Compliance reporting for insurance companies can be an arcane, ad hoc process, full of complicated and unclear steps. The Des Moines company Gain Compliance is attempting to simplify the process by making sure paperwork is properly formatted to National Association of Insurance Commissioners guidelines.
How Gain Compliance works
No one likes filing for their taxes, but imagine if you had to do it without TurboTax, or even a 1040 form.
“Let’s say the IRS came to you and said ‘April 15 is coming, but you have to build your tax form in Word,’ then gave you a bunch of instructions on what the form would be like with hundreds of pages of instructions on how to lay out the document,” said Gain CEO Burch LaPrade. “You would have to spend so much time trying to make the document look the way it’s supposed to look, on top of trying to follow a bunch of important rules about what to disclose and how to do calculations. That’s what insurance companies are facing with compliance reporting. We want to be the TurboTax for statutory financial filings.”
Many companies work on these filings in Microsoft products like Word and Excel, which are not ideal tools for collaboration. Gain’s first product is software to streamline filings so everything complies with standards and the right format.
LaPrade said he and his Gain co-founders Jason Jones and Steve Siegel looked at multiple markets to build a product for before deciding on insurance compliance. They saw it as an underserved market right in their backyard.
“It’s just convenient; Des Moines is an insurance town, which let us sometimes walk to customer discovery appointments,” LaPrade said. “Also, insurance companies are regulated at every stage of the business. If you’re an insurance company, you’re doing filings in every state where you operate, which is a big reporting challenge.”
The next step in compliance
When LaPrade, Jones and Siegel started Gain, they looked at industries like banking and vendor risk management as possible fields to enter. Their focus remains on insurance, but LaPrade said Gain’s software may have applications in other fields eventually.
“Insurance is a great market to start in, it’s a massive industry that has underinvested in tech, historically,” said LaPrade. “We’re building an extendable platform. We’re not looking to force anything in the near future, but it’s definitely on the road map.”
Continuing to grow
When Gain Compliance started, the focus was on employees who could code and handle the technical side of things. Three years in, the company is starting to put a focus on employees who can handle customer support and sales.
“Right now we’re aggressively selling product and bringing in customers,” LaPrade said. “We’re marching toward a second product in compliance reporting, and our goal is for a very full suite of services. We have initial sales traction and we want to build on our success and continue to build our customer base. We’re working on a network of data, we want to have a complete platform where clients can log information once and have it report in many places.”
Joe Lawler is a freelance reporter based in Des Moines.
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