RealTime IT News

Lycos Aligns with Insurance, Auto Firms

Lycos, Inc. announced today separate alliances with a health insurance provider and an online car-buying service.

HealthAxis.com will be the exclusive direct marketer of health insurance on Lycos under a $13 million agreement, while AutoVantage will be displayed via buttons and banners on the portal site, the companies said.

Financial terms of the AutoVantage deal were not disclosed.

The terms of the agreement with HealthAxis.com call for Lycos to develop a co-branded Web site with HealthAxis offering individuals and small businesses access to and the ability to purchase a full range of insurance products and services.

During the initial 15-month term, HealthAxis.com said it will make guaranteed payments to Lycos of $6.5 million and, provided a certain number of policies are sold, will make additional payments to Lycos of up to $6.5 million during the 12-month renewal term.

In addition, Lycos said it will receive a percentage of advertising revenue and policy sales. HealthAxis.com will receive a guaranteed number of impressions and will be featured prominently on lycos.com through insurance-related search results pages, additional content, banner ads and keyword links.

HealthAxis.com said it plans to provide a full range of insurance products, including health insurance for individuals and small groups, dental insurance, vision care insurance, prescription coverage, critical care and long-term care insurance. HealthAxis.com also plans to provide product and health information, instant price quotes, online billing, claim status, and policy or personal information changes and a 24-hour customer hotline.

"Insurance sales last year for health related policies were $150 billion and the online projections and potentials are enormous," said Jeff Crown, vice president of business development at Lycos. "Online insurance sales is a natural fit because everything the consumer needs to make an informed purchase decision is right at their fingertips."

Under a separate agreement with AutoVantage, the car-buying service will be promoted via banner advertisements displayed throughout Lycos, and through buttons located within Lycos' automotive channel and road maps area.

AutoVantage describes itself as a free online car-buying service, providing car reviews, pricing information, financing and leasing options, a used-car buying and selling service, 360 degree interior car views and an auto insurance rate comparison service.

Today's announcements add to what's been a busy few months for Lycos on both the alliance and acquisition fronts. Last week the portal leader acquired online directory provider WhoWhere?, and earlier this month the company added GuestWorld to build out its Tripod offerings.

Lycos also announced alliances with iVillage, CDNow and AT&T, among others.