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Fresh Expectations, Fresh Companies: 3 Lessons from Insurtech Leader Ask Kodiak

Posted on October 04, 2016 by Michael Albert in Digital Insurer

Insurtech insurance AskKodiak

Fifteen months ago the debate was whether the 'e' should be included in "Insurtech/Insuretech". Not only has that silly debate been settled (sorry, 'e') but several new companies with actual customers and products now call Insurtech home. From IoT and AI trained for insurance to highly automated brokerages and agent/carrier productivity tools like Ask Kodiak, we've all 'grown up online'. We look to automate everything and apply technology at every chance we get. Some of us are new to insurance, some of us have been here for years, but all of us are taking a fresh approach to building a business in this space of ours. We all use technology in just about everything we do and have high expectations of our partners' technical capabilities. As the saying goes: No shoes, No shirt, No API, no service.

In the spirit of meeting and exceeding your customer's expectations, here are some things from Ask Kodiak's perspective that established agencies, carriers, and software providers can learn from the first class of Insurtech startups:

Automate Everything

Automation keeps customers and staff alike empowered and happy. Admittedly, team Ask Kodiak has probably taken this to an extreme. We employ zero sales people. Carriers and Agents sign up online. Everything that they can do on our platform, they can do themselves 24x7. If they need a hand, we've built online chat into our application that (you guessed it) automates assignment of inbound messages and sends push notifications to the phones of the right people on our team. From day one, we've designed processes and technology to minimize the need for staff so that everyone on the team can focus on value-creation and customer outreach, not busy work.

Don't Fear the Cloud

The cloud helps you build amazing customer experiences and reduce costs significantly. Many in the insurance industry have missed out on the benefits based on a misplaced sentiment that cloud is insecure or that it doesn't measure up to the complexities of the business. There is a tremendous amount of capability available at the push of a button on the cloud: data storage, data processing, user management, analytics, marketing automation, customer satisfaction, and more. Most all of these components can be knit together with API's. In 2016, it is possible to get almost a full stack of fully functional and mature components capable of running a world-class application practically for free. Better still, all of it runs in data centers safeguarded by industry-standard processes and top cyber-security talent.

Go!

I've been asked before “What's your biggest challenge as a company?" and my honest answer is that our enemy is the "speed of insurance". This is especially true on the carrier side, where the amount of consternation that sometimes goes into even the smallest decisions is to the detriment of the company and customer. You know who looks back and measures success based on the high number of decision-making meetings on a particular topic? No one, that's who. Take a shot. Make a decision. Fail or succeed. Learn something. Repeat.

Recent surveys have indicated that fewer than 50% of agents offer 24x7 service. Carriers are still hemmed in by legacy systems, antiquated processes and controls that prevent them from real innovation. The collective to-do list for our industry is still enormous. The opportunity for all of us to do better is out there. Get inspired. Pick a process in your office that could use some improvement and get after it. Your customers will thank you.

- Michael


Learn more about how you can exceed customer expectations by registering for Vertafore's upcoming customer expectations webinar

michael ask kodiak customer expectations vertafore

Michael founded AskKodiak, a platform designed to help carriers communicate with agents and brokers. He also represents the industry as a thought leader on social media by regularly participating in conversations about InsurTech and has held speaking engagements at events such as Insurance Disrupted 2016. Michael was also listed on the Vertafore Top 25 Disruptors List

 

 
 

 

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