Tech

“Insurance is a real social good” Edmund Dilger from PolicyCastle

Edmund Dilger, Founder and CEO of PolicyCastle talks about technology and transparency transforming the insurance industry
Cocoon Labs

Technology is changing insurance. An influx of innovative businesses are improving things for both the insurers and their customers. PolicyCastle is one of these companies. Their CEO, Edmund Dilger, shares his thoughts with us on InsurTech and why insurance is “a real social good”.

By working together with insurance providers, including PolicyCastle, Cocoon offers innovative ways to better look after customers. Using smart home technology to enable better pricing and to reward those who are taking a smart approach to looking after their home. For example, Cocoon customers in the UK get a market-leading 15% discount on home insurance with PolicyCastle.

PolicyCastle’s transparent online service helps customers make informed choices when buying home insurance, perfectly aligning with Cocoon’s mission to help people feel safe at home.

Edmund Dilger is CEO and founder at PolicyCastle, he tells us how technology is changing the insurance industry.

What’s special about PolicyCastle?

PolicyCastle makes insurance easy, transparent and fair. It is a digital platform for customers to buy insurance. Our customer accounts are ahead of anything else available and the management information system enables insurers to make the most of data available to them. This, in turn, means better products and services can be offered to customers.

What needs to change in the insurance industry?

Legacy systems have been holding back the insurance industry’s ability to use data in creating relevant products and experiences for today’s consumers. These legacy systems cannot be replaced quickly. This has led to an industry mindset that they, alongside the resulting high operating costs, are inevitable.

Technology in insurance must catch up with those being used by customers and businesses in other industries. This means starting from scratch with new systems, which is what we have done at PolicyCastle.

How is smart home technology impacting insurance?

Despite research suggesting that smart home devices could reduce insurers’ loss ratios by 25%, the incumbent insurance industry has been slow in adopting smart home technology.

Insurers are always interested in new sources of customer data and understand the potential that certain smart home devices, like surveillance devices and leak detectors, have to improve individuals’ lives and reduce losses. However smart home devices have developed independently from the insurers. As a result, unlike telematics devices in cars, insurers have been fairly cautious about smart home technology.

Underwriters like seeing a track record of how losses are affected. With large-scale adoption of smart home devices being relatively new, there is no long track record showing the impact of smart cameras or leak detectors, let alone how different types of customers may use them.

PolicyCastle is seeking to establish a first-mover position on smart home insurance. We are linking data from smart home devices to claims experience. As part of that, PolicyCastle is offering discounts on home insurance for customers with smart home devices, including a market leading 15% for those with a Cocoon.

What appeals to you about changing an industry that’s 300+ years old?

Insurance is a real social good.

The insurance industry has a poor reputation but is actually providing a hugely important service that helps many people every year. It supports the fabric of our lives in a way that very few other services do. Having said that, insurance has a bad reputation in part because it is not transparent – pricing often isn’t clear and documents are often more complex than they should be. All this can lead to dissatisfied customers, particularly when a claim is made.

Most insurance products don’t provide any service during the life of a policy. If you don’t make a claim you’ll likely feel that you haven’t received any value. There is also a real problem in how claims are processed. The customer often feels disconnected and doesn’t have an understanding of what is happening.

PolicyCastle is solving these problems through transparency and ongoing customer service. In time, we will also be improving the speed at which claims are processed.

Is it important that big insurers work with smaller companies like PolicyCastle and Cocoon?

I think collaboration is important for both the big and the small businesses.

There seems to be a recognition in big companies that they need to interact with smaller businesses to challenge their culture and learn how to evolve. For small companies, working with large businesses can help by increasing the pace of growth and reach to customers.

What’s the most exciting thing in InsurTech right now?

PolicyCastle.

By providing transparency, clarity and an ongoing service to the customer, we are addressing what we believe to be the insurance industry’s key problems.

Find out more at policycastle.com