I was in Indianapolis for my first PLRB Claims Conference back in 2014. It was March that year and I was visiting the Hoosier State with one of the Spex co-founders. He knew the industry well, a long-time P&C insurance adjuster who had been on the rosters of several IA firms and carriers that were present at the show. I had been involved with the business for only three months and the industry for equally as long. I was intimidated as I walked around the Exhibit Hall that Monday morning, discussing my personal background, my newfound industry interest and our big plans for Spex, a brand new and unproven technology solution.
We walked up to one of the large exhibit booths to meet with a major industry player. The CTO at the company greeted us, with his goal being to test our competency and overall aptitude. As we showed him the first version of the Spex product, the CTO looked at our co-founder and then looked at me. He stated firmly, “I’m not interested in your ability to use this tool, Ed. You know how to use it. I’m more interested in seeing if you can use it to scope a loss, Brett.” I paused for a moment then erroneously replied, “well, that wouldn’t be possible ‘cause I’m not an experienced adjuster.” He quickly retorted, “But, that’s where this industry is going.”
A bit perplexed, I sensed that executive was correct. I also recognized we had a lot of work to do to ensure “any person” could become a part of the field workforce for the industry. What was the solution required for any person to be able to scope a loss? What skills (or technology capabilities) were required to achieve that feat? Were carriers even ready to think about field resources in this new kind of way? Was the industry as a whole?
I thought about that discussion this week as I experienced my fifth PLRB in Orlando. As we met with a number of carriers and industry service providers, I was pleased to describe the Spex Platform as a solution that now allows all field people to operate as effectively as the best ones. Of course, the 30-year EGA with expertise handling the most complex commercial losses isn’t the equivalent of a newly licensed adjuster. They’ve acquired the skills, credentials, experience and relationships to handle complex field work for many of the world’s Fortune 500 insurance companies. But, for 80% of the losses that drive over three million annual claims in the US alone, the industry is now demanding new solutions that can be utilized by “any person.”
The industry has evolved so much over the past four years. Insurtech wasn’t a term in 2014 and the technology in Indianapolis was only present from well established players such as Xactware, Symbility, Eagleview and Enservio. A new wave of technology is now available and I am happy to have Spex included in a group of innovative players changing the way claims losses are scoped, documented and completed. We met with many service providers eager to create new offerings for their clients and many carriers who have identified specific use cases and targeted objectives to expand their testing of insurtech. There’s not just talk of potentially implementing new technology, it’s happening with plans being developed to operationalize new solutions and monitor them closely.
Spex will be announcing a series of new product and partner updates in the coming months, leading up to the busy storm season of 2018. These announcements will focus on new levels of consistency, accuracy and scale we’re enabling for our customers. Those objectives are the hallmarks of industry efficiency and better customer engagement. And, as we achieve these goals, we’ll also achieve a promise I made to an industry executive back in Indy—my desire to help build a technology solution that automates the knowledge of the world’s best insurance adjusters and allows a neophyte like me to partake in field scoping efforts.
It’s time to start gearing up for our return visit to Indianapolis for PLRB 2019.
CEO of Spex