Business

Insurance startup Policygenius bringing hundreds of jobs to Durham after incentives

Downtown Durham in May 2018.
Downtown Durham in May 2018. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Policygenius, an insurance startup that has built a marketplace for consumers to compare multiple insurance policies, will open an office in Durham and hire hundreds of employees here after receiving an incentive package from the state.

The company will employ at least 377 positions in Durham over the next five years, and in return receive an incentive worth nearly $5 million.

The N.C. Department of Commerce approved the Job Development Investment Grant on Thursday morning, which will reimburse the company up to $4,997,250 over a 12-year period, if the company meets hiring and investment goals. Durham County will also vote on an incentive package worth $188,500 that’s part of the deal with the state.

Supporters of JDIG argue that the incentives pay for themselves, because the program pays companies based on a percentage of the new tax revenue their jobs generate. No money is paid until the company meets job and investment requirements, the News & Observer previously reported.

Policygenius, which was founded in New York in 2014, called the new office its second headquarters. The company has raised $51 million from investors, according to Crunchbase.

Jennifer Fitzgerald and Francois de Lame, PolicyGenius Co-Founders - Photo Credit- Michael Nagle.jpg
Policygenius founders Jen Fitzgerald, left and Francois de Lame, right, pose for a portrait in Brooklyn. The company announced on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, that it would open an office in Durham, N.C. Michael Nagle Courtesy of Policygenius

“Being an up-and-coming tech hub, North Carolina was a logical choice for us,” Policygenius CEO Jennifer Fitzgerald said in a statement. “We’re proud to bring our second headquarters here. The strong support of the state is critical for the success of businesses like ours and we’re excited for what’s to come.”

The average salary for all the new positions will be $72,216 — a wage that is higher than Durham County’s average of $68,731.

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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