One year in: Workers’ Comp Startup Cake Insure Reshapes Industry, Saves Colorado Companies Time to Focus on Their Business


Denver,CO ( - One year ago, Pinnacol Assurance launched a unique online platform — Cake Insure — to make buying workers’ compensation insurance ridiculously fast and easy. Now, they’re sharing the insights they’ve learned. Spoiler alert: It all starts with listening to your customers. In just one year, Cake Insure has been recognized nationally for completely reimagining and reinventing purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. 

Pinnacol studied evolving market forces and small businesses’ preferences and needs and learned that foremost, small companies want ease and simplicity when it comes to buying insurance — an experience that traditional carriers were unable to provide. With this knowledge, Pinnacol Assurance built Cake, a unique digital platform to deliver that fast and easy experience. What’s more, the company did so in just nine months after initial ideation — a time frame that might not be surprising to startups but is unheard of in the world of 100-year-old insurance companies.

Cake Insure launched on Oct. 10, 2017, issuing policies to small businesses in Colorado with industry-disrupting technology that enables businesses to easily purchase a workers’ comp policy in three to five minutes. Traditional carriers take several days and even up to a few weeks to complete this process.  

“We knew early on that our potential customers were primarily entrepreneurs who wear a lot of hats, and don’t want to spend a lot of time shopping for workers’ comp insurance,” said Rob Norris, CEO of Cake Insure. “To them, insurance is a means to an end to pursue their passion, whether that’s guiding rafting excursions or graphic design.” 

In a year of serving these customers, Cake learned a lot about customers’ behavior:

  • They’re working on the go: 25 percent get quotes on a mobile device and 16 percent of those complete their purchase via mobile, meaning Cake customers use it across multiple devices.  
  • They’re hustling 24/7: More policies are purchased on Mondays than any other day, although 5 percent of employers purchase policies on the weekend, when traditional insurance sellers are closed.   
  • They’ve fallen in love with the Cake experience: Cake’s Net Promoter Score (a measure of customers’ willingness to recommend your product or service) is an impressive 71 out of 100. The average Net Promoter Score for insurance companies is around 30, so Cake customers like that their experience is so smart and simple. 

In its first year, Cake has been studied and celebrated, receiving accolades and awards for breaking the mold of the workers’ comp experience. Since Cake went live, it’s been recognized nationally with awards such as IDG’s “Digital Edge 50,” Celent’s “Model Insurer” and Strategy Meets Action’s “Innovation in Action.” It was also the subject of a recent case study by the international consulting firm Forrester Research and was recently named as a finalist for Colorado Technology Association’s APEX Project of the Year.  

Cake and Pinnacol have been recognized for standing up Cake in just nine months and for delivering a wholly new experience for workers’ comp purchasers: 

Underwriting artificial intelligence that completes more than 90 percent of policies without relying on underwriting staff.

  • Giving customers the ability to manage policies anywhere via the mobile-friendly platform.
  • Responsive, on-demand customer support.
  • A proprietary classification and quoting engine that allows users to describe their company in their own words instead of using confusing policy codes or industry-specific jargon —  and still get a quote that is tailored to their business. 

“It’s been a great year, and we’re pleased that our customers are finding more time to pursue their passions and grow their businesses instead of wrestling with a confusing, one-size-fits-all insurance experience,” said Norris. “Our team is already hard at work designing new capabilities and tools with these customers in mind.” 

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