Canadian Underwriter

Why brokers need a new technology approach to cyber insurance

November 11, 2021   by Jason Contant

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Old-fashioned methods by brokers for obtaining cyber insurance quotes just don’t work in today’s environment, a managing general agent told Canadian Underwriter Tuesday.

“The old approach to cyber insurance was, ‘Hey, let me get you an application, you bring that to your IT team. Let’s get that filled out, bring it back to me, we’ll approach numerous markets, we’ll get a quote for you. And then we can have a discussion around insurance,’” said Miki Ho, who handles business development at Coalition in Canada.

“Historically, that approach just wasn’t working,” he said. “It took too long. Clients had to go to their IT team. They had to get all these questions answered.”

Brokers who embrace technology and obtain quotes through an application programming interface (API) will be more successful in having that cyber discussion with clients, Ho said. “That API is critical for them as well, where they can say, ‘We need a few pieces of information, we can secure terms… in about 10 seconds, and we can present those directly with our client. Finding an efficient, streamlined way to get a quote is really important for our broker partners.”

This in turn allows brokers to offer their clients access to cyber insurance faster with less back-and-forth. “We’re seeing that some brokers have told us the first quote to the table wins, or my client is looking for options online,” Ho said. “So, I think that’s where brokers have really embraced technology and they’re using it to their advantage to win more business.”

The real benefit of APIs is they allow brokers to connect and integrate with one centralized platform where they can get quotes from multiple carriers by submitting the same information, Ho said. Will there ever be an industry-wide API solution in the future? Ho said for the small-and medium-sized enterprise space, for example, there is some value in a centralized platform, but there’s a lot of values that brokers add beyond just the quoting process.

Ho made his comments in an interview about API connectivity and the future of cyber insurance distribution.

Whether brokers use their own in-house engineering teams or a technology partner, “they realize that technology is the future,” Ho said. “It’s the way that they need to go to make sure that they’re getting their clients what they’re looking for.”

In Coalition’s case, the cyber insurance provider announced in late September the launch of its API and partner solution in Canada to offer digital brokers, distributors and technology partners the ability to integrate Coalition’s insurance products and underwriting engine directly into their platforms. The product allows quotes within 10 seconds and shows premium indications, multiple quote options, bind functionality and other features.


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