Cyber insurance has faced its share of hard bumps over the past few years. Following an unrelenting tide of cyber security claims and a subsequent spike in rates and coverage restrictions, cyber insurance has become a trying market for insurance brokers to say the least. And with cyber criminal activity showing no sign of waning, the trend is likely to continue.
To weather the storm, brokers need to be innovative in order to compete. In the digital age adopting the right technologies has become synonymous with embracing the right technologies. In this article, we’ll take a look at the new breed of insurtech technology available today and how brokers can use it to survive and thrive in this difficult market.
Insurtech: Old Meets New
Before we fully dive into the concept of insurtech, let’s first take a look at the two industries that converged to create this new technology and their divergent core values: insurance and tech.
Insurance, for the most part, has always been a very slow and steady industry that is typically wary of quick change. It’s also an industry highly regarded for putting people and relationships at the core of its identity. This value of relationships enables the industry to deliver first class customer service — a deliverable that’s virtually synonymous with the industry.
On the flipside the tech industry, famed for the lightning pace at which it moves, holds efficiency at the core of what it does. Efficiency allows it to conceptualize, iterate, and produce at speeds that keep it competitive in the constantly evolving digital realm.
Insurance + Technology
- Pace: Slow & Steady
- Core Value: Relationships
- Pace: Instant!
- Core Value: Efficiency
Finding Common Ground
So how do we strike a balance between these seemingly polar opposite industry verticals of insurance and technology? The answer lies in finding a common ground between the pace and core values of each. This is particularly important when it comes to evaluating a potential insurtech platform. For example:
- Speed (Quick and Accurate): Take a look at the speed and efficiency goals you may have for your brokerages. Is there a way to shift yourself from a ‘slow and steady’ pace to a more ramped up pace that will help increase your efficiency without compromising your standard of accuracy?
- Core Values (Relationships strengthened by Technology): ‘Disruption’ is a concept often referenced when discussing the tech industry. Case study after case study illustrates the power of tech to enter a new industry and ‘disrupt’ it for the better. While disruption can certainly lead to innovation, we as an industry must also be cautious when injecting tech into our practices. As mentioned above, relationships sit at the very core of the insurance industry. When introducing tech be sure to look for platforms and partnerships that will help to enhance those relationships through better customer service, ease of transactions, and transparency.
Overall, when balance is achieved between the divergent speed and core values of insurance and tech the results can be remarkable; paving the way for innovative products and first-class servicing that is designed for the digital age.
Relay Platform – Bridging Insurance and Tech
As an emerging leader in Insurtech innovation, Relay has gained immediate industry credibility due to our depth of expertise in both insurance and tech and our passion to energize both sides of these two exciting industries. Through our platform, Relay, empowers brokers to discover their edge in the digital era by delivering superior customer service with increased efficiency and accuracy across all lines of coverage and all complexities of risk. Some key differentiators that elevate Relay above the competition:
- We are A Tech Partner, Not a Wholesaler: At Relay we believe strongly in remaining a neutral insurtech provider that enables and supports your carrier and wholesale distribution. We have former brokers on staff who are very passionate about not creating channel conflicts that would complicate your wholesale broker relationships by confusing broker of record appointments, overriding carrier relationships, complicating renewal and claim servicing, and possibly putting entire books of business at risk in the event of a potential acquisition.
- Quote to Bind Efficiencies: Other competing platforms in our space have gone the route of not wanting to burden the brokers to collect underwriting information because it takes too much time. Therefore they are designed to ask minimal info in an effort to get some rough estimate of final pricing on quotes which are no better than non-binding indications.
The problem with this approach is that these indications are starting to not stick after the full set of underwriting questions come back so that leaves the broker in a bad situation that actually adds more time. Relay does things differently. We’ve tackled a larger set of questions up front because we have the working knowledge of what will be ultimately required to bind coverage. We have designed features to help brokers move through the submission process more efficiently leading to BINDABLE quotes in hand and not just rough indications. Additionally we have built our functions in our system to triage underwriting referrals as well as declination scenarios.
- Meeting the Market Where They Are At: While API’s are the future of insurance quoting and we actively engage with API enabled capacity providers, the fact is that many carriers and MGAs do not have functional API technology at this current time. Our platform has thoughtfully integrated functionality to continue to submit, quote and propose quote options from both API and Non-API integrated capacity providers so that we can support a broker’s entire book and trading relationships. A true one stop solution!
There are many more differentiating features here at Relay. Please contact us today for a live demo of our platform and a consultation of how our BrokerTech solutions can elevate your business!
Anne Hasenstab, VP of Cyber and Executive Risk, Relay Platform
Anne is the Vice President of Cyber & Executive Risk for Relay Platform. Her 20+ year career spans both public and private company exposures on the underwriting and brokerage sides of the insurance industry. Anne began her career at Chubb in Chicago as an executive protection underwriter and later held various management roles focusing on D&O, EPL, Professional Liability, and Cyber with firms such as Gallagher, Marsh, Travelers and most recently Ward Insurance, an independent agency in Portland, OR.