Pedigree chums gather for Aquarium sponsored Pet Insurance Summit over the Pond

Pedigree chums gather for Aquarium sponsored Pet Insurance Summit over the Pond

Apr 30, 2014

Aquarium Software Ltd has confirmed they will be a lead sponsor of The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) Summit on 27-29 May in Washington DC, where the industry’s top dogs discuss and plan policy.

The company is backing this year’s annual gathering of industry insiders, NAPHIA members, insurance companies, partners and others, as the event affords the best opportunity to discuss new initiatives in the pet insurance industry stateside. Sales and Marketing Director, Mark Colonnese has confirmed he will speak, together with North American advisor David Goodnight.

“The NAPHIA Summit is one of the biggest gatherings of North American industry leaders and we are proud to be sponsoring the event,” said Mark. “Aquarium is a global business and our assets deployed in the US and Canadian markets reflect that. NAPHIA is the ideal place to meet up with existing clients and introduce latest developments to new ones along the way, further growing our US footprint.”

The formation of Aquarium Software Inc. was announced last year, with David Goodnight retained to advise Mark on all US matters. Spearheading activities stateside, Goodnight assists with US customer relations, including the new trans-Atlantic partnership with global giant RSA’s pet insurance brand, Pets Plus Us. The RSA deal heralds a new era for insurers buying technology platforms, as unlike standard models where a large up-front capital fee is charged for software deployment, followed by fees based on user numbers, Aquarium presents a completely new solution:

“We like to call it risk sharing but a phrase you will hear more of is ‘transactional revenues’”, added Mark. “Instead of huge up-front fee and charging per user, the only cost is for volume of policies sold, renewed, or claims processed through the system. This way, unless our software really works, clients are free to look elsewhere, with the vast majority of their capital intact.”

While not a new concept, the introduction of such a charging structure into the pet insurance is a revolutionary step in an industry with massive growth potential, yet has seen US and UK provider’s pull out of the market, with fraud, rising vet bills and poor legacy software causing some to re-think.

RSA overlooked the bigger software vendors in favor of Aquarium’s model and for Randy Valpy, ‘Top Dog’ at Royal & Sun Alliance-owned Pets Plus Us and NAPHIA committee member, the choice was clear: “We picked Aquarium after sifting through rival technology companies globally. You can get similar transactional models elsewhere but the solution you’re offered is ‘one size fits all’, not tailored to your precise needs. What Aquarium has provided is unique to us and that was absolutely key and I am looking forward to Mark’s participation at the Summit.”

With a track record developing systems for UK insurers such as Capita and Markerstudy, Aquarium could offer Valpy a bespoke, cost-effective service, yet specific enough to deal with the complexities of the pet insurance market. Spreading this good news will be a hot topic at the NAPHIA summit, because while data mining, anti-fraud and customer journey initiatives have been applied in insurance for years, it has not been widely applied to pet insurance - until now.

“There is an argument that pet insurance has been underestimated in terms of its potential both for growth and fraud,” added Mark. “It is becoming clear the product needs treating with the same intellectual rigour and methodology (and the same software) as any other insurance product.”

The pet insurance sector needs to integrate the best traditional insurance practices; with Mark’s presentation to NAPHIA delegates expected to say the next generation of pet policy and claims software, offering intelligent, intuitive and cost effective solutions will be key. Integration with third party suppliers (vets & pharmaceutical) and cross referencing of claims must form the backbone of fraud reduction strategies and enhanced customer journey – all set to get tails wagging in Virginia.