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September 24, 2018 Issue



Q&A with Matt Miller, Founder and CEO of Embroker, the leading Digital Commercial Insurance Brokerage



Matt Miller

Founder and CEO




Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – September 24, 2018


CEOCFO: Mr. Miller, what is the concept behind Embroker?  

Mr. Miller: Embroker is the leading digital commercial insurance brokerage. We pair industry leading technology and data capabilities with specialized expertise to make insurance work better for all types of businesses. Our technology helps companies find the best value on the right policies, support them when they have claims and saves them time compared to working with legacy insurance brokers. Whether companies want to buy new insurance coverage or restructure an entire corporate program, our technology makes that process significantly easier and usually less expensive than any other option in the marketplace.


CEOCFO: Are businesses, in general, embracing technology regarding their insurance or is it maybe a little bit of an uphill battle for a business to understand they can do what individuals have done easier, cheaper and faster?

Mr. Miller: We find that there is a huge amount of demand for the model we’ve built, and for a more innovative and a more efficient way of dealing with business insurance in general. Commercial insurance has lacked transparency historically and it has been a complex, painful process. If you look at many other business services like payroll, accounting, banking and inventory, we now use software to do all of those things more efficiently and effectively and people have embraced those in almost every industry. What we see in insurance is that we are blazing a trail. I think we are the furthest along and have the best product, but certainly the time has come for a more advanced way of dealing with a core business function and businesses are enthusiastic about this change.


CEOCFO: How are you reaching out so that people know you exist and hopefully pay attention and use your service?

Mr. Miller: We have a number of ways that we go to market. We have our own internal team that builds marketing messages and does marketing digitally. We have a large outdoor ad campaign in San Francisco, right now, if you are in SF and walking around you will probably see our ads on the street. We also have a number of channel partners that help refer us business. Lastly, we have the opportunity with several of our partners to build APIs with other business software providers so that we can use that data to make it easier for companies to find the right coverage. That is something that being a part of a digital ecosystem certainly helps in distribution as well.


CEOCFO: Would you please explain to us how you are able to come up with a plan tailored for a business? Is it digitally or do you have a human factor as well? 

Mr. Miller: We both build digital solutions and we also utilize industry experts to give advisory solutions to companies. How it works is that we start by taking all the information about a company and all the information of what that their current coverage is. They will upload it an account that they create on They can do all of this for free. Once they upload their information we digitize it so that we can compare with industry benchmarks. We start with a risk review, so we use all the data about their program to evaluate their current policies and use that to identify coverage gaps and opportunities for better premiums based on our database and benchmarking. Then we combine that with a review from a specialized expert that will look over the coverages and provide advisory and support services and answer any questions that the company has. We also use the same technology to monitor a company’s claim and look out for any indications that claims are mistaken or could be improved through better loss control.


CEOCFO: What types of businesses are gravitating towards Embroker? Are there particular industries, professions and so on? 

Mr. Miller: We have seen a good mix. We tend to work with companies between twenty and one thousand employees; growing businesses that are not-yet at the enterprise level. That is our sweet spot right now. The industries that we have been focusing on run across the board. However, some places where we have special capabilities are technology particularly, legal and accounting, construction, real estate as well as restaurants and retail.


CEOCFO: Why? Is it just opportunistic?

Mr. Miller: Largely we have focused on industries where we can create what we feel to be the most differentiated offering relative to anywhere else it could go. For example, with technology companies, we have built the very first digital director and officer’s policy. This is something that we did from the ground up, we built our own insurance product because we were deeply familiar with the market, we knew the pain points and we knew that we could offer something better to our customers. Now technology companies can go buy directors and officer’s coverage in less than sixty seconds and it is the best coverage on the market at the best price. We know that because we built it with that goal in mind from the beginning! That was an opportunity where we knew the space well enough that we used our capabilities and technology to actually create a whole new product and I think that is something that will continue for other industries such as construction and real estate. There are industries where insurance is a major pain point, dealing with many different entities, dealing with certificates, they spend a lot of money on it; it is very important to them in their business. We find these buyers that are more engaged, that understand insurance, that are looking for a more sophisticated approach; that is where we can add the most value. We are not necessarily a great fit for someone that just wants to buy a policy and does not really care about it. Where we have found that we are the most successful is where companies are spending enough money on insurance that it matters to them. We can provide a better way of dealing with insurance for them and tend to get great results.


CEOCFO: How do you work with a company after they have bought insurance through Embroker?

Mr. Miller: There are a number of different ways that we provide support throughout the process. One of which is that our suite of digital tools are available to them throughout the entire year as they go about running their business. Depending on the business these may be something that they need to use more or less, but they have the capability to send their own certificate of insurance, to check claims, to get real time reporting on that, to issue endorsements to change their policies; instantly. These were all things that before, you would have to go back and forth to the broker and that could take weeks and usually is a very painful process, because you may not be able to sign a contract until you have a certificate in hand and if we can provide that instantly it makes life better for a lot of businesses. On top of that, we monitor changes in their business and look for ways that if they are growing, for example, we give them the ability to either connect with us or to update the information on their account. We will monitor that and look for ways to tailor coverage throughout the year to the business. For example, one of our clients is a chain of restaurants that adds locations pretty frequently. For them, they just need to input their information on the new location into their account and we will make sure that is automatically added to their policy. It takes them fifteen minutes where it used to take hours to deal with that kind of administrative hassle. Also, for companies that have claims, we will monitor their claims throughout the year. We will work with the CFO or the business owner to try to improve their experience with claims and make sure that we are on top of those, so that there is nothing that gets out of hand when it comes time to renew their policies at the end of the year.


CEOCFO: How do you work with startups?? Why are they a good component for your business? 

Mr. Miller: We have a special affinity for startups! Obviously, we are a startup ourselves. Therefore, we understand them extraordinarily well! As a startup founder myself I know how painful it can be just to deal with insurance when it is not running your business. That is a market that we definitely want to support and for which we have a unique capability. We know what policies these types of companies need. In a short period of time, we have built one of the largest market share of startups in the Bay Area of any insurance broker. We have gotten really great at providing them the products they need, providing them with the experience they want, and they love our technology. They love how easy it is to use. They love the fact that we can do things instantly, rather than needing to wait for a delay. Now, given that we have such good number of startups, as I mentioned, we are starting to build our own insurance products. That starts a virtuous cycle in which we can provide them better coverage and that then helps with getting more startups and then the more that we have the more we can provide them better coverage. That is because we use economies of scale to reduce their pricing and improve the products we can give them.


CEOCFO: How do you help a client decide what is best for them? How do you help give direction, particularly, where it is hard to evaluate which way to go? 

Mr. Miller: It’s a good question. We always try to bring data to bear on the problem. We find that the way that most companies or most brokers approach this is just intuition and guidance. “Let me tell you what’s right here and you do not need to think about it.” Obviously, there is an important advisory component to the job. We are insurance experts, our clients are not. Therefore, we provide them advice on what we think is the right set of policies, the right limits and the right deductibles for their business. However, we also use data to educate them, but at the end of the day many of those decisions have to do with risk tolerance. There is no right or wrong answer, necessarily. It just depends on how you want to build a risk management program and how much risk you want to take on verses how much risk you want to transfer. The more that we can bring data to our clients we find the more that they value that and feel empowered to have an active role in that decision themselves. Many of our clients actually do know what they want and we just help them achieve that. Some of them do want us to take a more active role in suggesting what they need though.


CEOCFO: You are available in fifty states; so that means fifty sets of regulations, plus whatever insurance companies are changing at whim sometimes. How do you stay up to date or is it relatively easy given the electronic age today to stay on top?

Mr. Miller: Obviously, it is a regulated business with fifty different state insurance departments. They do have different rules and regulations. Therefore it is something that we take very seriously and it does require work. We have a compliance department and an excellent general counsel, Deanna Johnston, who spends a lot of time and effort to make sure that we are doing absolutely everything in accordance with all regulatory guidelines.


CEOCFO: I see on your website that someone can renew their policy with an existing broker through your site. How does that work? Do people tend to come in when they have been working with someone else to make a change? How does that part of what you do come into play?

Mr. Miller: I would say the majority of our clients transfer to us from another broker. One of the things that we do is that we make it extraordinarily easy for companies to switch to us from any broker they are using. We work with almost all of the major carriers, so I would say that ninety percent of the time companies are moving to us from another broker.  The process is easy, companies can create an account, upload their policies and transfer them to us in less than ten minutes. From that point on they do not need to change insurance carriers. We will review their coverage. We will digitize everything. It is something that we really spend a lot of time and effort on; making sure that it is incredibly easy for companies to transfer to us. All they need are copies of their policies or even just a phone call.


CEOCFO: Where does the security come into play? Is that an issue at all for your clients?  

Mr. Miller: It has not been. The reality is that we are probably one of the most secure providers out there. That is because we are a technology company and as such we take security seriously. We do build security into all of our processes and tools. If you look at what actually happens in general, when most companies buy insurance they are emailing documents back and forth, including sensitive documents with their insurance broker. Their insurance broker is not a technology company and that stuff sits there in files and in different hard drives and open emails. It is almost the opposite. When you are doing something through a secure digital platform it is a much, much greater level of security, given the time and thought that has gone into building it than just emailing things.


CEOCFO: How is business these days?

Mr. Miller: Business has been great! So far we have grown three hundred percent year over year this year and we grew about three hundred percent last year! It has been really incredible to see the growth of the business thus far and more importantly, to see the results that we are having for our customers.


CEOCFO: Why choose Embroker?

Mr. Miller: We have proven that we can add a tremendous amount of value almost any type of company on something that is vital to their business, but that they may not put as much time or thought into as they need, which is buying insurance. Our technology makes the lives of our customer better by saving them time, saving them money and ultimately giving them peace of mind, because they know that they have the right policies for their business and that they have an easy, efficient way to deal with the entire insurance process. All of those things are pretty unique to us and thus far we have had just really great success with all the customers we have worked with.



“Our technology makes the lives of our customer better by saving them time, saving them money and ultimately giving them peace of mind, because they know that they have the right policies for their business and that they have an easy, efficient way to deal with the entire insurance process.”- Matt Miller





Matt Miller











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