Meet the insurtech: Instanda

Meet the insurtech: Instanda

Rather than addressing P&C insurance technology issues in conventional ways, to assess risks, price premiums and provide quotes, INSTANDA founder and CEO Tim Hardcastle took a page out of Steve Jobs’ Apple playbook and developed a service no one asked for, but didn’t realize they needed.

Tim Hardcastle, CEO, Instanda

That service is an insurance solution that lives in the cloud for MGAs and carriers. “We essentially put the technology into the hands of the people that are running those particular insurance lines as products,” said Hardcastle. “We give them the power to design, build, manage, enhance and run their portfolios of products.” 

Hardcastle drew on his prior experience as CIO of Hiscox Insurance, where he found a technology gap in insurance operations. “I felt that they weren’t getting the best from the vendors and even some things that they had built in house,” he said. He founded INSTANDA in 2012 and launched the service in 2015.

Given that the standard functions of assessing risk, using algorithms to price that risk, then basing contracts on those functions, were all likely constant, Hardcastle asked, “How do you face complexity and variety with technology that will deal with it in a limited amount of time and cost?” Traditionally, insurers would build rich back office systems to enable quotes, contracts and payments, he added. INSTANDA set out on a mission to “democratize” these functions.

“The only way we could see that happening is through no-code changes to a platform,” Hardcastle said. “Then you get speed and cost benefits, because you’re tapping an existing resource pool that’s already there.”

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The solution lets users apply any algorithm to sort risk profiles, to select ones the insurer is willing to underwrite. Also, INSTANDA can clean data on the front end, on its way into an algorithm, Hardcastle said. “The algorithms you can apply are native to our platform. They can be designed by the underwriters with some help from the actuarial team so they can design whatever algorithm they feel they need to use to really zero in on the kind of risk profile they want to take.”

London-based, INSTANDA began its mission with small MGAs in the U.S. and U.K., adding U.S. and Canadian users. It has grown to serve 30 U.S. insurers, 40 U.K. and European insurers, and several others globally in the Middle East, Africa, Japan and Australia. The company is continuing to sign on more insurers as users, according to Hardcastle.

“Our crusade is to give people the benefit of the technology that is great value for money, is flexible, and is allowing them to reach their customers and give them the service and the proposition that customers expect,” he said.