The Future of Insurance Podcast – Rob Schimek
Founder & CEO, bolttech
Season 5, Episode 9, November 14, 2023
Rob is the Group Chief Executive Officer of bolttech, the fast-growing international insurtech, responsible for the company’s development and growth around the world.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Rob has previously held senior leadership roles in insurance, including President and CEO of AIG’s commercial insurance businesses worldwide and Chief Executive Officer of the Americas for AIG. Prior to that, Rob served as President and Chief Executive Officer of EMEA and was the Chief Financial Officer of AIG’s global property and casualty business.
Before joining AIG, Rob was a partner at Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. where, for 18 years, he used his public accounting experience to serve global financial institution clients, including MetLife, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, and Merrill Lynch.
Rob is a C.P.A. He earned his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Rider University in New Jersey and Chairman of the Rider University Board of Trustees.
Highlights from the Show
- Rob started as an accountant, and then moved to AIG
- He left AIG with a lot of lessons of what to do and what not to do, and used that to start bolttech as a an insurance distribution solution for the industry
- They work on embedded insurance, but with a broad definition of the term
- Bolttech runs an insurance exchange, connecting buyers and sellers of protection and insurance, and current have a scaled solution that’s doing 25 homeowners quotes a minute, every hour of every day (that’s 36,000 per day for just one line of business)
- Their take on embedded allows for the flexibility to offer choice of carrier and product, but also thinks much more broadly about how insurance can support the transaction around the core product it provides protection around, rather than trying to be the center of the transaction itself
- bolttech intentionally does not think about insurance as the center of the transaction, which helps them to think about other moments and areas to connect into the needs of the consumer rather than a single buying moment
- Part of this comes from the understanding insurers don’t need to do or solve for everything themselves, and finding ways to solve a customer’s needs whether it’s with something you built or not is better than trying to force your own solution when it’s not fit for purpose
- Two things have been holding embedded back from living up to the hype yet
- Before that, bolttech recognizes that they’re fast but their partners aren’t always as fast, so they need to slow down while helping their partners to speed up so they can meet in the middle
- The first element slowing things is the idea of DIY – I don’t need anyone else to be able to build an embedded solution
- It is possible, but it is slower than if you worked with someone else
- Second, many players are working on embedded solutions in pockets, which end up being disjointed and subscale rather than what would be possible if we could connect those points together so they can help each other grow
- When you try to build the entire embedded solution alone, you will move slower and less ideally than if you cooperated and connected to others working on the issue, too
- You really need to think in the really big picture of everything around the customer rather than any one product, or even just insurance
- Rob thinks about bolttech as building the rails that enable the trains of products customers need can be delivered, regardless of who builds or sells the products themselves