One announcement that’s generating buzz throughout the industry is our recent acquisition of Indio Technologies, the leading solution for the insurance application and renewal process. This is an exciting announcement, not only for our company but for the entire industry.
Commercial lines represents a growing insurance segment where the agent’s trusted advice is increasingly important. However, as you know, the current submission process is extremely manual and disparate, creating friction, cost and lost sales opportunities. Our acquisition of Indio will enable us to provide customers a collaborative and automated data capture experience, making the application and renewal process faster and simpler. Additionally, we will tightly integrate Indio with Applied’s digital agency and broker solutions, creating even more productivity for agents and brokers.
To give you an idea of what this acquisition could mean for your business, we sat down with the co-founders of Indio, Mike Furlong and Adam Bratt, to discuss the reason behind creating Indio and their vision for the company.
Applied Communications: Can you tell us how Indio came about and your vision behind the company?
Mike Furlong: Adam and I started Indio in July of 2016 with the vision of modernizing and digitizing the insurance application process for insurance agents and their customers. The vision stemmed from our own painful and confusing experiences of applying for commercial insurance in the past.
Prior to Indio, I owned another business and when I was applying for commercial insurance, I noticed how manual and paper-driven the renewal process was. Every single year my agent would send me blank forms to fill out. I thought, “Man, there’s got to be more of a TurboTax-like way of doing this process, something that’s more online-driven.” When I was transitioning out of my last company, some investors were like, “Hey, you should really look into commercial insurance.”
Initially, there was a bunch of companies at that time raising funds to try to replace the agent. When I looked at the state of it I said, “You know what, my experience is that the agent adds a lot of value in regards to helping understand the complexities of this process. I don’t think that you can really replace them with any sort of technology. However, I think that there’s a tremendous opportunity to empower them with technology.” That’s the direction we originally chose, which at the time was quite contrarian to build software for the traditional insurance agents.
AC: You found the submission process to be very manual and paper-driven. Adam, can you tell us what the product does and how it solves this problem for customers?
Adam Brat: We provide insurance agents with an online platform where we’ve digitized over 7,000 different insurance carrier supplemental applications and other forms. By digitize, what I mean is we convert them to online smart forms where the data maps between those forms and year over year into the next year’s form. The agent can then send these forms to their clients. Instead of getting an email with 10 attachments, your client receives a link to the form and they go through a wizard process online to fill out the insurance application. It really streamlines the applicant’s renewal process while also saving your agency time and money. That is a high-level overview of what we do.
AC: Mike, can you share why you decided to join us here at Applied and how you feel about being part of the team?
MF: Well, I think we couldn't be more excited. We probably have the most complete look at all of the different technology providers in the space. And we can without question say that our customers are happiest with Applied. They love the solution and for us it really felt right.
By joining Applied Systems, Indio will have the ability to accelerate our vision of changing the insurance application experience for the entire insurance value chain. Our team will focus on improving our existing data capture product by building an even stronger integration with Applied’s product suite. Additionally, Indio will leverage IVANS, a division of Applied and the industry’s data exchange, to build towards a fully real-time connected agency-insurer-insured transaction experience.
AC: Thank you for taking a few minutes to speak with us. All of us at Applied are excited to welcome you to the team.