Tell  us  about  InsurEco  System.
PHIL:   We’ve  created  a  system  that   connects  insurance  companies  with   independent  agents  and  provides  all   the  different  products  that  agents  are   seeking—everything  from  personal  lines  to   commercial  lines.  

DEREK:   We’re  an  aggregator  of   insurance  agencies,  we’re  an  aggregator   of  insurance  products,  and  we’re  an   aggregator  of  insurance  technology.  We’re   no  longer  a  platform.  We’re  no  longer   a  software  company.  We’re  truly  this   environment—this  ecosystem—in  which   commerce  exists.

PHIL:   Our  entry  into  the  system  comes   from  the  technology  piece  we  built  called   the  InsureBio.  It’s  an  app  and  a  tool  the   insurance  agent  can  use  to  create  the   insurance  profile  of  the  customer.  The   insured  creates  a  profile  that  answers  all   the  questions  that  are  needed  to  purchase   the  type  of  insurance  they’re  acquiring.   That  information  is  connected  to  an  agent   that’s  in  our  ecosystem,  whether  it’s  their   current  trusted  agent  that  they  do  business   with  or  they’re  just  looking  to  find  an   agent  to  access  the  products  that  are  in  the   insurance  marketplace.  And   if  their  current  agent  isn’t   already  part  of  the  ecosystem,   we  bring  them  on  and  give   them  permission  to  access  the   information  that  their  insured   has  given  them  access  to.  

DEREK:   We’re  getting   the  data  from  the  insured   and  passing  it  into  our   intelligence  appetite  engine.   The  carrier  comes  into   our  system,  they  program   what  their  appetite  is,  and   we  match  that  up.  We’re   that  last  mile  between  your   management  system  and   your  actual  sale. 

How  does  blockchain  come  in?
DEREK:   If  you  look  at  any  public   blockchain  system,  it’s  about  recording   value  and  putting  the  truth  back  into   the  participants’  hands.  In  insurance,   data  is  that  asset.  Blockchain  technology   enables  us  to  create  a  true,  immutable   ledger  of  exactly  what’s  going  on;  who’s   got  permission  to  what  data  points  and   who  has  access;  who  is  the  carrier  on  the   contract.  Our  main  objective  is  to  enable   the  broker/agent  distribution  channel  to   communicate  easily  with  reinsurers  and   carriers  regarding  production  and  quoting   in  real-time.  

How  will  this  ecosystem   help  agents?
DEREK:   We  focus  on  how   insurance  agents  can  market   their  products  better,  how  they   can  know  clients'  appetites   better.  We  coach  them  on  how   to  do  appetite-based  marketing   so  they  build  [for  example]  a   microsite  for  a  plumber  that’s   in  Texas  because  we  know   through  the  analytics  in  our   system  that  they  sell  a  lot   of  them  and  those  are  good   money  propositions  for  them.   We  coach  them  to  try  to  get   down  those  roads. 

How  do  blockchain  and  your   technology  help  people  control  data?
DEREK:   One,  knowing  is  half  the   battle.  You  have  to  know  where  your   data  is  going.  We’ve  proposed  to   the  regulatory  bodies  that,  just  like   insurance  agents  get  licensed,  insurtechs   should  be  licensed.  The  second  side  of   it  is  giving  customers  the  mechanism   to  be  able  to  say  no.  We’ve  created  that   in  a  smart  contract  where  the  insured   says,  “I’m  going  to  share  these  data   points  with  my  broker  of  record  for  this   amount  of  time,”  and  they  can  revoke   that.  We’re  just  trying  to  create  the   new  path  for  essentially  changing  the   mindset  of  the  insured  to  not  go  to  the   Google  machine  and  get  into  that  lead   gen  tax.  Don’t  go  that  way.  Just  go  raise   your  hand  and  say  I  need  insurance  or   say  that  you  got  married.  From  that  life   event,  we  know  you  need  insurance,   and  we’ll  connect  you  to  your  agent.   Your  agent  will  configure  data  points   that  he  needs  based  on  you  getting   married  or  having  a  baby.  We’ll  funnel   that  through  and  ask  permission  for   every  data  pull,  and  you’ll  have  the   ability  to  say  no.  You’ll  know  where  all   your  data  is  going,  what’s  being  used   on  it,  and  then  you’ll  have  the  ability   to  request  it.  That’s  the  two-headed approach we take. 

Where is blockchain going in insurance?
PHIL: We are trying to help customers create an insurance profile, similar to a credit report, that stays with us. Keeping accurate risk data will help clean up the industry.

If an opportunity comes to you [as a broker] and you’re not the right fit, let’s just say a captive agent at State Farm is a better solution for them, it will connect them to the right carrier that actually wants that risk. That should be the value that an insurance agent wants. They’re not trying to take a customer away from someone’s who’s doing a good job; they’re just trying to pick up business when the person isn’t being serviced properly. That will also clean up the marketplace.

DEREK: The consumer is losing trust in the insurance economy. That’s why they’re going to all of this other, the peer-to-peer, because what’s happened in the health industry has made everybody think it’s a scam and it’s not right.

How did InsurEco System evolve?
DEREK: We were born as a submission management tool for a wholesaler with premium finance baked right in. We moved into building custom raters for carriers and risk retention groups. Dealing with smaller outfits we could work on the workflows which were inefficient and focus on maximizing output while keeping overhead low. Once we started moving down that road, we realized the real magic— the thing nobody wanted to do—was deal with servicing and payments for smaller priced accounts.

We took contractors general liability, and we took small trucking owner operators, and we focused on creating a real end-to-end environment to where the quote was brought to the system from the retail agent. We ran it through our rating algorithm. We delivered the policy through our policy issuance system. We gave the insured a mobile app, called the policySpot. We created a selfservice certificate option, and it allowed agents to deliver policies and ID cards.

About the end of last year, our R&D department developed policyBlockchain, and we started seeing the value that came from being a third-party entity for everyone to report their transactions to. No one was providing the big picture. That was the turning point for us, when we said, “We could just wrap this whole thing and just make it visible to everybody and just be good, honest custodians of the data, follow all the regulations.” 

What’s ahead?
DEREK: Short term we are working with about 10 different insurtech innovators from property data to cyber security. We are having some great successes with a joint project with Maxxsure, where we’re creating a cyber scoring and security platform. We’ve partnered with a wholesaler who has a commercial product for trucking, and we’ve built a complete blockchain solution for reporting production, cargo and claims. There are a lot of neat ways we’re going to start dipping into other industries closely related to insurance and supply chain.

PHIL: We’ve added on a partnership with a company that has imaging, and we’re working on this proof of concept that, if you take a picture of an item of value, it will produce an insurance quote kind of real-time and connect them to our agents, who can actually offer that product.

DEREK: We’re also working with an AI company that has a proprietary algorithm to detect and predict customer engagement, and we’re putting a scoring in that to allow us to tell agents and brokers how engaged the actual consumer is within the process. That’s going to be really key.