The Future of Insurance Podcast – Nestor Solari
Co-Founder & CEO, Sigo Seguros
Season 1, Episode 15, August 3rd, 2021
Nestor is Co-Founder and CEO of Sigo Seguros, an inclusive insurance provider focused on providing affordable access to car insurance. He founded Sigo while at business school after seeing family members struggle to buy auto insurance. Before his graduate studies, Nestor spent most of his career investing in inclusive financial institutions in emerging markets, and began his career in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs.
Nestor earned a BS in Finance from Penn State, an MA in International Studies from the Lauder Institute, and an MBA from the Wharton School, where he attended as a Howard E. Mitchell Fellow. He’s fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and began his studies at the Universidad ORT in Montevideo, Uruguay. Nestor has dedicated his career and volunteer efforts to helping underserved populations, educating young people, and increasing diversity across the industries in which he works.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nestorhugosolari/; https://www.linkedin.com/company/sigo-seguros
Twitter: @nestorsolari, @sigoseguros
Instagram: @nestorhugosolari; @sigoseguros
Highlights from the Show
- Nestor Solari is the child of Uruguayan immigrants, born and raised in NJ
- He started his career in Finance on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker
- He realized that was the path that he wanted, and moved into the Impact Investing space, which was primarily about microfinance investments to make traditional financial products more accessible to the broader population in Latin America and Asia
- In 2017, he went to business school with a goal of starting his own business
- At the same time, he saw people in his community and family having a very difficult time with insurance
- Getting it was hard, with lots of hoops to jump through
- Prices were very high with requirements for cash up front, and coverage was sub-par
- Nestor did not understand why, given the values he knew were part of the community, and wanted to address it
- Being from outside the industry allowed Nestor to see the issue from the customer’s viewpoint because he had no existing biases or preconceptions at play
- The goal was to build an inclusive insurer and insurance experience: mobile-first, bilingual, and attacking the disparate impact of things like using credit score, employment and education in rating decisions
- An auto insurer providing affordable access to immigrants and the working class at the highest level
- The hardest part of the equation is how we do this, and starts with the end-to-end experience and getting more data earlier in the sales funnel
- Looking deeper into it, Nestor found that loss ratios for non-standard business are actually lower than in the rest of the market, but the operating expenses are higher, so solving this means being more efficient
- The first step for them was not just translating their experience to Spanish, but building it that way to begin with so it could be deployed natively in terms of language and culture, and smooth out the operation and customer experience in the process
- There’s also surprisingly value in using less data in terms of avoiding rating factors with inherent bias, and instead looking to things like telematics to get a truer sense of the exposure than a rating factor could give you
- The team spent almost two years as an agent before launching their insurance solution to be sure they really understood the market and its needs rather than assuming anything about it
- The value in insurance is in lifetime value, but the existing solutions weren’t seeing great retention because of how they weren’t serving this market segment
- As of the release of this episode, Sigo has been through a soft launch, and has moved onto their official launch in Texas as an MGA, they just crossed the 10 employee mark, and closed their seed funding round
- The seed idea for Sigo started when Nestor was helping his aunt look at her finances, and saw $12 ACH fees on her insurance, which seemed odd to him. The deeper he dug, the more he found that was either difficult or expensive for her, and he found that his aunt was not alone.
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