Below is a published interview between our CEO, Jon Davies, and the Insurtech 100 team.
With the original inspiration, the company built a comprehensive, flexible and scalable back-office insurance administration system that is capable of supporting complex products, large volumes, convoluted reporting, and a complete trust accounting system.
Davies said, “We realized that while there is plenty of opportunity in this market, building a sustainable business model proved out of reach. So, we pivoted the platform towards mid-market insurers and agents who, we discovered, faced identical business challenges as our initial micro-insurance customers - they all experienced limited or expensive access to good technological solutions.”
Founded in 2014, New Zealand-based InsuredHQ started as a platform to simplify systems for micro insurers and has evolved into a powerful productivity suite designed for mid-market insurers, MGAs, and new entrants globally working most efficiently with products in the area of general insurance.
“No one wakes up in the morning wanting to head out and buy insurance”
InsuredHQ is a productivity suite designed for mid-market insurers, MGAs, and new entrants globally and works most efficiently with products in the area of general insurance. The company offers API and browser-based, comprehensive, digital insurance administration software.
Davies remarked, “We’re on a mission to provide our customers with a singular, modern, and secure insurance administration system designed to be digital-first while also enabling them to remain customer-first.”
According to the InsuredHQ CEO, the backbone of this requires a powerful and unified back-end platform called IHQ-Core. This product, he claims, is the engine that acts as a comprehensive system of record and reporting source of truth and replaces manual processes with critical, centralized, and time-saving process automations.
“However, stand-alone core administration software is not enough in today’s customer-centric insurance marketplace,” said Davies. “Insurers also need to optimize their businesses’ front end by creating seamless or embedded and compelling customer experiences. This s where our customers leverage the IHQ-API, building customer-centric products and helping their channels serve that customer.”
What are the key pain points that InsuredHQ is looking to solve with its platform? Davies stated, “As a team, our core focus at InsuredHQ is on core administrative productivity and excellence within a single comprehensive platform. Enabling customer-centric experiences, optimizing channel engagement, and simplifying internal processes are critical problems InsuredHQ loves solving.
“However, our customers are faced with a couple of different market pressures, and we believe our customers cannot succeed without thinking about technology and business strategy together.
Davies believes that often, digital transformation is hard for incumbents – proving much easier for more nimble upstarts. The choosing of the right insurance platform to help a company transform their offering can often be a significant decision to make, especially in such a risk-averse industry as insurance.
“But this is just one of many along the transformation journey,” said Davies. Retaining customer and stakeholder engagement is essential during this transformation process, with the quick delivering of something of value to stakeholders being critical for buy-in.
For new market entrants, the primary constraint is financial, so often cost and speed to market are the two critical factors. For both these customer types, Davies suggests that one commonality is time-to-value, and often a clear understanding of all the business and product requirements is murky at best.
Davies quips, “To solve this problem, we start all of our projects with an MVP; we call this a ‘Minimum Viable Policy’. This proof-of-concept is built on top of our Open APIs and IHQ-Core platform.
“Of course, during this very collaborative phase, the proposed business architecture could and usually does change significantly. But it provides something of value very quickly at an early stage of the project to a variety of stakeholders or, in the case of new entrants, provides them with a way to validate their product or go to market motions.”
In a world that is being changed unmistakably by increased digitization and a greater need to boost customer convenience, insurance is just one area that is feeling these such winds of change. A key area that Davies highlights as a particularly pressing trend in the insurance market is that on personalization and embedded features.
He details, “No one wakes up in the morning wanting to head out and buy insurance. Increasingly personalized and embedded insurance experiences are what consumers expect. Modern consumers increasingly expect their online insurance experiences to match the digital purchase experiences in other industries, such as banking, ride-share, or e-commerce.”
Embedded insurance as a sub-sector is a fast-growing and developing market that is seeing considerable rising demand. Research by Statista previously found that the market value of embedded insurance in the US is estimated to reach $70.7bn by 2025.
According to Davies, providing these kinds of on-demand or embedded insurance products requires the modernization of ‘outdated’ insurance distribution models, which he believes requires significant insurance sector changes and collaboration between both incumbent insurance firms and budding InsurTechs.
Alongside this trend is the suggestion by Davies that the insurance industry is also being challenged right now on a balance sheet level. He claims, “The most significant value InsuredHQ can provide our customers is addressing specific pain points to make them more efficient or effective, such as ways to deliver above-the-line opportunities to increase revenue - and selling in more cost-effective and channel-efficient ways - and below-the-line savings via administrative efficiencies and sound automation.”
He also remarked that insurance companies are looking to solve problems via technology beyond just a platform like InsuredHQ, so the firm is always on the lookout to solve such problems through good collaborations and integrations with other InsurTech enterprises.
With market conditions and global events proving to remain unstable and volatile, there are numerous challenges for companies to consider. With the pandemic fading from view, what are some of the future plans for InsuredHQ?
Davies comments, “Building the Open API and describing and defining these APIs so that we can give the specs to our customers and developers in an understandable and accessible way was a new skill for the team at InsuredHQ to learn, and it was, and still is, a lot of hard work.
“Sourcing even more partners and customers with the appetite and capability to build compelling front-end experiences on top of the IHQ APIs is our next step, as is having real-world and demonstrable examples of well-architected API experiences. This is all going well so far, but we aim to expand this dramatically.”
Davies remarked that he wants InsuredHQ to be seen as the "fabric to connect insurers, distribution partners, and customers to optimize digital experience for their customers and in-house teams."
He continued, “On-demand Insurance products are also initiatives we are heavily involved with, and we want to build on that reputation in the future. Our platform provided the first PHYD (Pay How You Drive) Platform in Australia, and we are deep in discussion with customers on how to deliver on-demand Auto, Aviation, and Professional Lines products.
“Insurance should be embedded in the same ways that the Uber experience is embedded in people’s lives. Much more frictionless experiences are what the consumer expects.”
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