For many people getting an insurance quote or changing the details of a policy still involves picking up the phone.
Edmund Dilger wants to change that and a year ago established PolicyCastle, an app that allows brokers and customers to deal with insurance issues on their mobile.
His aim is to modernise the way brokers transact with clients and to allow greater self-service for customers.
“Insurance brokers still use third-party technology, much of which is legacy software and that is holding the industry back.”
Online bank customers carry out transactions on the way home, so why can’t people amend their insurance policy, he says.
Insurers also benefit as the quality of the information passed improves, enabling better underwriting and fewer claims.
PolicyCastle is targeting the specialist homes market initially, where people often have a specific insurance need.
Here, most interactions between brokers and customers are voice telephone-based and fall outside of the commoditised part of the market served by price comparison websites.
“We are talking about affluent customers, people wanting insurance for a second home, a listed building or a non-standard construction.”
About 30% of customers in the UK still buy home insurance this way, estimates Dilger.
PolicyCastle has also developed a ‘white label’ platform for businesses such as mortgage brokers, letting agents, or holiday home lets, a ‘natural synergy’, to help them digitise their processes.
The platform saves costs, develops the existing customer base and again sends better information back to insurers, says Dilger.
Smart device technology figures prominently in Dilger’s thinking and he believes it will become a feature of the insurance business going forward.
Using their mobile phone PolicyCastle customers already can monitor leaks or be notified when a big storm is heading their way.
The thinking even stretches to warning someone in a high crime area if their locks are sub-standard, while discounts are available for using specified devices.
PolicyCastle is going through a funding round to raise £1mln in seed capital or angel finance.
The sales and marketing function will be strengthened while the platform will be upgraded with artificial intelligence/machine learning to speed it up and allow new features such as online updating of inventory lists.