Top considerations in choosing an insurance partner to bring your risk innovation to market
Johannesburg - Advancements in technology, increasing regulatory demands, evolving and new risks, changing consumer demands and behaviour and digital disruption are driving change across all industries, including insurance. It is an industry in desperate need of innovative insurance solutions to meet rapidly changing consumer needs, but as any insurance entrepreneur and innovator will attest, launching a new insurance product in a market dominated by big players is a complex, costly and massively challenging process, with many moving parts.
“Onerous capital and regulatory requirements, technology, deep expertise and skills, pricing strategy, underwriting, marketing and distribution, competition and consumer education are major factors in bringing new insurance products to market, and requires deep pockets and skills. These high barriers to entry often mean that many innovative insurance solutions from smaller, specialised entrepreneurial start-ups don’t see the light of day. This is to the detriment of an industry that desperately needs these solutions to meet the changing risk needs of consumers and businesses.
"It is this challenge that GENRIC Insurance Company has set out to solve by providing the risk financing facilities, tech platforms and administrative support required, with fewer barriers and lower costs than if an insurance entrepreneur were to embark on establishing an insurance license or cell captive of their own,” explains Cornel Schoeman, Chief Operating Officer of GENRIC Insurance Company Limited.
“For any insurance entrepreneur, partnering with the right insurance partner is key in whether a new insurance solution will find fertile ground and grow, or flounder before it gets out of the starting blocks. Besides obvious hurdles such as regulatory compliance, pricing and technology, aspects such as marketing and distribution, speed to market and the level of consumer education needed are often overlooked and underestimated in not only getting an insurance product to market, but also sustaining it until it reaches critical mass. It is here where an insurance partner that brings an incubative approach that facilitates the success of its business partners in a highly regulated and ultra-competitive industry is fundamentally important,” adds Schoeman.
For underwriting management agencies (UMAs), brokers, insurtech start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to bring their insurance solutions to market, GENRIC provides some of the most important factors to consider in choosing the right insurance partner to achieve success:
- Expertise and experience: Look for an insurance underwriting partner with a proven track record of success in your specific industry or line of business. They should have the necessary expertise, experience, and knowledge to underwrite the risks you want to insure.
- Financial strength and stability: An insurance partner's financial strength and stability is essential to ensure they have the resources to pay out all claims and retain healthy solvency ratios. Consider their credit rating, financial reserves, and overall financial stability.
- Technology and data analytics: Technology and data analytics are crucial to effective underwriting. Look for an insurance underwriting partner that has invested in the latest technologies, can analyse data, and make informed underwriting decisions. Similarly, technology can help streamline the time it takes to process applications, issue policies and process claims, leading to cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.
- Customer service: Choose an insurance partner that is responsive to your needs and provides excellent customer service. They should be easy to work with, embrace your entrepreneurial and specialist skills and have a customer-centric approach.
- Risk appetite and philosophy: Ensure your insurance partner’s risk appetite and philosophy align with yours. They should have a similar approach to risk assessment and pricing as your company to ensure a successful partnership.
- Regulatory compliance: An underwriting partner should deeply understand the regulatory environment in which they operate. Make sure they have a robust compliance program to support you and relieve your start-up from having to set up your own compliance and legal framework from scratch.
- Claims handling: Look for a partner with an effective claims handling process to ensure prompt and fair settlement of claims and a proven track record of claims handling.
- Flexibility: The insurance partner should be flexible regarding policy coverage, pricing, and underwriting criteria. They should be able to customise policies to meet specific and evolving market needs.
- Technology and Automation: Does your insurance partner bring the best technology and automation capabilities to streamline processes, reduce errors, provide faster turnaround times, maintain compliance and deliver a superior customer experience?
“Choosing the right insurance partner is critical to the success of your insurance innovation. GENRIC’s objective is to provide structured processes and operational alignments in an incubative approach that allows UMAs, brokers, and insurtech innovators to focus on their specialist, expert skills that differentiate the product in the first place. By considering all these factors, you can select an insurance underwriting partner who can meet your needs and provide the necessary protection and growth platform for your business for long-term sustainability,” concludes Schoeman.