Cloud Insurance started life after a string of coincidences. Axel Sjøstedt was studying at university and to help pay the student financing he did some tech consulting on the side. One client to approach him was a large insurance broker that wanted a digitised claims experience. Their existing process had them receive claims reports via snail mail and then manually enter the information into an old system. After seeing a company as big as this using slow and outdated methods, Sjøstedt believed there was an opportunity to help insurers around the world with their digitalisation.
Sjøstedt said, “I find it quite fascinating that a student from a small country in a big world could eventually end up with multiple clients across the globe. Because the typical scenario is where these guys are working with a British insurance broker in London and they know some guys in the US that have a similar problem and so on.”
After finishing their studies, Sjøstedt and his co-founder Håvard L. Nilsen realised there was an opportunity for a new business and went on to create Cloud Insurance.
Cloud Insurance is an end-to-end, software-as-a-service (SaaS) insurance technology developer. Based in Norway, its technology lets a client build a digital insurance solution so they can launch in new markets, onboard new partners and improve customer experience. It offers solutions to improve claims, policies, claims, distribution, workflows, CRM and more. Its clients boast 50% decrease in time to market, 40% rise in revenue and a 50% boost to customer satisfaction.
While Cloud Insurance is fixing the issue with legacy systems within the insurance sector, the bigger problem it is tackling is outdated customer experiences. Sjøstedt said, “The old ways of doing things simply don’t cut it.” Younger consumers have grown up with sleek apps and digital processes and also expect products that are relevant to them specifically. As a result, insurance firms need to improve their customer experience to meet these new demands.
This is what Cloud Insurance was built to do. Its mission is to help insurance firms offer attractive products to their customers. As part of this, the InsurTech company has gradually put more focus on the distribution side of insurance. Instead of helping to provide the right products to the right customers, it is now helping to meet customers in the right distribution channel.
With rising trends, such as embedded insurance, there are many more ways to meet potential customers. Firms need to be ready to adapt and reach people wherever they might be. Sjøstedt added that one of the mega trends in insurance is the shift of the value chain. It is no longer enough for an insurance company to sell one product to one customer. “In our chaotic and exciting world, it’s simply not the way it works anymore. It’s a battle to be close to the consumer across all industries.”
To stay relevant, companies need to be creative in where they find their customers. For example, reaching customers where insurance can be a quick add-on is a great way to reach more people. “You could choose to be passive and resistant, or you could choose to view this as an opportunity. I think the ones that view it as an opportunity will be the ones that survive.”
Cloud Insurance’s APIs are designed for those insurers looking to rise up to the challenge. Not only can they sell through various third parties, but they can also access dynamic pricing by leveraging IoT sensor data to change prices on an individual level. Additionally, companies can implement microinsurance policies that can be turned on and off at will. “Since the system is not built in a way where you have the static annual policy but built for a much more dynamic and individualized future, they have lots of opportunities on their product development side.”
Why Cloud Insurance?
With the InsurTech sector being rife with competition, it is hard to find the right solution. What helps Cloud Insurance stand out from the pack is how it helps teams capitalise on growth. Clients can quickly launch new products and as it is a SaaS and cloud-native platform, there is huge potential to create something unique.
However, one of the biggest boons of Cloud Insurance is how it lets the firm spend less time worrying about the technology, and more time on offering customers the best products. Sjøstedt said, “if you work with us, our goal is that IT should be an enabling factor so these talented product developers and business developers can go out and do what they want to do in order to reach their business goals or grow their business.”
Cloud Insurance has multiple success stories, but one that Sjøstedt highlighted was with iNext, which offers international travel protection and is a division of CIEE, an international non-profit study abroad organisation. iNext had initially attempted to build their own IT system internally with the help of an external supplier of CRM systems. This didn’t work out and in 2017, iNext reached out to work with Cloud Insurance. Since then, Cloud Insurance has helped the company access flexible infrastructure that is designed for scalability.
“We have actually never met these guys in person, even though we have a very close working relationship with them. it illustrates that we have done this strong remote delivery model from the very beginning.”
Cloud Insurance has many other happy customer stories like this one. The reason for this is largely down to its great team. Sjøstedt explained, “in order to stay competitive we need to attract the right talent and make sure that we build a team that’s very capable.” This is why hiring a strong team has been a constant focus, whether it is getting technology connoisseurs or experts in the particularities of the insurance industry.
Aside from people, Cloud Insurance is great at learning. There is a strong feedback loop within operations, ensuring they know the good and the bad of a product, so they can always push to improve their services for customers. In line with this, Cloud Insurance always has at least one large innovation project running at a time. Currently, its major innovation initiative is working around no-code and how it can transform what it does.
On to the future
Over the past year, Cloud Insurance has formed a handful of new partnerships and is always on the lookout for more. It recently teamed up with Safely, a Stockholm-based digital insurance platform. The companies decided to work together to transform insurance in the Nordic region.
As part of the agreement, Safely has access to all of Cloud Insurance’s technology, including tools for CRM, administration of policies and renewals, reporting, premium collection and payments, sales and customer onboarding. Through this, Safely could build a next-gen online insurance platform.
Partnerships have been a priority for Cloud Insurance over the years, having launched its Partner Distribution strategy in 2020. The programme covers three core pillars – sales and referral, integration and implementation, and support and operations. The goal of the programme is to work with others to build products for customers around the world.
Sjøstedt sees partnerships as a secret to success. “To succeed in this space you have to look for the cases where one plus one equals more than two. Partnerships are vital for us both from a distribution perspective and also a product perspective.”
Sjøstedt understands it is impossible to be the best at everything. To that end, Cloud Insurance is designed to work with third-party software and services. As it continues to grow, the ability to connect to other solutions is only going to become more important. Sjøstedt explained that the goal is to be part of a wider ecosystem. “We are not afraid to let others do the part of the job or the offering. It’s rather the contrary, we think it strengthens our proposition and it makes the customers happy.”
As for 2022, the company has a lot of big goals. These include increasing its customer base, expanding into more geographies and moving into new verticals. Additionally, it is looking to increase its financials by 2.5-times compared to 2022. To top it all off, Cloud Insurance is also exploring a Series A funding round.
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