The future of Property & Casualty insurance is bright, and for the first time, exciting. For the past eight and a half years, I worked for a legacy insurance broker and learned the intricacies of the insurance brokerage model and the Property & Casualty insurance business. I left because I learned that startups are now attacking this portion of the insurance industry and creating a buzz of excitement that I, and probably most industry veterans, have never seen. I believe these startups, including my company Embroker, are about to create a major shift in the industry, driven by technology, that will redefine the public perception of business insurance, and it will be awesome.
My journey to Embroker started before the company even existed. In 2012, Uber was launched in Boston and immediately improved every Bostonian’s life. I’m sure Uber improved the taxi experience in every city where it launched, but in Boston the change was MASSIVE. Waiting over an hour for a taxi at 2 am on a freezing cold Saturday night was commonplace – and the ride was often uncomfortable and expensive. Uber changed that with technology, and it was awesome and immediate.
It was around this time that I started thinking about how a very similar problem existed within the Property & Casualty insurance industry. Even though the taxi experience was awful, until Uber offered an alternative, people had accepted taxis as a way of life in Boston. Similarly, without an alternative, business insurance customers had accepted the lack of transparency, declined claims and an abundance of paperwork for years. Both the taxi and insurance industries had created the same provider and user emotion – complacency. Insurance customers had become numb to the process, viewing it as a necessary evil. Technology erased the complacency of taxi owners and taxi customers, and it will do the same for business insurance. I joined Embroker and the insurtech space because I can’t wait to be part of that change.
At Embroker, we’re creating a modern and digital way for our customers to buy, manage and understand their commercial insurance programs. We provide a tech-enabled platform built on data, from the ground up. We combine the expertise and knowledge of experienced brokers with software that provides real-time insights (i.e. peer benchmarking) and amazing functionality around a company’s risk management program. It’s simple really: at its core, our platform removes many of the redundancies and outdated processes that should have been fixed years ago, but weren’t, and the impact for our clients is immediate. For example, hand written applications, certificate requests, time-consuming renewals and confusing policy summaries are now digital, transparent, understandable and efficient. Our technology removes a massive administrative burden for our client, making the insurance purchasing experience important, fun and worth every second of our client’s time.
Automating the mundane aspects of insurance is just the first step. I believe this key difference over a legacy broker will enable a corresponding increase of focus by both the broker and customer on more important aspects like risk education, coverage gaps, contract review, peer benchmarking, loss control, asset protection and breach response planning. With more time for education and understanding, customers will begin to realize the importance of risk management and insurance as a tool for growth and not just the obligatory task it has always been. Sure, these services have always been provided by brokers, but now they can become the focal point of the customer-broker relationship, and they should.
At Embroker, we are 100% committed to improving the insurance purchasing and managing experience for customers, not only because they need it, but because they deserve it. This commitment, along with our technology, will begin to shift the public perception of business insurance to something that is positive. Within the coming years, I see Embroker, and other insurtech startups like it, turning business insurance into the clear, concise and effective risk transfer tool it was always meant to be. Incumbents will have to respond, and this will create a sea-change in the industry that will ultimately benefit the customer. Taking a taxi is a much better experience now because Uber raised the bar, and I believe Embroker, along with other insurtech startups, will do the same.