Perspectives from an Insurance Executive
David Daniels, EVP, Director of Product Development & Innovation at MiniCo Insurance Agency, a Jencap Company sat down with Insurance Quantified to discuss the challenges he’s experienced in his insurance career and the opportunities he sees for data and technology in the future.
Over the course of your career, what are some common pain points you’ve experienced?
I think they can all be summed up as access to timely and accurate information.
Part of my role is to evaluate and develop new programs, which requires extensive research and analysis. I work with multiple teams and just getting the necessary information so we can run the business is difficult, and doing so in a timely manner is near impossible. I can’t tell you how important it is to have timely information to run your business. Everyone wants things immediately.
Throughout my career, the inability to get meaningful data from legacy systems and then adequately analyze it was a huge challenge. But unwinding those systems meant a significant investment of time and resources.
What tools do you wish you had access to when you were an underwriter?
I’m a data guy. Numbers tell a story and it’s hard to hide behind them. Access to real-time information and the ability to quickly click on business and see which brokers are feeding us, which are not making good use of our time and which are sending us quality, complete submissions would have been invaluable.
As a program manager, it would have been so helpful to walk in, turn on my computer and then go talk to the team and ask if they need my help using the information. The ability to work collaboratively, with access to the same data would have elevated those interactions. So many underwriters are just trying to keep up with the business today.
Also, it would have been great to eliminate the need to use third-party websites to pull data manually. The time saved alone is valuable, and I would have loved to have my staff working much more on broker relationships and identifying how they will grow their programs.
As an executive today, what is important to you in a technology project? How do you think about success?
We need to be able to ingest information quickly, evaluate it and then make decisions quickly. Systems need to support that and surface the necessary information for quick decisions while freeing up valuable resource time to focus on things like broker relationships and management.
Transparency into the process is also critical. The people who will be using the system need to be part of the process and see the improvements taking place. In past experiences, everything happens behind the scenes and then frequently falls short of expectations on delivery. Bringing the team along on the journey can’t be underestimated.
Change management is a big part of technology adoption. What advice do you have for introducing change?
Communication, communication, communication. It’s so important to share information and set expectations from day one, and everyone has a role to play here. The technology provider needs to be transparent with all stakeholders, leadership needs to explain the initiative and objectives, and the users need to be clear on what they need.
This level of communication needs to continue throughout the project. Regular updates, even if there hasn’t been a lot of movement, are important. They keep people aligned and help manage expectations.
What excites you about working with Insurance Quantified?
I get to work with a great group of people. It makes my job fun and exciting to see things move forward. I’ve never been involved in an initiative like this.
From day one, the Insurance Quantified team engaged all stakeholders through an exploratory data analysis project that set the stage not only for how SubmissionIQ would be implemented, but also for how we would partner. Since then, it’s been an iterative process where we are brought in on what’s happening at every stage. It keeps us all in sync, manages expectations and ensures we are aligned with leadership’s strategic views.
It’s really transforming our business and the way people do work. And we’re doing something so radically different from what’s going on in the market. I’ve read about similar projects, but I haven’t seen them come to fruition. With Insurance Quantified, I see it daily.