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Shepherd's 2023 Year in Review

Laura Watts

Laura Watts

Customer Experience Lead

December 21, 2023

2023 was marked by transformative growth, collaboration, and the unwavering support of our partners. The relationships we’ve built have been instrumental in our success and we couldn’t have gotten here without the endless support from our partners, insureds, and stakeholders. Let’s take a look at some of our top moments from this year:

Remarkable Partnership Growth 🌱

At the center of all our success is the broker-centric foundation we’ve built this company upon. Throughout this year, we maintained a limited number of distribution partners, focusing on developing meaningful connections with those partners and long-lasting relationships with our insureds. We stand by this commitment and have witnessed some remarkable results that we are proud to share:

  • Submission count soared by 186%

  • Average indication time remained <24 hours

  • Gross written premium grew by 323%

  • Increased partnership ratios across our entire portfolio

    • Indication ratio: +14% Y-o-Y

    • Quote ratio: +11% Y-o-Y

    • Hit ratio: consistent Y-o-Y

Despite seeing more submissions and quoting more business than ever, we are incredibly proud of our consistent quote-to-bind results – a signal of how well our products are resonating with brokers and clients.

Another focus for our team in 2023 was broadening our presence within these appointed brokerages, recognizing we had significant potential for expansion across the country. Throughout the year, our priority was introducing Shepherd to as many new offices and contacts as possible, and we are thrilled with the outcomes.

→ We successfully engaged with 75 new offices, witnessing a remarkable growth of 1,275% of our broker distribution channel.

Looking ahead to 2024, our strategy will remain focused on limited distribution and further building upon our relationships. We recognize the value in this approach and are excited to see how it continues to evolve.

Exciting Product Launches 🚀

Our mission revolves around delivering innovative insurance products for contractors, and we are proud to present a recap of our key product launches this year:

  • Admitted and Non-admitted Primary Casualty Coverage

    • Our admitted product is live in 25+ states and growing every week.

    • We offer countrywide support (except New York) for Primary GL offerings.

  • CasualtyPro Expansion

    • Casualty Pro now has four tech partners: Procore, Autodesk, OpenSpace, and Samsara (and growing!).

  • Marketplace Collaborations

    • Our marketplace now features partnerships with 12+ of the leading contech solutions on the market.

  • Shepherd Digital Risk Services

    • We launched our first product for contractors, Shepherd Insights, and an exciting announcement about our next product coming in Q1 ‘24.

In addition to our external products, our engineering team is continuously committed to the development of Shepherd’s in-house underwriting platform, which is at the forefront of all we do. Our platform allows our underwriting team to deliver exceptional service, responsiveness, and quality for all our stakeholders. This year, we rolled out 100+ new features to enhance our team’s capabilities.

→ One of our biggest highlights was our automated loss run tool that enables our underwriters to convert PDF loss runs into Excel format in just seconds - saving our team hours of work a week!

Expanding Our Reach 🤝

Over the past two years, Shepherd has crafted a unique marketing approach that has delivered unexpected results and become an important pillar in our company’s growth.

  • In April 2022, we introduced our first Monthly Partnership Update email

    • This email features key metrics from the prior month, including submissions received, average response time, deal outcomes, and highlighted personal shout-outs, leaderboards, and notable account wins.

  • Simultaneously, in April 2022, we began our Shepherd Monthly Update newsletter

    • These updates share Shepherd's company highlights, areas of focus, and express gratitude for those contributing to our growth.

  • In January 2023, we launched our first *Monthly Case Study *

    • This email spotlights specific Shepherd wins and features partner testimonials, showcasing our appetite and differentiators in creative ways.

→ Over the past 20 months, we’ve sent ~400 unique emails to our continually growing distribution list (which has grown 1,275%).

While we receive tons of great engagement with these emails, some of our favorite responses include requests to join our distribution list:

  • “My colleague forwarded me your email, can you please add me to your list?”

  • “Can you please add my entire team (emails below) to your distribution list?”

Yes, our opt-in rate remains higher than our opt-out rate. (Fun fact: we’ve only received 4 unsubscribe requests to date.)

Our intention with this strategy was centered around:

  1. A shared journey: we want to take our partners along with us for the wild ride of the start-up journey that we are on everyday.

  2. Authenticity matters: we mean what we say, and we want to make sure our partners know that.

  3. We strive to be different: we want to build meaningful connections and finding creative ways to do so will always be a top priority.

We are thrilled this resonates with so many of you and look forward to building upon this motion.

Success Stories Spotlights ✨

A top accomplishment this year has been the growing collaboration and shared success we’ve experienced with so many of you. Grateful for the opportunities to demonstrate our capabilities, we hope that you've experienced our commitment to these partnerships. Here’s a quick recap of some of our favorite wins together:

How Shepherd’s Focus on Partnerships is Leading to Growth: “The Shepherd team is collaborative and always looking to provide solutions. Knowing we needed to restructure this excess program, Shepherd was able to quickly underwrite and provide two different layering options well before our need-by date. This gave us ample time to position them within the tower in a place that was beneficial for all parties, most importantly the insured.”

How Shepherd Differentiates from the Competition: “Their expertise, competitive pricing and effective communication differentiate them from the competition. I look forward to expanding the partnership and will continue to recommend Shepherd to clients across the industry.”

Turning data into growth: how past submissions are fueling Shepherd’s 2023 strategy: “The team’s strong communication skills and mutual support have consistently fostered a sense of unity and allowed us to achieve our goals efficiently.”

How Shepherd’s Broker-Obsessed Approach is Uncovering New Opportunities: “We worked with the Shepherd Team on an infrastructure project placement and the overall experience was phenomenal. We and the Insured greatly value the relationship with Shepherd and look forward to continuing to grow!”

Contractor's Technology Investments Elevate Renewal Experience with Shepherd: “It's always a pleasure to work with Shepherd; the vibrancy and tenacity of their teams shines through everything they do.”

Shepherd’s Recent Success with Captive Lead Placements: “Shepherd's ability to provide a tailored solution with quality terms and competitive pricing, all while turning around quotes at the snap of a finger, truly makes them a broker's best friend.”

Shepherd’s Project Success with OCIPs, CCIPs, RCCIPs, & JVs: “I have told my team to consider Shepherd on every new business deal and renewal that fits their appetite. We look forward to growing our partnership!”

Check out our case studies page to read more about some of our favorite wins.

Shepherd Team Expansion 🍎

To make all of this happen, we invested in expanding the Shepherd team with some significant new hires. We grew by 30% throughout the year and will be focused on hiring as we head into 2024, with a new office opening soon in New York City. Our Shepherd family grew too - welcoming new spouses and babies into our crew.

We want to extend heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has helped us get here today. Looking ahead to 2024, we are excited to build upon these achievements, deepen our partnerships, and continue making strides towards our mission. Thank you to all of those who were a part of Shepherd's journey in 2023!

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