Bitesize InsurTech: Insurercore
January 24, 2022 Artūrs Kokins
Insurercore is an online networking platform and risk appetite directory for the insurance industry, streamlining the interaction between brokers looking for capacity and insurance providers offering the corresponding risk cover.
Founded in 2015 by Peter Clarke, Insurercore proposes to be the future of insurance networking by enabling key stakeholders to connect effectively and quickly based on risk appetite and capacity needs. The solution is therefore a hybrid between a social network and bespoke capacity & risk search facility, acting almost as the ‘LinkedIn’ of insurance. Detailed product listings, a tailored best-match ‘insurance search engine’ and data analytics are just some of Insurercore’s features that enable insurance professionals to better market themselves, reach out to the most relevant contacts, and stay up to date with the market.
Traditionally, the intermediation between brokers being able to identify the right underwriters to provide risk capacity and underwriters finding brokers to distribute their capacity has relied on years of networking and personal face to face interactions. Clarke recognised, however, that with digital behaviours changing in other industries, there is an interesting opportunity to create a dynamic online marketplace that democratises insurance networking and brings it into the new digital era.
After a slow start, the change in the way of working brought about by the pandemic has acted like rocket fuel for Insurercore’s development, allowing it to really start demonstrating the full value for brokers and underwriters.
Brokers look for a way to match client risk needs with the right underwriting appetite. Insurercore allows brokers to expand visibility of what capacity is available, while saving time on the traditional match-making process.
Meanwhile, for underwriters, Insurercore acts as a modern marketing platform that helps them clearly articulate their current risk appetite to target audiences and ensure the latter is aligned with their level of exposure – while also introducing them to new broking markets. The platform allows insurers to list their products, capacity, classes of businesses and more, making match-making easy and fast. Although steering away from becoming a recruitment platform, Insurercore also helps underwriters sell themselves to brokers by promoting their skills and experience on the platform.
With over 2,000 companies, c.4,000 individual users and close to 700 products live on the platform, Insurercore is the largest digital network of commercial insurance professionals in Europe. In 2019, Insurercore was selected to join the first cohort of Lloyd’s Lab and the only InsurTech acknowledged in Biba’s 2020 Manifesto, as its partner to support brokers in navigating the hard market.
In our discussion, Clarke emphasised international expansion as a key priority for 2022, for example integrating with platforms in the US to connect two major insurance markets. As they look to expand, however, keeping the team lean and agile will be central to success to allow scale without any negative impact on quality.
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The Oxbow Partners View
Social media and digital networks are permeating and dominating our lives in almost every aspect. It is therefore not surprising that Insurercore is on a rapid growth trajectory by leveraging this for an industry wherein networks are critical to success.
Insurercore’s proposition is especially interesting in a post COVID-19 landscape and the surrounding uncertainty of how working life will develop. We are seeing the pandemic fundamentally dismantle the long-established industry infrastructure and challenge traditional ways of communicating. As stakeholders are navigating the newfound dilemma of how to develop relationships online, Insurercore will be elemental in salvaging interaction and has the potential to foster high value in a market where connecting is the very backbone of business.
It appears that Insurercore’s value proposition is valid for both market cycles. In a hard market, the capacity tends to reduce for some lines of business, leading to brokers struggling to find carriers that align with the needs of their clients. In a soft market, the tendency to grow means that UW appetites expand and there is coverage available to address broader risk needs. In both scenarios, Insurercore can act as a valuable tool to help match risks with the right capacity.
Whilst Insurercore can be used by everyone, we think it will likely be most useful for smaller brokers in niche classes of business who do not have existing networks or digital capacities, and for whom it is therefore highly lucrative to use third party digital platforms. For bigger players with broader networks and advanced CRM platforms, Insurercore may not appear to be filling a market gap. Equally, as underwriters are increasingly integrating technological capacity into their operations, the demand for such platforms may be phased out entirely.
It will therefore be interesting to see how Insurercore scales. The company has moved through the initial learning phase and managed to engage initial clients. It has some observations about the best product fit and got a small loyal user-base. Our expectation is that the next few years should be about growth and achieving high net promoter scores on both sides of the platform. After that, it will be about delivering profitability at scale – it’s still to be seen how Insurercore will approach this and what revenue model will work. The real value is in transactions – but taking value from transactions could push Insurercore a step closer to becoming regulated which they want to avoid.
Things to consider:
- Can Insurercore scale outside the UK in more competitive markets?
- Will the revenue model work at scale? How can Insurercore find a way to extract more value from each transaction that is facilitated by the platform without becoming regulated
- Can Insurercore find a way to appeal to larger brokers with strong networks and large underwriters who focus on traditional product lines?
Find out more about Insurercore on Magellan™