Over the next few months, Snapsheet will announce several new products and advancements in our overall business. These market-facing announcements are the culmination of months of work by the Snapsheet team, which has grown into the largest Insurtech (non-carrier or MGA) founded in the past decade.
As Snapsheet pushes to advance its strategic agenda, product roadmap, and customer footprint simultaneously, there are major and minor milestones achieved every day that we do not always do a great job of communicating to our customers or celebrating internally.
Recognizing this, I thought I would share some observations on where Snapsheet is on the journey and some general marketplace commentary.
Snapsheet continues to grow and scale and has crossed some impressive milestones in the last quarter including:
- >1 million claims processed
- 50 million photographs (40 million structured) and adding about 4MM a month
- 500+ employees
- 60+ insurance partners (carriers, TPA, MGAs, start-ups)
- Average more than a claim assignment a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Snapsheet is working with 11 of the top 25 auto insurers in the United States, 3 of the top 10 in Canada as well as some of the fastest growing start-ups in the World
Another exciting part of our journey is the ability to spend time with insurance carrier partners learning about the unique challenges presented by the shifting consumer and technology landscape.
Universally, carriers realize the need to change more quickly, as fierce competition and the Insurtech movement drives innovation and investment. However, historically slow to move, many carriers’ struggle with how to move from a linear change curve to an exponential transformation with significant impact.
The strongest organizations are attacking their challenges (inefficiency, bloated expenses, legacy technology, and poor customer engagement capabilities) head on.
These carriers demonstrate a bias for action and are making progress by focusing on a couple of tenets:
Starting Outside-In vs. Inside-out
Carriers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on the technology foundation over the past decade. These investments are predominantly internally focused (systems of record, downstream feeds, data standardization) requiring long implementation timelines, with minimal customer or employee value creation.
Carriers instead can capture significant value for a fraction of the cost and time by beginning outside-in and focusing investment on areas that impact the customer including:
- Enablement of omni-channel interaction capabilities (mobile, text, email, web and phone)
- Proactive vs. Reactive workflow
- Automated communications
- Rule-driven decision making
These investments demonstrate progress and deliver return while simultaneously rebuilding the foundational internal capabilities.
Becoming a learning organization
While inherently risk-takers, insurance carriers are historically risk-averse businesses. Having said that, some degree of risk is required to learn about what is possible.
Today, we see a lot of oversimplification of the future while overcomplicating the present. For example, we hear initiative X which could be impactful to the business is not a focus area because a new technology platform is being implemented or Artificial Intelligence will solve it.
While true in the long term, learning organizations do not ignore opportunities in the present while waiting for something that does not yet exist to mature. Testing, learning through execution and adjusting to future developments, differentiates the strongest players in this market.
Rethinking Build vs. Buy
In most core insurance functions (underwriting, operations, and claims) the build vs. buy decision process has never been more complicated and critical to carrier success. Most carriers want to own customer interactions at all “moments of truth”. However, identifying these moments presents more complexity than ever before, as consumer expectations around service and engagement have inherently been changed by the on-demand society.
This paradigm shift forces carriers to rethink buy vs. build decisions that were made around cost savings and/or ROI. An example of this is at First Notice of Loss (FNOL), which many carriers, unfortunately, view as a low cost, low differentiation function. The reality is a suboptimal FNOL or poor customer engagement experience creates significant pressure on carrier employees to reset expectations and deliver the desired customer experience.
With scarce resources and investment dollars, it is imperative for carriers to understand and make trade-offs on what capabilities are commoditized vs. where internal fixed cost resources can add real value. Otherwise, incremental efficiency gains will be washed out by wage and technology inflation impacting all investments.
Industry at an Inflection Point
It is truly a fascinating time in the industry, and for Snapsheet. We could not be more excited about the journey ahead for the industry, carrier employees and their customers.