Policygenius, a fast-growing online insurance platform, will locate a new technical and operations center in Durham County, creating at least 377 jobs over the next five years. The company will invest nearly $6 million in Durham.
“Policygenius joins a growing number of high-tech firms choosing the Research Triangle because of North Carolina’s ability to meet their talent needs. Our high-tech workforce continues to be a big reason for our state’s growth,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
Policygenius, founded in 2014 with headquarters in New York City, is an independent insurance broker with an online platform that helps people shop and compare insurance plans from a range of providers. The company offers a variety of insurance products, including life, homeowners, and disability insurance. The company is considered an early pioneer in an industry segment know as ‘insuretech,’ and has attracted notice for its business and workplace innovations. In May of this year, Inc. magazine named the company to its list of 2019 Best Workplaces, and in June Ernst & Young named company co-founder Jennifer Fitzgerald its 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year for the New York region.
“Being an up-and-coming tech hub, North Carolina was a logical choice for us,” said Jennifer Fitzgerald, CEO and co-founder of Policygenius. “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.”
“North Carolina is a place that attracts talent,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “The innovators at Policygenius recognize the advantages available here, from our workforce to our friendly business climate, and they’re confident we’re the right place to accelerate the growth of their company.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC) led the state’s support for the company’s decision.
Although wages will vary depending on position, the average salary for all the new positions will reach $72,216. The current average wage in Durham County is $68,731.
Policygenius’ project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by nearly $1.6 billion. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $4,997,250, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because Policygenius chose to locate in Durham County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $1,665,750 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 3 county such as Durham, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps more economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state.
“We welcome Policygenius to Durham and the Research Triangle,” said N.C. Senator Floyd McKissick. “Each time a company of this caliber chooses to locate here, it confirms North Carolina’s leadership in the information technology industry.”
“Many people from across our community worked hard to attract this growing company,” said N.C. Representative MaryAnn Black. “We all stand together in our commitment to help Policygenius thrive in Durham.”
Along with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the EDPNC, key partners on this project include the North Carolina Community College System, Durham County, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.