Member Stories: Accelerant’s Data Culture Enabled Volta Underwriters, powered by Swiftly, to Better Forecast Risk


Like its tech-savvy namesake, Volta Underwriters was founded in 2021 as a cutting-edge surplus lines broker and MGA focused on underwriting commercial property and small business insurance.  In line with Accelerant’s mission to reform legacy processes, Volta favors rapid, digital-first systems.

Managing Partner Jon Rank and Director Michael Lyons shared why they decided to partner with Accelerant.  Strong data is the backbone of what sets Volta Underwriters apart.

Volta’s public-facing website, embedded with secure online raters, allows licensed agents and brokers to determine risk eligibility as well as obtain bindable quotes in real-time, while also tailoring those quotes in real-time by adjusting limit and deductible sliders.  Agents can then download the resulting quote sheet to share directly with clients, who can then pay and bind coverage through a secure PCI-DSS and NACHA compliant payment portal. This guarantees accuracy and speed, enabling agents to profitably represent smaller accounts while maximizing their time.

Volta Underwriters utilizes Swiftly technology that also allows clients to follow and track the status of their claim online, streamlining communication and empowering the client to contact their field adjuster directly.  In the case of a catastrophe—like the back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes of 2017—property insurers receive thousands of claims-related phone calls.  A tracking system like Volta’s prevents frustration by allowing agents to proactively check if their claim is already being worked on.  When faced with inbound call overflow, Volta can enable their Swiftly-powered level-3 AI chat and call center, which processes client questions and work requests instantly, safely, and accurately without the need to wait on hold for a CSR to answer the phone.

Volta also utilizes Swiftly’s Risk-Tracker, providing fast and comprehensive assessment of risk exposure for new underwriting submissions, including scoring for natural catastrophe and crime exposure, as well as flagging risk submissions that would undermine KPIs.

But none of these features would be possible without usable, granular data.  For Jon, this component was most important when choosing a partner. Volta aligned with Accelerant’s culture of collecting, cataloguing, evaluating, and sharing data.

For example, when Volta needed to modify certain product sub-limits, they turned to Accelerant to compare data. 

“There is no such thing as a bad risk—only bad pricing.  And good pricing starts with good data,” said Michael.

Together, Volta and Accelerant analyzed their data to determine what that risk-appropriate price would be, and then increased their optional sub-limits to morph the product, creating a stronger market fit.

This approach has stuck with Jon, who appreciates Accelerant’s approach to open communication and collaboration: ”There is always the atmosphere of ‘What do you need? How can we help you?  Let us know!’ We feel no hesitation reaching out if we need to tweak something.”

Volta Underwriters had the opportunity to meet with Accelerant at least twice a month when they first joined as a Member.  As they got their footing and established a stronger product-market fit, they could accomplish all they needed in their monthly meeting where they found they could speak in shorthand with the knowledgeable Accelerant team, exchange intel, and identify opportunities through whiteboard sessions.  That said, Jonn is also grateful they don’t need to wait until the monthly meeting if something comes up—in a single email, he can get a 30-minute slot with Accelerant the next morning.

This quick communication and constant exchange of data has been invaluable for Volta Underwriters’ growth and product evolution.  Michael expressed that it’s imperative to let go of the idea that a launch must happen perfectly; instead, the ready-fire-aim approach of startup tech companies is the best way to scale, even in insurance.  Jon agreed, adding that it’s important to embrace a culture of continuous improvement to move in the direction of what’s best for customers.

This is exactly what Accelerant has done.

“I admire the ambition and the enormity of Accelerant’s vision—and how well they are executing it,” said Michael. “Accelerant talks the talk, then walks the walk.  It should be a given, but not a lot of companies can do that.”