Lycos Aligns with Insurance, Auto Firms

Lycos, Inc. announced today separate alliances with a health insurance provider and an online car-buying service. 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 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, 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. will receive a guaranteed
number of impressions and will be featured prominently on through insurance-related search results pages, additional content, banner ads and keyword links. 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. 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.

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