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Imaginera: building the future of underwriting platform technology

Ali Smedley speaks to Bevis Tetlow, CEO at Imaginera, about what an ‘underwriting cockpit’ is, the flexibility of the company’s underwriting platform Orca and how it caters for the end-to-end journey of an underwriting submission from receipt through to claims.

Member Spotlight: Imaginera

Bevis, what is your background and what does your role as CEO at Imaginera involve?

After beginning my career at RMS, I co-founded an independent consultancy which built underwriting and pricing tools for the Lloyd’s market. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I joined Hiscox as one of the founding members of Hiscox Bermuda. I worked there for 13 years. As a lead underwriter I headed up Hiscox Re’s North American treaty underwriting teams in Bermuda and London.

I joined Imaginera as the CEO in 2019. I am involved in all areas of the organisation, including helping to set the business strategy, creating new opportunities and partnerships, working with the consulting and product teams and deciding the future direction of the company.

What does Imaginera provide to the (re)insurance industry?

Imaginera is a specialist consulting and software company which focuses on delivering software for the insurance, reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) market. Our goal is to be the premier provider of software services to this market. Imaginera celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year, so we have a lot of real world business experience within the team. We currently have over 60 full-time employees.

Our experience covers the full range of requirements needed to run a big-ticket underwriting company, from submission workbenches through to pricing, finance, third-party capital and claims.

There are two parts of the business at Imaginera; the first is consulting. This is where we provide the technical resources needed to help our clients build and maintain their own software.

The second is our product side where we offer Orca, a next generation underwriting platform as a managed service. Orca offers the functionality to help underwriting and operations teams capture and process their underwriting submissions with flexible workflows in a workbench, through to policy and claims administration functionality.

How would you define an ‘underwriter workbench’?

I believe that an underwriter workbench is there to help teams work together to remove the administrative friction of underwriting processes. It should help underwriters to make better decisions more quickly through access to pricing and data insights.

Orca has been described as an ‘underwriting cockpit’ which resonates with me. This is because Orca brings all the information an underwriter needs into one holistic environment. Orca allows the underwriter to understand the relationship with the client and broker, the history of the submissions, notes, files, pricing information and claims history. Having all the information in one environment, like a cockpit, allows underwriters to make better and faster decisions. This improves the service to the broker and client and ultimately improves the combined ratio.

What does Orca do – what problems is it solving?

Orca is more than just an underwriter workbench. It is a system designed to manage big-ticket submissions throughout the lifecycle of a policy. It consists of three main modules: the submission workbench, policy administration and claims administration.

There are two main problems Orca is trying to solve. Firstly, it is aiming to remove the friction from activities that are part of the pre-bind process. This involves making it easier to capture new and renewal-specific information about a submission and facilitating the various workflows needed to price and service each submission.

The second area Orca helps with is post-bind activities. We support the relevant workflows for operations, compliance and claims teams, helping them to effectively process premiums, payments and claims.

Orca also caters to diverse classes of business. With its highly configurable workflows, each class of business can have a customised configuration.

Can you give an example of how a client uses Orca?

Our clients use Orca in three ways.

The first is purely as a front-end submissions workbench. Companies use Orca to capture their submissions, underwriting workflows, data and client and broker CRM all in one place. They use the platform to process and triage submissions and bring together the pricing data they need via integrations with other systems. Upon binding, data is then transferred via an integration into a third-party administration platform.

The second way clients are increasingly using Orca is to manage the full lifecycle of a policy. They use all of Orca’s functionality: from the submission workbench through to policy administration and claims administration. This data then flows into the renewal processes, so the overall administration demands are greatly reduced. The underwriters also have easy access to claims and performance insights.

The final way clients are using Orca is exclusively as a claims management platform.

Our first clients were Tamesis DUAL and Inigo Syndicate. IQUW has recently gone live with the platform, with Conduit Re to follow in early 2024. We have a strong pipeline of other London and Bermuda markets to come.

How does Orca integrate with existing systems and data sources?

Orca has out-of-the-box APIs to enable integrations, but we can also build bespoke integrations to any third-party systems as required.

It is easy to embed any web-based applications into the Orca user interface. These appear as additional feature tabs so when an underwriter reviews a particular submission, they can easily view these other applications, such as Power BI or their pricing tools, all in one place.

How does the offering differ between insurers, reinsurers, MGAs and brokers?

Orca is a highly configurable platform, so it can be set up to cater for the various demands of different insurance and reinsurance companies and different classes of business within these. Workflows are very flexible and we work with our clients to capture their specific custom business processes. Our underlying data model really considers the complexity of multiple participants and third-party capital, so we are able to cater for the needs of MGAs, ILS and also brokers.

What companies are you looking to connect with?

We would like to speak to any company within the big-ticket insurance, reinsurance, ILS or broker space that is looking for an underwriting or claims platform. In the past, (re)insurance companies have struggled to find solutions that catered to their specific needs with an ‘off the shelf’ product. With Orca we are aiming to change this.

Why does Imaginera support InsTech as a corporate member?

At Imaginera we are looking to build the future of underwriting technology, so InsTech is a great progressive network to be a part of. InsTech helps us to build awareness of our product and consulting offerings to prospective clients, spreading our name throughout the market.

What should readers do if they want to learn more?

You can learn more about Imaginera and Orca on our website. I would also love to hear from people directly at [email protected].