Written by Seraina Macia
Let’s be honest (and I note this with great humility): I’m a well-known entity as an insurance executive, having spent several decades in the insurance industry across three continents and as an executive at some of the biggest insurance companies in the world. My record in the insurance industry is well documented.
Most people, though, when asked to name a technology executive, probably wouldn’t put me anywhere on their list. While they could be forgiven for it, they’d be wrong to overlook Joyn as a technology company in addition to an insurance company.
I’ve written before that our North Star at Joyn is the concept of 10x thinking: everything we do aims to be ten times better than the traditional way of doing business. And when we set out to do insurance ten times better than the legacy carriers who have long dominated the market, we knew we were going to need the right technology to make it happen.
In other words, Joyn was always going to be two companies working symbiotically as one organism: an insurance company offering a best-in-class product and a technology company powering the experience Joyn provides from start to finish.
That’s a critical acknowledgement and distinction, because it spurred us to approach the problems we set out to solve—the nagging problems that have long plagued brokers and insureds—with the mindset of a technology company.
One way we did this was by asking how technology can enhance the underwriting process and what we needed to build to make it happen. To answer that question, we conducted an experiment.
Starting with the premise that it takes an underwriter, on average, eight hours—or 480 minutes—to underwrite a piece of business, we applied our goal of doing things 10x better. That gave us our goal of getting the process down to 48 minutes or less. We started a timer and watched how the individual underwriters went through their process.
Those 48 minutes proved to be illustrative. When the time was up, the inefficiencies in the process and the decision making could not have been more stark. While everyone had a different way of doing things, so much of what we saw were massive inefficiencies—things that were being worked out or found manually but that could easily be automated to save huge amounts of time.
We also saw areas where underwriters were making assumptions that could easily be validated or disproven by available data. In other areas, we saw real opportunities, particularly where the data could allow us to write business that traditional carriers would decline.
If you look at our team, you’ll see the extent to which we are both an insurance company and a technology company. Alongside our professionals who deal with underwriting, risk, and distribution, you’ll see professionals with backgrounds in technology, computer science, theoretical physics, mathematics, logic, and data science. And, critically, our tech professionals know just as much about insurance as our underwriters know about tech, making us a fully integrated team.
The technology that we’ve built was designed to transform the commercial insurance industry, making the insurance experience smarter, more efficient, more customer friendly, and more joyful. It allows us to make smarter and faster underwriting decisions, which in turn allows us to make good on our promises to respond to every submission quickly and accurately. And the downstream benefits to brokers and insureds flow from there.
You may not think of Joyn as a technology company yet—but I’m confident you will. We understand technology and we don’t just see it as our competitive edge, but we see it as table stakes for doing business in the 21st century.