Aurora: algorithmic underwriting for SME insurance


Aurora is a London-based MGA providing personalised insurance to micro businesses and SMEs. The company also provides brokers and customers with risk management education and advice.

Ahead of the company’s official launch in October 2022, InsTech’s Ali Smedley spoke with Co-founder and CEO Jan-Vincent Finn about Aurora’s algorithmic underwriting approach, what products it will offer over the coming year and the partners the company is already working with.

What areas of insurance is Aurora focused on?

Aurora provides a range of insurance products to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This includes self-employed people, micro businesses (1-9 employees), small businesses (10-49 employees) and medium enterprises (50-249 employees). Aurora aims to provide a one-stop-shop solution for all these businesses, ranging from property and liability insurance to group accident and health insurance.

Jan, why did you found the company?

I founded Aurora as I saw there were clear problems with how the insurance market was serving SMEs that needed resolving. We believe that up to 80% of businesses in the UK are currently unknowingly underinsured. We have also discovered that 80% of businesses that face a major disruption close within 18 months. SMEs really struggle to buy the right insurance for all of their needs in real-time, online. Aurora is changing that. 

What types of insurance products is Aurora looking to provide over the coming year?

The company’s soft launch is on the 31st October 2022 with our accident and health products, shortly followed by our property and business interruption product in early 2023. Other products in the pipeline include cyber, construction, professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.

What does Aurora’s algorithmic underwriting process look like?

We have built an algorithmic underwriting framework which involves the automation of insurers’ appetite, underwriting rules and pricing. We are prioritising decision-making at the portfolio management level rather than at an individual risk level, increasing underwriting efficiency.

We have created a framework which provides a consistent feedback loop between underwriting, pricing and claims. As such, we have live monitoring of performance. We understand risk at a very granular level in order to augment portfolio performance management. This all leads to the ability to make very granular near instant changes to underwriting and pricing.

What capacity providers are you working with?

Aurora’s current capacity providers include a mix of major global reinsurers and insurers such as AXIS, AIG and Munich Re.

How do you choose which companies to partner with?

We look for companies that can help us better understand the risk profiles of potential customers, or are able to support our goal of using data to reduce underinsurance and cater to the underserved. We use data enrichment to underwrite and price risk more accurately whilst providing data-driven insight and analytics to all of those in the value chain. For example, we have partnered with Swiss Re to better understand liability risk exposure for SMEs. We are also working with Mastercard to augment our understanding of customers’ business interruption exposures and to process claims more efficiently.

How will Aurora distribute its insurance products?

Aurora has an omni-channel approach as we have built our infrastructure with interoperability at its core. We work with brokers including WTW and we also have a direct to customer approach. Potential customers can use our platform to get a range of tailored products, data-driven insights and risk management education. We also work closely with associations and other platforms that have a membership or client base.

Why has Aurora joined InsTech as a corporate member?

InsTech has created a great community for everyone from the insurance ecosystem to get together and exchange ideas. What I like most about InsTech is that it isn’t just talk; there is a lot of action within the network.

What companies is Aurora looking to connect with?

We are interested in connecting with insurers that value our data enrichment and omni-channel distribution approach and would like to form a long-term relationship with us. We are also interested in connecting with data providers that believe they have a unique way to better understand risk.

For those who want to learn more about Aurora or are interested in a potential partnership, please reach out to me or Carla Havemann on LinkedIn.