As part of the 2017 Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium, held Sept. 6–7 in Dallas, businesses were again invited to submit their ideas for innovative insurance products to a competition modeled after the ABC television show, "Shark Tank."
Each finalist had 10 minutes to pitch the idea, product and business plan to the Entrepreneurial Insurance Alliance's judges' panel and the more than 300 insurance professionals attending the symposium. The audience included C-level insurance executives, private equity firms, agents, brokers and technology company representatives.
The competition was moderated by John J. Kraska, president of Dowling Hales, a leading adviser in the insurance sector. The distinguished panel of judges were:
The presentations reinforced the theme of the symposium: The insurance industry can foster innovation and creativity. The products presented were designed to meet a need for insurance professionals and their clients using currently available technology. The winner will be named 2017 EIA Entrepreneur of the Year, which qualifies the company for investment capital, media exposure and affirmation of the winning concept by the best and brightest in the industry.
Here's a look at the four finalists in alphabetical order along with the winner:
5. Extraordinary Re
With Extraordinary Re (!Re), CEO Will Dove explains, he and his team are creating a new marketplace where insurance liabilities can be traded. He expects the platform to
- Unlock the more than $20 trillion of existing liabilities held on insurance company balance sheets;
- Access new sources of reinsurance capacity that are expert in pricing and managing dynamic risks;
- Create price discovery for liabilities that are difficult to value; and
- Enable institutional investors to access diverse and attractive sources of return.
Dove describes Extraordinary Re as "the next step in the evolution of insurance-linked securities."
4. Fluid Insurance Workflows
Founder Jeff Hirst describes Fluid Insurance Workflows LLC as a service that automates specialty insurance workflow for insurance professionals. At a high level, he says, Fluid will send out renewal applications, follow up with customers, assist with submitting to market, follow up with underwriters and help organize quotes.
Hirst notes that specialty broker advisors can't be easily disrupted as they play a critical role in the insurance procurement and risk management process. Fluid is designed as an automated application engine, and organized so that brokers can bring ease and convenience to their customers while maintaining the personal touch. The service helps brokers free up time for relationships, Hirst says, which translates into accounts retained, accounts rounded and accounts added in his target market of specialty insurance aggregators.
As explained by co-founder Raution Jaiswal, InsuredMine is a cloud-based insurance management dashboard that provides policyholders with the convenience of having all their insurance information in one place, plus the power to leverage several features including payment reminders, insurance document storage and organization, and analytics to understand policies better and make informed choices.
Jaiswal says that he wants to make it easy to access all insurance coverage in one place. His goal is "insurance management," the way investment advisors provide retirement plan or 401(k) management.
After a policyholder enters the details of multiple policies, InsuredMine displays all the policies and due dates on a single screen so policyholders can understand when they're covered and instantly know what they're missing. Insureds can manage cash flow better by having visibility of their payment schedules. InsuredMine is free and ready for policyholders to access anytime, anywhere and secured.
The intention is for policyholders to register with InsuredMine, then select their existing insurances, import existing data and see how their portfolios compare with other InsuredMine customers.
According to the website, SmartInsurer is self-learning analytics software for insurance providers that interfaces with all the provider's core processing and channel systems — as well as with third-party sources — and uses the data collected on customers, markets, products, policies, claims, distribution channels and financial performance to give the insurer a 360-degree view of its business and the actionable insights to improve results.
The tool combines capabilities of ad-hoc analysis, campaign management and predictive modeling to allow end-to-end business analysis and provide recommendations for optimal customer actions to maximize profitability while growing premium. SmartInsurer's advanced analytics, which include artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, work in a self-learning mode. That means the more an insurer provider uses the tool, the more accurate the predictions become.
The winner of the 2017 competition is RiskGenius, a platform that applies artificial intelligence to insurance policies. Its customers leverage their custom algorithms and workflow modules to better understand policy language and create more efficient underwriting workflows.
As CEO Chris Cheatham explained in his presentation, "the insurance industry doesn’t know what’s in their own policies across their portfolios." RiskGenius analyzes insurance clauses across the company to find similarities and differences.
The product began as a claim solution created by "two frustrated insurance attorneys and two technologists crazy enough to listen to them." Cheatham and his co-founder, Doug Reiser, were insurance attorneys who learned to "despise messy insurance documents." Their first venture was ClaimKit, a software and services company based in Overland Park, Kansas, offering to collect, organize and deliver claim documents to attorneys, consultants, accountants and claims handlers.
A customer asked whether the software could be used for policy analysis. The ClaimKit team began exploring what policy analysis entailed and worked on a pilot project to apply machine learning to a large library of insurance policies. The “aha” moment came when they had the idea to combine policy analysis software with machine learning, thus creating RiskGenius.
The judges definitely found value in the idea, choosing RiskGenius as the winner of the 2017 EIS "Shark Tank" Competition.