Interview with Scott Soderstrom founder of FilingMate

FilingMate, a SaaS-based platform, comes to help insurance carriers, agents, and producers with their regulatory compliance requirements. Insurance companies are required to file forms and certificates with numerous regulators including boards, bureaus, FAIR plans and secretary of state. The filing process is quite tedious, repetitive work, prone to human error and requiring the management of dates and coordinating across departments. 

Realizing the need

Scott Soderstrom worked at Homesite Insurance as a director of finance. He used to handle reinsurance, corporate insurance buying, and other financials projects for the CFO. His FilingMate partner, Maureen Fidler, worked in the compliance department in the same carrier, and they used to work together to complete regulatory filings, constantly going back and forth to each other's desks with stacks of paper. "We looked for a solution and couldn't find one, so we built one."


The first problem that FilingMate is solving deals with the obvious - just understanding what filings are required for a given insurance company.  "Let's take an easy example - an insurance agency has to renew it's producer licenses, and agency license in several states and file it's Secretary of State certificate.  FilingMate helps manage the complexity of tracking those due dates, knowing the frequency of those filing submissions, and where these need to be submitted."  Using FilingMate helps insurance companies manage the complexity of the filing process and keep up with the ever-changing regulatory requirements.
After knowing what needs to be filed, the second problem is completing the forms accurately and efficiently.  FilingMate comes with a combination of auto-form population and workflow tools to allow forms to be completed in far less time and with greater accuracy.  "Our first customer wanted to see how the output from FilingMate would compare to forms completed by hand.  When we analyzed the manual forms, we noted several discrepancies - transposed digits, inconsistent addresses and the like - which were caused by the error-prone process of completing forms by hand.  Using FilingMate eliminated those 'fat-finger' errors."  The FilingMate platform also supports e-signatures which allow for several required signers to review and approve documents simultaneously rather than sequentially, further speeding the process to complete filings.
The third problem is just knowing what was filed. It may be surprising for an external observer, but, especially in a large organization, it is hard to monitor what was sent to the regulator and by whom. Claims may have submitted information; underwriting may have submitted information and finance may have sent something different. There are reconciliation challenges between carriers and regulators that FilingMate solves by providing one platform, a "single source of truth".

What's next?

Working with the insurance companies to prioritize the pockets of regulations that can provide them with the best service.

Scott, Maureen, and the FIlingMate team are focusing on specific filing challenges and plan to expand to other carriers and MGAs that need those particular services. "There are many carriers and forms so we are starting narrow and deep and then we will go wide." Several regulators reached out to FilingMate to discuss and to coordinate the data that FilingMate might provide them. Regulators have similar interests as the insurance companies - they want to be efficient and do things faster and cheaper. Some of the solutions that FilingMate offers them can be email instead of fax, and spreadsheet or API data feed instead of having to manually re-enter data. Sounds like a low hanging fruit right?! Let's get more startups to pick FilingMate and spend a lot less time on regulatory compliance.