The health insurance startup, run by a former REA exec who wanted to 'kick insurers in the nuts', is up for sale

Andy Sheats.

Online health insurance startup is up for sale after it failed to refinance $46 million in outstanding debt it owes to comparison site iSelect.

Today the AFR reported NIA had appointed advisory firm Pier Capital to handle the sale. It also said the loan to the insurer’s parent company NIA Health falls due on July 31 and if the deadline is missed, iSelect would become a creditor and be first in line to be paid if NIA’s assets are liquidated.

Launched in 2011, CEO Andy Sheats, who used to work at, took a fresh online approach to health insurance and managed to attract a younger customer base with an average age of about 27.

Back when the company started Sheats said it “wanted to kick the industry in the nuts, but we also wanted to set a higher standard”.

Sheats said at the end of last financial year the company had a run rate of $85 million and had doubled its customer base to 80,000 people.

The debt with iSelect started building in 2012 after an agreement was struck between the two companies which meant each time won business from iSelect the commission was distributed to in the form of a loan.

Sheats has been contacted for comment, we’ll update this article if we hear back.

There’s more here.

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