Universal Fire & Casualty Insurance Company (UFCIC) has become the first insurance company to accept cryptocurrency for premium payments.
Based in Detroit, UFCIC offers traditional property and casualty insurance to small business owners throughout the U.S. These include services for commercial property, general liability, inland marine, business owners’ policies (BOP), and commercial surety.
In order to maintain an edge in such a competitive environment, UFCIC are seeking out a technological advantage. According to UFCIC EVP, chief strategy and analytics officer, John Lucker, using crypto for mainstream customer insurance transactions “was not a matter of if, but when.”
Lucker highlighted using them to provide a broader array of convenient payment options for their direct online surety bond portal.
UFCIC currently accepts a variety of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and litecoin. Customers can use them to make premium payments for direct online license and permit bonds and other surety bond products. UFCIC’s payment processor also automatically facilitates customers’ payment transaction processes.
“While we are proud to be the first U.S. insurer to offer this capability, we aren’t sitting still,” said Rick Klimaszewski, president, COO, and general manager of UFCIC’s surety bond business. “Going forward, we will continue expanding the menu of cryptocurrency options available for premium payment and customer convenience.”
Innovating to compete
As mentioned above, crypto payments were introduced to facilitate payments for UFCIC’s new web-based direct surety bond portal. This is another example of how the company is considering innovative approaches to maintain its competitiveness, Klimaszewski concluded.
In addition to these adoptions, CEO Chris Timm also added that the company is utilizing advanced analytics leveraging predictive models, artificial intelligence (AI), and Big Data resources.
Other companies are also taking a similar approach in adopting crypto payments. Although one of the most high-profile instances seems to have backfired, many other companies are pushing ahead. While UFCIC did not name their payment facilitator, BitPay has been one of the most active players out there.
In March, BitPay began facilitating crypto payments for luxury hotel chain Kessler Collection. The next month, the platform started providing its services to online retailer Newegg, as well as workspace sharing platform WeWork. BitPay CCO Sonny Singh highlighted how his business was booming in light of the increased demand for crypto payment capacity.