Insurtech weekly news roundup: April 08
Digitization and technology investments are the biggest challenges in modernizing distribution and growing sales, according to more than half of respondents in a recent AM Best survey of P/C insurers.
According to the survey, 56% of respondents saw digitization and technology investment as major obstacles to revamping distribution. Another 36% said improving the customer experience or understanding consumer trends were significant challenges in terms of technology.
In other results, 70% of companies surveyed said they were moderately satisfied or very satisfied with their innovation efforts in distribution.
About 50% said that they were not considering any new distribution channels, though nearly 25% said they were mulling over a direct-to-consumer model.
Just 18% said there were considering independent agents or other traditional channels.
The full Best Special Report is “Rapidly Evolving Digital Environment Revamps Distribution for P/C Insurers.”
CLARA Analytics has released CLARA Optics, a software product that uses AI and machine learning to scan, sort and analyze bills and medical documents to create a claim-based medical record.
CLARA provides artificial intelligence technology for the commercial insurance industry.
CLARA Optics is the latest generation of its medical record product, which used to be called Treatment Summary. The new version adds intelligent alerts and analytics designed to help claims personnel better respond proactively to changes in each case, the company said.
It automates medical records transcription, pulls out and organizes important details about each claim and then makes that information available to adjusters and nurse case managers.
Boost Insurance, maker of a digital insurance platform, has added former CoverWallet president Jim Ermilio to its board as an independent director.
Ermilio was president of CoverWallet, a digital insurance platform for small and medium-sized businesses, for five years until Aon snatched it up a few years ago. Before that, he was CEO and a board director for Goji, a data-driven home and automobile insurance platform. Ermilio also has previous experience as an executive with The Commerce Group (acquired by Spain’s MAPFRE in 2008) and was executive director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.
Boost has an integrated insurance-as-a-service platform that is designed to let innovative companies from any industry build, embed and manage programs for their customers. It also has a managing general agency (MGA) subsidiary, Boost Insurance Agency, Inc., that is licensed to produce any kind of insurance in all 50 states.
The insurtech MGA Sigo Seguros has raised $5.4 million in seed funding designed to help grow its business and reach.
Listen Ventures and Chingona Ventures led the round, which also included participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, ERA’s Remarkable Ventures, Kern Venture Group, Arcus Financial co-founder Edrizio De La Cruz, and existing investors Fiat Ventures and Newlin VC.
Sigo Seguros also raised a $1.5 million pre-seed financing round in 2021.
The insurtech start-up is focused on closing the insurance gap within Latinx and immigrant communities. Its main auto insurance product, launched in August 2021, removes predatory fees and biased rate factors that disproportionally minorities. In addition, its underwriting process doesn’t factor in immigration status, credit score, education level or type of employment, the company said. It also claims to be the only insurance company in the US that can provide full Spanish language support to Spanish-speaking customers and potential customers.
Sigo Seguros debuted in 2019.
State Auto’s investment subsidiary joined the $5.25 million seed round for Relativity6, an AI platform designed to help improve commercial underwriting workflow as well as business classification and segmentation.
Fin Capital led the Boston-based insurtech start-up’s financing. State Auto Labs Fund also participated, along with Vectr Ventures, Cortado Ventures, Angel Ventures and a number of “strategic individuals” from the insurance, financial services and data industry spheres.
Plans call for using the money to boost commercial insurance underwriting sales efforts. Relativity6 will also expand into new financial services markets and pursue development of more critical business data points.
The company’s proprietary, real time APIs are designed to retrieve up-to-the-second information about a business in order to automatically detect its 6-digit NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code and verify its digital existence.
“We are providing a critical operational asset, allowing companies to classify a business quickly and confidently,” Relativity6 CEO and co-founder Alan Ringvald said in prepared remarks.