If you have ever negotiated with me, you know that I start at a central point: what is fair? My contract law professor would laugh at me right now; she declared on the first day of class that there is no such thing as "fair." I disagree. I believe that in life and business, we all have a sense of fairness. Whether we choose to follow that sense is the question.
What would you do if you could go to Google.com and search for insurance clauses and policies?
I've been reading about the history of insurance to understand how we got here. Here's a quick story from one insurance book.
There once was a membership association called the American Insurance Underwriters (AIU). The AIU acted as an agent for member insurance companies in international markets. Each member insurance company held a percentage of the AIU pool by which payments and liabilities were assigned.
In the 1960s, an insurance company and AIU member bid on a contract to insure a large church in Boston. But the insurance company didn't bid the insurance like everyone else. Instead, the underwriting team created a tailored contract with its own rate calculations, "rather than the standard forms and prices other (AIU) insurers had agreed to use."
The incumbent insurer was not pleased:
Tom Yates, one of the founders of Telematic, Inc. used to work for a large insurance carrier and helped design their usage-based insurance program. This is where he identified the need in the market for a smart phone app that can provide this kind of service. After coming up this this idea, he went home and built the application for a year. Marti Ryan was the CEO/COO of a technology market research and consulting company that focused on millennials. They met at a networking event, and together they have built Telematic into what it is today.
Chris Augeri was discussing the idea of visually simulating products around the time that Tracy Morgan was rear-ended by a tractor trailer. The driver of this trailer for Wal-Mart was largely at fault for the collision. This is when Chris began to look at using these products to help avoid crashes in the future, and to better train truck drivers. He began contacting the federal government and the Global Insurance Accelerator to gather interest in his company.
At first when Chris joined the accelerator and was working on recruiting early investors, Driver Spotter was a hardware company. Some of the best feedback that Chris got from investors was that the initial start-up costs of $25 million, was too much. In order to bring in investors, he had to find a way to decrease costs. Chris decided to pivot the company, after realizing that he could bring that cost way down if he changed into a software only company. In the last round of funding, they raised $750,000, as a result of redirecting their company.
Elisabeth Deffner was a freelance writer who moved into editing for national and local publications, and then into corporate communications focusing on insurance. She and her partner, David Beall had been working together to consult companies on marketing plans for insurance agents. There was no software solution available for these agents that would have made their marketing plans easier, and that’s when Insurance Social.media was formed. They wanted to create a social media marketing platform that was a collaboration of agents and writers, to make an affordable, easy, and effective solution for insurance agents.
Shashaanka Ashili was a research scientist at Arizona State University leading multi-disciplinary technology development to understand cancer with an emphasis is bio-optical systems. He was trained as an electrical engineer, holds a PhD in optical physics, and completed a fellowship in medical devices and innovation. In 2014, his wife got into a non-fatal accident due to a distracted driver, which led Shahaanka to do some research. The statistics he found were startling. In first half of 2015 alone, fatal motor vehicle accidents increased by more than 14% with drivers distracted by technology as one of the main causes. Currently 26% of all accidents in the U.S. are because of drivers on their cell phones. He wanted to build something that was affordable for everyday families and consumers to reduce distracted driving, and ultimately help reduce the number of fatal accidents. This was the founding idea behind Smart Drivinc. Shashaanka is a proud, self-proclaimed disruptor and first mover. There are many driving solutions and applications out there, but none quite with the same value proposition as Smart Drivinc.
On April 27, six #insurtech startups will pitched at the Global Insurance Symposium. RiskGenius will be posting a series of articles on the Global Insurance Accelerator companies. We look forward to seeing you in Des Monies!
Steve (Pablow’s CEO and co-founder) is an avid traveler, he’s been to around 50 countries, and loves the “buzz” of going to new places. His parents immigrated from Ireland to Australia when he was one, and he used to travel a lot with his mom when he was younger. Traveling is something he loves and feels comfortable doing. He’s been involved in travel technology for the last 17 years, and the last 4 years in travel insurance. He saw a gap in the way travel insurance is created, sold, and what travelers are actually wanting for their insurance. Traditionally, travel insurance is sold in a one-size-fits-all manner, so that it can be applied to a larger number of people, but oftentimes that isn’t what customers are actually looking for. Pablow is looking to change that via predictive analytics.