Enservio’s Innovation Summit Day 2 kicked off an hour earlier — always tough after a night of networking – with VJ Dowling, Managing Partner of Dowling & Partners Securities. Dowling has made a career of following the insurance industry and has the ear of just about every insurance CEO. Dowling made a number of sweeping statements, including noting that reinsurers have too much capacity and citing the increasing power of intermediaries. As cars become more and more safe, Dowling also predicts a shift from auto to property (38% to 10% and 15-25% respectively).
Lyle Donan, the next speaker, is now affectionately known as “the drone guy.” Donan gave a compelling presentation (including assembling actual drones onstage), about the usage of drones to collect information on steep roofs, collapsed buildings, fire scenes and other places where it could be dangerous to send a human. The prices of drones are dropping quickly – the model that Donan uses in his work today is around $1500. Higher-priced, larger drones can go for longer distances (up to five miles). Donan showed a number of real-life images, demonstrating that the photo quality of drone images is “good enough” to establish root causes of insurance claims as well as effectively assess damage.
A regulator may seem like an outlier at an innovation conference but Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner John Doak is a great example of a progressive regulator who fit right in. Doak kicked off his remarks by establishing that he likes to get out and talk to the insurance carriers and believes regulators overall need to get out more. Doak showed footage of the devastating tornadoes that hit Moore last summer, discussing how Oklahoma mobilizes the insurance community to address consumer needs. In particular, Doak called out the use of Enservio’s ReStore card as a means of helping customers get their lives back sooner (Editor’s note – we’re very proud to have been a part of this recovery effort). “Big checks can get stuck at the bank or held up,” Doak noted. In many cases, the devastation may be so widespread that there is no bank to get to, only adding “insult to injury,” for a family overwhelmed by the loss of a house or loved one. “It reduces the stress of the claim,” Doak concluded, explaining that the card is particularly effective for seniors, who may need to be treated differently during a claim.
Betsy Myers, the Founding Director of the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University, was a perfect finish to the high-energy day. Myers, a former Clinton and Obama staffer, talked about trends in leadership – in particular the rise of women and growing power of Millennials. Today women purchase 90% of all goods, and Millennials will make up 47% of the workforce in 2014. “Effective leadership is about getting results.” Myers cited Pope Francis and Lincoln as two powerful leaders who effectively combined “male” characteristics of strength and tenacity with more female traits of nurturing and listening.
Like many of you, I just wanted the conference to go on and on and continue the conversation. There was so much good information that look for future blog posts to continue to delve into some of these different topics.