Category: Podcast


Ep 14 – Ali Safavi, Global Head of Insuretech, Plug and Play

“The industry is realizing that it’s not just about using technology. It’s that technology is changing the fundamentals of risk.” – Ali Safavi

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Technology is inescapable.

With Alexa ordering our toilet paper, Nest changing our home’s temperature, and smartphones controlling every other part of our lives—we’ve become walking cyborgs.

And in insurance, the story is no different. With each day comes a new technology challenging the archaic systems of yesterday.

That’s why on today’s episode of FNO: InsureTech, we are joined by Ali Safavi to discuss the intersection of technology and insurance. Ali Safavi is the Global Head of Insuretech at Plug and Play. Ali is also a Partner in Plug and Play Ventures, our venture arm, where he invests in startups in different spaces including insurance, travel and hospitality, and IoT. Ali has published numerous articles on data analytics, machine learning, and insurance, as well as holds an M.Sc. in Computer Engineering

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 13 – David Williams, VP Claims, Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

“Better beats perfect.” – David Williams

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Disasters happen.

And when that time of crisis hits, all touchpoints of the insurance chain of command are notified. But is this communication seamless? Or, are some notches in the workflow bottlenecking the progress to the next?

On today’s episode of FNO: InsureTech, we are joined by David Williams to discuss the intersection of technology and insurance claims. David is the Chief Claims Officer at the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, and in this conversation—he shares his unique lens on the claims space.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 12 – John Langowski, Chief Claims Officer, Swyfft

“We always want the risk. We just have to put a price on it.” – John Langowski

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Most people think paperwork when they hear the word ‘insurance.’

From filling out applications to filing claims, it seems that every touchpoint of the insurance-based customer journey is filled with paper and pen, PDFs to fill out, and signatures to sign.

But the insuretech companies of today are shifting this idea.

On today’s episode of FNO: InsureTech, we are joined by John Langowski—the Chief Claims Officer and EVP of Swyfft. Swyfft is disrupting the homeowners insurance industry by using big data and analytics to make buying insurance as easy as typing in your address.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 11 – Mike Fulton, President of Xactware

“When an insurer sends claim information to us—we’re the clearing house, the stewards of their data.” – Mike Fulton

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Self-driving cars are scary.

Are we really going to hand over our fate to algorithms and microchips? Whether we know it or not—we already are are, with technologies like lane assist, self-parking, auto-braking. These  micro-versions of the greater technology warm us up to the idea, so that when it is introduced to the market—we embrace it fully.

And the insurance industry is doing the same right now with claims and automation.

That’s why on today’s episode of FNO: InsureTech, we are joined by Mike Fulton to discuss this future. Mike is president of Xactware Solutions. He oversees Xactware’s integrated solutions for estimating, managing, and analyzing property claims as well as products for professionals involved in the repair and maintenance of bank-owned property and real estate sales.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 10 – Dan Burton, Founder & CEO, Dronebase

“Our view is that being a professional drone pilot is a new class of skilled labor.” – Dan Burton

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Drones are all the buzz.

We hear about Amazon now delivering packages via drone flight and our neighbor getting the newest drone for Christmas—but what do these mini-UFOs mean for the world of insurance?

In claims, the need for drones is robust—in mines, surveying water damage, calculating the dimensions of a construction site.  These are just some of the examples where drone technology can be beneficial to insurance claims.

But it turns out that the equation for success is more complex than just filling these needs. A drone company must capture the data and analyze it in a way that the carrier can do something with.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 9 – Gary Sullivan, Professor of Risk Management, Mercyhurst University

“There’s been tremendous growth in the number and complexity of cyber attacks that take place.” – Gary Sullivan

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We’re all living physical and digital lives.

And for insurance, this means we must be covered in both worlds. For the physical, we have our traditional insurance models—property, life, car, etc. But now, with so much of our information inside computers and in the cloud, we must also seek out cyber insurance.

On today’s episode of FNO: InsureTech, we are joined by Gary Sullivan to discuss cyber insurance. Gary Sullivan is Assistant Professor of the F. W. Hirt Erie Insurance Risk Management Program at Mercyhurst University. Previously, he was the Vice President of Property & Subrogation Claims for Erie Insurance.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 8 – Andy Greff, CEO at PLNAR (SmartPicture)

“We try to not just focus on the measurement piece of it, but the context piece as well.” – Andy Greff

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For property claims, the outside is much easier to assess than the inside.

Whether it’s via drones or actual adjusters on site—pulling information from the exterior of a property requires very little when compared to the demands for the interior.

To assess the interior requires going inside the property, stepping into someone else’s space, and potentially interrupting someone else’s day. This set of demands calls for a technology solution.

That’s why on today’s episode of FNO: InsureTech, we are joined by Andy Greff to discuss his application PLNAR that uses SmartPicture technology to swiftly and accurately process the information inside a property.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 7 – Kevin Reiley and Justin Hancher, Hover Inc.  

“At its core, HOVER is a machine-learning technology that transforms smartphone photos of a home into a scaled, interactive 3D model.” – Kevin Reiley

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Every company strives for a great customer experience.

But often times, being a customer can be a pain. From calling support to scheduling an appointment—the tasks required to be a customer can, more often than not, feel like work.

But what if in today’s technologically-driven economy—there is a shifting customer experience? That, by empowering the customer to actually do some of the work, you make their experience better overall.

This is what the HOVER team has uncovered in their service. That the customer is fully capable and motivated to use their technology, much more so than going through the archaic motions of assisting adjusters on site.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None

Ep 5 – John Hall, President of Audit Services Inc.

“Claims are a linear process. They move from A-Z, but they don’t always take the same path to get there.” – John Hall

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If you spend any time in the insurance world, you’re bound to hear the sentiment that a vehicle claim is distinctly different than a property claim. But is this true?

It turns out that while a property claim has more information to fill in, there are still the same questions being asked. The customization of a property is no different than the drilling down to what part needs fixing inside a vehicle.

That’s why on today’s episode of FNO: InsureTech, we are joined by John Hall, President at Audit Services Inc. to discuss how claims fit into the auto insuretech space, where we see technology driving their position, and why they are no different than property claims.

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By Brooks Hill,   Category: Podcast   Comments: None