Taking the friction out of insurance policy renewals.


Broker Buddha automates the renewal process for Founder Shield.


High-growth. Technology-driven. Market-disruptive.


When Carl Niedbala launched Founder Shield with Benji Markoff, they set out to make the process of securing insurance easier for rapidly growing companies. Through their previous work experience with venture-backed innovators, they realized just how difficult and complicated it was for startups to get the insurance they require without devoting unnecessary time to the task.


To say it was a clash of cultures — wait, you need me to fax that? — would be an understatement. Not only was the insurance industry a reluctant adopter of technology, most brokers had limited understanding of things like seed rounds, pivots, and burn rates. It was a legacy business model trying to meet the coverage needs of next-generation companies.


With Founder Shield, COO Niedbala and CEO Markoff set out to change that. They wanted to make getting insurance a frictionless and intuitive purchase process. They knew that technology would drive their company and they wanted to utilize the very best tools available.


Initially, the team at Founder Shield relied on developers to build their own web applications. But the investment was steep. Security and compliance issues also became an issue — new cybersecurity laws and EU data transfer regulations were a daunting challenge. That’s when they turned to the Broker Buddha portal to automate and streamline the renewal process while providing the latest security and data protection.

Carl Niedbala and his team


Less waiting. More renewing.


As Niedbala says, “…nobody wants to wait for anything anymore.” And when your target market is startup companies, many of them in the technology space, it’s even more critical that renewals are point-and-click instead of phone-and-fax.


At Founder Shield, a major priority was streamlining the renewal process. Not only was this something clients would appreciate, it offered the kind of efficiencies that would give agents more time to focus on growing their business.


With data already present in the Broker Buddha portal, clients don’t dread the policy renewal process or view it as the giant time sink it was in the past. An automated email lets them know when it’s time to renew, so Founder Shield agents aren’t spending their valuable time chasing down clients and reminding them about deadlines.


“When you’re working with companies that are reinventing the economy, the last thing they want from us is a bunch of old-school paperwork,” noted Niedbala. “We’ve come to rely on Broker Buddha to make the renewal process as frictionless as possible.”


Custom packages for small accounts.


Founder Shield works with many companies with 21st-century business models, like on-demand services. One of the real advantages that Broker Buddha offers is the ability to create custom portals that make it easy for individuals — often independent contractors — to complete renewals online.


By automating the process, Founder Shield has reduced the amount of time it takes one of their own employees to secure a renewal to, well, zero. Yes, zero. Instead of requiring agents to walk hundreds of users through the process, it all happens online with a few clicks.


“For us, being able to automate the process for the small clients is a huge advantage,” says Niedbala. “It frees up our people to work on larger accounts and allows renewals to happen without the need for hands-on assistance. The customization that Broker Buddha permits, including zapier integration, makes this possible.”

Founder Shield Login Screen


Wait, that’s it?


For Niedbala, the reaction he values most from Founder Shield clients when they renew through Broker Buddha is, “Wow, that’s it?”


That’s how many clients, accustomed to a time-consuming, detail-heavy policy renewal process, react. Especially when they’re used to completing PDF forms or, even worse, sending faxes or meeting with an agent to go over information.  And clients who have only worked with Founder Shield and Broker Buddha? Well, they’re often surprised to learn the policy renewal process hasn’t always been this turnkey.


A feature that Niedbala and his team really appreciate is the direct link they can provide from their website to the Broker Buddha platform. That kind of instant access prompts action and helps ensure they don’t lose a customer. It’s so easy that some clients have connected with Broker Buddha and signed on with Founder Shield while in a conversation with a company representative at a conference.   


“For emerging companies that are driven by technology, insurance was out of step with their needs,” said Niedbala. “We’ve made it our mission to change that, and Broker Buddha has been a vital part of eliminating barriers to getting and retaining business.”


Published on:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019