Last week, Applied Systems announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Indio Technologies, Inc. (Indio).
The acquisition aims to help deliver tight integration between Applied Epic and Indio’s insurance application and renewal process solution, creating significant productivity and speed advantages for agents and brokers.
It also expands Applied’s commercial lines solutions and demonstrates the company’s commitment to advancing connectivity in the insurance lifecycle. The acquisition is a critical component of its investment in digitizing the end-to-end commercial lines submissions process.
In commercial lines insurance, the data gathering process to quote new and renewal business is cumbersome, often with data being entered multiple times in multiple points of entry, which creates an increased likelihood of error and leads to friction, causing higher costs and lost sales opportunities.
“Applied’s investment in Indio is a major statement of our commitment to automating the commercial lines submission process and enabling agencies, brokers, insurers and insureds to engage with each other and exchange data needed in the sales process more efficiently,” says Taylor Rhodes, CEO at Applied Systems.
“Indio really answered the mail for agents, brokers and carriers in terms of how they built their product,” Rhodes says. “It's a perfect fit for Indio to join team Applied and combine the power of Indio’s customer-facing product on data capture and workflow, integrate that tightly with Applied Epic and then be able to start working with carriers for commercial lines submissions.”
The inspiration for Indio’s products ignited when Michael Furlong, CEO and co-founder of Indio, had to buy commercial lines insurance for a previous startup. “It was a manual process where my broker would send me all this confusing paperwork,” Furlong says. “It was just a nightmare of a process. I thought that the whole technological aspect of this is really behind and there's so much paperwork and data collection.”
The result: “A white-label interface where all these forms are digitized, the data maps across the forms and they can use it with their customers in what feels like a TurboTax-like experience to fill out all the data requirements involved in the commercial insurance application process,” Furlong says.
Furlong and Rhodes both come from a technology background but their “broader visions for the insurance industry are in harmony,” Furlong says. “So, it made a lot of sense to partner in a really substantial manner and become a part of Applied to more greatly integrate with Epic, as well as leverage IVANS, because building out connections on the carrier side is a big focus for us in the future.”
IVANS, a division of Applied, will leverage Indio to expand its leading data exchange capabilities to connect agencies and brokers to insurers and automate information exchange throughout the submission process, minimizing friction and creating greater value for each stakeholder.
Improving the data delivery process to the carriers “improves the workflow and communication between the carriers and the broker,” Furlong says. “With IVANS, being the leading provider of carrier connectivity with over 400 carrier relationships, we're going to be able to immediately leverage it to propel data transmission to the carrier. This completes the three-party aspect of our system and there's really no better partner for us than IVANS to do that.”
Although new pricing is yet to be determined, it is set to increase. However, Indio quantified the return on investment that's involved in relation to the time savings and the retention benefits and found that agents and brokers “are paying just 10% of the value of what they're getting,” Furlong says.
“The reason Indio is doing so well is because it's such an understandable and clearly quantifiable benefit,” Rhodes agrees. “They've gotten down to the point where they can really understand how much time and cost technology saves on a per person basis within an agency.”
Indio’s technology will remain a horizontal solution for the insurance industry and “we intend to keep it that way,” Rhodes says. “The value of getting out of double data entry and all of that sort of pain is the number one request, so that's the first agenda item.”
Will Jones is IA senior editor.