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Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Next Big Technology is Changing the Stale Insurance Industry



The Next Big Technology is Changing the Stale Insurance Industry 

Hello everyone! I am very excited to be here, andincredibly grateful for this opportunity. When I got selected for this TEDx talk,I thought wow these kids are gonna get so fired up to learn about insurance! Clearly, it's the most exciting industry in the world today. Yeah? Well, yeah! Your reactions suggest you think otherwise, but the truth is despite the fact thatyou know I'm very passionate about insurance, and I've only dedicated myentire professional life to it, I realize that it may not have the mostinspiring reputation. But as I reflected on my path, and mywork, you know what I realized? That my story isn't about insurance. My story is about community. About how I've tried to help my community and people all over. It's also about boldness. I know, yeah, it is! Insurance is about being bold! Now, you might be skeptical, but allow me to explain. So, despite how thrilling the world of insurance is, I did not always long to be an insurance software executive. When I was young I wanted tobe a psychiatrist. 



I wanted to help people, andI thought that this would be a path that would allow me to supportpeople, and help them on their path. But you know, when Igraduated school, yeah. When I graduated school, I was met with anon-existent job market, and as my job search dragged on, and on, and on, I tookthe first job that I was offered. Insurance adjustor! Bold, I know, yes, so early in the gig I had anopportunity to join the catastrophe team, or CAT team for short, and I jumped at it. Why you might ask? I just wanted to travel! I had visions of touring local landmarks, some extravagant clothes shopping, and of course partyingwith my new coworkers. So, the first ever assignment I gotwas in response to storms in Texas, and you can imagine my excitement,as I prepare for my outing. That's how we thought of it. I thought of it as an outing. So, you can imagine my excitement of being the summertime. 


Packing my bag including my cutestshorts, t-shirts, and of course, my cowboy boots. As I boarded the plane I had visionsof cocktails, and some serious country line dancing, which you're gonna have to believe me. That was a thing back in the nineties. So, as I made my way from the hotel to theneighborhoods that I'd be working on, You know, I quickly came torealize that I wasn't here to party. I wasn't there to hang out, and Iwasn't here to look cute. I was there to help this communitythat had been devastated by the storm, make their way back to normal. I was there to help these families thatlives had been turned upside down find their balance and their way back to normalso that they could survive, and thrive in the face of the catastrophe. 

Technology is Change Day By Day.

By the end of the first day,my plans for hitting up the local barbecue spot had completelyevaporated, and in their place was a deep and total commitment tohelping every family I spoke to. I worked dawn to dusk. As long as there was light in the sky,I hauled my ladder and this body on top of their roofs in order to inspect the damage. The same for the interiors of thehomes, as well as the yard, as well as the fences. I understood that in this moment, my job was to provide peace of mind support and help however I could,and I understood my job was to get money into their hands so that they could repair their homes, or live in a hotel, if they couldn't live in their home. And it's because I understood that everypenny counted, and that speed was key. I might have used a little creative license with some of the policy rules. So, let's say for example that a policy holder couldn't afford a $500 deductible. 

Well I might overestimate, don't tell anyone, the cost of their repairs, just a little, in order to softenthe blow for them. Also, if let's say, a fence wasn't coveredby the policy, not a problem, now it's a "barrier to entry" and not a fence in need of repair. In short I did whatever I could to helpthese people that needed me. So, this trip was a turning point for me,and that's when I realized that insurance wasn't about sitting at a desk. It wasn't about obnoxiously respondingto callers with: "The policy requirements explicitly state" - No! It was about compassion. It was about empathy, and thatis what I fed on. When I would respond to callers on thephone, I thought of those families in Texas. When I was helping someone with their car accident, I no longer had to close the claim as quickly as possible so Icould head out to the local pub night. Instead, I stayed as long as I was needed. I came in early, I stayed late. I did whatever I could to help thepeople that I served. And that commitment to community is what allowed me to excel in my role at that time, and over the last 26 years,it has remained my guiding light. But my rule is much different now. And it requires that I engage in thework in a different way because despite the fact that insurance, at itscore, is about helping people, 

it's also incredibly conservativein its approach. It's about risk management. It is about anything but boldness. We work to find solutions and we minimizeexposures, and you know that's fine and that's good. But my time as an adjustor allows me tomaintain focus on the question that really matters. Are we helping our customers by balance in security in the best way possible? I keep this in my sights, and I'm seeing exciting new ways in which technology is providing innovative,and important answers to this question. That is where my passion lies. Insure tech is creating new pathwaysin an old industry. Insure tech is the confluence of technology and insurance, and it's where insurance meets its fullness. For example, Slice is an insure techinnovator that insures Uber and Lyft drivers. It's on demand insurance. So the app triggers the insurance at the start of the ride and it turns off at the end of the ride. It tracks it down to the minute and the second. This makes insurance affordable, and it just makes sense. Another insure tech innovator is Metromile. 


They charge buying a mile for automobile insurance. You only pay for the distance that you drive. I mean why pay for car insurance, if you aren't using your car? And I have to say, one of my personalfavorites, that is truly transforming what's possible for people,is Bought By Many. They are a social broker, they servepeople who have very unique demands, and because of that, have a hardtime finding insurance. For example, let's say travel insurance. For travelers with gout or pet insurance,for one-eyed rescue pugs. Or, quick seriously, life insurance forindividuals with diabetes. They pool together these underservedcustomer so that in larger numbers, insurance becomes affordable in waysit's never been before. So these are all great examples of boldnew ways of serving people. And my contribution to this is a chatbot.

So, a well designed chatbot can handlehigh volumes but simple tasks associated with a claim. They free people up to do what we'regood at, which is solve complex problems, and provide empathy anda sympathetic ear. Watch this article to see it in action. Hi I'm Laura let me tell you aboutmy good bad day. I was leaving work, texting with my husband on Facebook Messenger, and as I approached my new car,I smell paint. Someone had tagged it withred spray paint. I couldn't believe it! My insurer is on Facebook Messenger too. So I texted them and they answered right away. They asked if this was an emergencysituation, and I said no, and then they verified my phone number. They wanted to know when the lossoccurred, and because the spray paint was still wet I told them: "Now." When they checked my policies, they realized that this is an amazing, brand-new car, and they were verysympathetic about it. They asked what have happened, andI selected vandalism. They wanted to know where it happened.so I pinpointed my exact location. 

The next part was kind of fun. They asked if I could take a quick article of myself explaining what happened, so I did it. And then I uploaded the article. The last thing they asked for wasa photo of the damage, which was great because it gave me the chance toshow them just how bad my car looked. They responded quickly with all of theclaim information that I had given to them, and asked me toverify the details. I simply hit yes, and I confirm,and it was done. They told me that they were on it. And you know what? They kept their promise. My claim was settled quickly, and sent me to a fantastic repair shop, and my car looksbrand new again. So this was my good bad day. The companies using this technologyare more effectively and efficiently serving their customers when they needed the most. Yeah, so I'm really proud of the role Iplay to champion this but I gotta say, I am incredibly grateful to my boss,Steve, as well as my CEO, Marcus, because they took a chance to invest in the future of the industry, and lead with vision, and innovation. So what I'm seeing happening in insure tech is why I'm so excited to be here today.

Because I understand you're ageneration that's driven by your values. You crave the opportunity to contributein bold and creative ways. You're driven, not by findingthe safest or most highest paying job, but by a combination of a job thatwill support you, allow for creativity, and allow you to contribute to somethinggreater than yourself. Your generation is shattering stigmas, andyou are starting difficult conversations. If you aren't bold, I don't know who is! And you're exactly who we need to callon to continue to find solutions for communities and for families. College and being a young adult,I mean in general, is a time to take risks and be bold. You are in Silicon Valley! You are watching industries transform. What companies have done to the cab industry, hotel industry, movies, music and everything in betweenis astounding. I got a secret for you! Right now, insurance is where some of those industries used to be ten years ago. Right now, insurance is on the cusp oflarge-scale change. There is an opportunity toreimagine how it works. There is an opportunity to make it relevant for your generation, and how you live. 

There is an opportunity to see this massive industry through fresh new eyes, and find a contribution. Because we need this boldness, and commitment to contributing to the greater good now more than ever. In the past year, the hurricane trio ofHarvey, Irma and Maria, has cost the insurance industry a record amountin 2017. The final insurance bill? It's expected to come inat 135 billion dollars. Yeah, that is a huge number. It represents hundreds of thousands of families that are displaced. It represents hundreds of thousands ofhomes that are damaged or destroyed, and it represents hundreds of communitiesthat are uprooted, interrupted, and tested in the most harrowing ways possible. But that's the work of this industry, andthat's when we step in, and we step up. When people are in crisis, hours and minutes matter. Technology can help, or it can hinder, but we need boldness to see what is possible. Insurance is a one trillion dollar industry. 

That's with a "T," and that's inthe US alone. So if you want to make a difference at a truly massive scale, insurance and insure tech is where youcan bring your values into the world. So, the path that I've taken has guided me to a career in insurance. Oh, I never thought I would end up here! When I was sitting in those seats, I neverthought I'd end up here. But I'm sure glad I have. I have been able to contribute to the world in ways that I couldn't imagine when I packed those cowboy boots,and headed to Texas all those years ago. I've been guided by an unwaveringunderstanding of who we are working for. We are working for people, and we are working for communities. And by being bold in our pursuit to helpthese people find better solutions, and innovations to better serve them. So how'd I do? Ready to join the wild world of insurance? Do not answer that! Don't answer it! Because my story isn't about insurance. My story is about community, and my story is about boldness. Whatever path you choose, you're gonnahave the opportunity to serve. 

Teddy, Teddy Bear, Lonely, Loneliness

You're part of this University community. How can you serve each other? You're part of the community that you grew up in. How can you serve them? You're going to leave here, and you're gonna plant roots in other places, and you will have tremendous opportunitiesto serve those around you. You will have an opportunity to curve outa purposeful and fulfilling career. Now, I found this in insurance of all places, in insurance. I don't know where you're gonna find it. But I know you can, and I know you will. Just step into your boldness. Trust your gut, and move withcourage, and you will find deep fulfillment in your life, and in your work. You will experience the joy of help in gothers, and you will rest knowing you contributed to the best of your ability,and you were there when you were needed. Thank you everyone! (Applause) 

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