Technology was never meant to have permanence. The evidence of just how fast things change can be seen in our homes, our vehicles and especially our pockets. Imagine trying to use a smartphone built in 2009 today. Now, stop for a moment and count how many of the systems your company depends on day-to-day predate even that.

Executive Summary

P/C insurance agents/brokers and insurance carriers are fighting many of the same battles that existed in 2001, when Ask Kodiak's Mike Albert first entered the industry out of college. Here, Albert cites Jeff Bezos's API mandate, authored around the same time to call for change. "An API-first approach to P/C tech that recognizes the constant need to change stands the best chance of becoming a real, transformative, breakout star from the InsurTech wave," he writes.

Yet even today, many carriers still approach technology projects as if they were building the Roman Colosseum. Build big. Build permanent. Move on to the next project. This approach leaves carriers and agents flat-footed in an era of increasing competition and customer expectations. Ineffective use of tech has created incalculable industrywide operational expense from underwriting to marketing to claims to the field.

The symptoms of this condition are especially prevalent in the space between agent/broker and carrier. These folks are fighting many of the same battles that existed when I entered the industry out of college in 2001: clunky agency/carrier interfaces based on 1980s-era private network mailboxing; position-delimited flat files; disparate carrier portals; custom application forms; insufficient data standards; inefficiency, manual work and rekeying everywhere.

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