Bermuda is an exciting new territory for insurtech firm
An Irish insurtech company handling £10 billion worth of insurance claims in London annually is considering opening an office in Bermuda.
Docosoft chief executive Aidan O’Neill sees Bermuda as “an exciting new territory”.
“Bermuda is a centre for insurance excellence,” Mr O’Neill said. “The Bermuda insurance industry has been at the forefront of a global transition from paper to digital-based processes.”
Docosoft serves insurers and reinsurers by providing technology to streamline how firms measure risk, manage capital and reimburse clients as efficiently as possible when recovering from a loss.
Mr O’Neill was on the island this month to attend the Bermuda Risk Summit 2023 at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. Docosoft was a sponsor of the event.
Mr O’Neill said Bermuda firms have an appetite for process change that in many cases exceeds the speed of change in the United Kingdom.
“We see digital processing on the island increasing considerably in the coming years, with a real focus on data integration and process automation,” he said.
He thought it would be easier to make a technology change in a small place such as Bermuda, compared with larger global markets such as London, which are entrenched in the old ways of doing things.
Mr O’Neill told The Royal Gazette he had initially considered the Dutch market, but the need was not great enough there.
“I had heard Bermuda, Bermuda, Bermuda over the last 15 years,” Mr O’Neill said. “But to be honest, I thought it was somewhere in the Caribbean.”
He began to learn more about the island in 2021 when they came to the assistance of one of their London clients who had an office here.
“They were trying to get a system up and running here, and they were using another system out of the United States,” Mr O’Neill said. “It did not work out, so they asked us to look at it. We gave it a go and it went live last week.”
Then Mr O’Neill started thinking that since they had acquired a client in Bermuda, it might be worth setting up an office.
“And a lot of the clients we have in London also have offices here,” he said.
He was impressed by what he saw, and also by comments at the risk summit from David Burt, the Premier, encouraging people like him to come to the island to do business.
“Everyone seemed so friendly and were open to people from overseas,” he said.
Mr O’Neill founded Docosoft in Dublin, Ireland, 15 years ago. It has a total staff of 80, with developers in Poland, Portugal, Spain, India and Japan.
“When I set up I never imagined that half of all insurance messages in London would be passing through our systems,” he said. “We don’t have venture capital or private equity. We are self-funded. It is not like we are looking for some big exit here. The idea is to see if we can replicate what we did in London.”
He said the London office has about 20 people in it. If they set up in Bermuda, it would be a mini version of that.
“We wouldn’t start out with 20 people,” he said. “We would start small and build up. In London, it took us about four or five years to build up a reputation and then word spread by word of mouth.”
Mr O’Neill said he did not know yet if setting up in Bermuda would be viable, but had a “good feeling”.
“I haven’t filed any paperwork yet,” he said. “I am just here to kick the tyres. It is important to have a case study done.”
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