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Blend unveils expansion into homeowners’ insurance space

Allows digital insurance selection in application process

On Monday, digital lending company Blend announced its expansion into a new space with the unveiling of Blend Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency that enables borrowers to shop for homeowners' insurance during the mortgage application process.

Blend has been busy the past few years with its new innovations, and has even been named a HousingWire Tech100 winner every year since 2015. Also check out its winning profiles for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

And indeed, the company has seen significant growth and over the last 12 months, Blend’s customer base has continued that trajectory, growing by about 500% to touch nearly $60 billion in mortgage applications.

And given the company’s growth, it comes as no surprise that it is now venturing into other avenues. In fact, when HousingWire 2018 Rising Star and Blend Product Manager of Intelligence Grace Qi was in town for her cover photo shoot for the June magazine, she mentioned the possibility of expanding into new territory, and her excitement at the possibility.

Now, Blend announced the launch of its insurance agency with nationwide partners that include MetLife, Stillwater Insurance and Swyfft. Its goal is to bring the paper-heavy process into digital format, allowing homeowners to get a quote and bind their homeowners policy in much less time.

Not only does it allow borrowers to quickly choose their homeowners insurance, but lenders also automatically receive evidence of insurance, cutting back time on the origination end as well.

Blend isn’t the first company to disrupt the homeowners insurance business. Earlier this year, Hippo, a California-based digital homeowners insurance company, announced it raised $25 million in its Series B funding round to continue its expansion and allow homeowners to get a quote and purchase homeowners’ insurance online during the origination process.

And in November last year, Mr. Cooper, the nonbank formerly known as Nationstar, announced it was investing in Matic Insurance Services, a digital homeowners insurance agency that allows mortgage borrowers to buy homeowners insurance during the mortgage transaction.

The new Blend Insurance Agency will be based in Los Angeles, and run by Greg Isaacs, Blend’s head of insurance.

“Homeowners insurance isn’t something most people think about as part of the home loan process, in fact some borrowers don’t even realize they need homeowners insurance to close their mortgage, but the ensuing last-minute scramble can delay the closing process and cause a lot of anxiety for borrowers and lenders alike,” Isaacs said. “In the end, improving the insurance purchase process felt like a natural extension of our mission to bring simplicity and transparency to consumer finance, so we decided to make the process digital and work toward one-tap insurance.”

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