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Wells Fargo to Sell Centurion Life to Insurtech Bestow

Wells Fargo is selling Centurion Life to Bestow, a Dallas insurtech startup, a media report says.

Wells Fargo  (WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report is selling Centurion Life Insurance to Bestow, a Dallas insurtech startup that uses data and algorithms to sharply reduce the time required to buy life insurance, a media report said.

Terms weren't disclosed, according to Barron's, which reported the deal.

Centurion, Des Moines, Iowa, is licensed in 47 states. For several years it has been in runoff -- it's honoring current claims but not taking new business, Barron's reported.

“Consumers typically need four to six weeks to buy a life-insurance policy from an agent,” Melbourne O’Banion, co-founder and chief executive at Bestow, told Barron’s

Bestow enables customers to buy insurance policies online in five minutes without requiring a medical exam, he said. 

Policies are currently available to customers up to age 55, and O'Banion said the company will expand that age limit.

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Bestow launched in 2017 and has issued more than $10 billion of life insurance coverage, Barron's reported.

Bestow is an agent and third-party administrator of insurance products in 49 states -- all except New York -- and the District of Columbia, Barron's reported. 

It underwrites and administers life-insurance policies that are issued by North American Co. for Life and Health Insurance, a member of Sammons Financial Group of West DesMoines, O’Banion told the paper.

At closing of the deal, Bestow will continue as an agent and administration with North American as a partner, Barron's reported.

The companies plan to close the deal in January, pending regulatory clearance, Barron's reported.

Wells Fargo shares at last check were up 4.5% at $28.56.