Ki Series / 22nd May 2023

How software engineering is transforming insurance

Learn about the role of a software engineer at Ki Insurance, highlighting their importance in automating processes and improving efficiency in the insurance industry, while also bringing fresh ideas and innovation to the table.

Explain it to me like I’m 5: describe your role at Ki as a software engineer

Well you’d be forgiven for looking at my calendar – which is deliberately kept free – and wondering if I’m at a bit of a loose end. I keep meetings to a minimum so I’m available to deal with technical issues as and when they come up – I’m essentially a fixer. 

In general, software engineers are here to automate processes and improve the lives of our underwriters, as well as all users of our systems, so Ki can write quotes much faster. 

Computers are clever and silly at the same time. They’ll do anything you tell them, but you have to spend time providing every little detail – and with insurance there’s a huge amount of that. Once that’s done though, they’ll happily do the mundane repetitive tasks. 


What’s the importance of a software engineer at Ki and the insurance industry in general?

Insurance has been around a long time, so it makes sense that as an industry we’ve taken longer to adopt technology, but we’re here to kickstart that trend. 

We’re laying the groundwork for the industry. The future could be incredible and we’ll potentially be leading the way on innovation. 

There aren’t many software engineers in insurance, and I can say we don’t fully understand the ins and outs of insurance processes (risks, lines, line sizes etc), but we can work with our colleagues to oversee the automation of what’s important to them, making people’s lives easier and boosting efficiency. 

Our experience from other industries also lets us bring fresh ideas to the table, helping us keep pace with the times. 

Software engineering in the insurance industry is somewhat paradoxical to lots of tech businesses. For example, Google searches get a huge amount of traffic, with each one being low value. Here it’s the opposite. We get relatively low traffic, but each click could be worth millions so it’s crucial to stay on top of tech issues. 

I’ve worked at places where you wouldn’t worry about an error until it had appeared say, 10,000 times, but here we’re aiming for zero. It’s a fascinating challenge. 


What level of interaction do you have with the users and brokers?

We’ll typically speak directly to brokers to do user interviews, sitting down with them to hear about any problems straight from the horse’s mouth. Having this direct access is hugely valuable because it’s not being diluted or misinterpreted through various chains of people or processes. 

Occasionally we even go to Lloyd’s. I’ve been 5-6 times which is unusual for what used to be considered back office functions – but we’re changing that by being more involved, getting that practical context to help Ki be more efficient and collaborative. 


What are your experiences of going into Lloyd’s?

I remember being very impressed the first time I went, everyone’s so smartly dressed and it’s a proper beehive of chatter and activity. It was a treat to be able to stand around like a tourist and observe it all. 

I also learned that if you want a good deal, speak to people before lunch – hunger apparently impacts your negotiation skills! 


Is there a specific project you have worked on in your time at Ki so far, that stands out the most?

A project that stands out is an internal tool I helped polish – it’s used by underwriters to find line sizes when they’re not available on the website. This is just a way to price a risk. 

It wasn’t particularly useful and needed a bit of love, so I worked closely with ops and underwriters to help it work better for them. It’s another example of how effective it is to work directly with users. 

We also put together a simple email reminder to put a firm order note on a quote that had not yet been bound. This used to be something the underwriter would have to manually track and chase, but now they don’t have to think about it. 

There’s a whole lot more we can do and do better. We’re still making mistakes but learning from them. But with all the knowledge we’ve got as a team of software engineers, I can see Ki moving forward and leading digital trading the market. 

Get access to Ki

If your Broking House is already using Ki you can request an account today


Ki Digital Services Limited is an appointed representative of Asta Underwriting Management Ltd , a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 657311.
Registered office at The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall St, London, EC3V 4AB
Ki Insurance - © 2024 All rights reserved