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CEO Message: A Look Back at 2022 & Forward to 2023

By Alex Bargmann


2022 was a very important year for Pathpoint.

While this update is meant for our clients, partners, and carriers, both existing and prospective, I first want to thank the team at Pathpoint. They’ve done extraordinary work this year.

In 2022, that team set a pace that puts Pathpoint on the trajectory of building a category-defining wholesale intermediary.

  1. We have onboarded over 5,000 agents around the country.
  2. We’ve partnered with 17 top networks, aggregators, franchises, and digital platforms to help them offer their members and customers a viable way, for the first time, to place small commercial E&S business.
  3. We’ve built the infrastructure on the Marketing, Sales, and Operations teams to unlock and support activating these clients. It’s harder to measure changes to our “GTM stack” than it is to measure code releases (1,494 in 2022 to our primary application), but it’s likely these teams made improvements to core tooling and processes multiple times a week in order to onboard and serve all the agents we now work with — this is incredible. Most teams try to only change process once or twice a month.
  4. Growing Monthly Active Users by 17% month-over-month and Gross Premium by 16% month-over-month for the entire year.
  5. We now work with over a dozen supply partners, many of which we have spent more than a year working to digitize, automate, and iterate on their product set.
  6. Taking average time to quote, from first starting a submission to under seven minutes and time to bind, from first submission, to less than a day.

In terms of agent experience, the E&S market is 10 years behind the admitted market. Our goal is simple — fix this divergence.  Pathpoint primarily operates within the binding authority E&S small commercial segment (this is a mouthful, it speaks to the fragmentation and jargon of the market, but also our focus!).

The binding authority segment of E&S will be over $30B in premium next year. It remains a fragmented and hard to navigate market even as the entire transactional brokerage side in wholesale has consolidated.  Agents frequently turn to this segment to place small and mid market accounts that are too complex for admitted markets, but the traditional binding authority transaction doesn’t live up to expectations.  It can still be very paper driven (20 page supplementals) and national wholesalers may operate 20+ binding offices each with their own carrier appointments and processes.

Pathpoint gives agents the ability to profitably and quickly place small commercial E&S business through a single national gateway that connects them with blue chip carriers. We couple the platform with the strongest parts of the old playbook: our regional Account Manager and Underwriting Operations teams work to build direct relationships with our clients. At the same time, our Product and Engineering teams are constantly sourcing feedback from internal teams, clients, and binding authority product leaders, to bring specific and actionable insight into the business.

Our primary goal continues to be to bring this experience to as many US retail agents as possible while improving service, product offering, and ease of use.

Carrier Expansions

We added two new nationwide binding authority carriers, Nautilus and Markel, in 2022. Together with Crum & Forster and Westchester, this provides with a fantastic set of suppliers. With this, we provide agents with comprehensive appetite across segments, with three segments (Contractors, Vacant Buildings, and Vacant Land) now quoting with four carriers each. In January, Lessors Risk Only, our second most utilized segment, will join that list.

Pathpoint now offers coverage across product lines from these carriers:

It is unconventional for a wholesaler to work with a dozen markets, but this is an intentional choice for us. We see each of our carriers as long-term strategic partners and dedicate hundreds of hours to ensuring they can efficiently distribute through us via digitized underwriting guidelines and integrated pricing and quoting backends. This investment must be amortized across dozens, if not hundreds, of combinations of an industry classification (ISO Codes) and a line of business, like “General Liability for 96408 Insulation Work – Plastic,” for each carrier.

We don’t focus on beating our competitors on breadth of offering — they can all offer access to every market — we differentiate on speed, reliability, and ease of use across the products we do offer. To uphold this promise, we meet regularly with all partners to keep rules and systems up to date; since the E&S market is about dynamism, moving quickly with carrier partners is table stakes. Over time, we work with our supply partners to grow appetite, but only after we’ve set up a strong baseline of underwriting and process. While working with fewer markets limits the number of accounts we can quote in short term, it gives us much deeper control over delivering a consistently high-quality experience for both agents and carriers.

End-to-End E-Signing and Compliance

As of August, Pathpoint is the only E&S wholesaler to offer e-signing across the entire policy lifecycle for general liability and property (the most commonly procured coverages in the (massive) binding authority segment). With this update:

  • All forms on Pathpoint, including the Pathpoint Universal Supplemental, State declination or affidavit forms, and ACORDs are e-signable.
  • Forms and ACORDs are auto-filled, so agents don’t have to re-enter information multiple times. Users fire these off to agents and insureds for signing with the click of a button.
  • Agents cannot submit incomplete information (required fields are mandated in the e-signing flow), reducing back-and-forth email threads between agents and insureds and agents and us.

New Segments

To determine how to expand supply, we consider what lines of business are growing fastest on the platform, what agents are asking for, and what risk is moving into E&S in a structural way. Throughout 2022, we added:

  • A new Restaurants, Bars, and Taverns vertical with three instant quoting carriers.
  • Excess Casualty coverage, powered by Nautilus, for Contractors GL, with both a standalone coverage option as well as the option to bundle coverage with any of our four Contractors carriers in one submission flow.
  • Markel and Nautilus to three existing verticals (Contractors, Vacant Buildings, and Vacant Land).

These additions set the stage for further expansion in 2023. In addition to adding new segments,  we’ll continue to add class codes within segments and round out existing segments with carriers we have yet to add.

Digital Distribution

In 2022, we launched our first APIs (thanks to our first partner, Bold Penguin, who let us build out along the way). Distribution partners use these APIs to bring E&S products that have been integrated into Pathpoint into their ecosystems (whether they themselves are API businesses, quoting and placement tools, agency management systems, etc.).

We’re meeting agents where they’re already seeking and binding coverage, including on admitted market platforms.

We publicly launched two API partnerships in 2022 and are working on 2 more that will go live in 2023.

Service Enhancements

We are constantly shipping changes to Pathpoint, and behind the scenes, to provide best-in-class service for all E&S transaction. A few highlights of 2022:

  • Enabled self-service endorsement requests (making sure our Underwriting Operations team had all the relevant information to close out the request quickly) while also automating common endorsement requests pre and post-bind.
  • Update our agent dashboard in: guides for first-time users, self-service just-in-time appointment, and in application appetite guidance, and a clear view of recent risks placed through Pathpoint.
  • Automating internal renewal and referral processes to 10x the number of referrals and 5x the number of renewals our underwriting operations managers could handle at Pathpoint.
  • Launching a new, searchable knowledge base to connect agents with the most up-to-date information on Pathpoint.
  • Creating a variable commission structure to better service large network, franchise, and aggregator partnerships.
  • Automating license verification with AgentSync, enabling real-time licensing visibility that frees up our Operations team to focus on client support.

What’s next?

Looking ahead to 2023 —

  • New capacity to support the fastest-growing line of business on Pathpoint, Commercial Property, and the second-most utilized vertical, Lessors Risk Only.
  • In particular, we’ll leverage some of this new capacity and features to allow agents to “package” property from one market with GL from another market in a single submission/quote/bind flow. This is tailored to the nature of E&S because one market might be interested in the GL based on occupancy, but another might be the best option for the property based on location — when done digitally, this can save the agent a massive headache and everyone else a lot of paperwork.
  • New features that will let agents and agencies implement Direct Bill like workflows with Pathpoint.
  • New quoting appetite, automated endorsements, and coverage options from our existing carrier partners in Contractors, our most utilized vertical.
  • Integrations with two new digital quoting tools.

I am a firm believer in compounding effort — I think product quality is a function of a few big bets coupled with 1,000 small efforts made one after the other. Looking forward to each step forward in 2023.