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Holly Miller 20th Jan 2022

Competitive advantage in a global insurance market

Ranked as a top-10 broker by Lloyd’s, and with 900 staff in locations across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, Corant Global is an established leader in insurance. They are a wholesale specialty insurance and reinsurance broker, offering key services for their specialty brands which include Ed Broking, Besso and Piiq. Making insurance products simple and easily accessible is key to the company’s success. Corant already had a digitisation plan to drive transformation across the business. This included simplifying the complexities of their business, improving internal processes and delivering a digital customer experience that would differentiate them in the global marketplace.

Speaking at Mendix World 2021, the world’s largest virtual low-code event, Peter Hughes, Group Head of Application Development at Corant Global, joined AuraQ’s Technical Director, Iain Lindsay, to discuss how low-code and working with an experienced delivery partner enabled rapid development and a huge digital product pipeline.

Picking up the Pace of Change

Opening his presentation, Hughes comments “There’s huge demand for technology to be introduced across the whole [insurance] industry,” With many industry-standard systems being nearly 20 years old, “It’s easy to see how operational efficiencies can be improved.” And Corant  recognised this across both internal and external systems and processes, knowing that being the first provider to be able to offer clients fresh digital experiences would provide a “significant advantage.”

As with many organisations around the globe, COVID provided an additional challenge. Corant’s revenues had grown by 14% in 2019 and they had to immediately transition their operations from office-based to entirely remote while trying to maintain momentum. The execution of their existing digital strategy, while a high priority for Corant, had to significantly accelerate to meet that need.

To ensure their digital strategy would be effective, Corant identified essential criteria for their digitalisation program:

  • System interconnectivity
  • Process and operational efficiencies
  • Fast time to market
  • Digitisation of both existing and new products
  • Strong client services

Low-code proved to be the solution to deliver on all of these needs. With Mendix identified as the enabling technology, to fulfil their acceleration plan, Corant needed to also be able to work with an experienced professional services delivery partner. “It was always our plan to upscale and cross-train our existing development team to become self-sufficient,” said Hughes. “But we needed to accelerate the development.” Mendix provided both a strong low-code platform and a strong delivery partner in AuraQ.

Immediate Needs, Immediate Deliverables

Within the first three months, AuraQ worked with the team at Corant to migrate two products away from legacy technology and built three brand-new applications on the Mendix platform. Hughes noted that these very early wins “generated a lot of interest across the group and the development activities grew from that.” In just over 18 months, AuraQ had collaborated with Corant on over 20 Mendix projects. This has included a new client portal allowing clients to go through the entire purchase process, from automatic, dynamic quote generation through to binding the policy, using application-generated policy documentation.

In addition, AuraQ has also created several products which improve internal processes for Corant colleagues. A new client portal helps Corant staff manage activities, such as adjustments and claims management, as well as processing to help Corant’s finance team collect on premium payments.

By using the Mendix platform and engaging with AuraQ, Corant now has a risk and compliance solution around collecting data and the necessary due diligence required prior to starting business with any organisation. This application provides sanction screening with LexisNexis, and then also manages the ongoing refresh of that data giving the current entities a good view on the possible risks of dealing with certain companies. In addition, Corant can now also generate a claims and premium data report called a bordereau, which is a compliance measure for Lloyd’s of London.

The speed with which Corant can deploy new applications and products has allowed them to keep adding to their roadmap, the AuraQ team has consistently delivered elegant, effective products to meet these needs.

Creating Competitive Advantage with Low-code

Corant Global saw immediate results on several levels after they decided to make the move to low-code with Mendix and AuraQ. Hughes noted, “It’s the speed of delivering new products to market and being able to adapt quickly to market changes. Our client offerings give us a competitive advantage.” Within just 18 months, Corant has seen a decreased time to market for new products and an increase in its ability to test and respond to market changes. Additionally, their cyber insurance products saw a positive return on investment in just 3 months, and a single Mendix-backed app generated over $1m in a single year.

These culminated in $19.6m in gross written premium in 2020, along with a 10-fold increase of forecasted quotes in the next 3 years. With this performance, Corant is seeing the short-term benefits and is well set up for long-term gain.

On the operational side, Corant is also seeing substantial benefit from building applications that drive efficiency. “We built a solution for one division where they can process more business without having a larger team.” That solution saved the division $120,000 in a single year.

Corant is also taking steps to upskill their in-house development team, with seven of their developers now Mendix-certified. This provides the benefit of expanding future development capability, and also lessening the need for continuous partner support.

“Try something new”

One of the biggest values Corant has seen with Mendix is the ability to partner with an experienced and expert delivery partner in AuraQ. “Engaging with a delivery partner early on will really help you get the most out of the platform,” Hughes relayed while discussing the benefits. He continued, “The expertise, best practices, these can all be used to enable your own team. And while your team are being upskilled and trained, you can also get things delivered using the partner resource.”

Giving similar praise to our client, we (AuraQ) compliment the strong direction from Corant: “With the pace that Mendix development teams can build with the platform, having a dedicated product owner that’s available to answer questions…and also to kind of make the key decisions on prioritization, I think that’s absolutely critical to maintain the pace of development.”

18 months ago, Corant Global knew where they needed to be and knew that they needed to get there quickly. Their desire to innovate and their decision to try low-code with Mendix and AuraQ paid off, resulting in new solutions that are differentiators in the market, both for customers and for colleagues. Their growing product pipeline will allow them to continue to be leaders and to grow. As Hughes concludes, “Mendix can really help you innovate, so try something new.”

Watch the full presentation on-demand HERE.

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