Bitesize InsurTech: distriBind
July 14, 2022 Chris Sandilands
distriBind is a browser-based platform for delegated authority (“DA”) management.
The company was founded in 2019 by former bordereau technician and product head Dave Connors and has recently been a member of the Lloyd’s Lab.
distriBind has two objectives. In the short term, its core data configuration model can ingest bordereaux, organise and correct the many typos, reformat and deduplicate the document, and pass clean data on to carriers. This, Dave explains, is different to many OCR (i.e. “document reading”) tools, which generally use a simple rules-based mapping (“in case A, do B”) to correct spreadsheets, and often fall down due to unexpected data. distriBind’s tech is built on the assumption that all data received is in bad shape.
Longer term, the company wants to eliminate bordereaux altogether. It aims to help brokers and insurers integrate data from any source and in any format, standardise it and send it on to the relevant parties (often carriers).
distriBind’s early clients have already seen substantial cost reductions. One managing agent reported that distriBind eliminates 45 minutes of manual pre-processing work on every spreadsheet. The platform also removes the headaches associated with spreadsheet versioning. For example, if a spreadsheet received by distriBind has errors on 5 rows out of 500, the 495 accurate rows are not blocked from being sent on to the right place (as often happens with DAs now).
Beyond automation, distriBind enables ambitious scaling targets because it removes the need to grow headcount or outsource. One client currently writing £30m a year was set a target to grow to £200m in 4 years. They reported that this target would have been unachievable without distriBind.
The Oxbow Partners View
Delegated authority and bordereau management is a big topic for Lloyd’s. Despite the recent rescoping of the Future at Lloyd’s programme, the Delegated Contract & Oversight Manager (DCOM) and Delegated Data Manager (DDM) remains a priority on the delivery roadmap.
distriBind is playing in a hot but crowded space. The company therefore needs to convince its audience that it will succeed where others have made little headway: many businesses have promised to make manual rekeying a thing of the past, but ultimately did not succeed. distriBind must show that its founders’ experience of the thousands of niche use cases and error types will make the difference.
On the other hand, carriers face ongoing expense challenges and the prospect of a softening market cycle in the next 12 months, in which rapid ingestion and interpretation of bordereau data could be a differentiator. Tools like distriBind could be vital to both reducing costs and enhancing underwriting performance.
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