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How Insurers Can Achieve Fully Automated Underwriting at Scale

Briza Staff
June 7, 2022

Briza CEO & co-founder, Ben Munro, recently shared his insights on a panel of experts discussing "How Insurers Can Achieve Fully Automated Underwriting at Scale" during Insurtech Insights America's conference in NYC on May 23rd, alongside Yuval Man, CEO at DigitalOwl, Nichole Myers, CUO at Ethos, and Don Vu, Group CDO at Northwestern Mutual. 

We are deeply grateful to Insurtech Insights for the invitation, and for the opportunity to meet with our present and future partners. At the event, it became quickly apparent that APIs and automation are top-of-mind for both sides of the market: supply (manufacturers of digital insurance products) and demand (distributors of digital insurance products.) For those who couldn’t be there in person, we put together some thoughts about emerging trends in the space from the panel. 

It is obvious that small commercial insurance is moving in the direction of greater automation, but the barriers that remain are not always apparent. Munro began by calling attention to personal auto insurance to draw a contrast between different types of insurance. “The state of automation is very different in different lines of insurance; we've been able to buy auto insurance in minutes for the last 30 years in the United States,” he began. A single personal auto insurer will typically be able to cover almost any driver that tries to come through the door, and these companies have excelled in the move to direct-to-consumer because of it. 

“Commercial insurance is really the land of one thousand niches. Dry cleaners look very different than restaurants. Those businesses are very different from professional services. You need a lot of different carriers to build an effective marketplace.”

It is tempting to imagine that small commercial’s digital transformation would be similarly straightforward, but many barriers remain. Munro continued, “Commercial insurance is really the land of one thousand niches. Dry cleaners look very different than restaurants. Those businesses are very different from professional services. You need a lot of different carriers to build an effective marketplace.” The patchwork nature of coverage often leads to poor user experiences, pain that is felt by both the broker and the insured. 

Many carriers have attempted to make it easier for brokers to procure insurance for small businesses by improving the experience of their own digital storefronts, but still exclusively offering their own products. This is not enough, Munro cautions: “What tends to happen is an agent seeking coverage for a small business client will interact with that digital storefront. They'll spend 5, 10, 15 minutes filling out an application and, more often than not, they'll wind up with a ‘no quote’ situation where their risks are not transferred because there's no appetite.” 

There are encouraging signals, however, from carriers being more willing to join larger, unified insurance marketplaces to fill the disparate coverage needs of small businesses. “What we've seen in the last three or four years is a wave of carriers coming to market with automated models. Every single one contributes to the vibrancy of the marketplace.” Each product that is added to the marketplace increases the likelihood of not only getting instantly-bindable quotes 100% of the time, but multiple, competing quotes a significant portion of the time. 

“It's a really exciting time for commercial insurance and automated underwriting because we're watching in real time as the world is changing,” Munro continued. As insurers make their APIs more widely available, the benefits for insurers, brokers, and insureds are multiplied. “What's happening over the next 12 months is more and more carriers are joining the market with automated underwriting, addressing more and more of the small commercial landscape, making that experience better for agents and for the consumer.” 

“I think if you look at 5 to 10 years, it's a no brainer; the vast majority of small commercial insurance will be transacted digitally.”

Briza is the first unified API for small commercial insurance, giving distributors the ability to write a single integration and access many insurance products. Automated underwriting enables the creation of a more effective insurance selling machine. Now distributors can create their own marketplace for their own customers. As a broker or MGA, they can focus on what they do well and add the carriers and products to their marketplace that serve their customer's needs. 

Click here to get in touch with Briza and learn more about our solutions.

Briza Staff

The insurance API built with developers in mind. Briza gives commercial insurance carriers broad digital distribution for their insurance products with a single integration, instantly connecting them to wholesalers, retailers, SaaS platforms.

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