June 2, 2021

Our first release

New updates and improvements to Herald's API.

The beginning

This update represents the first entry of our changelog. Our changelog is a list of our latest product updates that we share with those who care about what we’re building. Releasing this changelog consistently helps us hold ourselves accountable and keeps our broader community up to date.

The first release

We are building an API that allows you to submit an application and receive quotes for products from multiple insurance institutions. We started with one institution (Century) for one product line (General Liability). Our first release allows our customers to generate quotes in Century’s demo environment (real data, but not real quotes).

An application is a set of information that can be submitted to any number of insurance institutions in order to get quotes. An application contains the following properties:

  • Products refer to specific types of insurance policies provided by an institution within one product line. For instance, the product with the name “Century Insurance Group General Liability" is provided by “Century” for the product line of “General Liability.”
  • Coverage values assign specific values to coverage parameters, which describe the nature of coverage in an insurance policy. (limits, deductibles, etc.)
  • Risk values assign specific values to risk parameters which describe risks associated with the applicant. Institutions use risk values to underwrite insurance policies. (usually answers to underwriting questions)

A complete application must provide values for all of the required coverage and risk parameters for the selected products. Once a completed application is submitted, quotes are made for every requested product. Every quote has a status, and quotes with a status of “active” get pricing and coverage details.

Fixes and improvements

This release is the culmination of a series of API designs and iterated improvements. With this release we made some improvements to our previous API design:

  • Removed the GET /product_lines path
  • Replaced “product_line_id” in the “product” object with “product_line”
  • Removed “description” from error schema (duplicative function with “message”)
  • Added new risk_parameters (underwriting questions)
  • Published our API documentation online
  • Updated coverage parameter IDs for readability
  • Updated risk parameter IDs for readability