The Silicon Review
In today’s world, insurers have multiple options to help resolve insurance claims beyond sending them to adjusters. Using video tools, for instance, a carrier can help resolve homeowner and auto claims with desk adjusters collaborating live with customers. Carriers can also send drone operators, water mitigation vendors, and many other resources directly to address causes or resulting damages of various perils without engaging someone to first perform a damage estimate. These options are growing exponentially every year with the advent of new technologies, including IoT or connected home devices.
However great these new options are, carriers need a decisioning and routing system that knows which to engage given the specific opportunity. This is where Claimatic comes in. It serves as a bolt-on brain that sits on top of existing carrier claims systems to optimize the distribution of claims to the right resources.
We recently interviewed Larry Cochran, Founder and CEO of Claimatic, to know more about the company’s story of evolution and its innovations. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. What was the motivation behind starting Claimatic?
Around 2009, I was looking at what choke points were going to keep IAS Claim Services from scaling to be a national claims services provider.
It didn’t take long to see that we had to have a technology platform that would allow us to automate the onboarding and management of thousands of insurance claims adjusters and all their various credentials including licenses, certifications, and experience. Once we had this information, we could then focus on automating the process of matching claims received by our insurance customers to the optimal adjusters. We looked everywhere in the market for an off-the-shelf solution and could not find one, so this is when we decided to take the leap into tech development and invest significantly in our own solution.
Four years and multiple development projects later (many of which were failures!), we launched Claimatic for our own use. Shortly after, around 2015, a top three P&C carrier asked if they could license Claimatic to do the same for them, and this is when we spun Claimatic out to be an independent SaaS for carriers.
Q. Could you tell us about Claimatic’s journey of evolution as it grew with its innovations for the Insurance industry?
When we first launched Claimatic it was very basic and worked off rigid algorithms that were programmed after working with our customers on desired workflows. The same went for reporting. We would work with customers to design reports and once done, they would need to ticket request any future reports to put into development. There were many similar static elements to our system overall. While we continued to work with existing customers, we stood up a team to develop Claimatic 2.0 to eliminate as much client or custom work as possible. Now, Claimatic customers develop, test, and deploy their own decisioning without involving us or even their own IT departments. We did the same with reporting, and we also deployed a mobile application that allowed the tracking and management of adjusters in real time using telemetry data. We are very proud of all the firsts we’ve achieved in the industry, but especially, after years in process, recently receiving a patent for triage, location tracking and automated assignment of insurance claims by the USPTO.
Q. How important is the entrepreneurial spirit of the Claimatic team for the company’s success?
The entrepreneurial spirit seems to have been all we’ve had to lean on many times over the past 10 years! There’s a reason that there are not many insurance claims automation SaaS companies in the world – it’s really tough. To be a true SaaS, you have to build something that is both uniquely relevant and valuable to a very specific company with niche needs, while making it scalable to where all companies can leverage the same base code and infrastructure, allowing for more benefits to accrue for each customer as more customers are added. To do this without a billion-dollar budget, you have to have a team that perfectly complements each other and all with an enduring will to win.
Q. How important is the work culture at Claimatic?
Culture is number one for Claimatic. We are a very lean organization, but we are very heavy in experience. In order to have a team of stars all pulling in the same direction, we have to first only bring people on that we know align to our entrepreneurial spirit to innovate, break things, learn, fix things and keep doing it again in all facets of our business. By embracing this over everything else, we have deep bonds internally where we all experience failure and success together – there is no one singled out. To grow therefore, we push each other to do what the outside says can’t be done. Each time we do this, we all get a boost to keep growing as we see our products embraced and our top and bottom lines improving.
Q. How have you adapted since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The pandemic created a number of instant changes to the industry. Like millions of other businesses across the world, the main thing we had to do was move to a 100% virtual world, sending management, customer support, engineers, sales and everyone in between to work from their homes. If there’s one thing a startup typically leans on as an advantage over larger, more established companies, it’s that you have a tight-knit group that works very closely and collaboratively throughout each day and, oftentimes, night. In order to try and maintain some of this edge, we had to stand up the use of multiple communication and collaboration tools that allowed our teams to continue to work as much as possible as a tight unit. We also had to change the way we ideated on challenges or new innovations. Gone was the opportunity to just drop in and chat up everyone or whiteboard ideas on the fly with someone. So, we had to develop established regular video meetings that forced us to have those discussions in a less spontaneous manner. This has proven to have both positive and negative impacts on innovation, but overall, we’ve been able to keep our edges sharp.
Q. Do you have any new innovative services ready to be launched?
We have developed a white-labeled First Notice of Loss (FNOL) app in conjunction with a partner that provides mid-size insurers an off-the-shelf, ready to deploy product. We have also been working on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligent (AI) projects designed to make our clients’ claims management processing automatically learn from each claim to improve decisioning and execute those decisions without need for any hands-on intervention, as well as predictive staffing capabilities
Q. What does the road ahead look like for Claimatic?
While we’ve created several firsts in claims technology, we believe claims InsurTech is still in its infancy. With the continued proliferation of new micro-niche technologies coming from numerous companies aimed at very discreet choke points or customer service improvements, the need for a far more nimble, intelligent quarterback armed with a carrier-specific playbook is even more of an imperative. This is where we have our sights set and believe there is a lot of blue sky ahead.
Larry Cochran, Founder and CEO
Larry Cochran is a self-made serial entrepreneur who’s spent the better part of the last two decades innovating and scaling businesses in insurance. He has a passion for challenging the status quo and enjoys finding, acquiring, and growing talent to share in the vision and mission of shaking things up.