Interview with Chris Cheatham, 50insurtech influencer and CEO of ClaimKit

1. Describe what you do.

RiskGenius ( helps insurance professionals research and review insurance policies faster. The software leverages patent pending Technology Enabled Policy Review, which includes both machine learning and natural language processing. After a policy is uploaded by a user, each clause is parsed and categorized based on common industry terminology. Users are able to instantly locate key clauses across one or more policies, streamlining the review process.  RiskGenius is the Google Search of insurance policies. 


2. Please give your definition of InsurTech.

InsurTech is the introduction of new technologies to the insurance industry. 


3. Startups vs. Incumbent: disruption or collaboration?

Disruption AND collaboration are required for insurtech to work.  I am focused on how insurtech can “disrupt” existing processes and workflows.  I don’t believe that the insurance industry can be “disrupted.”  Instead, pieces of it will be improved dramatically by new technologies. And these new technologies typically require some form of collaboration between startups and incumbents. At least that has been my experience. 


4. Name main challenges for insurtech startups.

I see two main challenges.  First, most insurtech startups don’t have the insurance domain expertise necessary to understand the intricate workflow and processes that can truly be disrupted by technology.  I believe it takes many years focused on one area of the insurance industry before true changes can be made.  Second, insurtech startups better be ready for long sales cycles. If you don’t plan for long sales cycles, you will not make it. 


5. When you judge an InsurTech initiative, what are you looking for?

I ask four questions:

  1. Is this technology ten times better than the existing solution? (h/t Peter Thiel);
  2. Is there product-market fit?  (h/t Andreessen);
  3. Do the founders have insurance expertise?
  4. Do the founders have grit to persevere? 


6. One advice for InsurTech entrepreneurs.  

Product-Market fit is everything.  If no one is buying, you don’t have Product-Market fit.  Even in the insurance industry. 


7. How long until we’ll be able to see an actual material InsurTech change on the insurance market?

September 1, 2016, when we launch Genius Search (it’s like the Google of Insurance Policies).


Chris Cheatham is a 50insurtech influencer and judge in the MEDICI 21 competition.