Love them or hate them, Microsoft’s products have changed the world. An analyst in Mumbai can send an electronic document to a client in Nairobi, with a copy to the solicitors in New York, and be sure it can be opened and read by everyone. Whether it’s a typed page, a spreadsheet, a photo, or even a meeting invitation, the standardisation of formats has been a boon for business.
Wouldn’t it be great if underwriting systems had the same seamless integration with wholesale and placing brokers’ own platforms? If a wholesale broker could submit a proposal to underwriters without having to exit their own in-house system? If responses were received the same way, igniting a flashing message alert on the broker’s desktop?
It can all happen through the power of application program interfaces, known to the world as APIs.
At Optio, we’re now using purpose-built API tools to link Optio Group’s proprietary Quote & Bind portal, Optio Connect, directly to brokers’ own bespoke systems and platforms. The connections streamline the risk placement process, and make the job of buying insurance much easier and more efficient for the intermediaries. They give Ascent powerful new avenues for digital distribution, and eliminate the need for data re-entry. They are the future.
For example, we’ve just used a purpose-coded Rate & Quote API to link Optio Connect directly into the systems of a specialist cyber-risk wholesaler. The connection allows fast and effective delivery of cyber insurance to buyers seeking cover in the $2.25 billion US cyber insurance market. Such linkages of our system to wholesale and retail insurance partners are the digital cornerstone of Optio’s multi-channel distribution strategy.
APIs can also be used to send data directly and instantaneously to our risk carriers’ own policy and administration systems. They take everyone in the chain into the world of efficient, practically error-free straight-through processing.
Our aim is to be the premier supplier of cyber coverage to US and Canadian brokers. We have the right product, whether the risk is a family-run business or a multinational. To achieve that, we will make our modular cyber product easily and immediately available to brokers, whether through an API connection, directly through the Quote & Bind functionality of Optio Connect, or, for more complex risks, through traditional broking channels.
In the months and years ahead, we will be rolling out further API connections to selected partner wholesalers and retailers around the world. Linking our platforms directly to those of our distribution partners allows them to deliver high-quality cyber coverage to their clients with unparalleled efficiency, and for Ascent to reach the world as easily as hitting ‘share’.