We consider ourselves a tech company – and the backend is an important part of that. But I feel like it often sounds a bit abstract to many people. Therefore, we've collected what we consider important and would like to take the opportunity and give you a more detailed overview of what the backend team built last year.
We spent the past 12 months developing a social, engaging insurance experience for the smartphone which is rather a platform than a simple insurance app. When we say platform, we think about the core system that we have developed from scratch. It is more or less invisible to the outside – but it is the mighty backbone of everything we do. It does not only provide an extraordinary insurance experience for our customers, but it makes us fast and flexible, ready to expand into new product lines and markets at a speed that has not been possible before. It is designed to work with different languages, products, currencies and country-specific features.
We believe that deep vertical integration is a requirement for excellence. You can observe that among many of the world’s champions, such as Apple or Tesla. This is why we promoted our backend to the protagonist of our service landscape. To do so, we have greatly expanded our range of functions and are therefore less dependent on external software, we are even hosting some product lines completely in-house. We made many improvements to the inner workings of the backend that are used to integrate new products, such as the introduction to extendable and reusable underwriting pipelines or the way we calculate insurance prices. You can think of it like a software development kit for insurance products, a toolset to add new ones against a predefined set of interfaces.
One feature we added is policy networks. I want to highlight this, as it showed us how valuable for future innovation it is to own the technologies across the stack. Here’s what we did: we implemented policy networks by introducing so called links, i. e. pointers of relationships that associate a co-insured person with the coverage of the policy holder. Building this feature was only possible because we had built our own insurance platform and our own policy admin system before. This strengthens our belief that Getsafe should own the vertical stack of technology along the value chain as deeply as possible, because this is what enables us to innovate and build new things at a fast pace and according to our vision.
Driven by that, we worked on and finished the implementation of a completely automated payment reminder process. It reminds customers with failed payments until they are ultimately cancelled if the payment does not happen within a certain period of time. Until recently this was still done manually by developers and customer support, which cost us a lot of time we can now spend on building other features.
Overall, we did 3,107 deployments to our backend services, which makes almost 12 deployments per working day. Next to this feature work on the backend we supported the launch of several new products. We launched the travel health insurance within 24 hours. We also launched an improved liability product in spring, then followed by our contents insurance (including premium and glass upgrades) as well as our bike theft insurance (including a vandalism upgrade).
Last but not least, we prepared our insurance platform and the billing system for multi currency support in preparation for Getsafe launching in the UK – and soonish more countries in Europe.
This is it for 2019 – it was a blast. If you want to know more about it, feel free to ping us. You are curious to join the ride?
You want to know more about my work? Click here for my Getsafe team story.