A Refreshing Take on Insurance

Written for an article in InsuranceCIO Outlook recognizing C3 as one of the Top 10 InsurTech Startups 2021.

The insurance industry has been long perceived as boring, staid, and adversarial. But, according to industry experts Jamie Reid and Gabe Erle, it doesn’t have to be so. Challenging the status quo, Reid and Erle joined forces to establish an entirely different kind of insurance brokerage—one that brings a fresh perspective to risk mitigation. This innovative idea led to the inception of C3 Risk & Insurance Services in 2017—a leading San Diego-based specialty insurance brokerage that ramps up the insurance game by including non-insurance elements to provide a comprehensive service to its clients. Since then, the company has been disrupting the insurance industry and helping clients receive the best product, price, and coverage in a timely manner. C3 handles all lines of insurance, including advance planning and life insurance, workers compensation, general liability, professional liability, and more. Besides, the company provides insurance around specialty divisions, including construction and surety, transportation, manufacturing, real estate, life science and financial services —with an exclusive focus on the fast-paced and high-risk life sciences industry.

Given its technical expertise in supporting life science and medical device companies, C3 successfully addresses their unique challenges and complexities with an aim to help them identify the right coverage options as seamlessly as possible. “Nobody likes paying for insurance, and every business wants to spend the least amount of money possible to buy an appropriate limit. However, the standard practice across the industry is to leverage aggregated data that includes hypotheticals, extreme outliers, and generalized information, while excluding some of the most important and telling industry-specific information,” states Reid, Chairman of the Board at C3.  As a result, companies get bad advice from competitors that can often lead to bad decision-making.

Simplifying D&O Insurance with Robust Technologies

C3 has developed its two proprietary technologies—C3 Profile and C3 The Answer—the first to educate the underwriting community of exposures that each company has and the second to provide real-time accurate loss data to help clients make better decisions. Reid credits Mike Milligan, an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, for the exceptional growth of C3’s life science segment and development of innovative technology platforms.  “When we drew up the concept, we were trying to change how clients buy D&O Insurance.  This market requires insurers to remove hypothetical models and use real-time data to answer important questions to get better rates for our clients. C3 is a regional powerhouse, private and nimble enough to innovate and create proprietary technology that gives us an advantage with underwriters on behalf of our clients,” states Milligan, Managing Director at C3. Just a few years ago, Milligan observed that D&O rates for life science companies rose 400% and retentions jumped 10X and he knew there needed to be a better way to evaluate and purchase D&O insurance.

Built for underwriters, C3 Profile provides a fast and comprehensive look at any public company in the U.S. The technology also allows for productive risk management conversations with data scientists and underwriters to showcase every exposure and nuance found in the research. Ultimately, that data allows C3 to negotiate better for clients because the underwriters understand the risk better.

C3 The Answer, on the other hand, is a dynamic database built to analyze exposures, show real-time loss measurements and provide the holistic data necessary to help clients make better decisions. C3 The Answer compares over 36 data points for a company against actual litigation and eliminates the fundamental flaw in D&O insurance – hypothetical data – to predict what limit the client should purchase. “This is put into practice daily with the Life Science division and D&O Insurance where companies are spending more than ever on D&O premiums,” explains Milligan. “C3 The Answer includes comprehensive, industry-specific information and tells us there are several other factors that impact the outcomes of litigation, many of which are unknown and unmeasured by hypothetical data.” Using the technology, C3 can answer the complex and nuanced questions about a business and how much it should spend on D&O Insurance using dismissal and settlement rates, and average and medium settlements by industry. One practical example is a national broker returned a 40% increase to a client and C3 used data from C3 The Answer to renew at 15%, which saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. In total, C3’s clients have saved millions of dollars making better D&O purchasing decisions.

C3 is recognized as a 2021 Top 10 InsurTech Startup for its leadership in innovation and development of two groundbreaking technology solutions in C3 Profile and C3 The Answer.

It All Starts with the “Discovery”…

C3 steers ahead of other players in the market due to its extensive discovery phase, wherein the company invests significant time and resources to understand the clients’ business operations and their coverage requirements. C3’s typical client engagement process begins with meeting the client’s team to dive deep into their work culture. The company leverages its out-of-the-box video production services to produce engaging insurance commercials, which is included with C3’s pricing requests to underwriters. The process is kick started with C3 interviewing the entire leadership team and other employees to gather their insights into the organization’s work environment, its uniqueness, and learning everything they do. In this way, C3 breathes life into the special risk factors associated with the client organization and ensures that clients participate in writing the narrative impacting their insurance cost and coverage.

The next step involves the forensic analysis of the current insurance/risk management programs of the client. C3’s experts go through over 300 quality assurance marks to cross-reference how a client’s insurance policies work and help them understand how their risk management program is structured. C3 then goes ahead to build a new program for the client.

As part of its comprehensive service, C3 provides claims advocacy, nurse triage services, property risk management, safety & loss prevention programs, employee training videos, underwriting packages, and more. Moving ahead, the company envisions growing exponentially and enhancing its solutions continually. “We aspire to create a legacy for a lifetime in San Diego and Southern California so that when people think insurance, they think of us on the same level as they think of Qualcomm when it comes to technology,” notes Reid.

This article was published in conjunction with InsuranceCIO Outlook as part of C3’s recognition as one of the Top 10 InsurTech Startups 2021.