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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
Looking ahead to 2023 —
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.
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