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Industry Update With Steve Anderson: Latest Tech Acquisitions

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Mergers and acquisitions between agencies have been very active over the last few years.

Something similar is happening with insurance agency technology vendors. Two separate announcements last week highlight the ongoing activity. If you are current clients for either, you have already received information about the changes coming.

For the rest of us, here is my take.

The first announcement is that Applied Systems has acquired Tarmika.

In my presentations this year, I have been talking about “What’s next” for agencies. One of my trends is the activity in commercial quoting and submissions. I included Tarmika in a list of start-ups working on the problem.

A problem with commercial insurance – especially small commercial – is the cost of acquiring a new account. Most agencies have to go to a carrier portal to obtain a quote. And, when you represent multiple companies, it is a time-consuming – and unprofitable – process.

Applied has been focused over the last few years on improving the commercial process. They have been working on improving the quoting process for several years. Tarmika further improves its offerings. Tarmika (and others) have been working on bringing the efficiency of personal lines quoting to commercial lines.

This is the latest in a series of acquisitions Applied has made.

Applied purchased Indio Technologies in late 2019 to “Accelerate Digitization of commercial lines submissions.”

And, they announced the Ivans Distribution platform to leverage the existing Ivans carrier connections to submit applications electronically.

The Tarmika acquisition helps strengthen Applied’s premium quoting capabilities.

The challenge is always integrating the new technology into existing (legacy?) platforms. If done well, agencies will benefit from an updated quote, bind, issue process. If not, well agencies suffer.

The second announcement is from Agency Revolution (a marketing automation platform), started by Michael Jans and sold to a northwest venture capital firm a few years ago.

They announced their acquisition of Forge3, a website development firm based in Pennsylvania. Forge3 is a popular option for insurance agencies to develop and manage their websites. One of their unique offerings is “clickable coverage.” It provides a visual and interactive way to help prospects visualize the risks different types of businesses face. I have included a link below to an old article that describes it in more detail.

Agency websites have become a primary lead generation tool, so it makes sense that Agency Revolution would want to more closely tie capturing lead information from agency websites with their marketing automation capabilities.

It will be a benefit to their clients.

Catalyit is publishing a new report on the state of agency tech. Keep an eye out for it. It will help you understand the tech agencies are currently using and their satisfaction.

These two announcements continue the trend of technology development and rapid change. As an agency, you should not wait, as the biggest risk you face might just be not taking enough risk.

If you have any questions or comments, be sure to reach out to us at hello@catalyit.com or visit the website.

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