WIN Magazine - Summer 2017 - 43
sometimes problematic. Maybe as an industry we've had
unrealistic expectations. Or perhaps as technology has offered
others ever simpler, faster and cheaper ways of doing business,
our needs have seemed to grow more complex, more time
consuming and more costly. But as the world goes on getting
smaller, all of our businesses become more interconnected.
And though we live in a knowledge economy it's really only
when knowledge is free to flow that it becomes a real business
asset that can generate real quantifiable value. And only once
knowledge is free to flow, of course, is it free to grow and let
business grow with it.
So surely technology can be made to work to let our knowledge flow and our business grow, to make its complexities
simple and its regulation and compliance less time consuming. By their very nature after all, custom and practice
are unchanging and repetitive. Generating certificates and
documents, creating reports and files: All are ideal tasks for
Well, the founders of one London-based independent broker
certainly thought so. Stonehatch are specialists in bloodstock
and equine insurance. For international clients, and U.S. clients in particular, London was in danger of becoming a more
difficult location in which to quote, place and manage business - and a less competitive one, too. In much of the lower
value but high volume business, standard off-the-peg solutions have often been applied to what were in reality widely
differing problems. And as regulation grew ever tighter and
compliance ever more rigorous both were becoming more
time consuming and costs were rising.
Against this competitive set, Stonehatch committed from
the outset to building their business on a genuine point of
difference - and decided simply to offer their clients everywhere a better price for better service and better coverage. "Not
your average insurance service ... our no-nonsense approach,
competitive pricing and breadth of coverage appeals to a
range of clients across the world," as they succinctly put it.
While Stonehatch launched their equine insurance business,
another London-based partnership worked to develop a webbased portal for MGAs to configure additional and new lines
of business more quickly and at lower cost.
Markit Systems, a partnership of MGA managers and digital insurance experts, decided that their point of difference
was to be a "digital partner" to MGAs rather than to simply
sell IT systems, in effect de-risking digitization by linking
their payment to their partners' growth. With startup, hosting and support costs deliberately kept low and a licence fee
linked only to the business written, they are able offer their
business partners more efficient, more practical and less
time-consuming configuration and training. The portal itself
is modular and allows new lines to be added at the same time
as driving and enabling business growth from existing lines
while remaining compliant, scalable and future-proof.
Designed to meet the needs of those with delegated authority, it is accessed by browser via a secure private cloud.
Integrating existing tools and services where appropriate, it
improves the accuracy and corroboration of client and agent
data and the granularity of risks at quotation. Markit Systems
call it "Your Digital Advantage," and Stonehatch were quick
to adopt it.
The platform configured to Stonehatch's specification
is tailored to the specific needs of each of their individual
stakeholders. It integrates messaging, document generation
and file retention in order to deliver the speed, agility and
flexibility demanded by their agents and underwriters. So
an agent in Kentucky, for example, can now quickly and
simply quote, place and manage any equine risk at any time,
in real time.
All of the relevant data is visible on the platform to all of the
relevant stakeholders, so the process is transparent and the
audit trail is both full and clear. For the underwriters at Lloyd's
in London, it allows better reporting and risk analysis. While
the automation of regulatory and compliance requirements,
as well as certification, documentation and reporting, saves
time, cost and the potential for human error.
Better access to better management information allows
better and faster decision-making.
And as the entry cost for each individual piece of business
becomes lower, so lower value, higher volume pieces of business become more attractive prospects. And since lower value,
higher volume business is particularly suited to automated
quotation, placement and management, a virtuous circle
grows the business and the market with it.
Since the Stonehatch platform went live at the end of 2016,
it has, perhaps not surprisingly, proven to be widely popular
with the agents and underwriters who now use it to do just
that. It was they, after all, who helped to specify the features
that enable everyone, as the saying goes, "to go home with a
balloon." And it is one of them, a Kentucky equine agent as it
happens, who has the last word on the subject for now: "I love
it," she says. "It's just so simple."
Nicholas Thurlow is with Markit Systems in London,
England. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and visit their website: www.markit-systems.com. For
additional details on Stonehatch, contact Chris Williamson
at email@example.com, or visit their
President of Operations/Marketing
Loss Control Property & Casualty Insurance Inspections.
Residential and commercial loss control property and casualty insurance inspections.
Over 25 years of experience in industry.
Phone: 888-265-6704 | Fax: 888-265-3186
P.O. Box 222525
Newhall, CA 91322
AAMGA.ORG | S U M M E R 2017