A US insurance broker has sold its insure.com corporate and domain names, and related "media assets", for $16 million to marketing outfit QuinStreet.
Originally founded in 1984 as Quotesmith Corporation, Nasdaq-listed Insure.com provides consumer information and also operates a companion insurance brokerage service.
It acquired the insure.com name and Web site for $1.6 million in December 2001 but has now cashed in, selling them for an immediate cash payment of $15 million, with a further $1 million due after 365 days.
The company says it will change its corporate name to Life Quotes. It will use the Life Quotes and Consumer Insurance Guide brand names, retaining all of its remaining balance sheet assets, national brokerage contracts, call centre operations, customer and prospect lists and nearly all of its current inbound affiliate and traffic partnerships.
Robert Bland, CEO, insure.com, says: "This transaction has other benefits to our shareholders and employees in that it will allow us to focus on our brokerage operation and insurance marketing businesses."
According to some reports, the deal is the biggest ever price paid for a domain, beating sex.com, which went for a reported $12 million in a private sale in January 2005.
Last year WallStreet.com failed to sell at a Florida auction after bids fell short of the owners' $5 million reserve price.