Nowadays, staying at a company for seven years is rare, especially in tech. That’s why we’re incredibly proud to chat with Bryan Quastoff, head of partnerships and Mark Santefort, vice president of operations about their most memorable experiences over these past seven years at Snapsheet.
Read on as we gathered their thoughts and experiences on how things have changed within the field of insurance claims and the company itself. And thanks to both our leaders for helping us transform the industry—one claim at a time!
What was your first role at Snapsheet?
Mark: I started as an estimator after spending nine years at Progressive and Farmers Insurance.
Bryan: I was originally hired as an estimator, but soon took on a new role as compliance manager as well, responsible for licensing.
What was the industry like when you first got involved/started working at Snapsheet?
Bryan: When I started at Snapsheet the industry was still relying on the same policies and procedures they’d been following for decades. It was widely believed that someone had to physically put their hands on your car to get an estimate.
Mark: Going from 100-year-old insurance companies to a 20-person start-up was a liberating experience. I went from a rigid work environment with little change, to one where I was expected to innovate and challenge “normal” on a daily basis. Even with 14+ hour days for much of the first two years, it never felt like work.
What were some of the main challenges back then?
Mark: “Virtual” was just a vague concept for most insurers and completely foreign to the repair facilities.
Bryan: The biggest challenge was getting the industry to see the value in a virtual appraisal. We worked very closely with shops across the country, helping them understand the benefits and doing what we could to make for a smooth transition.
Mark: We also had to build our processes and systems from scratch. Since then we’ve rebuilt our workflows and systems three or four times and are still working towards improving the process. In a lot of ways this is what really makes Snapsheet special as it forced us to build technology and workflows to fill in all the gaps that the traditional software and service providers could not fill.
In looking back, have you seen many changes in the industry over those years?
Bryan: The industry has changed immensely during my tenure at Snapsheet, both from a claims perspective as well as the automotive industry as a whole. If you told me 10 years ago that cars could drive themselves, telematics can initiate First Notice of Loss and estimates can nearly write themselves, I would have said you were crazy.
Mark: We’ve clearly gotten past the question of “is virtual possible?” This is evident in the growth of Snapsheet and the fact that some major carriers are building their own platforms. Many carriers and service providers claim they’ll be able to automate estimates in the near future, but they’re still looking at the original estimate as the answer to all their problems. They still ignore the need to evolve and potentially automate all of the manual steps of the claims process that can take days to execute. At Snapsheet we figured out the “virtual estimate” part years ago and we are years ahead of the industry in making the rest of the claims process a “touchless” experience.
From your perspective, what would you say are your greatest accomplishments over the years?
Mark: Over the past seven years we went from being a small start-up to an industry leader, so there are numerous accomplishments we could point to. I’m most proud of our ability to grow leaders from within. Every Technical Lead and Manager here started on the ground level and worked their way up through the organization. We go to great lengths to continually invest in our people and provide them opportunities to develop and grow with Snapsheet.
Bryan: Having the opportunity to build out a strategic partnership team is something I am very proud of. What started out as a handful of partnerships and integrations leveraged by our services team has grown into dozens of strategic partnerships helping fulfill our vision for an open partnership ecosystem.
What are the key issues that you see Snapsheet/yourself addressing in the future?
Bryan: When this company started, insurtech wasn’t yet a concept the industry was familiar with. Today the market has been flooded with new technology that continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in a claims environment. The challenge we face is selecting the right partners that share our vision of an open ecosystem. My team focuses on identifying and evaluating partnerships based on this vision, while structuring partnerships that provide our customers the best possible solution.
Mark: We must continue pushing ourselves to innovate and develop not only new technology, but also service offerings that lead the industry through the pandemic and into the future. It’s our spirit that helped us rise so quickly, and it will also be our spirit that will bring us back stronger than ever.
Share one memory of a funny situation/scenario that you have encountered thanks to Snapsheet over the last seven years.
Bryan: Working at Snaphseet, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some pretty cool destinations from Whistler, to Dublin and even Buenos Aires. One of my favorite moments is when a customer asked if we could do a site visit the following week. A few days later, I found myself in Hawaii!
Mark: In the early days we had a very narrow and long office where people would ride up and down the aisles on razor scooters. I rode one into our little kitchen, where one of the custodians had just finished washing the floors. Long story short, I went airborne, through the cabinets and ended up under the sink.
Describe what Snapsheet means to you, on a personal level, in 15 words or less?
Bryan: Snapsheet has provided me with experiences and opportunities I would have never imagined if I had remained in a traditional insurance role. Coming to a young startup was a calculated risk that has paid off ten times over.