B.C. insurtech aims to simplify sales

Mar. 23, 2020 — A NEW insurance technology company in B.C. is aiming to dramatically cut the costs of selling insurance by taking brokers out of the equation. 

Surrey-based Awywi is working to launch a website that will allow customers to obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies and instantly purchase a policy online. 

The company will rely on artificial intelligence to match customers with insurers and get them the best policy. Awywi is currently focusing on building partnerships with insurers who will sell through their site, company co-founder Steve Kaukinen told Thompson’s

It plans to work with a limited number of quality insurers to give customers the best experience, he said, likely capping the number at five to 10 insurance companies per line of business, similar to traditional brokers. 

“The customer will get multiple quotes through all of our insurers through our platform. It’s extraordinarily easy to use, and it allows the customer now to not only to get a quote, but all of our companies will allow their policies to be instantly bought,” Mr. Kaukinen said. 

Policy changes and updates can be made the same way, something that really sets the company apart, he added. “Nobody ever has to touch it, which is where the big savings come in. “We make our money on a policy administration fee. But the estimated savings a company can make are about 50% on their policy administration costs because they don’t have any anymore.” 

That will be a big change, as the industry hasn’t been able to move the needle on expenses for more than 30 years, he said, with the expense ratio staying at 30%. 

“If we’re the broker, then we can pass 100% of the commission on to our customers and ensure they get zero commission insurance,” he said. 

“There is no broker right now that will ever say I can, or would be willing, to write insurance policies with zero commission.” 

Mr. Kaukinen said that while some complex insurance policies will always require a broker, for the average consumer buying a simple home or auto policy, this system will fulfil their requirements. 

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