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Pendella: Making Individual Life and Disability Insurance Mainstream Again

Bob Gaydos, Founder, and CEO, PendellaBob Gaydos, Founder, and CEO The US middle market insurance sector has been in the doldrums for a while now. Individual insurance – once the go-to financial planning instrument for middle-class Americans – has lost its grounds. Insurance carriers and distributors providing individual life and disability insurance for the last three decades have not effectively served middle-class America.

The current millennial generation in the US barely knows anyone with a life insurance agent, nor do they want to get involved in the seemingly complicated insurance world. The result: more and more US millennials and middle-class find themselves in a precarious position. They are settling down with homes, cars, and children without any financial protection or individual life insurance policy to their names. And in these uncertain times, they are merely one pink slip away from losing their employer-provided insurance coverage.

But why did insurers abandon middle-class America?

Bob Gaydos, an accomplished CEO, advisor, entrepreneur, and seasoned expert in the insurance sector, decided to dig deeper into the problem. He came to a startling realization – insurers find selling individual insurance to the US middle-class a highly unprofitable proposition. With rising underwriting costs, insurance companies cannot generate enough profits to provide good commissions to insurance agents selling to middle-class Americans. Underwriting has become a cumbersome task for insurers, straddled with legacy systems that lack visibility into real-time customer data and advanced data analytics. Adding to the barriers are the complicated logistics behind conducting medical tests, difficulty in accessing physicians' statements, obtaining countless signatures, and handling the piling paperwork that’s typically involved in the traditional sale of an individual life insurance policy. To stay in business, they instead prefer selling expensive insurance products to wealthy Americans to book profits.

Realizing the root of the problem, Gaydos set out to build an end-to-end digital solution that empowers insurance companies and distributors to close the protection gap of uninsured and underinsured Americans. With that in mind, he founded Pendella Technologies, a tech startup providing a cloud-based SaaS platform that comes with a state-of-the-art AI-based insurance recommendation engine. Pendella's fully adaptable digital solution seamlessly integrates with the existing legacy systems of insurers. "We are giving insurance companies a white-label solution that allows them to deliver individual life and disability insurance with minimal cost of integration," says Gaydos, founder and CEO of Pendella.

Pendella intends to make the insurance industry 'cool' for both customers and agents, considering the tech-savvy millennial populace. "We are empowering the insurance industry to be 'digital first' and 'digital end-to-end'," states Gaydos. "We want to make it profitable for insurance companies and agents to sell to middle-class America again."

An Ideal Underwriting Solution for Insurers

Designed to deliver all three forms of underwriting – instant decision underwriting, accelerated underwriting, and point-ofsale underwriting to the customers, Pendella helps insurers lower underwriting costs and offer better commission rates to agents. Gaining on insurance premiums, Pendella enables insurers to provide better coverage to individuals regardless of age, health status, and financial condition.

Pendella's end-to-end software and cloud-based agent-assist platform simplifies, modernizes, and digitizes the individual life and disability insurance buying and selling experience. Pendella's platform enables insurance companies to deliver an enriching digital experience by seamlessly integrating with existing legacy systems or it can be implemented as a standalone solution. "Our platform sits on top of Salesforce giving our partners full visibility into application usage and activity. Insurers have easy access to their customers' data, and can automate the data workflow instantly," said Gaydos. The platform comes ready with products that can speed up going to market within 45 days of onboarding. "By the end of this year, we'll have an out-of-the-box digital solution that can go live in a couple of days," he adds.

The centerpiece of Pendella's solution is its AI-enabled insurance recommendation engine that leverages self-reported customer information, system data (CRM), and big data to deliver tailored life and disability insurance options for the consumer.


We are giving insurance companies a white-label solution that allows them to deliver individual life and disability insurance with minimal cost of integration


his engine allows Pendella to provide customized insurance policies for every adult regardless of age, health, or income level by assessing their personal, professional, and financial data. Moreover, Pendella also contracts with large entities like banks and payroll vendors to create an 'express line' that speeds up policy recommendations. "The engine looks at the customers' self-reported data, system data, and big data and makes a recommendation for the particular customer on the appropriate insurance products," explains Gaydos.

The engine confers cross-selling opportunities to the insurance carriers and distributors, as they can use the data to recommend additional policies to their existing policyholders. "It helps provide the greatest level of financial protection tailored to the customers' true needs, which is a great innovation of the platform," extols Gaydos. The AI engine, which combines field underwriting with sales automation, automates the entire process of making these recommendations, thus enabling Pendella's platform to be the front-end system for insurance companies.

All the while, Pendella ensures the human touch is retained in the digital process. The company has a team of licensed insurance professionals on standby to assist customers who have questions or more complex insurance needs. In addition to a large percentage of customers who are able to buy directly online, Pendella also provides customer service support assisting customers for our partners. “We can provide fulfillment services from start to finish, or not,” said Gaydos. “We’ve built a flexible platform that allows us to tailor the experience we deliver to meet our partner’s needs,” he continued.

A Digitalized Hybrid Insurance Model for All

Pendella's digital platform is designed as a hybrid solution where agents can sell insurance to customers over the web, phone calls, screen shares, or in-person by leveraging customers' self-reported data, while customers also have the option to buy insurance policies themselves by submitting relevant information. This flexible, hybrid model removes all possible barriers to insurance buying and selling, as Pendella's partners with several top-rated national insurance carriers to create a highly diversified product portfolio that allows them to serve more consumers, including middle-class America. From ages 18 to 90, the healthy to the unhealthy, with policies ranging from $10,000 to $5 million term insurance, mortgage insurance, permanent insurance, final expense insurance, disability, or whatever the customers' requirements might be – Pendella’s solution delivers tailored insurance options suited to meet each customer’s unique needs.

Pendella empowers insurance providers and distributors to deliver a simple, customized, cost-effective individual life and disability insurance experience as a boon to employees in a market where a sizable portion of the middle-class don't get any life or disability benefits from their employers. Powered by AI and automation, Pendella's streamlined methodology enables it to collate and analyze the vast employee data of organizations. Pendella's platform sends out specific, targeted policy recommendations with accurate price quotes to the particular employee based on the analysis. Employees can access the application, compare their options, and buy a policy—all within a couple of minutes.

  • We are empowering the insurance industry to be 'digital first' and 'digital end-to-end'


Pendella’s white-label custom solution is designed for businesses to use across verticals from insurance companies, agencies, to employee benefit providers. The company helped a leading life insurance firm update their customer engagement methods. They gained much traction with individuals wanting to buy insurance digitally but lacked a digital solution to empower their customers. Pendella enabled them to go digital with its platform that engaged 40 percent of their market. Simultaneously, Pendella automated their entire underwriting process creating greater income with less resources and at a lower cost.

In addition to providing a full-stack software solution, Pendella also provides partners with full marketing support to help them launch their customized platform and maximize revenue. This includes email marketing, social media, lead nurturing, and retargeted ad campaigns.

Pendella delivers revolutionary technology through the expert talent the company has been building over the last year. Industry veterans with a deep know-how of the insurance sector and innovators with expertise in emerging technology elevate Pendella's stand in the insurtech space. Pendella's team of professionals is the outcome of Gaydos' deliberate efforts to strike a perfect balance between experience and innovation. Enabling the Pendella team are investors from diverse environments like the life insurance industry and Silicon Valley, committed to bringing innovation to the insurance market through technology.

Modernizing the Insurance Journey

Backed by supportive investors, Pendella is ready for exploration and expansion into varied domains and regions. "We're working together with the insurance industry to modernize products and distribution as the market evolves," said Gaydos. To that end, Pendella is gearing up to venture into the booming gig economy marketplace. As a significant portion of the US labor market increasingly moves to gigs, a gap opens up where many people require fast and convenient employer-independent life insurance and disability coverage. Pendella is poised to fill this gap with modern life insurance products like Haven Secure from Haven Life Insurance Agency backed and wholly owned by MassMutual. "We are also working with insurance carriers to develop new, simpler, and modern products for the gig economy marketplace," Gaydos adds. Supplemental health insurance products related to accidents, cancer, chronic and critical illnesses, and Medicare will further add to Pendella's expanding product portfolio.

In line with Gaydos' vision to bring back individual insurance for employees by going beyond limited group insurance policies offered by employers, Pendella is developing new partnerships in the professional employer organization (PEO) market. Equipped with modernized underwriting processes and UXs, Pendella is partnering with leading vendors in the PEO marketplace like PrismHR and large, publicly-traded broker organizations to make individual employee insurance accessible again.

On the geographical front, Pendella is set to start operations in three countries, aiming to eventually serve the life and disability insurance requirements of individuals, organizations, and their employees worldwide. "Our mission is to bring the financial protection of individual life and disability insurance to all people, regardless of age, health status, or income level," Gaydos signs off.

Disclosure:

Haven Secure is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC20DTR 0420 in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states.

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Top 10 InsurTech Startups - 2021

Company
Pendella

Headquarters
Fort Myers, FL

Management
Bob Gaydos, Founder, and CEO

Description
Pendella offers a white-label AI-powered SaaS platform providing instant decision underwriting, accelerated underwriting, and point-of-sale underwriting capabilities. Pendella's end-to-end software and cloud-based agent-assist platform simplifies, modernizes, and digitizes the individual life and disability insurance buying and selling experience. Pendella's AI-enabled insurance recommendation engine leverages self-reported customer information, system data (CRM), and big data to deliver tailored life and disability insurance options for the consumers regardless of age, health, or income level by assessing their personal, professional, and financial data. Simultaneously, Pendella also provides partners with full marketing support to help them launch their customized platform and maximize revenue