Electronic Chat with Christopher Ewing
Staff Writer | May 04, 2020
Christopher Ewing is President and CEO of One Inc, which offers a single platform for processing premiums and claims payments, designed to integrate with insurance core systems. The platform helps insurers to increase retention and persistency, reduce admin expenses, and simplify PCI compliance.
Please tell us about your insurance background and how it has prepared you for your current position with One Inc.
My foray into entrepreneurship and the startup life began when I co-founded Shari’s Berries, a company which you may know for its gourmet, chocolate-dipped strawberries. After selling Shari’s Berries, I became general counsel and CIO at a large retail brokerage company, and then co-founder of two managing general agencies and an insurance carrier. Very early on I realized that the problem in insurance was not a lack of good, innovative ideas. It was that there were a lot of assets that needed to be digitized to meet the demands of insureds, but insurers did not have a clear, consistent roadmap for updating their organizations – especially when they were still dependent on legacy systems. This insight lead to us to create a digital platform for the insurance industry, built to integrate with core systems of all ages, to help carriers modernize their organizations through digital payments.
Please tell us how and why you became involved with One Inc.
I formed One Inc with Tim Tyannikov to transform insurance companies through a frictionless payment experience. If you think about it, insurance is really an agreement around payments. “If you pay me a premium, I will promise to pay you if a peril occurs.” That is the heart of insurance. Yet in our experience, the traditional banks and payments companies were not able to offer the insurance vertical a complete, integrated payments solution – and that is the reason we created One Inc!
What aspect of insurtech are you especially passionate about?
I love software. I especially love web- and SaaS-based software because of its ability to transform industries and make a truly lasting impact.
What changes do you predict for the insurtech industry over the next few years?
The big issue in insurance is not great ideas – everyone has great ideas. The issue is how to execute these ideas in the most efficient way. I think the advent and adoption of APIs and microservices will revolutionize the way we create, market and distribute insurance products. Imagine the day when you can create a complex insurance product in minutes and start selling immediately. The amount of innovation insurers can adopt through APIs and microservices is already allowing insurance companies to modernize and grow, and I predict that will only increase over the next few years.
The COVID-19 shutdown has underlined the importance of digital platforms for insurance and other industries. What advice do you have for businesses that have been slow to adopt new technologies?
The key with a digital transformation is that it does not have to be all-or-nothing. There are a lot of technologies you can adopt right now that do not require a complete systems overhaul. Through the strategic use of APIs and microservice driven products, you can begin to leverage the benefits of innovative digital platforms now, when it is most needed. Then you can focus on replacing the core systems later, as time and resources allow.
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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
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