The Future of Insurance Podcast – Andrew Daniels & Michael Fiedel

Managing Directors, InsurTech Ohio

Season 1, Episode 14, July 27th, 2021

Guest Bio

Andrew Daniels, Founder and Managing Director, InsurTech Ohio
Andrew Daniels is the Founder and a Managing Director of InsurTech Ohio. Andrew’s experience includes leading claims operations, launching new insurtech solutions with a major carrier innovation team, and advising early stage startups.

Michael Fiedel, Managing Director, InsurTech Ohio
Michael Fiedel is a Managing Director of InsurTech Ohio and a co-founder of PolicyFly, a digital policy management system. Michael’s expertise in the insurtech space includes leading product strategy and customer success, along with corporate initiatives across business development and marketing.

Highlights from the Show

  • InsurTech Ohio is trying to facilitate the community that has existed in Columbus and Ohio more broadly
  • Andrew Daniels had been working in innovation at Allstate, talked to Ilya Bodner, founder of Bold Penguin, and was given access to the network of the InsurTech community in the state to try to build something sustainable to keep the movement going in the state
  • Michael had been elsewhere in the US, and picked Columbus with his wife to settle down and raise their family, and found a very strong Insurance community in the state
  • There seemed to be a growing sense of partnership in the state around helping raise the profile of Columbus and Ohio more broadly in the Insurance community in the US given how much is going on in the state
  • There’s a positive camaraderie across all of the geographic InsurTech communities that have been popping up around the US
  • There are three or four reasons why communities exist
    • “I want to be a part of a community” and talk about insurance with people, so sometimes you have to build it yourself if you want that
    • There are some forward thinking carriers out there, and a lot are in Columbus and OH
    • VCs hubbed in specific places, like Columbus
    • What’s missing in Ohio versus some other cities is more of an ecosystem of investment and startup coming in and out of the area, like in NYC or SF
  • Things coming down the road
    • 2021-2022 will be the year of embedded insurance and carriers spinning up with a focus on a very specific demographic
    • Every carrier is searching for ways to be accessible across digital channels, and there is an arms race to try to be as accessible as possible; this has expanded to commercial lines, too, and is beyond the quote process
    • Carriers will run through the standard innovation cycles, but more mature levels like at Progressive and AmFam have studios where they are looking at adjacent spaces they might be able to bring insurance solutions to.
  • Commoditization is an interesting challenge that the industry is facing, especially as more things more digital as price becomes more front and center
  • The hesitation from carriers isn’t on innovation, it’s that they want to build technology, but don’t want to challenge their actuarial model
  • The first wave of InsurTechs that have exited could help clarify what it takes to succeed
  • We talked about Amazon since Insurance is about protecting people and things, and Amazon is the mother of all providers of things, so they will be front and center in much of the conversation around embedded insurance and other, similar ways the industry will change
  • Advice for those looking at moving into Insurance or moving forward with a new idea
    • Get involved in your community, and if you don’t have one in your area, reach out to the InsurTech Ohio team for help and guidance so you can build one
    • Talk to experts to learn and grow
    • Don’t hoard your idea as if you’re the only one thinking of it as those who win is based on speed and passion, so anything that can help make it happen is worth it
    • If you are solo, find others to work with you with complementary skills – there are no successful InsurTech startups that were founded by one person alone
  • Don’t be insular, engage

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Special thanks to Medallia for sponsoring this episode.

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