Case study: Amwins/FusionMGA link-up relies on easy APIs

Case study: Amwins/FusionMGA link-up relies on easy APIs

Insurance industry partnerships ideally give both sides something they didn’t have before, to the benefit of both. Such is the case with the recently announced linkup between global broker Amwins and FusionMGA, a cyber-focused insurtech MGA.

For Amwins, it was a question of beefing up its portal offerings.

“We’ve built a digital portal which our brokers are currently using, where you answer one question set that gets you quotes from up to 10 cyber markets - soon to have other products in there,” explained David Lewison (pictured), executive vice president and national professional lines practice leader for Amwins. “Fusion is a new insurtech MGA that was looking for distribution and we have integrated them into our portal. When retail brokers or customers want to see quotes from Fusion and get their coverage and related services for risk management, you can get that through our portal.”

Fusion has a risk analytics-focused cybersecurity platform designed to deliver cutting-edged cyber insurance that helps insureds, brokers and insurers. Its management team has a deep background in the cybersecurity and cyber insurance industries. Those elements helped Amwins address cyber “friction points” with its customers that it lacked in the past, Lewison said.

“There’s been a lot of friction in the market where if a risk comes in the door and they have insufficient security – they don’t have multifactor authentication … digital backups …. or endpoint protection – then the insurance marketplace says: ‘go away,’” Lewison said. “We’re trying to insure risks that are taking security seriously. As you can imagine, with small businesses that don’t have big budgets for IT security, there are a lot of risks that come through that aren’t prepared to lock the doors properly from the bad guys.”

In partnering with Fusion, Amwins explained that customers get insurance like they normally would, but then risk management services are deployed.

It is “a virtual tool that sits outside the network that helps stop communications from your network back to the hackers that says: ‘this door is open,’” Lewison said. “They also have employee training and other services available to help prevent the bad guys from getting in in the first place."

The integration

With the partnership came an integration, something that Lewison said didn’t take too long.

“It went very quickly,” Lewison said. “I feel like the whole process from start to finish took about a month and a half because they were eager for distribution, and we are eager for solution. The stars really aligned there.”

The integration revolved around Amwins’ new portal, which the company has been working on for 18 months.

Mike Cavanaugh (pictured immediately below), chief insurance officer for FusionMGA, said the integration comes down to a few simple steps.

Case study: Amwins/FusionMGA link-up relies on easy APIs -  2

“The first step is having a front end, which is what Amwins has done. Once you have that you are essentially creating an application,” Cavanaugh explained. “From the insurance perspective, we take the application questions that we have and map to those, so you ask the questions on the front end, and then we realize that.”

He said that Fusion pulls down the information people put in, sends it back to the underwriting engine and then integrates with it, toward the creation of a quote letter or other vital document.

That stage of the process is particularly important, Cavanaugh explained.

The step “is really … pulling it all together so that we can take that information that comes back and populate PDFs for quote letters, binders, policies – distributing that information where it needs to go to make sure people have risk management,” Cavanaugh said. “From a tech perspective, it’s actually pretty complex as to how you populate these documents … to make it actually happen.”

APIs are key

APIs make the communication process in an integration easy, Cavanaugh said.

“Everything is streamlined the way it’s set up to allow people to branch off and take different avenues with everything,” Cavanaugh said. “Some APIs are like an oak tree [where it] it splits off in all different directions. Ours is more like a cactus … It’s straight through [and] easy and just splits off as necessary.”

Fusion said that an integration timeframe can vary.

“Depending on what kind of product you’re looking to roll out it can be done in as little as seven days,” Cavanaugh said. Amwins took longer, he said, because “there was a lot of complexity.”

The average, he said, is six to eight weeks. At the same time, training is minimal.

“It’s more about getting familiar with the APIs,” he noted, adding some are more complex than others.

“We had to get on the same page about what the tech was [i.e.] what are the parameters,” Cavanaugh said, adding that once that happens, “everybody can go forth and do.”

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