Stroll: how we built a complete car insurance platform in 12 months

The story of how we created a new digital insurance platform in less than 12 months.

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Shifting from Bricks and Mortar to Digital

In 2021, Instil was approached by one of Ireland's largest insurance companies, Prestige Holdings, to develop a new digital brand, Stroll Insurance - an online car insurance platform for the 21st century.

With over 50 years experience in the insurance market, Prestige has built a strong local brand renowned for its excellent customer service and approachability. They are a traditional brokerage, servicing a whole demograph of consumers who still prefer to speak to someone at the end of phone. The digital age is impacting traditional business models but some behaviours run deep.

Still, consumer behaviour is changing even in traditional markets. For many, the long-term trend is clear - either confront digital head-on or wither on the vine. Our job was to take a traditional bricks and mortar business and overlay an exceptional digital experience. This experience had to make every part of the consumer journey a delight, from quote to renewal. It also had to drive efficiencies in the back-office so that the overall business could provide a brilliant customer experience at every touchpoint.


Moving Fast in the Modern Cloud

We're in the business of giving our customers a digital advantage by delivering better software faster. This is only possible by having an engineering and delivery culture that puts the customer first, that values continuous improvement and by ensuring the cogs of our delivery engine are all pointed in the same direction. Delivering high quality software quickly requires a complete alignment of people, process and technology, all working together to be more than the sum of their parts.

In some ways, technology is the easy part. But technology is also the real enabler - using the right technology in the right context will allow teams to fly. In this instance, the technology of choice was serverless - a form of cloud engineering that allows teams to focus their energy on delivering business value and differentiation rather than (invisible) infrastructure.

Serverless is a different way of thinking about and building software systems, one that takes time to learn - teams have to walk before they can run - but once they make the switch it will be hard to convince them back to old ways of working, such is the step-change in productivity and output.

Small Team, Big Results

In our case, that step-change meant we were able to deliver a functioning platform into the market in just 12 months. This included a responsive web portal to guide users through the quote process, a mobile application to manage policies and claims, and a backend that integrated with a popular but antiquated quote engine technology that was never designed with the cloud in mind. All of this and more with a team of only 10 people.

Stroll has now been up and running for well over a year. During that time the platform has continued to evolve and mature, with a stream of new features and capabilities. Key to it all, has been the decision to embrace cloud native and serverless, which has allowed us to:

  • Reduce Delivery Time: By leveraging cloud-native services so that the team could focus more on delivering business value
  • Reduce Costs: By not paying for idle during periods of low activity
  • Reduce Operational Effort: By letting AWS do all the operational heavy lifting

If you would like to learn more about how cloud native and serverless can accelerate your journey, give us a call, we would be delighted to advise.

Instil has consistently helped us achieve business goals by paying attention to our needs and requirements, offering thorough advice and recommendations to create intuitive user experiences by developing technical solutions, and more. Multiple teams had to work on various features at once, interacting with a variety of integration partners and legacy systems, and onboard to a challenging domain knowledge area. The lead team handled everything through efficient organisation and communication. Overall I am very happy with Instil's services, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking a reliable and experienced software partner who won't shy away from stepping up to a challenge.

Sam McIlroy, Lead Product Manager, Prestige Insurance Holdings Limited