Hello! The next release of the ‘Inspire Insurtech’ series where we interview inspiring insurtechs to find out who they are, what they do, what we can expect from them in the future, and more is here!
Tell us RDT’s brief pitch
RDT has been pushing the boundaries of general insurance technology for 27 years and our reputation for innovation is nearly as old as the company itself.
Our holistic solution Atlas provides insurers and MGAs with a complete end-to-end insurance software solution. Clients have control over pricing, data validation, fraud identification while improving their customers’ experience and getting ahead of their competition.
Most recently we’ve developed the technology behind TRiCE, a smartphone app which instantly returns an accurately priced, properly underwritten quote after asking the customer only five questions.
Equator is the data enrichment and orchestration solution behind the TRiCE app, and this was created by RDT while working in collaboration with insurers. It provides better and faster assessment of risks at the point of quote, drawing on data from third party information feeds to calculate and price the risks. With Equator, insurers can manage their rates centrally and can handle over 50 million quotes a day.
Our policy administration solution, Landscape, handles all policy, claim and accounting information. Its flexibility makes it a powerful tool for any size of insurer or MGA.
Our products are built, tested and deployed using Agile methodologies, providing clients with a regular opportunity to review progress, amend requirements as necessary and adjust work backlogs.
We offer our products as an Azure based managed service, clients can host on their own hardware, or a combination of both.
So how did RDT begin?
RDT began 27 years ago as three 20-something year old friends with one insurer as a customer. We worked in two cramped rooms above a fast food shop in Bromley, southeast London.
Now we have teams working in spacious, custom-designed headquarters in Kent (UK), offices in Halifax (UK) and Adelaide (Australia). We currently have 110 staff and 20 customers including Direct Line, Markerstudy and RAA in Australia (an ongoing customer for over 8 years).
We have been a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for 13 years and we annually reinvest 30 per cent of our turnover into research and development.
How has RDT evolved since inception?
We have adopted agile methodology to design and build our products. Software engineers, testers and managers collaborate in teams of six or seven in two-week sprints to produce tranches of finished code.
We also use DevOps, a work style that involves automating all stages of software construction, testing and deployment, leading to faster, more dependable development.
We constantly reinvest into the latest tools and techniques to keep staff motivated and our products leading edge.
Working like this encourages innovation and helps developers write accurate, bug-free code quickly. It also facilitates the quick launch of products, as customers can begin generating income with a “bare bones” version of a system months sooner than if they waited for the whole solution to be full finished.
Some of our customers were nervous about the change and took a while to be convinced, but four years later they are all on board and it has become a selling point – one of the first questions prospective customers often ask is: “are you agile?”
What is your team currently working on?
The TRiCE mobile phone app that we developed has expanded its offering to add more lines of business. Originally, the app was designed for short-term motor and gadget insurance, and this was swiftly followed by annual motor insurance. Over the last few months we have added travel and pet insurance.
We were also recently advised by one of our Equator customers that they successfully processed 11 billion quotes through Equator in the previous year. That is 11 billion quotes which were enriched with data from external sources, the risks were accurately assessed and customers provided with quotes created from the powerful rating engine.
Exciting! We’ll make sure to watch this space!
How does RDT ‘give back’?
The company has grown into a global family since its inception. We recognise the input that all our staff make to the company and we hold a summer social event to which they and their families are invited.
We have some dedicated staff who go to the local schools and provide recruitment advice to the children there and promote working in the IT industry. We have signed up to a social pledge that recognises the value of candidates no matter their background or family circumstances – it takes diversity another step forward. The pledge represents a commitment from the company to try to help people gain valuable training and experience in the workplace.
RDT dedicates money each year to Shine – a charity which provides specialist advice and support for spina bifida and hydrocephalus, as well as to African Revival – a charity providing access to quality education in Uganda and Zambia. As well as this, we regularly hold charitable events within the office. The events which involve cakes are the most popular, and it helps that we have a few eager bakers among our staff!
What is RDT’s biggest challenge in today’s markets?
Insurance companies tend to make decisions slowly and it took us years to build a solid customer base. Staffing remains a challenge. There’s a shortage of good IT professionals, and more than 70 per cent of our staff happen to be IT professionals, so recruitment is a constant battle for our HR department.
We created a great working environment to help with recruitment and retention, which works well. But while RDT’s staff is culturally diverse, women techies are rare. We run apprenticeships and offer summer internships to sixth formers, but girls never apply and it seems that they are not being encouraged to learn to write code. From a business perspective it restricts our ability to hire people, but it is bad for everyone – failing to engage half the future workforce will limit progress. We have started sending recruiters to local girls’ schools to drum up interest and hopefully start to make a change.
What are your thoughts on our monthly topic?
Several customers (new and existing) have approached RDT for what we call test and trial/incubator systems.
These test and trial/incubator systems are lightweight systems that are not tied to an existing (main) PAS (Policy Admin System) or infrastructure and therefore allow Insurance companies to launch and trial new products being able to tweak these products easily without interfering with this main PAS.
If these products are successful, they can be integrated into an Insurers main PAS at a later date.
RDT are utilising their existing technology stack, Atlas, to allow Insurers to accomplish this quickly and easily provider the insurer with a flexible solution.
The first live instance of this being TRiCE, detailed above, which has been live in the UK for just over 1 year.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Following on from RDT’s growth in the UK we are looking to replicate in Australia by investing and expanding our Australian operations.
RDT have recently increased their Australian team size and have relocated to larger offices in the Adelaide CBD.