The Silicon Review
Embracing bespoke software packages is a modern day must for the insurance industry, according to Bob Brown, CEO at VIPR, a company pioneering software solutions for the insurance market. He believes that today it is virtually impossible for the industry to operate using older and more primitive processes, some of which were long a tradition in the market. With vast quantities of data coming into the market in a disorganized and non-standard format, insurers find it extremely difficult to properly understand the business they are writing and where the risks lie.
The industry has for some time been under pressure to modernize their systems in order to operate efficiently, as well as respond to increasing regulations. And because of this, customer expectations and requirements are at an all-time high.Bob Brown along with his brother, Richard previously ran a personal finance comparison website in the UK in 1997. However,after recognizing the struggles of the insurance industry and how they could help, the entrepreneurs decided to sell the business and launch VIPR. With experience of creating technologically advanced software, the duo developed a portfolio of products to meet the growing demands of the insurance industry, tailoring solutions fit for its clients. They believe that listening to their clients is what has made them a success, and that this approach is imperative in order to deliver products that meet challenges its clients are facing in the industry.
Active Underwriter got the ball rolling
VIPR started its venture withActive Underwriter – an online quote and bind solution that was rolled out to accommodate the end-to-end transaction of insurance business, in real time. With Active Underwriter, a quote can be produced from an electronic proposal form and the policy is then bound. Once complete, the premiums can be collected efficiently and all documentation can be produced. This means that everything remains compliant and all actions are recorded within one system. Furthermore, during the life of the policy, any adjustments and renewals can be made automatically.
In order for VIPR to meet clients requirements, the company explains that each system is built on a bespoke basis. “We develop Active Underwriter around our clients’ needs, for example it can include features whereby underwriters are automatically notified if a risk is unusual in any way, allowing the factor of human judgement to still play an important role in the management of risk and development of a book of business,” says Bob Brown.
Active Underwriter has been a very successful product for VIPR and has helped its clients speed up the process by which quotes are received and information passed back and forth between an underwriter, MGA and eventual customer.
The Success Story
Starting a new company is always going to be challenging, and although it was a slow start for VIPR to get its first few customers, the entrepreneurs have grown the company into an award winning business, highly regarded amongst its peers. In 2017 VIPR featured within a number of respected publications including contributing to the Parliamentary Review commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Today, VIPR has grown from a team of three employees to over 35 with a portfolio of four sophisticated software solutions, including; Active Underwriter, Intrali, a bordereaux management solution, Active Reports, a reporting tool and Intarga, an online workflow product. The company has also launched a new service called VIPR Managed Service (VMS), providing end-to-end software management. Its clients include insurance companies, managing agents, MGA’s and brokers – many of which are part of the Lloyd’s Market.
Driven by its clients, VIPR’s business model is centered around its customers and it continues to form strong bonds with them from the very first meeting. Even after product implementation, VIPR maintains its relationships, inviting clients to regular user group meetings so that insights can be shared – it is often the case that these meetings determine new future innovations and therefore developed with VIPR’s clients in mind. Bob Brown states “This tailored approach and our flexibility is what we’ve found to really attract new clients - it’s what they want.”
VIPR’s success has continued onto the digital realm with the company recognizing the opportunity to connect with its customers through the use of social media. Since June 2015, VIPR has employed a marketing agency to handle its social media strategy. Through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn VIPR has expanded its customer reach by offering helpful advice, tips, industry news and information on VIPR’s services and products. Bob Brown comments “Tapping into the customer at every given opportunity is pivotal in creating and sustaining growth and increasing our business advantage amongst the competition. It is our customers that have ultimately made VIPR a success and driven the business forward.”
Managing General Agent, MGAM was looking for sophisticated technological solutions so they could offer its clients first-class underwriting management solutions, improved services and deliver better underwriting results to insurers. VIPR delivered a core systems package including Intrali, Intarga and Active Reports as well as a completely bespoke Insurance Broking Accounts (IBA) platform that was faster, more intuitive and user-friendly than anything else on the market. All systems were integrated to avoid mishandling of information through the software and deliver the best of the best on the market.
MGAM Founder, Jason Anthony, stated, “We now have the infrastructure in place to sustain in the MGA sector, enabling us to add value to carriers and our clients by disrupting the market and finding untapped distribution channels. Our focus is on delivering exceptional service to our clients, and with VIPR we have the IT solutions to help us do just that.”
VIPR’s software solutions help insurers to have a better understanding of their data and manage their back-office processes. However, even with modern systems in place there is still a need for some human intervention, and this can cause problems in organizations that are under-resourced. This is where VMS came in – a solution in conjunction with London consultants JDX. This fully managed service is operated by trained staff to take the pressure off VIPR’s clients who don’t have the internal resource or expertise to manage their mission-critical systems.
Bob Brown is the CEO and Co-founder of VIPR. He started his career in the insurance industry working as a Lloyd’s broker for over 20 years, including 15 years with Marsh. At VIPR, Bob is responsible for the overall strategy and sales, including expanding VIPR on a global scale. Outside the office boating and cycling are two of Bob’s passions.
Richard Brown is the Director and Co-founder of VIPR. At VIPR, Richard oversees management of the business and he is fully involved in client relations, as well as product strategy and development. Owning a business is very challenging, so when Richard has some spare time, he enjoys cooking, which he finds very relaxing.
Keep in touch
Web link: www.viprsolutions.com