September 05, 2022

Zinnia: The Path to Value for the L&A Industry by Michael Celi

The insurance industry has been slower to digitally transform, however, in my mind, the seemingly slow pace of change is, in fact, in line with the natural cadence of this industry.  Unlike new product sales in other industries, it takes years for life and annuities products to pay back. On the consumer side, the time […]

The insurance industry has been slower to digitally transform, however, in my mind, the seemingly slow pace of change is, in fact, in line with the natural cadence of this industry. 

Unlike new product sales in other industries, it takes years for life and annuities products to pay back. On the consumer side, the time between when a policy is issued and when a claim is made is also typically measured in years. In addition, this industry is highly structured with very well-defined processes and guardrails.

Creating a Path to Value for Carriers

Carriers know they need to modernize, and most of them have spent years and millions of dollars doing so. What hasn’t been readily available is the detailed roadmap to getting them there, including milestones clearly marking “value delivered.” Instead, most carriers have had to settle for discrete functional improvements – not a compelling path to value.

This is why we’ve created Zinnia, a new company that combines our rich heritage of insurance industry expertise with great technology to will help carriers deliver exceptional risk-based outcomes in the life and annuity sectors. At Zinnia, we believe the path to value for carriers will be built on a foundation we call Open Insurance. 

The most important thing to understand about Open Insurance is that it’s about bringing transparency to what has traditionally been a black-box industry. We’re not talking about “opening the kimono” and exposing the inner workings of the industry. Instead, we want to develop systems where data flows freely to the authenticated stakeholders that need it. 

The status of a new policy application should not be a mystery that requires multiple phone calls and faxes to figure out. That information should be accurate and available on-demand as needed. And not just application status, but all policy and policyholder information that is required at any given point in the lifecycle.

Delivering on the Impossible

Everyone talks about unlocking the existing data inside legacy systems and/or creating new systems that capture useful data. But instead of generating disconnected data, let’s aim higher. Let’s create a new data model that captures every single customer interaction – including offline events – and plots them on a timeline. From business initiation to policy issuance, servicing events, life events, third-party data – EVERYTHING.

At Zinnia, we are connecting all aspects of the cycle, categorizing and contextualizing every interaction so carriers can play a far more valuable and recurring role in their customers’ lives. Has a policyholder recently had a new baby? Is a policyholder applying for a mortgage? This is transparency in action.

With Zinnia Open Insurance, we aim to keep it simple for our customers so they can focus on the complexities of running their businesses. We know the industry, we understand the cycle, and we’re not going to tell our carrier partners to change the way they do things. 

We are going to help them seamlessly connect people, processes, data, and technology to create a better experience of insurance for everyone. Zinnia. Life More Open.