Two new Digital Distributors of workers’ compensation insurance made news recently.

Leading Colorado WC insurer Pinnacol announced the pending launch of Cake, a direct writer of WC for small business which claims to offer bindable quotes with as few as 12 underwriting questions.

Pie Insurance, founded by the former head of Esurance and backed by Sirius, announced the completion of its first funding round and its plans to offer WC direct to small businesses starting in Illinois next spring.

As we’ve been predicting for the last few years, a portion of small commercial is likely to follow personal lines into simplified products with online distribution.

Many small commercial buyers are more like individuals than businesses, and their concerns are more about compliance with requirements for coverage than with risk management.

By making simple products affordable and easy to buy, we believe direct players will continue to make inroads into this market.

If they start to devote even a portion of the dollars to advertising that the direct personal lines writers have committed over the past decade, they can do so even faster.