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Blend Launches Insurance Agency

Mortgagetech company Blend is venturing into insurance. The San Francisco-based company launched Blend Insurance Agency, an extension of its digital mortgage platform that offers borrowers a range of options for homeowners insurance.

Homeowners insurance is required to be in place before the borrower closes on their home, and since Blend already has data about the home, borrower, and loan on file, the company is in a unique position to offer a streamlined application process. Blend said that offering insurance felt like a “natural extension” of its mission to bring transparency into the home buying process.

“We see our new insurance agency as an exciting step forward to further remove friction from the home buying process and improve customer satisfaction. We believe it will be better for our lenders, their borrowers, and the insurance providers we work with and will help to make the process of buying a home a little less daunting,” said Greg Isaacs, an insurtech expert Blend hired earlier this year to launch Blend Insurance Agency.

To support this new offering, Blend is building an office in Los Angeles that will be staffed with insurance professionals able to help borrowers find a product that fits their needs. At launch, the company has partnered with six U.S. insurance providers, including MetLife, Stillwater Insurance, and Swyfft, with plans to add more. The insurance option is presented to the borrower early on in the home buying process to offer them plenty of time to shop and to give loan processors time to verify insurance before closing the loan. Having more time on the front-end of the process helps the loan close faster.

Blend demoed its data-driven mortgage at FinovateSpring 2016. Earlier this year, Blend teamed up with Ellie Mae to leverage Ellie Mae’s electronic disclosure delivery. And in June, the company introduced Blend Vision, an advanced OCR solution with built-in quality control. Blend’s most recent round of funding brought its total capital to more than $160 million. Nima Ghamsari is CEO and co-founder.