Western Skies selects Gradient AI product to serve small businesses

MGU to use key product to provide stop-loss access to small, self-funded groups

Western Skies selects Gradient AI product to serve small businesses


By Ryan Smith

Insurtech Gradient AI has announced that managing general underwriter Western Skies is now using its SAIL product to provide stop-loss access to smaller, self-funded groups.

Western Skies is using Gradient AI’s SAIL to tap into new markets and offer more affordable insurance plans to small and mid-size businesses, the insurtech said.

Small and mid-size businesses often want more affordable, self-funded insurance plans, however, limited access to small business claims data means that stop-loss insurers often decline to take on SME clients. That includes Western Skies, which has historically partnered with brokers, general agents and third-party administrators that represent companies with 150 or more employees.

However, that excludes a large slice of the market, Gradient AI said. According to recent data from the NAICS Association, more than 89% of the 18 million businesses in the US operate with fewer than 100 employees.

SAIL’s breadth and depth of data and predictive analytics will allow Western Skies to extend its reach to the small business market, Gradient AI said.

“Gradient AI’s technology is revolutionary and on the leading edge of the industry,” said Dave Kesler, vice president of underwriting for Western Skies. “It has enabled us to innovate and deliver new insurance solutions to the market. With Gradient AI, we can combine our strengths from our traditional business with SAIL’s predictive analytics to reach new markets that were previously unattainable. This has been a game-changer for Western Skies.”

In addition to growing its target market, Western Skies is also expanding geographically. Having done most of its business in the Southeast, the MGU is now using SAIL’s data sets and capabilities to expand west and northeast, Gradient AI said.

“We’re excited to partner with Western Skies, offering innovative new insurance opportunities to the small business market,” said Stan Smith, founder and CEO of Gradient AI. “With this stop-loss insurance partnership, everybody wins. Employers and employees can obtain insurance at more competitive rates, and Western Skies and their partnering brokers, agents and TPAs can now serve a new market segment.”

Last month, Gradient AI announced that health insurance captive Roundstone Insurance had chosen the SAIL product to help customers better assess risk. In March, the company announced that The Provant Group, a national commercial insurance brokerage, was utilizing the product.

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