3 Questions with Ralph Blust, President and CRO at Pathpoint

Pathpoint's President and CRO discusses leveraging tech for agency growth, strategies to tackle industry challenges, and all things PathPay.

Industry

Ralph Blust, President and Chief Revenue Officer at Pathpoint

  1. Can you share with us your experience in the commercial property and casualty insurance niche, and how you’ve been able to use technology as an enabler for growth and efficiency?

As a whole, our industry has struggled to streamline processes, whether in quoting accounts, or issuing and managing policies and premium payments, or policy renewals. I have spent the majority of my career reengineering processes and incorporating technology to create a more efficient agent experience in placing small commercial P&C policies.  

The approach I have adopted is this: you start by creating an efficient workflow that eliminates unnecessary and redundant elements. Then, you incorporate technology to the activities in the new workflow. A rule of thumb when introducing technology is if the decision point can be binary, then it can be automated.

In 1995, I started in the industry with a Worker’s Compensation program for nonprofit agencies. We managed the entire program in an access database, and in three years grew it from concept to a $30 million Gross Written Premium (GWP) program with a 47% combined ratio.

Today, Pathpoint is the first-of-its-kind digital wholesale broker that is focused on providing agents with a completely automated transaction experience for small commercial P&C high-risk insureds. We receive hundreds of applications a day from our agency network that consists of more than 12,000 independent agencies – and many of them link to us through the Bold Penguin platform.

  1. Could you tell us more about Pathpoint’s PathPay payment process, and how it has created more efficiency and simplicity for agents and insured?

PathPay, our completely digital premium payment processing system, goes hand-in-hand with our mission to streamline small commercial E&S and make life easier for insurance agents in the commercial E&S space. Upon requesting the bind in our platform, the agent receives a payment link and either the agent or the insured can pay the premium in full using any digital payment method. If the insured would like an installment option, PathPay immediately offers that option with a variety of payment schedules to choose from.  It’s just like binding a small commercial account with a standard market… simple, easy and fast!


  1. What are the main challenges that agents face in the small commercial business client space, and how do Pathpoint’s strategies address those challenges?

The single biggest challenge an agent faces with small commercial P&C is the processing costs of acquiring and managing the account. If the agent makes less than $1,000 commission on an account, the agent is losing money. This is different from personal lines, because in personal lines, the workflows have evolved and are very efficient.  

The complexity and diversity of small commercial P&C makes efficiency a bigger lift. Each industry vertical and its sub operations have unique exposures that must be evaluated and then appropriate pricing and coverage must be provided. This complexity historically leads to more work done by the agent and the underwriters. More work increases the cost and the pressure on margins. When the account must be placed in the non-admitted marketplace, the operational expenses increase exponentially.  This is why many agents will walk away from an account if it requires non-admitted carrier solutions. Pathpoint’s platform is designed to create an admitted carrier placement experience with non admitted risks for the agent. We have streamlined the process and automated the workflow. This saves agents hours, or even days of work. This savings translates to the agent making money on the accounts and allows America's small businesses to focus on making their business successful.  

Interested in learning how to grow your small commercial book of business? Join Pathpoint and Bold Penguin on May 17th for a webinar where you’ll gain vital knowledge and tips to help grow your small commercial client base.

Register here

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