Thimble Broker Program and Broker Portal

A Program for Insurance Brokers to sell Thimble's flexible Small Business Insurance to their clients, powered by a portal to get clients insured in seconds.




Thimble sells flexible, short-term business insurance for the gig economy, with policies available by the hour, day, or week, up to a full year for growing businesses reaching the next level. Policies can be purchased in seconds via the web or app, with the ability to modify, pause, or cancel instantly whether work slows down or hiring picks up. This innovative product-offering in a truly archaic industry earned Thimble the 1st place spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, in the "Small and Mighty" category.

Project Background

In May of 2019, our Head of Business Development’s set out to create Thimbles largest partnership channel- a network of Independent Agents throughout the country who would sell Thimble policies to their clients. The MVP we developed was a Broker Portal with the ability to send your clients an email with a referral link, a table to track commissions, and the ability to add ACH information to receive commissions monthly. On the day of launch, I sent cold email campaigns to a list of Independent Agents we had purchased. We monitored open rates and sign ups, discovering that cold email campaigns converted at a much lower rate than anticipated. We began to partner with platforms that had their own networks, and emails coming from them directly led to much higher conversion.

Now we had a small network of brokers, and the feedback was unanimous: brokers needed the ability to build quotes on their clients behalf. At the time our quoting process was only 4 steps, which we expected the brokers clients to do on their own. After conducting interviews it was clear that the broker < > client relationship was built on trust, and customers trust their broker more than themselves. Launching the ability for brokers to build and share a quote with their clients had a huge impact on the program.

The quote feature increased our broker activation rate (% of brokers with a sale) by more than 120%. Over the next few quarters we focused on developing new features, including:

  • Broker Bind - The ability for brokers to purchase a policy on their clients behalf
  • Partner Integrations - Allowing brokers to sell Thimble policies from other carrier platforms
  • Management features - For brokers to edit, cancel, and extend their clients policies
  • Agency Accounts - Allowing agencies with multiple brokers to access a central portal while managing their individual clients

[.icon_star][.icon_star] Highlight

The Broker Program accounts for more than 20% of all new customer acquisition.

The average broker policies have 36% more premium than other channels, due to brokers working with larger clients and living off of commissions. Thimble's Customer Acquisition Cost from paid marketing channels (primarily through SEM) is 4X the cost of Acquisition from the Broker Channel.

The revamped broker portal was optimized for engagement, highlighting quotes and commissions for the month to encourage brokers to send more business. We also added a range of client management features for brokers to manage, modify, and cancel their client's policies.

Engagement for the Broker Program relies heavily on a robust CRM flow. The flow starts by checking if the broker has made a referral in the first day, then week, before segmenting brokers out based on total sales, types of policies sold, whether they've linked their bank account for ACH, and more metadata. The program also has it's own brand and marketing strategy, demonstrated in weekly and monthly marketing emails to advertise bonuses, new products, competitor analysis, and customer reviews.

Over 10,000 Independent Brokers have joined the Thimble Broker Program- and they have nothing but positive things to say

Customer Acquisition from the Broker Program by Quarter: Over the first 2 years of the Broker Program, we've continually launched new features and integrations with new partners to acquire new brokers and keep them more engaged.