Behind the scenes at: Clark!
Third floor, bright, big windows, many monitors, a couch, bicycles and colorful Post-Its. Images that would remind you of a textbook for startups, but this is not the next e-Commerce-Shop or food delivery startup. This is where the future of the insurance industry starts. Welcome to Clark!
Clark is an InsurTech company that promises their clients to take over the entire administration and contract process of insurances. Rapidly increasing in number, many InsurTechs push themselves to innovate the insurance industry. According to a study from Barkow Consulting there are 25 companies in Germany already. Yet, the classic insurance uses old-fashioned methods: 95% of all contracts are still enclosed offline. The generation under 40, however, does not respond to the classical model. People in the age group between 20 until 35 years have 40% less insurances than the same aged people eight years ago. In addition, only one-third is satisfied with their insurance experience. “Generation Y” is underinsured.
Clark and other InsurTechs try to avoid the gap in a digital and disruptive way. The combination between old and new economy allows Clark to push the mainstream agents into the background. Basically: Clark is a registered insurance broker and every consultant is professionally educated, but still the insurance processes are fast and digital which is typical characteristic of a startup. For example, contract requests are automatically being sent to the insurance companies. Moreover, the communication with the client occurs in a partially automated way already.
Clients can finalize, change and manage their insurances through the app and the website. Clark automatically shows each client if he pays too much for his insurance and, if requested, suggests alternatives. The company was built in June 2015 and has a 5-digit number of clients. The team consists of around 20 employees who take care of everything: from IT, marketing and counseling to the development of the app and the website.
Through the so-called User-Tests, Clark’s product is constantly being refined. The results from these tests are being recognized, adapted and implemented. This takes up to only two weeks. The transformation of the big features usually does not take longer than four weeks. Speaking generally, Clark's focus concentrates on the technology. Two-thirds of the Clark team are software developers. As such, they are there to allow insurance experts to solely concentrate on customer service. Thus, clients can get insurance with as little effort as possible.
The only interruption of the process, by which the client is not directly affected, is the details of the insurance contract - they are directly sent by mail to Clark by the insurance company. Currently, the insurance and the InsurTech companies are not on the same level of digitalization. Due to their cooperation, this will change and improve in the future.
Clark’s advisors communicate on several channels with the client: by chat, website or app, Facebook, Twitter, mail or conventional, over the phone. Through the self-developed Robo-Advisor Clark’s advisors get extra support. The Robo-Advisor analyses the information of the insurance policies and client's submissions. It automatically checks the insurance contracts, so that Clark can make potential savings or insurance gaps visible. The formula of the Robo-Advisor was developed together by insurance experts and developers with normal “if-this-then-that”-formula. It took Clark six weeks from the beginning of the development until the first launch of the Robo-Advisor. As typical for startups, Clark develops agile software in order to develop them as fast as they can. The typical startup fast-paced developing keeps true for Clark, especially when it comes to software.
The usage of Robo-Advisors has already gained a certain routine in the finance sector. Likewise, this development will have its breakthrough in the insurance sector soon. Algorithm based counseling will be a norm on the market in three to five years. The digitization of the insurance industry is not something unreachable in the future anymore. It’s happening now.