Top Internet Bank Now Brokers Risk Online

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NU Online News Service, April 10, 4:19 p.m.EST?NetBank Inc., the largest Web-only banking servicescompany in the United States, said it is branching out with anonline insurance brokerage business.

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The company said it will broker auto insurance through variouscarriers using its subsidiary, NetInsurance Inc.

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NetBank said NetInsurance will begin by offering auto insuranceproducts to residents in eight states: Arizona, California,Florida, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.The company said it will expand its service to additional statesthroughout the year and will soon add other products, includinghomeowners insurance.

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NetBank said it currently has partnerships with 26 insurers,including Travelers Property Casualty Corp. and The Hartford, bothbased in Hartford, Conn.

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With NetBank, consumers can access estimates, receive quotesfrom multiple providers, and apply for policies online, the companysaid. NetBank hopes to tap into a potential synergy, offeringinsurance services to its existing online banking customers.

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"With our insurance product, when a customer is applying onlinefor an auto loan or refinancing an existing one, he or she cancomparison shop for multiple car insurance quotes at the sametime," said Eve McDowell, chief sales and customer fulfillmentexecutive for NetBank.

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"Our real-time, single-session technology allows users to movefrom receiving estimates and quotes to purchasing a policy in amatter of minutes. If they have any questions, licensed insuranceagents are available live via online chat or phone."

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NetBank Inc., based in Alpharetta, Ga., posted $343.9 million inrevenues last year and $2.2 billion in deposits. In addition todeposit accounts, the company offers credit cards, vehicle loans,leasing and residential mortgages. It also provides online stockbrokerage services through an agreement with Omaha, Neb.-basedAmeritrade Holding Corporation.

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