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Underwriting agencies adopt intelligent tech

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Insurtech underwriting agency Blue Zebra Insurance aims to migrate all its existing products to a new platform before year-end under a long-term partnership with Xceedance.

Xceedance worked with Blue Zebra in its start-up days a few years ago to build its technology stack, Blue Leopard, and it is now being upgraded to provide a more configurable platform designed for rapid product development and maintenance.

“Brokers and insurance buyers’ expectations have changed and they’re pushing insurers and underwriting agencies to adopt more intelligent technology,” Xceedance VP and Country Manager – Australia and New Zealand Stephen Browne said.

Xceedance is working with agencies and insurers to facilitate end-to-end insurance processes across claims, finance and accounting, insurance operations, catastrophe modelling, underwriting, actuarial and analytical services, policy services, and data management.

Mr Browne says the agency sector is growing rapidly as it takes on some risks the general insurers will no longer accept, building their businesses by focusing on specialist product areas.

“As general insurers’ underwriting guidelines tighten, there are more opportunities for flexible agencies that can use their expertise to write specialty risks,” Mr Browne said.

“As some large carriers reduce their risk footprints, many seasoned insurance professionals are focusing on core specialisations and moving into underwriting agencies.”

The Underwriting Agencies Council estimates its members’ annual gross written premium at $6.5 billion.

Blue Zebra was launched in 2018 with the aim of bringing personal lines back to brokers, but has increasingly expanded into other areas including SME, commercial motor, cyber and accident and sickness.

The company invested heavily in technology and data and has previously said it aims to be able to write $500 million of business with just 40 people and build products in four to six weeks.