Takeaways from Our Conversation on Insurtechs in Cannabis

By | August 11, 2023

You don’t hear a lot about insurtechs and cannabis, but one firm aims to change that paradigm.

SquareRisk principals say they aim to transform the wholesale distribution model for specialty insurance, building partnerships with more than 15 specialty insurance carriers and MGAs.

The insurtech launched Aug. 3. As one of the founders said, from a timing standpoint, now is the time when agents and brokers are beginning to look for the same kind of experience and specialty insurance they get in standard lines.

Monesh Jain

For our latest episode, we spoke with SquareRisk founders Monesh Jain, an insurtech executive, and Art Catapang, who has 38 years in the business.

Following are takeaways from that conversation.

Jain was part of the early-stage team at SquareTrade, acquired years back by AllState in a $1.6 billion transaction. He also founded a global consulting firm.

“Why now” was one of the first questions he tackled.

Art Catapang

“If you look at the last several years, I think technology has done a great job in helping accelerate distribution of insurance products and the personal lines and standard commercial, right? But if really look at some of the specialty products, things like, you know, cannabis, cyber, like flood, like a lot of those specialty products, agents are still spending days and weeks trying to get a quote if they get one, then the customer’s like, ‘Hey, get me multiple quotes,’ he said. “And then they’re going back to wholesale, like trying to get multiple quotes, right? So, I think we are really at a point where agents experiencing, the agents are demanding that we should be getting experience very similar to what we get in standard lines. They want specialty insurance to be accessible as much as the standard lines are, right?”

Jain believes that leveraging technology is the answer.

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Catapang believes the rollout is also well times as newly legal states continue to get rolled out.

“The idea as we enter these new states is we’re shortening the times. So, speed typically wins with clients, and clients also want multiple quotes,” Catapang said. “So, they’re not looking to the agents to go to the past mature underwriters. They’re all looking for the new capacity. And so they can have access to these, get them quickly. And very often, speed wins, especially when you’re in a startup mode. You need to get those quotes very fast because you’re going through the license process and you have to show proof of insurance, whether it’s a compliance issue, a contract issue, it needs to be very quickly. And, and a lot of these new buyers don’t have a lot of time to secure the coverage.”

Jain envisions the problem from a retail broker’s perspective. Even one working a top wholesaler with a client who needs workers’ compensation for their cannabis operation, it may take a week to get a quote.

“And if you want multiple quotes, like good luck, right? And not because they’re not great, they’re all like great players, but just because the technology adoption in the industry is just not there, right? And what we want to do is take that one to two weeks and convert into minutes, right?”


Topics InsurTech Tech Cannabis

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