THE MAGAZINE FOR INSURANCE IT & BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
Editor in Chief
Robert Regis Hyle
Michael P. Voelker
Jason T. Williams
ITA Advisory Board
Security First Insurance Company
Millers Mutual Insurance
Craig S. Lowenthal
Berkley Technology Services
Gary H. Ouellette
Union Mutual of Vermont Companies
Glatfelter Insurance Group
Kenneth B. Zieden-Weber
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Copyright © 2016 by the Insurance
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September 2016 // Issue 6 // Vol. 3
Doing new things and striving to be different are staples of American business. No one
ever proclaims their new company will offer some of the “same old, same old” to its
Telling the world you are going to do things differently than others is one thing;
actually following through with such a boast can be quite another. How many of those
businesses with new ideas actually reverted to old business customs? Quite a few, most
likely, for the simple reason that execution is more difficult than explanation. As the
saying goes, I see better than I hear.
Another reason is consumers may not wish to change the way they do business.
They are either quite satisfied with the way things are going (less likely) or just outright
resistant to change, even if they complained constantly about the old way.
There is an entire class of people who reject the old ways, though. Their lifestyle is
different than conventional society and they expect—and in many cases demand—that
the people they do business with respect their needs if they want to keep the customer’s
They are the engine behind the new economy with services such as ride-sharing
and home-sharing. They have a different lifestyle, which sometimes means unconventional decisions.
Businesses have always tried to take advantage of a different type of customer, but
that often implies a reliance by the customer on the company and even such a conventional philosophy as that has been turned upside-down.
The cover story in this issue looks at two new insurance companies and their
decisions to go about business in ways different than insurance has ever been sold or
Slice Labs has put together a program that allows individuals to take advantage of
the new economy by turning their personal automobile into an Uber or Lyft vehicle,
and back again once the service has ended.
Figo Pet Insurance offers a somewhat more traditional insurance policy, pet insurance, but has an ownership that is driven to create a community of pet owners that is
almost as important to them as a community of pet policyholders.
A lot of people were caught up in looking to the future of insurance with a wary eye
on technology companies that made their bones in areas other than insurance. Companies such as Amazon, Google or Apple may one day invade the insurance industry,
but for now they have taken a backseat to smaller, more agile companies that saw an
opportunity and jumped on it.
Will there be more companies like Slice Labs and Figo Pet Insurance finding their
niche in the insurance industry? We’d be silly to believe otherwise. Investors are looking closely at a new breed of insurer and the challenge for all carriers might not come
from new players in the insurance market, but from those who are willing to take a
swing at something new. ITA
Robert Regis Hyle
Nothing Will Ever Be the
Same in Insurance