Recently, Matt Carletti and Ron Josey of JMP Group hosted a live webcast conversation with the Pie’s Co-founder and CEO, John Swigart, and Bold Penguin’s founder, Ilya Bodner. During the webcast, Commercial Lines: InsurTech’s Next Frontier, the leaders discussed developments in insurance technology and how recent events have impacted the insurance industry and their small business customers.
Pie provides workers’ compensation insurance designed for small businesses, while Bold Penguin is a commercial insurance exchange—both companies work directly with consumers and with partner agents.
On the value of InsurTech, Swigart said technology must be at the forefront of insurance because it helps deliver a better experience at a lower price for the customer. Further, technology drives efficiency and helps align payments with the risk reality. Bodner added that the insurance industry used to be siloed, but that today’s technology makes it easier to bring efficiency into the space.
As for InsurTech and commercial lines, Swigart sees these lines as the next great opportunity for innovation disruption and technology. Bodner believes commercial lines are the last to become part of the insurtech ecosystem because they’re complex and intricate, and he says he’s excited about the future of commercial lines.
When asked about the impacts of COVID-19, Bodner said he has seen it accelerate the winners and losers within the industry based on alignment at strategic and executive level. He also said Bold Penguin has seen small businesses begin to inquire about insurance products they may need but don’t have (such as business interruption insurance). Swigart feels much of what we have seen in the transition to digital demand will persist and accelerate in the future.
Both leaders felt that agents are critical for helping customers get the best rates and for piecing together insurance coverage since each business has diverse needs. They also agreed that digital tools can help agents streamline operations and provide ideal products and services for their customers.
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