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.
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Wells Fargo  (WFC) - Get 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.

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.