Time to Stack Firewood

On my way to the post office this morning, I passed one of our garden shops and noticed several large piles of chopped firewood. At the end of winter, they have large stacks of mulch. Always preparing for the soon-to-happen season.

Got me thinking….

I started to think about my little pond – the insurance industry. How does the insurance industry go about “stacking firewood?” More to the point, how does the insurance industry get ready for changes in market and competitive dynamics? A cynic might ask – has the insurance industry ever really prepared for the next season? It seems we’re so warm, comfortable, and cozy in our briar patch we don’t see a need to get ready to compete in the changing marketplace. Or we rather pass the problems to the next generation which runs the company.

Not fair?

Not fair on my part? O.K. – which insurers are running their companies in a way which excites and delights their customers? Which companies are piloting existing technologies or emerging technologies in ways which provide best-of-class customer experience? I’ll state no fair to you if you name USAA or AMICA – we all know they do but who else?

Way back in the late 1990s

When I first became a management consultant at Arthur D. Little (the best 5+ years of my career but I digress), we had an internal assignment. Go into a conference room, take a flip chart and some pens with us, and list the top 5-10 insurers (regardless of where they are around the world) which we thought were using technology to really help their customers do business with them. We didn’t need more than one sheet of paper or much ink. After 2+ hours (we had a team of 4 seasoned insurance industry management consultants plus me just out of almost 20 years in the insurance industry), we left the room frustrated. Our one piece of paper had only a few names of insurers on it.

Let me ask you

Which insurers, or divisions within an insurance company, do you think are really stacking wood – that is, supporting customers in a way that truly excites and delights the customers? Pretend your State Attorney General is asking you and s/he knows when you are fudging.

Which insurers would you put on our list – and why?

Image courtesy of antpkr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net