“We chose to work with Insly for a number of reasons. We were looking for an all-round web-based platform that could potentially support several lines of business, different business models, in multiple currencies, languages and jurisdictions – where bonds should be the first of several products and country implementations. Insly have deployed their platform to a variety of clients operating in different classes and countries giving us comfort that they understood the broader insurance business and the challenges in moving towards IT-enabled operating models. Many of the capabilities of the Insly platform aren’t relevant for us today, but could be in the future. We obtained reasonably positive feedback from existing clients of Insly regarding their ability to work with clients and intelligently provide solutions. Last, we felt that we could work with Insly to expediently develop the bonds product and that it would be supported longer-term as Insly appeared to be investing in its platform and growing its workforce.” – Marco Del Carlo, Managing Director at Tempo Underwriting.
Tempo Underwriting as a Company
Tempo Underwriting was founded in 2012 by Marco Del Carlo, Tom Bailey, Sean McDermott and Jeremy Fall with a vision of becoming an underwriter-led, multi-line MGA, focused on specialty lines business.
Tempo currently underwrites Surety Bonds, Professional Indemnity, D&O, Marine, Energy, Aviation and Non-Marine Treaty business on behalf of a number of Lloyd’s syndicates and composite market insurers and reinsurers.
As a company, Tempo is a Lloyd’s Coverholder, a member of the MGAA and has been awarded Corporate Chartered Insurer status by the CII.
Partnering with Insly for Surety Bonds
Tempo partnered with Insly in the design, configuration and implementation of the technical platform which has been developed to support underwriting a high-volume surety bonds account efficiently and in a controlled manner.
Through the implementation of the new platform, Tempo aimed to standardise and automate most of the submission, risk review, quotation, policy issuance, MTA and policy release processes. In turn, this minimises the touch time for users spent on each activity, guards against data entry and underwriting errors and enables very fast turnaround times to broker requests.
When we started this project, Insly had built a number of insurance products on its platform but it had never built a surety bonds product. Technically, bond products themselves are substantially different to classic insurance products and have some specific requirements and rules. In turn, this required some collaborative planning regarding how to configure the Insly platform for surety bonds.
Up front, we had also agreed an agile / iterative development approach which was new for Insly rather than the traditional waterfall development approach.
The full project was handed over with significantly delays compared to the initially planned timeline. This was mainly due to extra time required to understanding bonds and adapting the platform accordingly, the use of traditional waterfall development approach in concert with offshore developers slowing down the learning process, and the lack of critical development resources at key stages of the project.
Delivery timelines aside, the resultant platform is a Tempo-branded cloud-based system that allows for full cycle sales and administration with certain innovative touches:
- An extensive range of bond products with significant data-entry controls;
- Standardised wordings with the ability to add standard or custom endorsements;
- Application of automatic customer credit limit measurement per customer between multiple quotes / issued policies;
- Advanced technologies on QR and barcodes generation on the issued policies for better security protection;
- Digital signatures on policies to prevent fraud and faking of bond policies;
- Dashboards to better manage bonds waiting on approval, paid bond policy drafts that need to be issued;
- Fully automated process to control policy related documents;
The system was rolled out in Q1 2017.
Looking back there were also a few learning objectives to be gained:
- There is no substitute for having in-depth design sessions with key persons present;
- Having the right skills and languages on board aids greatly with market practices, wordings and regulatory matters;
- Even the most detailed plan will still require changes during the setup process, be ready for them and keep an open dialogue;
- Have all of your definitions clear from the beginning so that everyone is speaking the same language;
- Test, test, test and then do a soft live with a few selected partners to test once more before the big roll-out.
It is almost certain that Insly and Tempo will engage in Second Stage developments to digitalize the sales process of additional products in preparation for the autumn season.
Tempo Underwriting team