How an API Works

Many major companies are diving into API. In this article, we will discuss what an API is, its benefits to the insurance industry, and how MGAs and Carriers are using API to create a more effective workflow and become more successful. Let’s start by uncovering the mystery of API and see why everyone is so excited about it.

What is API? (the simplified version)

API is an application programming interface that allows communication between multiple software applications. An example of how an API actually works could be represented in the method of ordering food online through a food delivery service app.

An API is what connects the order placed on the smart phone in your hand, to the platform – or delivery service in this example – to the restaurant where your food will be prepared. Just as your neighbor can see the same menu, from the same restaurant as you can, and place an order – API connects ACORD forms, backend systems, and insurance professionals, so that business can be conducted faster and more efficiently on a single platform.

Now, let’s discuss how API directly benefits you and will improve the way that you do business.

What do YOU get out of API?

Overall, API takes the guidelines and data needed to produce a quote and sends that quote directly to the insurer or agent to produce INSTANT information. To give a better perspective of how API streamlines workflow for each industry role, let’s explore how MGAs, Carriers, and Agents have individual benefits to implementing API into their management system.

For MGAs and Carriers:

  • Ability to produce in quotes INSTANTLY
  • Customize programs for carrier distribution ELECTRONICALLY
  • Comprehensive real-time underwriting DIGITALLY
  • Appetite guide information in REAL TIME
  • Access agents, wholesalers, and MGAs online AUTOMATICALLY
  • Offer unprecedented levels of digital TRANSPARENCY
  • Access forms, data, & tracking information from backend systems ELECTRONICALLY


  • Obtain rates INSTANTLY
  • Receive loss runs DIGITALLY
  • Provide quotes AUTOMATICALLY
  • Access various markets & lines of business ELECTRONICALLY

Now with a clear breakdown of how API benefits individual roles in the insurance industry, it is easier to tie in how API benefits the insurance industry as a whole. By having all of the necessary forms, markets, lines of business, and client data available digitally – the entire industry can tap into what is needed to conduct business more effectively through the utilization of API. Backend work then becomes an aspect of the past, required forms are retrieved at the click of a button, reports generated instantly, and submissions completed in minutes.

Next, we will explore the level of success that the utilization of API produces for insurance professionals.

The Value in API for Agents, MGAs, and Carriers

Currently, over 200,000 agents associated with Appulate are already taking advantage of how API delivers instant quotes, instant appetite guide indications, and more comprehensive underwriting – resulting in an average of over 40 minutes saved per submission and over $7,000 annually. Additionally, the agent benefits save MGAs time in their business processes even though they do not have the same workflow.

MGAs benefit from APIs by connecting instantly to carrier APIs or backend rating and policy administration systems in order to automate underwriting, rating, and quoting. All of the long hours, backend work, and distribution issues can be alleviated through a simple, agent-facing system that utilizes APIs to provide real-time information.

In the same regard, carriers need a viable distribution channel as well. Insurtech leaders such as Appulate offer platform features to host APIs from carriers who likely have an extensive agent channel. This is most advantageous to carriers because companies like Appulate eliminate the need to start from scratch building their network or requiring more extensive distribution resources. With a platform that connects to backend systems and features the largest and most active network of agents, wholesalers, and MGAs in one place it is easier to connect and do business. This allows you to update and future-proof your current technology at a fraction of the cost compared to rebuilding.

API is the bridge from the past to the future for insurance professionals in all roles. The digital and automation benefits are synonymous on all levels of business and work together cohesively to streamline workflow.

Interested in more information?

If you would like to dive deeper into API, take advantage of the additional information relayed on API from Appulate’s very own MGA & Carrier Specialist – John Yarbrough and leave your questions or comments below the video – we will be sure to address your inquiries.