In today’s episode of Agency Intelligence, host Jason Cass speaks with CEO of Zinc Insurance, Seth Zaremba. Seth speaks about the history of his career in the industry and Seth and Jason discuss the way data is changing insurance, what the place of the agent is in the new insurance business taking shape now, and the form the agency business needs to take to respond effectively to the power and value that data is bringing to insurance.

Show Notes:

  • Jason speaks with Seth Zaremba, CEO of Zinc Insurance
  • Jason describes why he decided to change the name of his agency to address the future of the industry, and how he and Seth are of a similar mindset
  • What are the roles of luck and skill in agency success?
  • The value of victory and loss
  • Seth describes the course of his insurance career and the experience of getting into the business in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis
  • Zinc’s focus on technology and the future
  • How did Zinc get its name?
  • What is the state of data use in the insurance industry and why is the industry reluctant to embrace it?
  • The industry is slowly realizing it needs to embrace data use
  • The download and upload system in the industry was modeled on the United States Postal Service; is this the most efficient way?
  • Change represents risk but the industry is about to move into a new technological cycle
  • The use of APIs in the industry
  • How did agent relationships change in the 80’s and how can agency structure change back to be more unified?
  • How can the role of vendors in the current industry structure change?
  • The power of social media to change society and industry
  • Agents should move together to change the industry
  • Two types of business owners in the future – working for self or creating data that can be used communally
  • What is the nature of the data an agency should be collecting?
  • Correlative behavioral data
  • Traditional vs high efficiency agency
  • Tangible digital products can create new data points
  • Data aggregation can invest the agent with new value
  • Agents share the brand of customer experience
  • Agents do have direct access to their data, but it requires technological sophistication
  • Agent don’t currently own their data
  • The winners and losers of the new data industry are being chosen right now
  • Insurance operation is no longer solely what agents do; a new game is being played
  • The data revolution is happening now
  • The future based on hard trends and soft trends; soft trends can give you insight but come and go, hard trends an industry must respond to
  • Relationships are the most important thing for the future of the business
  • Soft trends may drive business, but this will ultimately confront the business with hard trends

3 Key Points:

  1.  The insurance industry data model is based on antiquated models like the postal service; more responsive data models are revolutionizing the industry.  
  2. There will be two types of insurance agency business models in the future: those working for themselves and those working to build a communal data pool which can benefit everyone.
  3.  The future of the agent within the industry depends on agents realizing their shared brand and moving in unison.

Key Quotes:

    “Agents and carriers in the 21st century do not need things between them in order to successfully create scale for their operations and for agents.” – Seth Zaremba
    “The technology state of insurance does not represent our value and our relationship.” – Seth Zaremba
    “Let’s focus all guns on the battle ahead, which is the attention of the consumer.” – Seth Zaremba

Resources Mentioned:


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