Eight years ago, Harish Krishnaswamy, then a software engineer at Haven Life Insurance Agency, was trying to figure out how to generate customized insurance applications at scale. Applying for life insurance online was still a relatively new concept, and Harish and his team were brainstorming ways to auto-populate questions based off of an applicant’s previous responses.
Since insurance regulations vary by state, carriers need to collect different information from applicants based on where they reside. They may also have other riders to add onto their policies. Taken together, this meant that the possible variations for the application were endless. Creating individual web pages would be far too cumbersome and hinder the company’s ability to go to market quickly. Carriers needed an automated solution.
Harish and the team came up with a data structure where they could write insurance application questions in a spreadsheet and then map them to the fields in a database. The questions were then exported to a metadata format, which would be rendered as a dynamic web page. This was big – it meant that the team could edit and revise questions right in the spreadsheet, rather than going back into the code to make a small change. The web page would seamlessly guide consumers from initiating an application to purchasing coverage, as it served up required questions based on their previous responses. In this way, the site could collect all of the information needed to quote and issue a policy in minutes.
It turned out that not only was Harish’s solution a major breakthrough for the business, but it was also a technological first. His managers realized that it could be a candidate for a patent, so they arranged a meeting with the company’s attorneys. That turned into multiple conversations to review what had been built.
The process was exhaustive. Lawyers would do research and come back to Harish with follow-up questions to figure out the gaps in what already existed, and what was new. Eventually, they divided up his code into three areas that they believed would be patentable.
Just a few months ago, Harish was finally awarded a total of seven patents on the survey-generating web page software that he designed and built in 2015. He is the lead author on three of them, and co-author on the other four.
If you ask Harish, he’ll tell you that he wasn’t thinking about patents back then; he was focused on solving a problem that was crucial to his company’s ability to grow and scale. But that solution ended up having a much bigger impact, as it has multiple use cases outside of insurance.
The technology and innovation that Harish and his team brought to market eight years ago has laid the foundation for the work that Haven Technologies is doing today. Our team members are committed to finding carrier-specific solutions that break the mold rather than settle for an out-of-the-box solution. To learn more, email email@example.com.