The Future of Insurance Podcast – Randel Bennett

VP, Strategic Partnerships, Swiss Re

Season 4, Episode 18, June 6, 2023

Guest Bio

Randel is a dynamic insurance professional who recently joined Swiss Re’s Reinsurance Solutions division as a VP of Strategic Partnerships. Prior to this, he co-founded an insurtech MGA focused on providing private passenger auto insurance to Hispanic consumers in the US. With a strong background in insurance product development and management, he has held notable positions at Allstate, Encompass, National General, First Chicago, and iptiQ. Randel is based in Chicago and is a proud alumnus of Florida International University. Outside of work, he enjoys attending sporting events, planning trips, and creating memorable meals with friends.


Highlights from the Show

  • Randel has worked in Insurance, mainly on the product side, throughout his career, and is now leading Strategic Partnerships at Swiss Re after co-founding a non-standard auto MGA
  • There’s an interesting contrast between working in niche businesses or a startup and then going to Swiss Re, given the scale, complexity and global structure of it
  • Randel works within the Reinsurance Solutions unit, which looks at investing and supporting new ideas coming to market, especially from startups
    • They also have internal solutions they’ve built that they can offer to others, including non-insurers
    • Randel gets to play with these solutions and the reinsurance capacity to deploy into the insurtech space
  • Over the last year, getting capacity, whether fronting or reinsurance, has gotten harder, especially if you have no background in the industry to backup your underwriting skills
  • Loss picks are coming in higher these days, and it matters, whereas the focus was on distribution in the past
  • Having been on both sides of the equation, Randel saw first hand how a large carrier might takes months to make a decision, while a startup could run out of runway waiting for it
  • Looking forward, Randel is looking at ideas that have a purpose and meaningful difference, and those who are hyper-focused on those ideas and know where they’re going to go and how to execute against that direction and vision
  • Embedded is also of interest because it can create more price inelasticity, giving you room to price as you need to rather than having market pressure working against you
    • Looking at Apple Care, these were embedded from the start and  it’s ubiquitous no matter where or how you buy an Apple product, and Randel sees that as what we should be trying to get to
  • At a big carrier, Randel felt like the mentality was “We can’t do this because X,” whereas, at a startup, it’s “Why can’t we do this?”
  • Bet on yourself – if you see something that excites you, ask yourself what the worst case is, and ask if you can deal with that; if you can, make that leap

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Thank you to our sponsor

This episode is brought to you by The Future of Insurance Volume III. The Collaborators, part of the Future of Insurance thought leadership series ( from Bryan Falchuk.

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