The Key to Customer Centricity: Data 


A lot of factors play into customer-centricity in insurance: relationships, collaboration, a single point of contact and transparency. But increasingly, data also stars in a leading role.

Customer-centricity involves anticipating customer wants and needs and then getting it right. It’s not just a nice-to-have: Customer-centric businesses are an impressive 60% more profitable than those that fail in this regard, according to Deloitte — yet another reason we emphasize customer-centricity as one of our core values.

When we started Accelerant back in 2018, it was partly because we recognized that customer-centricity in the insurance industry had been lacking. It was a true lightbulb moment when we realized we could rebuild the customer-centric principles across the value chain by focusing our offering on specialty underwriters and MGAs and giving them the tools they need to win.

After all, what is customer-centricity besides knowing and serving one’s customers? It’s only natural that the players whose focus is a mile deep are the ones that can really bring customer-centricity to life. And at Accelerant, we power that focus with long-term connections as well as technology and data.

We’ve found that when we strip away bureaucracy, serve MGAs with a committed, non-competitive capacity and deliver completely transparent information to re-insurers, we can use our data platform to help our members better understand risk, benefit from insights, and handle operational and regulatory complexity.

Data is a big deal at Accelerant

It’s no secret that big insurance companies struggle to serve small businesses and specialty niches. Mostly, they don’t understand these businesses or how to make sense of — or get access to — the data that would better inform them. That’s where MGAs come in: to provide coverage to niche insureds that are not well covered by the big brand-name insurance companies. When you’re a small account at a big insurance company, lack of data and the perception that such accounts are small means SMBs likely end up paying more than they should for coverage or paying for coverage you don’t need — or, worse yet, not getting coverage at all.

Take, for example, the poultry farmer, who needs insurance and turns to a broker to help suss out what to do. The reinsurer on the other side of the equation is often equally in the dark. They might get about three details about said business. Faced with 40% uncertainty, they might increase the price by about 60% and hope for the best, or decline to participate. That approach accepts blissful ignorance at best or chokes off data at worst, almost by design.

The whole calculus changes when better information is available. It transforms the products you can offer and the service you can provide. In other words, with better data, the coverage you’re comfortable providing and the risks that you take in that end product to the customer can shift — all in support of customer-centricity.

Data delivers for MGAs

Our Members are quite often family businesses focusing on one or two areas that they know inside and out. After thinking long and hard about how to build a customer-centric platform for this audience, it came down to data. Because what do specialty underwriters need? Typically, they come to us with a few challenges:

  1. Lack of predictable capacity
  2. Need support unlocking profitable growth
  3. Challenging market dynamics

See a theme here? It all goes back to data. It’s nearly impossible to build trust and aligned values in an environment where transparency and information are hard to come by. But for a long time, that’s been the status quo in insurance.

Unlike other organizations, we weren’t burdened by legacy technologies that stymied other efforts to make risk exchange more effective. We had the opportunity to build a platform that could deliver insights from shared data — network effects in their truest sense.

Today, we use data to identify the most and least profitable coverage opportunities and drive growth in commissions. Even better, we built it exclusively for MGAs and PAs to deliver data-powered insights for business growth.

The power of data is nearly unlimited to bolster relationships. Because we believe so strongly in transparency, it changes the way we look at and approach data. Reinsurers see the same data we see. It’s truly the democratization of data.

Data informs our shared assessment of risk. It is a foundational part of our collaboration with each of our Members. That’s why we share things such as neighborhood crime data, geo mapping of claims data and even the proximity of fire stations. It’s the granular data that can help inform how you move forward. We believe this transparency in data is a key reason for our growing success.

Ultimately, our advanced data platform helps Members better understand risk, benefit from insights, and handle operational and regulatory complexity. At Accelerant, we often say that we are “data-driven” and “technology-fueled,” but ultimately, it’s all about customer-centricity—harnessing advanced data intelligence for our members to rebuild the way underwriters share and exchange risk.