Today San Francisco-based auto insurance comparison tool CoverHound announced a strategic partnership with integrated media company Source Interlink Media, whose Motor Trend Automotive Group includes publications like Automobile Magazine and Motor Trend magazine. The partnership means that CoverHound’s comparison auto insurance widgets will now appear on all of Source Interlink’s auto-focused properties, allowing visitors to compare quotes and buy policies.
The partnership also includes a strategic investment in CoverHound by Source Interlink Media, the amount of which wasn’t disclosed. The round of investment also includes participation from the company’s existing investor, Blumberg Capital, which put $750,000 into the company in 2011. CoverHound founder Basil Enan said they originally met the Source Interlink team at an automotive conference in 2011, and discussed a partnership which eventually led to this round of funding.
Enan said in an interview that the funding will be used for scaling out the agency side of their business, and also for building new tools that online publications can use to increase engagement, including updated estimate tools. “Right now it’s about scaling out the platform that we’ve already built,” he said. “As a result of the partnership we’re seeing a lot greater demand for our product from their customers, as well as from other ones.”
CoverHound’s platform launched in May 2012 to help drivers search for insurance, compare quotes, and purchase policies. The platform is supported by an in-house licensed independent agency, so their agents sell policies on behalf of partners like Progressive. The partnership means that visitors to sites like Automobile.com will be directed to CoverHound will be able to search for and compare car insurance, and select sites will also feature CoverHound information centers as of October. The information center acts as a content portal where drivers can find out more information before they start searching for insurance. Eventually Enan said they want to add in Q&A with agents on those partner sites.
This is the first partnership CoverHound has announced, though Enan said they plan to add more partnerships in both the automotive and financial verticals in future. “It’s a great deal for us, because it gives us reach to almost 100 million monthly uniques across a variety of different properties that they have,” Enan said. “It’s a big step for us in order to get a lot more visibility out there, and ultimately selling a lot more policies as a result of this.”
Enan said they’ll be working on deeper integration with partner sites, and working on expanding across the U.S. (right now they’re available in 30 states). While there are other tools like Comparethemarket.com offering a similar service abroad, Enan said in an earlier interview with BetaKit that he believes CoverHound is the first platform of its kind in the U.S. Adding partnerships like the one with Source Interlink will allow the company to scale its traffic and get exposure to a targeted audience of drivers, and if they can scale out their list of partners in both the automotive and financial industries, they could be poised for big growth.