumers online and over the phone offering services to nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population in 34 states. Its primary competitors are other direct personal auto writers such as GEICO and Progressive. Esurance has 849,000 policies-in-force, and also serves as a shopping and comparison site for car insurance in the 20 remaining states that it does not sell. Esurance also partners with companies such as Safeco, Progressive, Homesite and others to offer homeowners, motorcycle and other personal lines insurance. Esurance has 1,900 employees in 15 offices nationwide.
Esurance was incorporated in June 1998 as Silicon Sierra, Inc. The company was cofounded by Jean-Bernard Duler, Jeffrey Goodman, Huyen Bui, David Griffin, and Charles Wallace. Its first round of $5.5 million in venture funding was led by Trinity Ventures and Palo Alto Ventures in May 1999 with a second round of funding of $34 million in October 1999 led by Redpoint Ventures and Global Retail Ventures.
Esurance launched its website and started writing personal auto insurance in four states in December 1999, and was one of the early pioneers of online auto insurance. The company website was also one of the first to offer comparison quotes that allowed consumers to compare prices with other leading insurance companies.
In 2004, Esurance was one of the first car insurance companies to offer discounts to same-sex partners. The company continues to support LGBT issues through a variety of corporate sponsorships and events, such as the Trevor Project. The company has also sponsored a number of sporting events and teams, including the US Open tennis tournament, the Golden State Warriors, and the Pac-12 Conference. Esurance also partners with auto glass claims service provider HSG on a “Save a Windshield, Plant a Tree” program that pledges to plant a tree for every Esurance customer who chooses to have their windshield repaired instead of replaced.
In May, 2011, Allstate announced that it had reached a definitive agreement with White Mountains Insurance Group to purchase Esurance and Answer Financial for approximately $1 billion. Allstate's acquisition of Esurance was completed on October 7, 2011. The company's headquarters will remain in San Francisco, CA.
Esurance markets itself as being more environmentally friendly than competitors. The company often cited documents being available online in early company advertising. Esurance has partnered with sports teams for "Go Green" events by giving away reusable grocery bags. About 45% of the company's data is stored on outsourced servers in a LEED certified building.
Early Esurance commercials were animated featuring a pink-haired female spy named Erin Esurance, who posed as an auto-insurance agent. The goal was to juxtapose a widely disliked business, insurance, with a popular superhero archetype. In her first three years, the character was used in over 30 commercials. The character was also used on an episode of Who Wants to be a Superhero?. Esurance stopped prominently using the character in its advertising in June 2010 because the character was unpopular in surveys compared to the average for other corporate mascots such as Microsoft's Clippy, with the exception of her top score in the "sexiness" category. Despite the unpopularity, in an example of Rule 34, pornographic fan art of the character—"some with a remarkable degree of verisimilitude to the real thing", according to CBS News—appeared frequently in results for Internet searches of "Erin Esurance", also likely contributing to the decision. The company rebranded itself, unveiling a new national advertising campaign as well as a new company logo. The ads were set in a faux Esurance office and feature a cast of characters, known as Techies & Feelies.
In December 2011 Esurance announced a new integrated advertising campaign that positioned the company as "Insurance for the Modern World". John Krasinski narrates the commercials, which were directed by Omri Cohen and feature the Grammy Award winning song, “Jam Man,” from Country Music Hall of Fame guitarist Chet Atkins. The campaign is the first collaboration between Esurance and ad agency Leo Burnett Worldwide.
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