Praise for Plymouth Rock

Yesterday, a firm we support did something that inspired us. While I typically don’t publicly point to our clients here on our blog or in a social media context, I’ll occasionally break from that trend when there’s a good enough reason to do so. This firm, and what they did yesterday, presents such an occasion. Read on.

Many Americans know of Plymouth Rock Assurance Company. For those in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, though, the relationship goes well beyond name recognition. There, Plymouth Rock is an institution, and one that our company is very proud to serve. That pride swelled a bit yesterday when I saw the news that Plymouth Rock had launched a comprehensive program to support its customers who have been impacted – and may soon be impacted again – by the government shutdown.

You can read the specifics, here, but I’ll summarize it for you: Plymouth Rock is allowing its impacted customers to pause their bill on existing policies and defer their down payment on any new policy. Further, they’ve announced that will not cancel those customers who cannot pay their bill as a direct result of the shutdown.

Forget your politics for a moment. That’s not what this is about. Instead, focus on the story of a company, a pretty big one at that, doing the right thing for its customers who are vulnerable to a scenario unfolding outside their own control. TSA Agents, air traffic controllers, Veteran’s Affairs (VA) personnel. Scientists and researchers. Parks and Museum workers. Law enforcement professionals. These are just a few examples of the folks who are being impacted.

Like many, I struggle to read through all the spin in the news, today. It’s hard to find a true signal amid the noise. But sometimes, someone does the right thing. When that happens, the news doesn’t need spin; it just needs to be shared. It needs to be acknowledged.

To our friends at Plymouth Rock: well done. And, thank you.

InsureTech Connect Recap

Our team has just returned from InsureTech Connect.

Whoa. What a week. For us, it was an incredible event and very much worth the trip. The content was very solid, and the networking proved to be a tremendous boost to the work we do for our clients. This post will bounce around a bit, as we covered a lot of ground over the five days we spent in Las Vegas. Read on!

It all began for us on Monday with the Strategic Partnership Workshop. Anyone who’s ever put on an event like this knows that very little goes completely as planned – such was the case for us on Monday. While it was a little hard for folks to find us, and then tough to hear us (AV issues), we persevered. And, we were thrilled to have a very engaged audience representing the full spectrum of thought leaders from throughout the insurtech ecosystem. Our speakers did a wonderful job going with the flow and sharing very meaningful insights. I’ve provided a quick review of each session, below:

Our first session was meant to feature Marc Buro from InsuraMatch and Abby Reddy from Quotacy. Well, one out of two ain’t bad – Marc came down with pneumonia and was unable to join us. Instead, Abby was joined by her partner, Jeremy Hallett, and Michael Babikian from Legacy Shield. They absolutely rocked. This discussion covered the importance of strategic partnerships when bringing an innovative and disruptive product to market. While we missed Marc, we were very lucky to have such a flexible group to kick us off.

Next, Daniel Weaver from Updater’s insurance group and Chad Lovell from Cross Country Home Services led a very informative session on the power of leveraging insurance-adjacent partnerships. This was a unique discussion in that it covered both ends of the unit economic equation for insurance marketers – Daniel talked about customer acquisition and Chad covered retention and claims mitigation. Great content from great folks!

We shifted our focus in the second half of the workshop to talk about how partnership-first firms fare in the market from an enterprise value perspective. We featured the stories of two recent acquisitions, with Brian Ocheltree from LeadCloud and Hal Schwartz from Quilt providing a firsthand account of their experience being acquired by larger enterprises. Brian spoke about the acquisition of his firm by National General Insurance Group and Hal told the story of being acquired by Mass Mutual’s Haven Life. For many in the audience, this was a powerfully relevant session – I credit each of these speakers for being extremely open about the process of building a business valuable enough to be acquired by major enterprises. It was a great discussion!

We then gained a different perspective on the investment and M/A process – this time from folks representing the capital side of that ecosystem. Ashish Dudani from Kiwi Tech and Grace Vandecruze from Grace Global Capital did an incredible job sharing their insights on how insurtech ventures can prepare themselves for capital investment and even acquisition. This discussion took an unexpected turn toward another important topic (and one that I couldn’t be more pleased to have discussed): diversity. Grace discussed the importance of having diverse backgrounds and thought perspectives at the board level, while Ashish spoke to this impact on the contributing team. The message, in each case, is very important.

Finally, we were fortunate to have a number of students present from Gamma Iota Sigma, the nation’s largest fraternal organization for the study of insurance-related curriculum in colleges and universities. GIS’s CEO, Noelle Codispoti, spoke about the organization and its mission. She even took a selfie!

With the workshop done, we shifted our focus to the show itself. For this event, we took a divide and conquer approach. While Brett and Anna carried the burden of a jam-packed schedule filled with partner meetings and introductory discussions, I focused on holding fewer meetings with principals of businesses we’ve been evaluating for partnerships with our clients. This proved useful for me – I learned a ton and was able to identify clear next steps on a number of key initiatives. Without the team being on hand to handle a massive number of earlier-stage discussions, I wouldn’t have been able to focus my own discussions in this way. I expect we’ll do more of this in the future.

It wasn’t all business. On Wednesday night we joined the 6,000 or so other attendees for the Salt and Peppa concert! We were all exhausted from four days of working in Vegas, but there was no way I was missing this. It was PACKED. The music was great. The people watching, though, was epic. I’ve never seen so many khaki pants (many pleated!) at a concert – and these people were absolutely jamming. It can’t be easy to get a few thousand insurance professionals to dance for two hours. Salt, Peppa and DJ Spindarella each have my admiration – they looked great and sounded even better!

Thursday was a travel day, but not before we held a client kickoff meeting that morning. I was impressed by the advances that Brett and Anna have made to this process, and really pleased to have completed the week with a kickoff. After this meeting, we made our way home – Anna to Santa Barbara and Brett and I back to Phoenix.

I’ll end with a note of thanks to the folks who lead InsureTech Connect. Jay Weintraub, Caribou Honig, Samarra Jaffe and the rest of the team did such a great job with this event. I’m so thankful to have been there and thrilled with the quality of the meetings we held. I can’t speak highly enough about InsureTech Connect and can’t wait to be there next year.

Join Us At InsureTech Connect in Las Vegas!

Earlier today, we announced that we will be partnering with InsureTech Connect as part of their annual conference in Las Vegas. The four-hour, pre-conference program will be available exclusively to conference attendees, and will feature content contributions from throughout the insurance technology ecosystem and insurance-adjacent industries. For us, this is big news on a couple important fronts. Read on!

First, I’ve known the conference’s founder, Jay Weintraub, since my first month in the performance marketing space. In many ways, his ideas have provided a platform for my career to flourish. Over time, I’ve come to know Jay as a dear friend. Partnering with him – and the entire InsureTech Connect team – is a tremendous honor for us. If you’re reading this, Jay and team, thank you.

Beyond the personal stuff, we’re excited about this because it perfectly aligns with who we are and what we do. We power partnerships for firms across the insurance ecosystem, many of which are highly focused on emerging technologies. Very quickly, InsureTech Connect has become one of the insurance industry’s most innovative and important events, so being chosen to participate is validation of our own momentum.

What Attendees Should Expect:
If you haven’t attended one of our events in the past, it’s important to adjust your expectations, as this is not a typical session. Here’s what you can expect from this workshop:

  1. This will be entirely focused on thought leadership and education – it will absolutely never be about a sales pitch.
  2. All programming and content will come from industry thought leaders – WorkBook6’s job is to recruit great contributors and facilitate fantastic content.
  3. The focus will be entirely on growth-oriented partnerships.
  4. Space is very much limited. We have capacity for roughly 75 attendees (our last event attracted nearly 200). Get there early and be sure to reference the below information in your travel planning.

Where, When and How:
If you’ve already registered for InsureTech Connect, you’re good to go – just be sure to be at the MGM Grand on Monday, October 1 in time for the event. If you haven’t registered, we’ve provided a link with a discount for you, below.

MGM Grand – Rooms 204 & 205
October 1, 2018
1:00pm – 5:00pm

Registration Link: http://www.insuretechconnect.com/workbook6

 

 

Let’s Connect!