Insurance Edge caught up with Michael Sargeant, CEO at Iotatech, to learn a bit more about the company and how technology is enabling insurers and brokers to build products better, automate admin and settle claims more effectively.
IE; Mick, tell us a bit more about Iotatech’s back story.
MS; We started Iotatech back in 2016, before that I had a company called IT-Freedom which was sold. We really wanted to create an insurance platform for the digital world and to disrupt the market with a Software as a Service (Pay as you go) financial model.
So many insurance software products require an upfront payment for a licence, regular monthly fee and so on. Now that can mean that a broker, MGA or insurer could be paying for parts of the system that they don’t use.
Throughout 2017 we spent some time getting the right architecture in place, building a product that can integrate with existing software, apps, offers easy-to-use micro-services and pulls in other sources of data.
To start with, we felt that claims was the area where there was huge potential, so in 2018 we did a fundraising presentation and secured a million to build out the claims microservices. As we progressed through 2019 we were asked by a major insurer to accelerate our roadmap to build out the policy microservices, and now we are looking at taking the Iotatech Platform global, which brings us to the present day.
IE; Having a first glance at the architecture, the first thing that strikes me is that it allows insurers or brokers to pick and mix the elements that suit their niche of the overall market.
MS; Exactly. As we launch the Policy microservices, it allows our customers to quickly configure and launch new products, access telematics data and for household, smart home devices. For claims, if you just require an FNOL/Claims process, you can activate the triage functionality, pull in data from telematics or third party suppliers, sort out repairs and so on giving portal access to customers and suppliers. The architecture of the Iotatech Platform is Open APIs, no-code, really easy to use, plus there’s AI built-in. So what that means in the long term is that the more data you collect from customers, then the better you become at resolving issues, spotting market trends and so on.
As a Software as a Service provider the Iotatech Platform provides our customers with IT costs at policy or claim level.
IE; Ah, so you can see which product or claim costs more in IT time and resources, which are more common, or completed quicker and so on?
MS; That’s right, instead of having an overall cost per claim, you can split every component up; legal, PI, anti-fraud checks, rescue & transport of vehicles, whatever.
So then you can analyse all that data and work out where you can make aspects of the claim more efficient, then save money.
IE; I also noticed that your architecture isn’t just automating the boring back-office admin, or connecting the claims chain. It’s actually spotting demand for healthcare, bicycle cover, gadget insurance etc. as it collates data?
MS; We Integrated ThoughtSpot into the platform, which works rather like Google Search. So you can get all kinds of suggestions based on the data that the AI part is analysing, and as you rack up your data over time, the AI is also learning more about your niche, your business.
IE; Can you integrate data from say government flood agencies, home gadgets like Leakbot, Alexa and so on?
MS; Yes, the Iotatech Platform can plug into almost any source of data, as it’s required. This is the real value when it comes to dealing with claims, because you can cross-reference different strands of data and then automate parts of the process, or add some human intervention, depending on the particular circumstances.
What it does is give the broker or insurer the total control they need. They can effectively PAYG as regards to adding extra data sources, which you can do by accessing via the various portals. It’s ultra-intuitive, very easy to use.
IE; Do you think that PAYG is going to be the default setting for a large part of the insurance sector in future?
MS; PAYG is the road that we are all heading down, not just the car insurance market. It’s the same story with home, gadgets, travel and more. The annual policy is being replaced by subscriber services. We are looking to build partnerships with insurers and brokers who want that same PAYG flexibility that is being offered to consumers.
The year is developing nicely for us, we have just refreshed our website and are talking to some interesting insurance brands about working with them. Everyone wants to deliver a better customer experience online and part of that is raising your game in the digital world. Not just speed, but added value.
Everything we are doing is AWS Cloud Native, Open APIs, microservices and so on. Not just placed in the Cloud but designed to function for modern online insurance brands. What we are saying is come and talk to us, tell us how you want to make things work better.
IE; Thanks for your time Mick, have a busy 2021.