Innovations in technology are leading to seismic shifts in all aspects of how we live and work. The world is going online, consumers have tremendous access to products and information, our homes are being automated, we are constantly connected and our speed and service expectations have been raised.

We have all heard how traditional businesses are being disrupted by these technological innovations – every industry has its AdTech, FinTech, PropTech, EdTech, RegTech, MedTech, RetailTech, etc. We have InsurTech, and the promise that the insurance industry as we know it will be overturned.

Change is Slow in Commercial Insurance

Within the insurance industry there is plenty of innovation. InsurTech conferences are blossoming around the world, companies are setting up or partnering with accelerators and labs and there are billions of dollars being invested in new businesses and transformation projects.

Despite that investment, the pace of change in commercial insurance has been slow. Many of the new startups are focused on new methods of distribution – primarily for personal lines – or they are building more modern technology aimed at helping the legacy insurers to transform.

But Change is Needed

There are significant barriers to entry into the commercial segment of the industry, especially for a full-stack carrier writing larger risks. Capital requirements are high, the regulatory environment is tough to navigate, approval processes are very lengthy, seasoned insurance talent is – perhaps rightly – cautious about taking a risk and tech talent is difficult to attract to what is considered an ‘old-fashioned’ industry.

New entrants are necessary. The large commercial insurance businesses are not well-positioned to transform. Many are behemoths, built up over decades with sprawling technology ecosystems that are still reliant on mainframes for some of their core systems. To really transform, huge investment is needed to deliver complex technology projects that will run for many years. In order for these transformational projects to be successful, cultural and process changes need to be made in conjunction.

How is Blackboard Leading in Innovation?

We believe that change can happen in commercial insurance, and we are leading this change. Here are some of the key ingredients that we believe have allowed us to position ourselves as a leader:

Start with a clean slate

Blackboard Insurance has been built from the ground up. We have no legacy. This has given us the opportunity to build and implement lightweight modern technology, to develop nimble processes without needing to work around years of baggage and to put data at the center of everything we do.

Hire the right talent

We recognize the value of industry expertise, but look for people that dare to change. Our people are our biggest asset, and have made Blackboard what we are today. As well as finding some of the best expertise from within the insurance industry, we have purposefully hired people with different backgrounds to provide a valuable out-of-industry perspective and to help challenge the status quo.

Provide people with the right tools

Technology should not get in the way. Our approach is very user-centric. We ensure that our teams have access to the tools they need to do amazing work from their first day at the company. We also aim to simplify the experience as much as possible – utopia being that every individual is able to complete their whole job using a single application, optimized for their specific needs.

Create a culture of innovation

No matter how modern our technology, we cannot truly differentiate ourselves if we’re not constantly adapting and refining, and looking for a better way. Every Blackboard employee is empowered and encouraged to be a catalyst for change.

Our culture of innovation powers everything we do. There’s no silver bullet – success results from having the right mindset and working hard. Discover more about how our collaborative teams are working to transform commercial insurance that’s simple, transparent and responsive, powered by data and technology.