Broker Buddha & Founder Shield: The Technology Behind the Insurance Brokerage of the future

Jason Keck, Co-Founder & CEO, Broker Buddha and Benji Markoff, Founder & CEO, Founder Shield, Broker Buddha & Founder ShieldJason Keck, Co-Founder & CEO, Broker Buddha and Benji Markoff, Founder & CEO, Founder Shield The recent surge of the insurtech movement, in many ways, is a caution sign for antiquated players in the industry. Research by CB Insights, a data analytics company, indicates that in 2017, investments in insurtech startups totaled $985 million, rising 248 percent from the previous year. While traditional insurance companies have been slow in responding to the voice of the customer, a new breed of tech-fueled startups are indisputably running the show. Two such influential startups taking the insurance industry by storm are Broker Buddha & Founder Shield. By using Broker Buddha’s technology, Founder Shield has created the most efficient and fastest growing insurance brokerage in the country while delivering a profoundly original customer experience.

It all began when Benji Markoff, after wrestling for years with manual insurance processes and painfully repetitive paper applications, decided to take things in his own hands. Establishing Founder Shield, Markoff’s sole purpose was to redefine the client experience for purchasing insurance. “We realized early on that insurtech would never replace brokers because nobody spending more than $10,000 on a policy is going to feel confident buying from a computer. When you’re spending real money on an insurance policy to protect an important asset like your company, you need an agent to help you through the decision process,” says Benji Markoff, Founder and CEO, Founder Shield. Fueling his vision to create the most seamless and interactive experience in buying and managing insurance policies is Broker Buddha, a venture backed technology innovator whose platform moves the insurance application & renewal process into an interactive, customer-friendly, online experience.

The startup duo largely came together because of a common, overarching goal: to make the application & renewal process for insurance easy for clients through next gen technology that redefines the experience for both brokers and clients. With over two decades of expertise in enterprise technology, Jason Keck, Co-Founder and CEO of Broker Buddha recognized a vast opportunity to innovate with Founder Shield. As a result of Broker Buddha’s intuitive solutions, Founder Shield not only increased its client retention and close rates, but has also emerged as one of the fastest growing insurance brokerages in the U.S.

While most agency management systems (AMS) in the market turn a blind eye to client facing features, limiting themselves to back office tools for brokers, Broker Buddha fills a key feature gap and provides a unique customer engagement solution. By moving the application process online, Broker Buddha enables an interactive and customer-friendly insurance application and renewal experience. “Our mission is to bring innovation to commercial insurance through technology for brokers, reinforcing their role at the center of the ecosystem by giving them the tools to build deeper relationships with their customers and carriers,” says Keck.

Eclectic Mix at its Best

Custom built from the ground up, Broker Buddha is a proprietary SaaS platform that facilitates client on-boarding and insurance management through inventive features. The platform’s revolutionary one-click renewal feature enables brokers to send pre-populated, online applications to their clients. Clients can simply update their information and return it to their broker with the click of a button. Since a large majority of a broker’s revenue comes from insurance renewals, the one-click renewal functionality is crucial to enabling higher than average retention. “With Broker Buddha, it takes us less than a minute to generate renewal applications, and the ease of completing them online has helped us achieve a 95 percent client retention rate,” says Markoff.

It’s not enough for us to simply build a successful business. We aim much higher. We want to redefine the client experience across the entire insurance industry
Jason Keck

Several other factors make Broker Buddha indispensable for brokers, including a cross-form field mapping feature which removes the need for double-entry. When a client applies for multiple policies which require the same information, they only need to enter information one time and Broker Buddha automatically puts that information on the forms that need it. This feature saves clients time and liberates them from the doctor’s-office-like experience of entering identical data multiple times. In addition, Broker Buddha brings a unique and powerful offering to the industry through Composite Applications. Composite Applications help brokers collect all the information they need to get quotes from multiple carriers and then allow brokers to export that information onto carrier specific forms. Other features which enhance the client experience include eSignature and a Custom Form Editor that allows brokers to indicate required fields, add tooltips, and even build forms from scratch (like Google Forms).
"Our mission is to bring innovation to commercial insurance through technology for brokers, reinforcing their role at the center of the ecosystem"
Jason Keck

Broker Buddha’s groundbreaking technology enables Founder Shield to achieve an industry leading bind rate of 54 percent. The platform’s integration with Salesforce also helps Founder Shield track leads and enhance their sales and opportunity management process. While most longstanding insurance companies have restrictive back office operations that impede innovation, Broker Buddha removes friction, enabling a more efficient operation and a compelling customer experience.

Customer First Always

While typical brokers generate approximately 60 insurance applications per month for each account executive, Founder Shield processes nearly 300 applications per month per account executive by leveraging Broker Buddha. This makes Founder Shield 80 percent more efficient than other brokerages. “The success of Founder Shield has enabled us to paint a picture of the Insurance Broker of the Future—the kind who want to better serve their clients through technology,” remarks Keck. Governed by a vision to revolutionize the perception of insurance for clients, brokers, and carriers, the Broker Buddha platform is now available to any broker or agent in the country. “It’s not enough for us to simply build a successful business. We aim much higher. We want to redefine the client experience across the entire insurance industry.” says Keck. Breaking off from traditional models in insurance, the companies’ effort to create a wider outreach through their insurtech software truly sets them apart in the industry. Further fuelling their growth, Founder Shield and Broker Buddha are also a part of Interplay, a venture capital company based in New York City. Interplay comprises a network of innovative startups in areas such as accounting, tax, and recruiting. “In addition to our in-house workforce we also have an extended family at Interplay. The advice and guidance we get from the family of companies within Interplay adds immense value for us,” reveals Markoff.

Disrupt or Get Displaced

In the days to come, all of Founder Shield’s and Broker Buddha’s endeavors will be dictated by client-centric demands. With IoT and big data proliferating into a legacy insurance infrastructure, the future clearly lies in “connected insurance.” In line with the needs of a hyper connected economy, the companies have their eyes set on redefining the client experience for insurance through Broker Buddha. “Superior customer experience will continue to be our core mission. Apart from that we want to be frontrunners in the insurtech space and envision ourselves as the platform of choice for insurance brokers nationwide,” ends Keck.