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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Coherent brings clear-cut strategies to boost the insurance industry

How the insurtech startup helps insurers part ways with legacy technology.

One reason why some companies find it hard to let go of legacy technology is that it has proven reliable in both results and problems that come with it. Companies always know what problems will arise and how to deal with these with what they have. But as the world progresses, resolving these hiccups has slowly turned from being tedious to being a factor that holds them back.

For instance, in 2018 insurtech startup Coherent started with the mission to help the insurance industry adapt and evolve to meet macroeconomic, consumer, and digital challenges that impact the industry.

“Our core focus is to help insurers do things faster, smarter and simpler—specifically, making insurance more personalised and digital for customers and distributors. Although many insurers have fantastic brands and heritage, many of them are being held back by legacy technology systems and those constraints are restraining them from making meaningful changes in their customer experience, product offerings, and distribution processes,” CEO and co-founder of Coherent John Brisco said in an exclusive interview with Hong Kong Business.

He also identified challenges that many in the insurance industry face like slow product development, complicated selling process, low customer acquisition and engagement, and antiquated policy administration platforms.

Coherent helps insurers to overcome these challenges by reducing product development time from months to weeks. The Coherent Flow and Coherent Explainer platforms help insurance distributors sell remotely and more intelligently with simple, easy-to-use interactive quotes and illustrations so their customers can understand what they’re buying more easily.

A marketing platform will also be available for insurers that helps insurance marketers understand more about their customers’ behaviours by instantly connecting them through social messaging platforms.

Meanwhile, the automated policy management system Coherent Sonic helps insurers process high volume transactions in real-time with full auditability and scalability.

“We run predominantly on a licensing/SaaS model—this includes licensing our core proprietary technology Spark, as well as our platforms that run on Spark. Every insurer has unique needs, therefore, our commercial licensing model will adapt and reflect various factors to find the right ‘win-win’ outcomes for our clients and Coherent,” Brisco explained when asked about how the company makes profits.

In November 2020, Coherent raised more than $18.44m (US$14m) in a Series A funding led by Cathay innovation with the participation of Franklin Templeton.

According to Brisco, there are limitless opportunities in insurance that’s why Coherent continues to upgrade its core proprietary technology named Spark, which is Coherent’s logic and rules engine offering API services, data storage, and cloud provisioning. Another leverage the company keeps in top shape is it's team.

“Our competitive edge revolves around our people and core technology. Often, the value of really great people is forgotten as a key factor in a business’s success. We have developed an amazing team that is made up of 20+ nationalities with multiple skill sets, and a number of industry insiders who understand insurance deeply. The team creates the magic and energy that we ride on,” Brisco said.

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