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Bold Penguin: Small Commercial Insurance Experts

Ilya Bodner, Founder & CEO, Bold PenguinIlya Bodner, Founder & CEO
Commercial insurance is all about control— controlling exposure, rates, distribution, customer experience, and brand loyalty. But technology in commercial insurance has been built in a way that takes control away from the insurance companies and brokers. Most of the technology available in the commercial insurance market today feels inflexible, “off-the-shelf,” and costly to customize forcing insurance providers to align their workflow to these technologies rather than supercharging their own. Instead of saving time and improving control—it leads to a nightmare of process changes, poorly functioning integrations, and confusion. Ultimately, the cost to bind and service a small commercial risk became untenable, while millions of policies were still in play. So the dilemma of how to profitably write small commercial presented itself. Bold Penguin, a Columbus-based insurtech innovator, has created a solution that would find and service small commercial with a flexible, fully customizable, non-disruptive approach without eliminating the agent channel.

“Bold Penguin is the highly efficient commercial insurance exchange that connects customers, agents, and carriers to match the right quote in record time,” says Ilya Bodner, Founder and CEO at Bold Penguin. He observed two friction points in this process of bringing all these entities together. Insureds struggled to find and trust the right agent or broker. On the other hand, the agents and brokers had a hard time trying to understand the product and the risks associated with it. The company’s software helps agents and brokers to pull the risks out of the information exchange and then provides eligibility and rating tools to find the right product.

This has helped address the friction points by enabling insurance professionals to see the risks right for them to pursue while monetizing others. This also gives them the immediate capability to find the proper rates for the risks that they want to pursue. The effectiveness of their products can be further understood through the testimony of David Embry and Marshall Lockton, President of Mylo and SVP of operations for Lockton Group respectively, “We’re excited to partner with Bold Penguin to leverage their technology, and work with their highly talented team as we build robust digital experiences for our customers.”

With small premiums, unproven digital acquisition models, and high risks in making technology changes, most CIOs have a hard time giving commercial the primary focus. For other companies that focus on commercial, channel conflict and confusion slows down their decision-making process. Additionally, there is also the build/ buy dilemma. “We resolve this dilemma by suggesting to partners that they can do both with our APIs,” adds Bodner. The company’s APIs give insurance professionals the power to supercharge their existing capabilities without making revolting changes to their business processes while dismissing the build/buy dilemma. Leveraging APIs, the company builds technology along with their customers instead of a simple data exchange. Additionally, their APIs are a full development toolkit for brokers and carriers to build their platforms. “We allow brokers, carriers, and agents to control their destiny with a technology toolset far more sophisticated than anyone else on the market from a position of neutrality.”

Bold Penguin is currently building out “Emperor,” their API-first carrier recommendation engine and software development toolkit. As their next step, the company looks to focus on providing more automation on the E&S market as well as a bi-directional strategy to smaller lines or financial products, main street agencies and advisors, and more package commercial policies with higher premiums.

With their headquarters in Columbus, they are surrounded by top insurance companies, a growing pool of tech expertise, and midwestern mentality of working hard. “This has positioned us to build the biggest company you’ve never heard about right here,” concludes Bodner.