The Insurance Renaissance: MGAs, Data, and a Golden Era of Innovation

Thursday, September 14, 2023

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Never has there been a moment as electrifying as now to be in the insurance sector. A journey that began roughly 3,770 years ago in Babylon (a nod to Adrian Jones) has never seen a shift as transformative as the one we're witnessing today.

I was fortunate to experience the DotCom boom in San Francisco between 1995 and 2000. There, I saw trailblazing, pre-InsurTech enterprises such as EInsurance, Esurance, and Answer Financial redefine what was thought possible by introducing internet-centric offerings. Amidst this digital renaissance, I was a founding member of an R&D initiative within Zurich — 'Strategic Partnerships'. Our objective was pioneering into novel avenues of distribution, from call centers and alternative affinity partnerships to the burgeoning realm of the internet. While our experiences taught us invaluable lessons (admittedly, we did not write a lot of premium), it was clear that both technology and consumer behaviors hadn't matured. However, this experience ignited an enduring passion for technological innovation within me, and the opportunities that I would soon immerse myself within.

Historically, MGAs and program administrators have been tech vanguards, adopting new tools and data-driven approaches. A pivotal moment for me was in 2011 when — during a competition to be ClimateCorp's capacity partner — I was introduced to the concept of “data science,” an epiphany that signaled the onset of the present revolution.

Acknowledging pioneers like Lemonade, Next, and Hippo is essential; their audacity spurred our industry to reimagine our offerings, distribution strategies, and, in a roundabout way, the valuable role brokers play in the ecosystem. Today, with their agility and capital-efficient models, MGAs are uniquely positioned to redefine the industry's trajectory. Informed by both the insights and challenges of their predecessors, the next MGA wave will harmoniously blend rigorous underwriting, fresh data streams, novel capacity frameworks, and advanced AI tools to accelerate this transformative shift. Indeed, it's a golden era for our industry.

About Sertis MGA

Sertis stands at the forefront of insurance innovation as a cutting-edge managing general agency (MGA) specializing in insuring professionally managed multifamily (apartment) portfolios. At the heart of our unique approach is the Sertis Risk Indicator (SRI), a pioneering risk score derived from a continuous flow exclusive operational behavior data. This cornerstone of the Sertis Risk Management Platform allows our underwriters to recognize and reward diligent owner/operators dedicated to upholding safe and resilient properties, offering them tailor coverages with superior terms and conditions. Sertis, fueled by the SRI, stands ready to partner with brokers and their clients in navigating the complexities of today's market.

About Mark Gardella 

Mark Gardella, the visionary CEO of Sertis MGA, is a seasoned leader with a wealth of experience spanning over two decades in the Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance domain. With an unyielding passion for innovation and a track record of transformative success, Mark is at the forefront of reshaping the insurance landscape. His journey through the insurance realm has been marked by a commitment to excellence and a relentless pursuit of progress. Mark's expertise extends across three core pillars, each influencing and propelling the industry forward, from InsurTech startups, capacity providers, to investors.

Thursday, September 14, 2023