Expansive wholesaler One80 Intermediaries has bought Colorado Springs-based wholesale broker and program manager Commercial Insurance Group (CIG) in a deal that includes affiliates Strategic Insurance Agency and proprietary online platform Bigfoot Insurance.

One 80 Intermediaries, Strategic Insurance and Bigfoot

CIG specialises in California homeowners insurance as well as high-risk property, casualty and package business.

Specialty programs written by CIG’s MGU platform include short-term rental products, storage contents, renters insurance, general liability, commercial property, California homeowners, inland marine and commercial package coverages.

The acquisition – on undisclosed terms – also gives Boston-based One80 access to CIG’s online platform, which has expanded into coverage for short-term and temporary employees, as well as independent contractors for one or a variety of employees.

The platform also allows agents to quote, bind and issue policies for stationary homes, small homes on wheels or sleds, container homes and other small dwellings.

CIG was founded in 2007 and is led by managing director Martin Burlingame. It distributes products and services to over 10,000 agents and brokers in the US specialty programs space.

Commenting on the transaction, One80 president Matt Power told The Insurer: “This acquisition enhances our growing contract-binding capabilities and helps expand our producer base across the US.”

The executive emphasised the appeal of acquiring CIG’s online platform.

“Acquiring CIG will extend our capabilities to include an innovative, market-leading online platform, Bigfoot, allowing appointed brokers to quote, bind and issue policies for hard-to-place risks with ease,” Power added.

He said the technology enables Bigfoot to rapidly implement new programs and products to meet the evolving needs of clients.

Expansive appeal

Burlingame said that in a consolidating marketplace his firm recognised the importance of joining a larger, rapidly growing organisation that would enable it to support its agents further and provide access to a more expansive suite of products.

“One80’s expansion plan, desire to grow and innovative culture was particularly appealing, and we are very much looking forward to this partnership,” he continued.

One80 is the wholesale broker, program manager and insurance aggregator platform of John Mina-led Risk Strategies.

It was highly active in the M&A space in 2020 – its first full year of operation since being formed by Risk Strategies the previous year.

The business now has offices in more than 30 locations in the US and Canada, through which it offers placement services and binding authority for P&C, financial lines, personal lines, life insurance, medical stop loss, travel/accident and health risks.

One80’s parent Risk Strategies completed a recapitalisation transaction in March last year with its existing private equity backer Kelso & Co to provide funds that continue to support the group’s continued growth.