How Tokio Marine HCC – CPLG is gearing up for the growth of digital broker platforms

The technology is "launching the industry into the next era"

How Tokio Marine HCC – CPLG is gearing up for the growth of digital broker platforms


By Gia Snape

This article was produced in partnership with Tokio Marine HCC – Cyber & Professional Lines Group.

Gia Snape of Insurance Business America sat down with Kelly Bailey, director, cyber product & technology innovation, and Priscilla Winnek, underwriting manager, cyber at Tokio Marine HCC – CPLG, a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies based in Houston, Texas, to discuss the growth of digital insurance platforms and the impact on specialty commercial lines.

The commercial insurance industry is undergoing a transformative shift with the rise of digital distribution and platforms.

Despite the learning curve and the challenges of balancing technology with personal interaction, the future of digital insurance is bright. With their commitment to innovation and expertise, Tokio Marine HCC—Cyber & Professional Lines Group is helping pave the way for adoption.

“Digital distribution has truly modernized commercial insurance,” said Kelly Bailey (pictured right), director, cyber product & technology innovation at CPLG.

“Industries with deep roots can struggle with rapid technological development, but those growing pains are worth it. It launches the industry into the next era and gives carriers a better way to serve their clients, making them more efficient.”

Priscilla Winnek (pictured left), underwriting manager, cyber at CPLG, predicted demand for digital broker platforms would continue to grow.

“We want to be part of that growth,” she told Insurance Business. “This means adding more products and expanding the qualifications for digitally serviced insurance.

“For example, we’ve already doubled the revenue cap for digital applicants. We predict higher revenues, higher limits, and more flexible terms will continue to shape this digital market, and we’re ready.”

A digital revolution in specialty commercial insurance

Digital insurance platforms have become much more prominent over the last decade. They emerged first in the personal lines space and revolutionized how policyholders purchase car and home insurance.

Innovations in insurtech, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain, as well as investments, have powered these changes. According to a Research and Markets report, the valuation of the global digital insurance platform market will nearly double to $231.8 billion in 2028 from $124.4 billion in 2023.

A similar shift is happening in the commercial space, impacting the entire industry, not just insurtechs or carriers, according to Bailey. The evolution of digital platforms in commercial insurance can have tremendous benefits for brokers, particularly regarding speed and flexibility.

“The digitization of insurance distribution benefits the entire industry, offering brokers a more effective way of servicing their clients,” said Bailey.

These capabilities are especially significant in cyber and other specialty products because such products become more accessible.

“Using these tools, brokers can receive a quote and bind business on their own time,” Winnek said. “They have flexibility to amend limits and deductibles and to change terms. When quoting via aggregators, brokers facilitate fast comparison of terms, which allows them to provide terms to several applicants quickly.”

Brokers face hurdles to digital adoption

However, the transition to digital platforms is not without its challenges. Brokers often face a steep learning curve as they adapt to new technology.

“Anytime there’s an opportunity to learn new technology, there can be some trepidation upfront,” Bailey acknowledged. To ease this transition, CPLG works hard to assure brokers that digital terms are valid and reliable.

“We stand behind our technology and provide peace of mind to our users,” she added.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another technological frontier impacting digital platforms for brokers. AI and generative AI tools are increasingly integrated into both front-end and back-end processes.

Bailey believes the industry should take a balanced approach to incorporating AI, as AI will play a significant role in the future of digital platforms.

“While optimism and skepticism are both warranted, it’s crucial to be deliberate in how we use new AI tools,” she said.

She also addressed brokers’ apprehension about unfamiliar technologies, saying that initial hesitation is a natural part of the adoption process.

“At CPLG, we work hard to reassure our brokers that the digital terms they receive from us are valid, and we stand behind them,” Bailey said. “Our superior backend technology, predictive analytics, and non-intrusive network scans help us deliver a reliable and complete offering.

“While it takes time to get used to a new way of doing business, we’ve found that once brokers produce a few quotes, they’re sold on the process. If you’re focused on growing in the small-business space, this is key to transacting that business effectively.”

Balancing digital tools with a human connection

Balancing the efficiency of AI and cutting-edge technology with the human touch is crucial to the future success of digital insurance platforms.

To better serve brokers, who may be accustomed to traditional communication methods and value personal interactions, CPLG ensures continuous communication with their clients, checking in regularly and addressing feedback.

“We have a dedicated digital underwriting team who is focused on answering questions from our clients immediately,” said Winnek.

“Whether that means discussing coverage or offering changes to terms, our team is ready to help. All our underwriting staff, digitally and through our traditional channel, have the same in-depth expertise.

Winnek also emphasized that the stigma around digital platforms—that they detract from brokers’ relationships and collaboration with underwriters—is false.

“Just because it’s digital does not mean the connection is gone,” Winnek said. “We are still connected, doing check-ins, and communicating on accounts that may not fit the appetite of risks that qualify for the platform. We strive to maintain strong relationships, and we want brokers to know there are underwriters managing the digital platform.”

The TMHCC edge in digital distribution

Finally, CPLG also boasts a talented in-house technology team that ensures its cutting-edge offerings meet clients’ needs.

“We’re constantly implementing new features, and that’s based entirely on feedback from our brokers,” Bailey said. “So, Priscilla’s team, combined with our cutting-edge technology, really positions us as a top carrier, both digitally and offline.”

Ultimately, Tokio Marine HCC’s rich history in cyber insurance and technological expertise makes it well-positioned for the future of digital distribution.

“Digital distribution is just another opportunity to serve our clients better,” Bailey said. “With over a decade of experience underwriting cyber and leading in-house technology has set us up well to be a leading digital platform player.

“Using technology to service accounts quickly and efficiently is beneficial for everyone, so continuing to use the technology and not being afraid to use it is important,” she said.

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