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Customer Story: Insly helps Ridge Canada deliver data-powered cyber insurance

When Ridge Canada wanted to enhance decision-making, scale its operations, and better support its brokers and end clients, it chose Insly due to its flexibility, data management capability and specialist insurance expertise. With three products now built on Insly, Ridge can bind its specialist cover in just ten minutes, and the business is growing fast, with thousands of policies being quoted in the last 12 months. 

A cyber and technology specialist with big ambitions

“We knew pretty early on that data management was going to be a very paramount and required element if you wanted to write cyber insurance in a sustainable and profitable way,” says Greg Markell, President and CEO of Ridge Canada

It was this realisation that led the MGA - a cyber, technology and governance specialist - to seek out a new policy and data management platform, and eventually partner with Insly for its back-end technology needs. 

Founded in 2016 by Governor Tom Ridge, previously Secretary Ridge, the first person to lead US homeland security, Ridge Canada started with the mission of enabling Canadian SMEs to transfer cyber security risks. 

But, realising that cyber is a governance issue as much as a technology issue, it has since expanded its offering, launching new products such as Directors & Officers (D&O), and Errors & Omissions (E&O) alongside its cyber cover. Now, the business is focused on scaling its operations further, with data and technology sitting at the heart of its strategy. 

Supporting underwriters, brokers, and end-clients through data

Previously working with a “litany of spreadsheets,” in a “self-made Azure environment,” Ridge needed a more sophisticated and scalable solution for the next stage and evolution of the business.

With a team of eight underwriters and a gross written premium of over $20m, it wanted a system that would enable the business to streamline and speed up its entire customer lifecycle, from sales through to accounting. It also wanted to empower its underwriters with the data to understand the cyber landscape better and support them in decision-making, particularly as the sector emerged from a hard market.

“Our underwriters need to have visibility of what's going on sector by sector, province by province, to understand where controls are up-to-speed or where they might be lacking,” says Markell. 

Ridge also sees data as critical to helping Canadian businesses to secure their systems more effectively and implement cyber hygiene to a level that would enable them to transfer the risk. Research has shown that 69% of Canadian small businesses do not consider cyber security a financial priority. Access to the right data will enable Ridge to communicate the latest trends and needs with brokers and their end-clients.

“Security evolves at breakneck pace because the hackers and the threat actors are very advanced and they're sophisticated and it's organized,” says Markell. “It's incumbent upon us to understand the threat, how is it going to impact Canadian businesses, as well as our portfolio overall.”

Ridge takes a highly consultative and customer-focused approach with its brokers: “we try to be extensions of their sales teams and help them get to yes,” says Markell. Coming from a broker background himself, Markell was also highly cognizant of the need to make brokers’ jobs easier, rather than increasing their workload.

“Brokers don't need portals, they need dashboards,” he explains. “You still need to be able to transact in the old-fashioned way, but while giving an option of that seamless flow of data that… empowers brokers to get their sales lifecycle shortened significantly.”

Selling on behalf of Lloyds Syndicates, Ridge also needed a system that would enable it to strengthen its carrier relationships, and fulfill its regulatory and governance obligations, such as regular comprehensive auditing, in a more streamlined way.  

Digging deep to find the best fit

Ridge began its software search by working with a third-party IT engineering firm to carry out due diligence of its needs and potential solutions, including analysing the base level of code of potential partners. 

The company wanted a platform that could adapt to its specialist needs, scale with the business and integrate seamlessly with current and future partners. For example, it needed connectivity with the company’s accounting software, and Lloyds Canada’s MGA platform, to give carriers full visibility of its portfolio and the business growth, while reducing the need to re-key data, and the chance of errors. 

After a thorough search, Ridge identified Insly as the best fit for its needs, due to its flexible low/no-code programming language and open APIs to ease integrations. Ridge also felt that Insly delivered the level of data management functionality it needed to scale. 

“Really being able to drill down and effectively quantify some of the trends that we're seeing was one of the key elements of our partner selection. Harnessing and taking control of our own data was massively important in that decision making process,” says Markell. 

Finally, the company was impressed with the Insly team, particularly valuing its specialist insurance knowledge, which was frequently lacking with more generalist solutions. 

Laying foundations for the future

Ridge is currently in the process of bedding the Insly system in, transferring data over from its legacy systems, and establishing integrations with its accounting system and Lloyds Canada. 

“The reinsurance community and our backers have really appreciated that,” says Markell. “We can give visibility now; our data set is richer. We can report back in a much more efficient and better way.”

With three products now built on the platform and one more due to be launched in early 2024, Markell is optimistic that it will soon see benefits cascading down to its broker partners and end-clients, providing them with the best support and protection possible.

“Canadian small, mid-size businesses deserve security solutions, and they deserve the ability to transfer the risk at certain maturity points,” he says. 

For other MGAs looking to upgrade their systems, Markell advises: “be clear what they need from software,” before starting their search and urges them to be patient and invest time in getting the implementation right: “…get it right first time and you nail the foundation. It's setting yourself up for scalability and for success,” he concludes.

Insly's no-code platform is highly configurable, allowing insurers and MGAs to launch new insurance propositions quickly, keep operating costs low and maintain full compliance with capacity providers. So, if you would like to find out more about our platform’s potential for your business, book a demo with us today.

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