Episode 61: Full Transcript

[00:00:00.23] CASEY KEMPTON: Truly, if I had a magic wand, we could deliver faster. We could move quicker if all the complexity that comes with managing 50 different markets as an actual player wasn't there. There are tools, I think, that have done a great job through the years of standardizing that and bringing that regulation and packaging it every way they can. So carriers don't have to directly manage all of that complexity.

[00:00:24.81] SPEAKER: This is The Insurance Technology Podcast where we bring interesting people from across the insurance ecosystem to discuss and debate technology's impact on the industry. Join us each episode for insights and best practices from industry stewards and tomorrow's innovators. Now, here's your host, Reid Holzworth.

[00:00:45.99] REID HOLZWORTH: And we're back with our amazing guest, Casey Kempton. In this episode, we're going to get more into agency adoption. We're going to continue that conversation. We're also going to bring up something that makes people a little uncomfortable in this industry.

[00:01:02.34] Here it is. You ready for it? Commercial lines comparative rater. Oh, no. Don't say rater around commercial lines.

[00:01:11.13] Bad news. Bad news. We're going to get into that. It's a great conversation. And look, we're also going to ask Casey if she could change anything in the industry, what would she change? Really interesting answer. So stay tuned. It's really, really good.

[00:01:26.97] The adoption is getting there. It's getting there on the agency side. That's for sure. But it's still not there. And I'd love your opinion.

[00:01:33.45] There are some carriers out there that are still really pushing back on this. They believe in their mind that hey, I have better conversion ratio of somebody going directly to my portal than going to one of these raters, if you will. And listen, everybody's going to go to me anyways, so why would I want to do that?

[00:01:57.06] I think it's an old way of thinking. I mean, I'm not going to name names of ones that are doing this. But I'd love to get your opinion because you guys are the opposite of that, in my opinion. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong. But like you said, you're very entrepreneurial. You're opening it up.

[00:02:10.35] CASEY KEMPTON: Yeah. Just think of the problem space. If I'm an agent and I've got a risk, I've got to pre-qualify that in my head. I'm already going to have an idea about which carrier I want to go to and how to get that done most effectively for my client and easiest for me, so I can move on to the next thing. It's a busy desk job.

[00:02:27.34] And when I don't have time to go into five, six, seven different portals, and I only go to three, then like a 33% bind rate on the carrier side makes good sense, right? They pick three. They thought they were all viable options, seems reasonable that I should win a third of the time or 40% of the time, whatever that might be.

[00:02:47.55] In rater, when five markets are quoted, it's more options than the agent would have otherwise seen. So now, you have to think differently about how you present your products on platform, how they come across to agents where your value proposition rings through. And as they have been doing in personal lines for decades, how do you put your coverage, your features together in a way that satisfies what the agent is looking for.

[00:03:17.65] And some want full coverage apples to apples, all the bells and whistles side by side. And others would be looking more for how you show the lowest price point, and then let me build it up in your portal once I bridge over. So you just have to be, I think, aware that this is the problem space. And it hasn't actually sorted itself out.

[00:03:39.31] And the tools that are very flexible that give agents the power to set that up the way that they want it set up for their particular situation, carriers having the flexibility to not only take it in one way in one setup and have the flexibility around that, that's how we learn. So if we don't engage, then we don't learn. And I think as an industry, we really have to do this together.

[00:04:05.33] I think that agents have been asking. The first time I heard the acronym SEMCI, Single Entry Multi-Carrier Interface, was in 2002. And at that moment, I thought, of course, like yes.

[00:04:19.39] And here we are. And I'm still getting the question. What is SEMCI? Now, maybe that's like a total nerd term, and I just haven't figured that out yet.

[00:04:29.03] But I still get a lot of questions. What does that mean? I just answered one yesterday. What does that mean? What is this multi-terminal concept, this swivel chair concept?

[00:04:41.10] It's not ubiquitous just yet in terms of the value and the power of this technology. In personal lines, you say rater, and everybody knows what you're talking about. There's no question about that. So how do we bridge that?

[00:04:54.73] And I don't know that in personal lines, it's limited to what we would call mass market products or down market products. It has applicability across the spectrum of personal lines risk, some of which might be more akin to the complexity of what we see in small business.

[00:05:12.34] REID HOLZWORTH: Where do you see it going? So OK, five years. So look, here's the thing. On the rater, we couldn't even say, I could not say commercial lines comparative rater up until maybe a year ago, seriously. Maybe two years, I'll give it two years.

[00:05:30.26] But before that, I mean, carriers want to run for the hills. No, no, this is not happening, no. And they push back. Not all of them. But a lot of them have.

[00:05:41.08] So we're starting to get adoption. The big agencies are leveraging this stuff, smaller to everybody in between. It started with a lot of these digital agencies starting to build their own stuff around this. And we saw that.

[00:05:54.82] And now, the big ones are saying-- especially in small commercial, micro small, they're saying, hey, this is a revenue stream that we can go and leverage that we haven't really focused on in the past. But now leveraging technology, it can really help us be that much more efficient within that. So therefore, we can make money, to put it simply. So they're starting to use it.

[00:06:17.44] But still, like, I was at an event a couple months ago. And I'm not going to name names. But I know you're listening. I know you know who you are out there. A guy up on stage started saying, we don't really see the value totally yet, maybe 20% of the time.

[00:06:32.26] And I literally grabbed the mic and I started heckling them. I'm like, what are you talking about? How do you not see the value in that? And how are you not making your agents do this? Making not fair or whatever. But you get the point.

[00:06:45.04] Why is that not top down? If I'm running an agency, which I have in the past, I'm running an agency now, every single person would start in a solution like that. And frankly, if the carriers aren't on there that we want, they're going to get-- if we can't figure it out who's coming up in the panel right then and there, then fine. Then you can go over to the portal. But it's not-- you're not going to go to the portals and then go to the tool. You know what I mean?

[00:07:11.38] CASEY KEMPTON: I can see that. You wouldn't. And I think comparative rater is a dirty word in small business. I've had that conversation in my circle of friends and circle of peers where there was a minute where I thought we're not going to call it that. We'll give it a different name.

[00:07:27.04] REID HOLZWORTH: Yeah, totally.

[00:07:28.21] CASEY KEMPTON: People feel bad when we talk about it. And then one day I said, this is ridiculous. It's just a rater. That's what we're going to call it, right? It does so much more. It's not about bargain-basement pricing shopping.

[00:07:41.95] REID HOLZWORTH: That's right.

[00:07:42.58] CASEY KEMPTON: That's not how it's being used. Imagine all the choices you have. And this is the brilliance in the Ask Kodiak solution.

[00:07:51.79] First of all, I just want to know who should I go for this because not every person inputting small business knows all the markets has been in the industry for a very long time, or there's things shifting in market a lot right now. There's a lot of movement. Carriers participating or not participating, different lines, different states, different classes. There's a lot of shift right now going on. So it becomes ever harder.

[00:08:16.30] Like today with this thing in front of me. Maybe I haven't seen this type of business in three months. And one is on my desk today. I don't have off the top of my head who's good for that? Who should I start with?

[00:08:27.65] So first and foremost, there has to be tools where agents can filter through all the possibilities around who would be a market for what's sitting on their desk, like, right here right now at their fingertips. The natural extension of that is well, if you know a little bit about it, why don't we try to quote it? Let's see what else we know about that business and bring back a quote straight away, even if it's an indication.

[00:08:54.02] So instead of this all I know now is who it is, and who would be a market for it, take that as far as you can through the transaction process. I think that becomes very natural. When the technology enables that and some carriers start doing that, the behavior will gravitate towards us. That is a path of least resistance right there.

[00:09:15.12] And if you're putting rates side by side, and someone's making a decision based on that, build in opportunities to cross-sell, to upsell. Give them a reason to bridge into platform. There's all sorts of things in the whole transaction ecosystem that can be done to continue to enrich the total offering that you bring to market.

[00:09:35.75] REID HOLZWORTH: That's a great point. Yeah. It's not seeing the forest through the trees in that. Yeah. Why not?

[00:09:41.71] You just have to get creative about it. But I think people, they're just not thinking in that way, in that creative way that you're thinking. The way that you think about this, Casey, it's like this is already done. This has happened.

[00:09:50.80] And there's a lot out there that are like, no, it's not. No, it's not. It's not happening. They're just like sweeping on the rug kind of thing. But it is. And the agents, they need these tools. They're using these tools. They're not going to stop.

[00:10:03.34] CASEY KEMPTON: In my view, they need more carriers to be willing to do more through platform to drive adoption. So while we don't have this mass rejection on the carrier side at this moment in time, the more carriers who will bring forward capability, the more adoption we can also start to see. They really do work together in terms of driving that adoption.

[00:10:28.61] It is so much further than I would have expected it to be at this time. So if you had asked me in 2017, do you see competitive rater as a real viable solution in small business in the next five years? I would have said unlikely.

[00:10:43.16] [LAUGHS]

[00:10:43.96] Was a surprise to me.

[00:10:45.74] REID HOLZWORTH: Really? Even with CPaaS back in the day and all of that?

[00:10:49.42] CASEY KEMPTON: Well, it hadn't happened. So what I didn't expect is all the online digital platforms that came about, it is a competitive rater at its core. That's what it does, which is a complex set of programming. But do it once and everybody should be able to access that kind of a solution and move forward.

[00:11:11.96] To me, it's a utility. But there's all different flavors of it that exist. What I hadn't expected was that these digital broker digital agent type technology would inspire a whole lot of others who then would be almost in a position where they had to modify their business models and the agent use case was just sitting there waiting for it.

[00:11:35.76] And so the technology had evolved through that wave of investment in a way that it became accessible. There were enough markets on it. But when it started, I would not have thought we'd be here today with this much interest, this much conversation, this much variety and solution. So much intention in agent workflow, trying to embed the software into their processes that we see today.

[00:11:59.65] REID HOLZWORTH: Who do you think shifted the tide back then? Was it CoverWallet? Or was it Bold Penguin, Mylo? What do you think? Where did it really start to shift, if you will? Because there has been people that have been wrenching on this for a lot of years, even before CPaaS.

[00:12:16.34] CASEY KEMPTON: Yeah. Absolutely.

[00:12:18.80] REID HOLZWORTH: So I don't know. I mean, I don't see all the stuff that you've seen. I've worked with a lot of these guys in my tech canary days. So I didn't really see it. You see it production, like all of a sudden. You're starting to see it ramp through that digital pipe, if you will.

[00:12:36.50] CASEY KEMPTON: Think about-- I just gauge it, and not to say that this is the pulse on our industry, but I think it's informative. I think about all the ITCs that I've been to since 2017, the first time I went, which was the second one. What was the hot topic at that time? Who attended? Who presented? Where was the emphasis?

[00:12:57.42] There was a couple of years where the emphasis was a lot around distribution, a lot around more direct to consumer plays. And then it shifted one year. And it became about agent-broker technology.

[00:13:09.69] REID HOLZWORTH: And is that because-- is that because the direct to consumer stuff was just a black hole of cash? Because it was just so expensive. Because I've talked a lot of those guys. They all went after direct to consumer. And then they said, hey, maybe we should go after the IAs and use them for distribution.

[00:13:24.93] CASEY KEMPTON: But the acquisition costs there are through the roof.

[00:13:27.96] REID HOLZWORTH: Insane, yeah.

[00:13:28.56] CASEY KEMPTON: The customer lifetime value on that customer who buys through that channel, the businesses often in some ways distressed. It's harder to build as an agent a fully balanced portfolio or you can't get average premiums high enough to really drive in the revenue that you need. And so the market and the buying behavior hasn't evolved 100% to support a full blown everybody access it and is well served by that channel. Not to mention, probably 5% of the business would actually buy online.

[00:14:04.96] Whether that was across everyone who participated, I don't know if someone out there might be like mine was 25. Awesome. You had a customer base. You were very targeted on aligning to a buyer.

[00:14:15.85] There's a lot of shopping that happens. The conversion is low. It's a technical purchase for a piece of paper that has all kinds of words on it as a business owner that I'm never going to read and frankly don't understand. And I would like to talk to someone before I give you my credit card number so that I know that I set it up right.

[00:14:35.65] Because my landlord wants to make sure a certain clause is in that policy. Or the work that I'm trying to get as a contractor, I need to have the right limits. And I want to make sure. I'm not at all saying that do it yourself isn't viable or it doesn't work. It's not for everybody.

[00:14:53.66] There are different mindsets around buying a product such as this exclusively online, all by myself, no help from everybody. It's not as easy as every other online purchase. I think it was a lot of CoverWallet and CoverHound. I think they really did insurae on the early digital brokers.

[00:15:12.55] So we used to track at Chubb the actual online ad spend by AdWords just to see where is all this going, what's happening, who's searching for business insurance, and who's paying for that. And there was a constant race between about five different players. One would outspend the other one month. And then the other would come behind.

[00:15:35.17] But the number one spender across the board consistently was a carrier. It was Hiscox who've been dominating this space since 2008. They've got a rhythm around this. They get it. They know their market.

[00:15:46.86] They know how to get after it, build their brand around it, which I've admired what they've been able to do. Coming in fresh into the US market and building the first small business, direct to consumer business that we have. And once you create a machine around that, and you mechanize it, the economics work.

[00:16:05.82] Some of these startups, I think, just struggled if that's our only source of leads. The economics don't work. And so I think there was interest in the part of agents. Many of them got purchased by agents themselves.

[00:16:18.22] And when that shift started to happen now at ITC, we're seeing a lot more enablement of the whole end to end agent proposition and what needs to get done there. The opportunity for me has always been, how about in the middle? Who's selling us an insurance companies? The middleware.

[00:16:36.33] Part of this whole equation, you don't see as much solution in the investment area that's trying to solve some of the problems that we struggle the most with. The distribution has always been a big focus. Last year, I think the theme was all embedded insurance, maybe the year before that as well.

[00:16:56.72] We talked a lot about embedded insurance at Chubb. What it is? Where it's going? And it's this really interesting sort of fuzzy at the same time combination of where product and consumer and distributor all come together.

[00:17:10.66] It's inside another transaction that maybe has nothing to do with insurance. And that's depending on what market you're in and where you are in the world, and what product you're selling. That's a hard nut to crack. Not possible without the kinds of technology that started with some of those original forays.

[00:17:29.74] And you think about CoverHound. They started in personal lines and built one of the first leading platforms in small. I don't know who was first, CoverHound, CoverWallet. I know Insurion was in the market as the old tech insurance dot com, business insurance now dot com decades ago.

[00:17:47.52] I don't mention those names at the exclusion of any others. Chubb has worked with all partners out there, but some didn't last. Not everybody survived, right? You've had some that came in from other markets and tried to make it. Be it Australia or the UK market. And it's a different proposition here.

[00:18:09.59] REID HOLZWORTH: So true. That's really interesting. So Casey, you've had amazing career. You've met I bet a ton of amazing people. You have any mentors? Anybody that's given you, some really helped you along throughout this whole journey of yours?

[00:18:27.80] CASEY KEMPTON: I do. There's a leader who is at the Hartford for most of his career, Ray Sprague. Before I worked with him, he was the president of their reinsurance operation, Hart Re, and came on to work for the president of the company at the time, Dave Zwiener. And he's the one who plucked me out of the little venture unit that he came to have responsibility for and really taught me the business end to end.

[00:18:56.39] And I was fortunate enough that he'd say go spend a week in the underwriting center and figure out what they do and how they do it. And give me a list of three things that we can do better on whatever topic. So a lot of insurance companies have programs where folks come in, and they do a rotation through the whole life cycle of different areas of the business. And he invested in me in a way that I felt like I had that experience across the whole company in different divisions and all of our different areas sort of informally, with the work that he gave me and the problems I was able to lean in on and solve.

[00:19:30.91] So I worked for him for a good number of years. And then went back to work for him when he ran the personal lines division a couple of years later. He comes like top of mind as someone who I really truly value.

[00:19:43.06] Another, Juan Andrade who now is the CEO of Everest Re. I worked with him pretty closely at both Hartford and at ACE. And he guided me through all my international experience. So everything from when you get on that 18-hour flight to Singapore, this is what time you take your Tylenol PM. And this is when you eat and set your watch, like all the way down in the weeds.

[00:20:09.63] I hadn't traveled so much internationally. And I was doing it pretty much every month, every other month. So from that and how to work in different cultures, and how to show up in different cultures as a representative from the New York office, and how to engage and work with them. And just in general, the whole kind of other side of the insurance proposition out of standard lines, how we bring that to retail markets, I got to do a lot of great work with him on that.

[00:20:38.68] REID HOLZWORTH: That's awesome!

[00:20:39.49] CASEY KEMPTON: Phenomenal professional, both of them. I think Ray is retired. Ray, if you're out there and you're listening to this, someone bumped into you the other day. And they told me you might still be doing some insurance work, so good for you. But they both have had phenomenal careers. And I've been very, very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them so closely.

[00:21:00.40] REID HOLZWORTH: This industry, I love this industry because it's so deep, it's so wide. And it's a big family. It's been a family to me. I'm sure a family to you. Once you're in it, you're in it. You're here to stay.

[00:21:11.68] And just that the people just keep you here. It's so awesome. It sounds like you've had some really great people surround you and really just kind of let you do your thing and figure it out. And what's really helped you and get you where you are today.

[00:21:23.03] So the next question is a big one. If you could fix one thing, what would you fix? In technology, specifically. Well, actually, I'll say in the industry overall, what would you solve if you could solve one thing?

[00:21:38.83] CASEY KEMPTON: Compliance. State compliance.

[00:21:42.95] REID HOLZWORTH: State compliance. Why? Explain that.

[00:21:45.80] CASEY KEMPTON: 50 insurance markets, each of which has its own set of rules and regulations. It brings a ton of complexity into our systems, the amount of rules that we have to have. You might have different producer management rules by state. You could have obviously different policy, product coverage, licensing, all of it is different in every state. And all of the complexity that we have in how we go to market, how we build products, speed to market.

[00:22:09.95] In the industry, if you're a national player, you have to factor all of that into all the decisions that you make and how you execute it. So often, insurance companies we do rollouts on a state by state basis. It's hard to just big bang, everything is available for everyone at the same time. It's easier when it's just system.

[00:22:28.56] But when you get into how we're responsive to market, how carriers think about risk and emerging risk and build product for that, the approval process that we go through, so not news to anyone. But truly, if I had a magic wand, we could deliver faster. We could move quicker if all the complexity that comes with managing 50 different markets as an actual player wasn't there.

[00:22:52.38] There are tools, I think, that have done a great job through the years of standardizing that and bringing that regulation and packaging it every way they can, so carriers don't have to directly manage all of that complexity. From an agent perspective, I don't know that that is much of a challenge to them. But I bet you, they'd love it if carriers were immediately responsive to what was happening in the market. We didn't have to wait for those state approvals before we could get a product in the market the way we really want to.

[00:23:22.84] REID HOLZWORTH: Why is it? I don't know a ton about that world. But why? Why all the individual states? It just adds so much complexity.

[00:23:30.70] And it's probably all the same stuff overall, little nuances stuff in each state. But I bet a lot of it is the same. So why? Why have the individual states? Who's benefiting from this? Somebody's got to be benefiting from this to keep it going.

[00:23:47.68] CASEY KEMPTON: Well, there's a trade-off there, right? Do you want it to be nationally regulated? That comes with a whole set of trade-offs relative to the nimbleness you can have in some states, specifically.

[00:24:01.12] But there's taxes on insurance, right? So there's state tax on this type of product in a lot of states. And so there's revenue attached to it. And the local management of state insurance departments, department of insurance, affectionately the DOI.

[00:24:17.89] The DOI knows their people, their constituents. Sometimes they're elected. Sometimes they're not. They know the specific market conditions in which the insurers operate in that state. And it's needing to represent their population in the state and how they interface with insurance, and how insurance companies see risk.

[00:24:38.51] There's value in that system. What would be great is if you could file one form at a federal level. And then maybe you have a conversation about certain rate restrictions or whatever underwriting restrictions that a state might want to apply to that.

[00:24:55.25] But you're not going through 50 class plan reviews and then programming all of that complexity. This factor changes in this state for this particular component of a policy. And then how that manifests through underwriting questions, disclosures. It just everything then comes to reflect every market that we work in.

[00:25:17.99] REID HOLZWORTH: Wow! That was a great answer. I would have never have thought of that. We've asked every guest that question, and that's a new one. It totally makes sense. You could just streamline the whole overall flow in so many ways. That's pretty cool.

[00:25:29.46] CASEY KEMPTON: It's the kind of thing where it's like that's just the way that it is. But you said, if I could change anything, it didn't say it has to be practical, right? I just think of how more innovative we could be as an industry, the flexibility, the responsiveness. How much closer we could get to customer and deliver a product that is without a doubt valued from the second I think about it.

[00:25:53.39] Insurance is one of those things that sometimes people don't get the warm fuzzies when they think about it. It's hard. It's onerous. It's this. It's that. And I think not that we can do better. But I think it's by nature hard. And the closer we can get to serving the customer, the insured, at the end of the day that's what it's all about.

[00:26:15.95] REID HOLZWORTH: Yeah, totally. All right, a couple more questions. What technology do you see having the greatest impact in insurance within the next couple of years?

[00:26:25.32] CASEY KEMPTON: So my mind is going big. I happen to be reading a book about Elon Musk. But I don't actually read. It's an audiobook. Have you read that yet?

[00:26:33.81] REID HOLZWORTH: No, I have not.

[00:26:36.19] CASEY KEMPTON: Whether you're a fan, you're not a fan, you follow his tweets or not, I do none of those things. Don't have an opinion on the person. But I picked up the book. And it's really interesting. So there's really big ideas like big, big ideas about the world and technology, and how it will change us, and all machine learning, robotics, what is it going to do.

[00:26:57.25] At the end of the day, you've got to have a base of information that is solid to build intelligence on top of that. So wherever that gets figured out, to me, that is transformative. The rest of it, sometimes feels like fads.

[00:27:14.14] So we had a lot of conversation about blockchain for a lot of years. I don't know if it's going to work or not work, if it's fit for purpose or not. I'm not trying to render an opinion on that. I just know we don't really talk about it that much anymore.

[00:27:25.04] So I try to be wary of the latest fad, what seems really hyped up and really cool. And think about it in terms of our business and what we're trying to get done. We haven't even mastered chat bots. And chat bots are everywhere.

[00:27:41.33] Just overall in the proposition, why can't an underwriter and agent chat? Why can't an agent and a customer chat in a highly effective way in a ubiquitous way? That's just not something we've come around. We still are a face to face, person to person, phone to phone business in a lot of ways. So some of those technologies they just seem to bypass us

[00:28:06.53] REID HOLZWORTH: Yeah. Shiny objects, a lot of them. So--

[00:28:12.24] CASEY KEMPTON: I don't want to spend too much time thinking about them. I wait to see what's showing up and what's being asked for.

[00:28:18.69] REID HOLZWORTH: We have a long ways to go on some real core things that we need to fix in this industry to really solve these big problems. I mean, we talk about it all the time. I mean, even just communicating between agencies and carriers is still a challenge in a lot of ways. There's just so much that we can do overall.

[00:28:36.55] The good news is that with carriers and agents are becoming much more digital, and they're investing in technology, I will say this about Chubb. I told somebody this the other day. Actually, one of your competitors asked me like, who's doing stuff out there? And I said-- they didn't like this answer, by the way. And I said Chubb is really doing some cool stuff.

[00:28:56.80] And I said-- and this is true with your leadership. You guys are truly leveraging technology to give you a competitive edge. You see it. And you see it and you're getting in front of it.

[00:29:09.07] That is not the case for a lot of other carriers that are out there. Some of them are even pushing back on it. They want to stay in the old way. But you're taking a different approach. And you're really opening it up.

[00:29:21.10] You're doing some really cool stuff. And you have some really amazing people on your team. So you guys have been a great partner for us, no doubt. But you're doing some really, really cool stuff for the industry.

[00:29:32.02] Sometimes a lot of this stuff, the agents that are listening to this, they don't see a lot of this. They just don't. This stuff just shows up. Like oh, that's pretty cool. They don't know what it takes to make all of that happen.

[00:29:45.18] And it's people like you, Casey, that are really making this stuff happen in the industry. And it's really, really cool. So I see things really changing in the next four or five years. I think we're right there.

[00:29:57.83] Everybody says oh, it's tipping point. But our industry is so large. It takes so much time. I think we're really getting there.

[00:30:05.18] When you go back, like you said, to CoverHound and CoverWallet, and all these guys changing the tide, I think the tide it's here. But there's a lot more to come now and especially because everybody's leveraging technology. Go ahead. Sorry.

[00:30:20.36] CASEY KEMPTON: Yeah. Here's what's not happening. Sometimes you don't know exactly what signals to read to say how long will it take what's not happening is agents aren't abandoning the situation. And I think carriers and the technology and how I can enable them.

[00:30:36.04] Just think agency management, workflow, prospecting tools. We've been talking about those for decades and decades. Ubiquity around agency management platforms. Still working on the CRM side of the business. It isn't ubiquitous everywhere.

[00:30:52.94] And it seems so obvious. But it will come. So I also look at what do they de-invest in? What do they stop?

[00:31:02.12] And what I see is brokers, they are willing to invest in many solutions, sometimes concurrently in different places. And they will try an embedded approach. They'll try a standalone approach. They'll go from one to another, but they're not walking away.

[00:31:18.80] And to me, that shows a sense of commitment. The time is now for us to improve this transaction. The API needs to go to service. We're getting requests for renewals now. It's imperative that we have renewals. And that didn't use to come out.

[00:31:38.99] So at the end of the day, everything that you can do with company, no matter the pipe, wherever that pipe is, if agent wants to have a platform or third party and never have to go one over one over one to a website, that is where it will end up. And so I don't know if it's four or five years. I don't know if it's 10 years. I get asked that question all the time.

[00:32:03.95] Casey, how much of the small business market and agents will flow through comparative rater? I think it's about 40% personal lines, depending on how you count personal lines. If you just look out, if you just look vast market, it's much greater than that. But if you take the whole thing in, I think 40% is available in small business. And it will maybe more. I do believe it will come.

[00:32:31.74] REID HOLZWORTH: That's awesome. So I know you talked to a ton of companies, talked to a lot of tech companies. Any advice for startup InsurTech and InsurTech in general out there? I bet a lot of people come and talk to you. They're pitching you the next best thing, and we have this thing. It's so awesome and whatnot. Any advice, just feedback, for them, for the audience?

[00:32:53.55] CASEY KEMPTON: Yeah. I have heard an origin story around the InsurTech in the early days that often went something like this. I had a startup. And buying insurance was hard. So I'm going to go make it right.

[00:33:08.19] And I thought, OK, yes. And then you heard a lot of, but I don't need any insurance people to solve that. OK, you might change your mind on that. We'll see. Go for it.

[00:33:20.80] And so I think a lot of the InsurTechs came into it thinking and observing appropriately. It's archaic. It doesn't work the way other industry does. It does not have to be this hard.

[00:33:36.23] Insurance companies are so difficult to deal with. We'll just own the whole thing. And that will be easy. I think that recognition of where the barriers to entry really are and how much time it takes to be in the market.

[00:33:51.86] Hanging up a shingle and selling insurance seems really easy? It's not. Hanging up a shingle and being an insurance carrier maybe seems easy? Also not. So I don't disparage anyone who had that origin story or went at it with that approach.

[00:34:08.55] I think connecting in with what the industry is today, what's important to the constituents that that startup is trying to work with, knowing the problems they're solving today, and working with them to go forward instead of coming at them with we've skipped all the steps. And you should just go start here now doing this. That's where some of that disconnect, I think, has occurred.

[00:34:34.29] I give so many of them credit for having come in, had some idea, had some impression, and working with that and learning. But still maintaining an edge in the process. And that's what moves us forward. If a whole bunch of carrier geeks just sat around trying to invent the future all the time, we wouldn't get there.

[00:34:54.12] Our whole ecosystem benefits from the fresh eyes, the fresh experiences. I tried it in travel, and it didn't work. Or I tried it here. And it didn't work. How does that apply to insurance?

[00:35:09.36] I hope it keeps coming. I hope it keeps happening. My encouragement would be keep at it. Maybe get a little less frustrated with us.

[00:35:18.14] Don't tell me how slow we are. We know that, right? There's so many things that we can change. But I think it's very admirable with so many have done to still push us, but also adjust and maintain this degree of hope that it's going to come out different, eventually.

[00:35:38.94] REID HOLZWORTH: Yeah. It's so true. We've asked that question to a lot of the audience-- a lot of our guests. And that always comes up. I don't know why. They think that just is going to resonate with all of us. And they have no clue that you got to dig in. You really do. But good for them in that way.

[00:35:57.49] But it's not everybody. There's been some that have not come from this industry that came in and have done very well. But they got a bunch of people on their team now, for sure. And they've become interesting.

[00:36:10.64] CASEY KEMPTON: Yeah. There was a race who could hire like how many chief insurance officer positions were out there and scooping up all the talent from all over the industry right around the same time. It was like this mass realization knowing insurance is good, everybody. Absolutely. Everyone should know insurance, I think.

[00:36:28.73] [LAUGHS]

[00:36:29.93] REID HOLZWORTH: I love it. All right. We'll start closing it down from there. So last couple questions. In your opinion, what insurance tech influencer should I talk to next for this show? Anybody you recommend to be on the show?

[00:36:45.51] CASEY KEMPTON: Oh, insurance tech influencer.

[00:36:48.54] REID HOLZWORTH: Anybody insurance technology or carrier side, broker side, somebody that touches technology.

[00:36:56.46] CASEY KEMPTON: You know Luke Magnan?

[00:36:58.33] REID HOLZWORTH: No.

[00:37:00.55] CASEY KEMPTON: He is at a company, I think he might be one of the founders called Combined Ratio. I'd worked with him early days at the Hartford in the engineering space, and has a really interesting thought pattern around carrier evolution and where they take their technology. So it's that under the covers view of what carriers sort of deal with in this space and common ways that we can get through it. But he's just a fascinating individual. I don't want to limit his contributions to just that.

[00:37:33.40] He's one that comes to mind. I think a lot of folks you've had on already, the conversations around data and AI and where it's going, and some of the vision that folks have for that. Personally, to me, that's super fascinating where that's going to. Most of the people I know are in the carrier space. There's a couple of agents-- you don't see as many like chief digital officer types in the distribution system.

[00:38:01.34] REID HOLZWORTH: Not yet. Not yet.

[00:38:03.44] CASEY KEMPTON: No, no. So that kind of mindset, I think, would be really interesting as well.

[00:38:08.90] REID HOLZWORTH: Totally. Absolutely. Will you ever stop? What does retirement look like for Casey? Will Casey ever retire?

[00:38:17.04] CASEY KEMPTON: I think about that sometimes. I got like 20 more years, if I go to 65. So I'm 22 years, 23 years in.

[00:38:25.82] REID HOLZWORTH: Yeah.

[00:38:26.69] CASEY KEMPTON: As fast as it went by, it's been really arduous at times. I have all kinds of ideas about what I could do if I wasn't doing this, what I would love to do. But I have a lot of passion for insurance, which kind of sounds like an oxymoron, I think. How could you be passionate about a contract that people don't understand? And they don't even love it.

[00:38:50.54] They kind of wish they didn't have to deal with it. And I just fundamentally believe there is a better way. And if I can be a part of that, whether it's in the distribution of insurance, the enablement of our economy of small businesses, all the things that insurance is great about insurance. And I just wish people understood what it is and what it's for, and why they absolutely need it. That drives me to say someday, somehow, if I could be a party to that mindset shift, I would like to do that.

[00:39:24.30] REID HOLZWORTH: That's awesome.

[00:39:24.99] CASEY KEMPTON: Yeah.

[00:39:26.31] REID HOLZWORTH: All right. Last question, Casey. Now, I know you don't drink, but what is your favorite drink? I know you don't drink alcohol.

[00:39:34.31] CASEY KEMPTON: Oh, this is such a boring answer. It's like Pellegrino and lime. Put a little fresh lime in a Pellegrino, and I'm happy as can be. I don't drink sugar.

[00:39:45.44] I love Earl Gray tea. I try never to drink sugar in my beverage, if I can help it or fake sugar for that matter, just a personal preference. So that's not an exciting answer. You get some good answers on that question on this podcast. I knew mine would be a dud.

[00:39:59.81] [LAUGHTER]

[00:40:02.18] REID HOLZWORTH: No, that's awesome. That's great. Well, Casey, thank you for joining. You are freaking rock star. You're doing so much cool stuff out there for the industry. And I really appreciate you coming on. It was really, really good. Love picking your brain. Thanks again.

[00:40:16.01] CASEY KEMPTON: Thanks so much for having me. It was a great conversation.

[00:40:20.64] REID HOLZWORTH: All right, Christen. Casey Kempton, what do you think? It was great.

[00:40:25.68] CHRISTEN KELLEY: Yeah. No, she was-- it was great to, again, I know I've said this when we do them in person. But it's great to have the interaction when we do get to meet with people in person.

[00:40:37.74] But I was just amazed by just her track rate. I think you had asked her at one point. But it was like within the first 10 years of her career, to be at the level that she had gotten to, is just amazing. But I think speaking with her, I'm not surprised.

[00:40:54.78] REID HOLZWORTH: Casey is bad ass. She really is. I mean, if you look at her track record and what she's done in such a short period of time, just her level of knowledge on everything. I would consider myself-- and this may sound bad saying it, but I don't really care. I consider myself a fairly smart person, fairly smart. And I'll tell you, she's one of the people where I'm like a step behind. I'm not that smart.

[00:41:23.82] [LAUGHS]

[00:41:26.14] And that's awesome. And I love it. It's like when I meet somebody that really knows about cars. There's a lot of people that know about cars, just like a lot of people that know about insurance technology.

[00:41:38.68] But there's not a lot of people that really know about cars. And the same thing goes within our space. And it's very refreshing to be able to just dive deep with people like Casey.

[00:41:51.85] We've had a lot of people on this podcast, but I mean, Casey is a rock star. She really is. I know I've said that a bunch, but she really is. I'd love to have Casey on again. Because she's got a really, really great mind around all of this.

[00:42:10.24] CHRISTEN KELLEY: And around her mind and kind of thinking about things differently, you were not expecting her answer to the one thing we should change in the industry to be like the regulatory compliance and things like that.

[00:42:24.51] REID HOLZWORTH: Yeah. But that's what I'm saying. That's like high, big thinking. Because that would solve real freaking problems. And I never thought of that.

[00:42:34.83] And I'm ignorant to it. I'm like, what? What do you mean? And maybe I should know all this stuff. But no, in all reality, when you think about that, and just the chaos that all brings to the whole industry, and solving that is solving a really big problem.

[00:42:52.77] But it's pie in the sky, like she said. But it's stuff for us to think about, stuff for us to pay attention to, for all of us in this industry. Because I'm sure even just small little moves there could really ease the pain in ways.

[00:43:08.46] But I don't know. But it's just again, like you said, it's just thinking in that way. Most people are like, oh, well, if you did this and you added this bell and whistle to this thing, then it's going to make things better. But that's solving a real big, big issue.

[00:43:21.49] CHRISTEN KELLEY: Absolutely.

[00:43:22.36] REID HOLZWORTH: And she has a real passion for this industry, which is awesome. And she's doing big things. She's going to continue to do big things, as we've talked about.

[00:43:29.33] I think about people like Casey, and we've had a number of people on this podcast in the same way. What does the future hold for these brilliant people? People that are brilliant like Casey. And again, we talk about this all the time, Christen, just good people.

[00:43:44.23] I mean, I know Casey. I've not known her that long. But I know her well enough to I could text her right now and she's going to text me back. She'll answer my call on a Saturday.

[00:43:54.17] And it's not because she has to or anything. I mean, she's there to help like an open door to other humans. And so good people, put it simply, that are doing big things in this industry, is like what does the future hold for them? Where are they going to be? Where does Casey Kempton going to be in 10 years from now?

[00:44:14.44] That's going to be really cool to see along with a lot of people on this podcast, minus the ones that have been there done that and are like past retirement. The founders, if you will. But it's super cool. I mean, we're just very blessed to be able to get to know all of these great people in our industry that are just pushing it forward.