InsTech’s Henry Gale speaks to Frank Perkins, founder, CEO and CTO of INARI, about drivers for innovation in insurance technology and what the company’s platform offers.
Henry: Frank, why did you found INARI?
Frank: I had previously been a co-founder of ANV Group, a traditional insurance company running Lloyd’s syndicates and MGAs. I considered how the current technology landscape in (re)insurance could be improved and what was ahead for the industry. Sometimes, as an industry, we have not been getting the basics right.
Previously, (re)insurers tried to reduce the amount of software applications used, because it was difficult for applications to speak to each other. INARI took a different route: to provide a platform which would connect with other technologies efficiently.
Insurance is an industry which should be data-driven. I believed we could improve how data is transacted, consumed, stored and modelled.
Henry: What is your role at INARI?
Frank: I am both the CEO and CTO of INARI. As CEO, I manage the company’s operations and strategy. As CTO, I lead all INARI’s technology initiatives and ensure our technology can accomplish the goals for the product.
Henry: What insurance problems is INARI solving?
Frank: From the founders’ experiences in insurance companies, we decided to focus on how to accelerate the pre-buying process (getting to the quote stage quickly and identifying the risk easily), claims and credit control. To achieve this, we built a platform with a flexible data model and a contemporary architecture. We also want to make sure that anything we built was technologically adaptable, acknowledging that the best technology for a business process today will not be the best in five years’ time.
Henry: What products does INARI offer?
Frank: INARI offers three core platforms, all in active use and ready to be deployed: a bordereaux management platform, an insurer / MGA platform and a reinsurance platform. The platforms have a common technology standard, so anything developed for one business segment can be reused elsewhere.
The insurer / MGA platform and reinsurance platform are broken down into business domains. One section is used for underwriting, another for portfolio management, and others for claims, first notification of loss and credit control.
The bordereaux management platform can be deployed inside and outside Lloyd’s. When data is received in different formats, it stabilises, sanitises, cleanses and normalises the data, and can run business rules through it.
Henry: What kind of clients use INARI’s platforms?
Frank: We now have clients using all 3 platforms in the US, Bermuda, UK, Europe and Asia. They range across reinsurers, insurers, MGAs, Lloyd’s syndicates and managing agents and will be announcing what we have achieved with some of our clients over the coming months.
Henry: Why does INARI use distributed ledger technology (DLT)?
Frank: DLT affects the way INARI ingests and manages data. DLT uses an ‘event sourcing’ approach, which stores data as events. Our aim is to match the nature of insurance because insurance is essentially a series of events such as the quote, policy start date and the claim.
Data is immutable when stored with DLT; each record cannot be modified. The user’s understanding of an event can be revised over time, but they can always look back to see what the truth was at a single point in time.
Finally, we wanted to make data easily available, not only across systems but between different parties, in particular to support insurers more easily sharing data with reinsurers. Pulling data via APIs requires data to be requested, and the receiving party does not possess a copy of the underlying data. If the receiving party has a node on a distributed ledger, they have better access to use the data how they would like. INARI makes it easier for insurers to share data with reinsurers in this way.
Henry: How does INARI differentiate itself from other insurance software providers?
Frank: We aim to provide a more intuitive user experience. Recently we received feedback from a client saying their underwriters did not need training to use INARI because of the user experience and understandable language.
Our event sourcing approach provides greater visibility into the performance of risks over time. Companies can look at a policy or portfolio risk at a single point in time to see specific events.
Another differentiator is that INARI is a modular platform. Clients do not need to decommission old systems immediately or replace everything; INARI can run alongside and complementary to systems already in operation, ingesting data from and feeding data into other systems.
Henry: Can you give an example of one of INARI’s platforms in action?
Frank: When INARI was in the Lloyd’s Lab in 2019, we undertook a demonstration with a cyber insurance submission. Normally, underwriters receive a submission and search different data sources to evaluate the cyber risk. They collect information, triage it, manage it and provide a quote back to a broker. This could take hours. The same process ran through the INARI platform in 30 seconds. INARI reduces the time underwriters need to spend collecting and analysing data and let them spend more time underwriting.
Henry: Why did INARI join InsTech London as a corporate member and what sort of companies would you like to connect with?
Frank: London is a hub of insurance innovation, and the InsTech London community is an important gateway into that community. Through InsTech we can meet like-minded people across the industry. INARI would like to connect with insurers, reinsurers, MGAs and Lloyd’s managing agents.
For more information on INARI, go to inari.io.