Cloud InsurTech Interviews

Global Fintech Interview with Dan Woods, CEO at Socotra

Global Fintech Interview with Dan Woods, CEO at Socotra

Hi Dan, please tell us about your Fintech Company and how you started at Socotra.

Socotra brings unparalleled speed and ease to insurance technology by offering the industry’s most open and agile platform powerful enough for today’s innovators. With Socotra’s modern core platform, global insurers and insurtech MGAs can accelerate product development, reduce maintenance costs, and improve customer experiences. Socotra provides cloud-native architecture, open APIs, and a product-agnostic data model to manage the entire policy lifecycle, making insurance innovation faster, easier, and more affordable.

Insurance industry continues to be disrupted by technology. Which technologies are you keenly following to improve insurance?

Open and intuitive APIs – Socotra provides publicly-available documentation and intuitive APIs so developers can quickly understand the platform and easily connect Socotra to any third-party data source or custom frontend experience. When the insurer’s core system is natively equipped with this technology, the possibilities are endless. APIs and microservices allow the business access to new data sources and tools to improve their customer experience, underwriter and agent satisfaction, and risk assessment, which leads to faster, smarter decisions that will improve and grow the book of business. Now we’re making everyone’s job easier.

Cloud-native architecture – Socotra was built and optimized for the cloud. As a result, there are no fees, downtime, or potential data loss to upgrade the software. New features and releases are released weekly without any disruption for free.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Simon Hill, CEO and Founder at Wazoku

Tell us a little bit about Socotra’s insurance technology and how it benefits insuretech MGAs.

Every insurtech MGA starts with a product vision and a technology plan based on modern paradigms such as cloud, open APIs, and microservice design. The last thing a startup founder wants is to be forced onto legacy technology, even before it has a single customer. That’s why the initial wave of insurtechs chose to build their own core systems. The new wave of insurtechs has a modern off-the-shelf option in Socotra, and they are now choosing it in droves.

Chosen as the core system by 27 carriers and insurtech MGAs in the last 18 months, Socotra is unique in offering a proven and truly modern front-to-back platform for quickly launching and iterating insurance products. This advanced technology empowers insurers and MGAs to gain business agility, accelerate innovation, and reduce costs.

For example, by leveraging Socotra’s open documentation, Elpha Secure configured and launched a cyber insurance product entirely on its own in less than two months. Insurers everywhere are noticing what is now possible.

Please tell us about your recent Modern Policy Core platform and your collaboration with Players Health.

Players Health’s new product combines general liability, directors’ and officers’ coverage, and athlete medical coverage, and represents an industry breakthrough in addressing this problem, building on the growing trend toward embedded insurance.

This first-of-its-kind insurance offering is powered by Socotra, which allowed the company to develop and launch the highly complex product in only three months. The development of the product—which includes three types of insurance coverages, entailed 400 forms, and was launched in 41 states—would have taken one to two years using traditional methods and technologies.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Jussi Karjalainen, Founder & Managing Partner at Valtatech

Your predictions on the future of insurance technology and how other industries could also benefit from adopting insuretech solutions:

While publicly traded insurtechs have done poorly this year, no stock price declines or temporary economic situation changes the fact that the insurance industry has a full digital transformation ahead of it. Insurance represents 12% of GDP, but the industry is still the biggest tech laggard—a decade behind the banking industry.

Insurers need to catch up quickly, and investors now see insurtechs as providing the vehicle for that modernization. For far too long, insurers have built their own tech stacks or relied on legacy systems, which are very costly to maintain and even more costly to expand into new products, geographies, and distribution channels. The new wave of insurtechs are leveraging modern, off-the-shelf technology to reduce overhead costs, improve customer experiences, and bring products to market faster. Most importantly, this new way of building the tech stack allows insurtech founders to concentrate on providing the very best insurance offering with the right business model.

Your advice to Fintech professionals looking to adopt to ever-expanding technology innovations and marketing strategies:

If insurers want to quickly and easily connect their platforms to the next generation of insurance technology, they’ll need a developer-friendly ecosystem with public APIs. A partner-forward ecosystem is the foundation for insurers to seamlessly share data, improve customer experiences, and accelerate innovation.

The merits of cloud are well known, which is why all legacy insurance vendors are racing to proclaim that they’re now “cloud-based” or “cloud-enabled.” However, being in the cloud is a lot more than installing classic on-prem software on a public server.

How can insurers tell if their platform is actually cloud-native, or merely an on-prem transplant? You can simply request an evaluation login, because a true cloud platform should offer quick, free trial licenses. If the license lasts more than a week, it’ll upgrade automatically—and the upgrade will be so smooth, you’ll only notice if a new feature appears or you read the release notes.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Sisca Margaretta, CMO, EMEA and Asia Pacific at Experian

A fintech event/ conference/ webinar/ podcast that you would like to attend in 2022-2023:

We’re excited to host the Socotra Modern CoreTech Forum on Tuesday, September 20 at ITC Las Vegas 2022! This year’s forum will bring together industry leaders to discuss the role of technology in powering the insurance industry.

Specifically, the forum will focus on how carriers and MGAs can bring products to market faster and more easily by leveraging modern technology and its ecosystem. Speakers include executives from Hippo, MS Amlin, Mutual of Omaha, IAG, Symetra, Google, and MS&AD Ventures.

Attendees will also see a special demo of the new Socotra App MarketPlace, featuring apps from partners in the insurance industry’s only no-code app marketplace.

Thank you, Dan! That was fun and we hope to see you back on globalfintechseries.com soon.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

Dan Woods is the founder and CEO of Socotra, the first cloud-native and API-driven core platform for insurers. Socotra’s mission is to provide insurers with the advanced foundational technologies they’ll need to compete throughout the 21st century.

Socotra Logo

Socotra is focused on delivering agility to the trillion-dollar global insurance industry. Socotra works with global insurers to modernize their technology, making it easier for them to focus on creating innovative products to grow their business.

Serving one of the world’s largest and most technologically neglected industries, Socotra’s mission is to provide insurers with a modern, enterprise-grade core system that enables them to rapidly develop and distribute products that better serve their customers.

To take its mission to the next level, Socotra is expanding rapidly. It is seeking to grow its team and are looking for candidates who are passionate about making substantive change.

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