Electronic Chat with Joshua Snead
Staff Writer | January 06, 2020
Joshua Snead is co-founder of Rainwalk Technology, a SaaS cloud-native platform provider for pet insurance. The company uses machine learning to price and underwrite pet insurance, enabling carriers to quickly and cost effectively offer this increasingly popular product to their customers. Rainwalk provides product expertise, filing support, a pre-created set of endorsements, recommended states to release in and which states to avoid, and creation of forms and policy documents to support carriers as they expand into this new line of business. They also work with a carrier’s agents and marketing teams to help equip them to present and sell pet insurance to their customers.
Please tell us a little about your background and how you came to launch Rainwalk Technology.
I have worked in software sales with some of the largest players in the space, and my co-founder Tong Wu is an experienced enterprise technology architect and actuarial data scientist. He and I have worked in insurance and insurance technology our entire careers. We have seen countless insurance technology projects go on endlessly absorbing the time, energy, and money of insurers without delivering on the promise to deliver new insurance products to market faster.
Because of this, we set out to build a platform that delivers and administers pet insurance quickly and cost effectively to help our carrier partners build their business with end to end support and product expertise.
Pet insurance is still very much a niche insurance market. Do you see major insurers getting into these sales, or is the market still too small for them?
Traditionally, empty nesters have comprised the majority of the pet insurance market, but as the millennial market continues to age, it has brought significant growth to the pet insurance space. Millennials are postponing major life events such as marriage, having kids and purchasing a house, but they have very high rates of pet ownership and attachment. These millennials have disposable income and view their pets as part of their family and are fueling much of the growth. According to Metlife, the pet insurance line has been growing 20% year over year since 2014.
Major insurers are making significant moves into the pet insurance space. Just last week, Metlife announced they are acquiring PetFirst, a pet insurance program administrator, to add pet insurance to their portfolio of products.
The high growth of pet insurance isn't the only reason insurers are moving into the market now. Building a presence in the next generation of insurance buyer is critical to the future of every insurer. Carriers like Nationwide are finding considerable success in attracting the millennial market by offering pet insurance coverage, then convincing them to bundle their auto and home to save more. Insurers that don't offer this benefit risk losing customers to those that do.
How does your technology work from the insurer side?
Our goal is to make it as quick and as inexpensive as possible for a carrier to participate in offering pet insurance. Our cloud-native SaaS platform has three key services: pet rating, pet policy, and pet claims processing. These services are delivered to carriers through the Rainwalk Integration Framework, which is a set of APIs and utilities built to make connecting to legacy systems or modern insurance tech stacks easy.
- The rating service connects to wherever you generate quotes, and provides real time pricing quotes, as well as delivers analytics about the quotes that are produced and what conversion rates are.
- The policy service takes an accepted quote all the way through the buying process, and delivers a complete policy package for delivery to and signature by the potential insured.
- The claims service takes insureds’ claims submissions, checks for fraud, and calculates the appropriate claims payout based on the terms of the underlying policy.
The Rainwalk Integration Framework has functionality that can send the data generated by the services used directly into the carrier's systems of record, or in summary in a bordereaux on a regular cadence.
We also provide full rate, rule, and form filing services, as well as loss ratio commitments to protect our carrier partners' combined ratios.
You’re based in Columbia, S.C., which is considered an emerging market for insurtech. What do you like about this location?
Columbia has a long and rich heritage of insurance technology, which means there are established, knowledgeable, and supportive insurance technology executives with a history of commercial success. When we combine this expertise with a very large and healthy university ecosystem in the University of South Carolina and a political environment that’s very pro-business, we have a winning combination.
What are your business’s growth projections for the next five years and how do you plan to achieve your goals?
Our goal is to have 10 insurers up and running with their own pet insurance programs at the end of five years. We are starting by establishing strategic partnerships with three insurers of different types: a personal lines insurer, a health and accident insurer, and a reinsurer. To help insurers evaluate if adding a pet insurance program is right for them, we do a complimentary Customer Discovery exercise to evaluate the potential premium and underwriting profits and see if it's worth evaluating further. Any insurers interested should reach out on our website or to a team member on LinkedIn.
What advice would you give to somebody who has a great insurtech start-up idea?
Insurance is a business with many stakeholders: insurance carriers, agents, insureds, regulators, investors. Any insurtech start-up idea needs to have a very clear vision of who their customers are, and who are the stakeholders that need to be involved and incentivized to make the idea succeed. Grand and extremely disruptive ideas that don’t partner with industry incumbents end up being expensive, time consuming, and bring very high earning requirements to see compelling returns on equity for investors. Our view is the best way to deliver innovation is to partner with the industry where it’s at today, and edify and build it up to a shared better vision of future.
- COVID-19 Pandemic Forces Cancellation of ITA LIVE 2020
- Leveraging Digital Resources in the Time of COVID-19
- Electronic Chat with Robert Hartwig on COVID-19 and Insurance
- Celent Study: Most Small Businesses Still Unclear on Importance of Cyber Insurance
- The January/February 2020 ITA Pro is here!
- Deloitte: New C-Suite Roles Mean More Opportunities for Women
- Electronic Chat with Pankaj Parashar
- Electronic Chat with Tara Kelly
- Electronic Chat with Chuck Wilson
- ITA, InsNerds Collaborate to Enhance ITA LIVE 2020 Content and Coverage
- How SMBs Can Compete in Digital Ecosystems in the 2020s
- 4 Ways Insurance Can Prepare for New Data Privacy Laws
- Brewer Lane Ventures Launches and Hires Insurtech Vet Martha Notaras as Managing Partner
- 2020 GIA Cohort Launches on January 14
- The November/December 2019 ITA Pro is here!
- Electronic Chat with Joshua Snead
- Electronic Chat with Wendy Aarons-Corman
- Simplifying the Move to a Third-party Print Provider
- Take a Business-Driven Approach to Continuous Improvement for Core Systems and Processes
- Electronic Chat with Ron Glozman
- Guidewire’s Data Guru Mike Byam on How Insurers are Using Internal and Third-Party Data
- Electronic Chat with Russ Bostick
- Electronic Chat with Rock Schindler
- Electronic Chat with John Siegman
- Electronic Chat with Martin Burlingame
- Insurtech Landscape 2019: Top 5 Takeaways
- Grinnell Mutual Tackles Massive Transformation -- in Stride
- A Candid Conversation with Paul Mang
- SageSure Insurance Managers Improved Competitiveness by Consolidating Payments to a Single Digital Platform
- Digital Does Matter in Insurance-- And Insurers are Missing the Mark
- The 22nd-Century Insurer: Taking a Cloud-First IT Approach
- The September/October 2019 issue of ITA PRO magazine is now available in digital format here:
- ITA Pro Magazine May/June 2019
- Spotlight on the 2019 IASA Conference
- ValueMomentum Selects Erie as Site of Regional Development Center
- Capgemini and Majesco Become Alliance Partners
- Electronic Chat with Dr. Dan Shoham
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum
- Martha Notaras: The “Outsider” with an Amazing Inside View
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Martha Notaras Will Join ITA LIVE 2019 as a Keynote Speaker
- Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Cyber Risk
- ITA Pro Magazine, January/February 2019
- Synergy Between Insurers' IT and Analytics Teams Key to Operationalizing Insights, Says Novarica
- Major Ransomware Attack Could Hit U.S. with $89B In Economic Damages
- ITA Announces 1st of Three Keynote Speakers at ITA LIVE 2019
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- RiskGenius Releases COVID Coverage Checklist to Help Commercial Insurers Evaluate Coronavirus Exposure
- Intellagents Adds Infinilytics to Marketplace for Next-Generation Claims Processing Capabilities
- Sancor Seguros do Brazil S.A. Deploys Guidewire InsurancePlatform to Increase Operational Efficiency
- Covid-19: James Allen Creates Pandemic Policy for U.S. Businesses
- Zywave Launches COVID-19 Resource Center
- Sapiens Partners with HazardHub on Real-Time Geographic Risk Data
- Encova Insurance Selects One Inc Digital Payments Platform
- Next Insurance Named One of Forbes' Best Startup Employers 2020
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2020
ITA LIVE 2020 –SAVE THE DATE!
April 5th – 7th, 2020
The Diplomat Resort
Become a member today to receive updates – www.itapro.org/MR
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE
Case study of how a Fortune 500 employee benefits provider serving 35 million insureds throughout the U.S. and Europe transitioned from in-house... READ MORE
- Vendor Views