Digitise you insurance business

The really useful guide to briefing tech providers

Transforming your insurance business into a modern-day digital business is exciting but can be daunting at the same time. New efficiencies and agility beckon but finding a good tech partner is key and briefing them right matters too. Which is why we've put together a free tech provider briefing form.

The really useful guide to briefing tech providers

More choice

The good news is that there are more tech providers to choose from than 5 years ago, and there is open and healthy cooperation across the expanding insurtech community. Collaboration and integration is the trend.

How to choose

The 'right partner' is as much about cultural fit as functional fit.

Definitely do your diligence on core requirements but also probe beyond providers' feature lists. This is a journey, not a quick transaction.

  1. Does the provider's vision compliment your goals?  Will their trajectory help your trajectory? Things aren't static, market dynamics change. You need a partner that will help you move with the times. 
  2. Does their model support your model? Don't pay upfront for features you don't need, or may never need. Choose a provider that offers a modular 'grow-as-you-go' approach with the option to add features and scale performance as required. They do exist. Also check their service record. SLAs are key once up & running.
  3. Will your respective teams get on? Digitising multiple products, changing back-office processes, opening up new channels - it demands close collaboration. Meet the team. Good chemistry and common approaches to running projects are key.

Where to start - the initial briefing

It's worth having conversations early with tech providers; sound out feasibility, lead times and budgets to help planning.

For start-ups, nothing meaningful can happen until funding, compliance and capacity are sorted. For established businesses, there are inevitable internal hoops to go through.

But how do you start those conversations?

What do tech providers need to know?

What's important? What drives complexity and cost?

This free briefing form helps you ground your plans and articulate the bones of your business requirements. Most importantly, it gives providers a high-level guide to the likely complexities and extent of your ambition. And this gets the engagement off on the right foot, standardises the information you give to everyone you speak with and helps you compare apples with apples when it comes to budgeting and estimates.

Key areas covered by the briefing form:

  • What's the broad scope of the digital initiative?
  • What are your drivers for the initiative - and timing goals?
  • What types of insurance products are involved?
  • How many products do you want to digitise over the first 3 years?
  • Do you have existing systems that need to be replaced or is the starter position manual processes and spreadsheets?

For the first product you want to get live:

  • When do you want to get the first product live? Even if you've got funding, capacity and compliance sorted, it's prudent to allow 6-12 weeks. Simple products can take less time than this, complex products and new innovations will probably take longer.
  • How many risk questions are required? i.e. this is the number of questions you must ask the client to calculate the price and satisfy your underwriting obligations.
  • How will rates need to be calculated? Is it via a 3rd party feed/API or uploaded to the tech provider system?
  • How do you want customers to pay? Direct debit, credit card, premium finance, invoice?
  • Are the policies you're selling standard annual contracts or are they shorter-term arrangements?
  • How are you going to distribute the product? Direct to customers, via aggregators, direct to brokers, via other marketplaces etc.?
  • Do you want variants of the product to support different schemes and channels?
  • Is white labelling required?
  • Do you need to manage a network of distribution agents and commissions and if so how complex is this? Do all agents have the same importance or are there tiers?
  • What data validation and enrichment are required? Any special integrations over and above the basic look-ups like postcode?
  • Language and currency requirements?
  • How important is branding and customer experience? Many providers have basic out-of-the-box solutions - some better than others - but if you want to do something fancier, extra investment may be required.
  • What level of digital servicing is required? Is it full lifecycle? Take a look, we have a useful checklist on the form.
  • What reporting and data extraction requirements do you have?
  • What KPIs and obligations do you have with your capacity provider? A big worry for many distributors is losing capacity because sales are too low or other KPIs have not been met. There are tools and services that can help track KPIs on an ongoing basis and help you manage this business-critical matter.


Your next action

Use this free tech provider briefing form to help get your digital insurance initiative off on the right foot. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you want more guidance or support.