The Innovative Carrier Podcast | Episode 1

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The Innovative Carrier Podcast is a new venture of BriteBee, an insurtech company aimed at helping insurance agents and carriers increase their online presence via digital marketing efforts that help them “bee found” online by their brand, the companies they represent and the insurance products they offer.

Headed by Keagan Henson, CEO and co-founder of BriteBee, these podcasts will feature industry leaders and entrepreneurs with discussions dedicated to discussing ideas and ways in which to grow and increase the success of insurance agents. In Keagan’s words, “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.” So please sit back, listen and enjoy our discussions about all-things insurance and digital marketing to increase the success of your agency.

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Episode 1 - The Insurance Carrier Podcast

Featuring Seth Zaremba and Frank Sentner

This first podcast will highlight how things are being done differently in the industry in order to grow an agent or agency’s business and maintain success. Both of BriteBee’s guests have been in the industry for many years, and have even built a few agencies that are very financially successful, and well-worth emulating! We are happy to feature these two men today. We’ll discuss below the high points of our conversation.

Keagan Henson:  “I wanted to hold these podcasts as a discovery tool for our company to learn and ensure business success. We are seeing great movement in how agents are working with billion-dollar carriers and insurance companies, and especially in how Insurtechs, and technology and technological advances are enabling this to happen. It’s very exciting to think about the future possibilities for business growth and success that these advances—especially that of Seth Zaremba’s Batomic Neon agency management system—are giving agents. I had many questions for these two guests about these aspects, along with carrier innovation, and whether its insurtech or consumer expectations that are seen as disrupting the industry.”

Seth Zaremba:  “I’ve always seen myself as being dedicated to cleaning up the messes of the industry. Independent agents are frustrated with the infrastructure as it is today. So many are intent on concentrating on tackling which I call the “jewelry box stuff,” keeping the financial end-game at the forefront, and I want to make agents see that it’s the roads and sewers that need the concentration; that’s what needs the overhaul in order to get to that end-game.

There are amazing things happening on both sides in the insurtech space. One of the main problems—and which needs to be discussed and fixed—is the unwillingness of everyone, all three groups (the agent, carrier, and insurance company) to talk. This causes major issues, and becomes a spiderweb of deceit in the eyes of the consumer. I want to bring all that latent capability into my products, and is my main focus.

There is a lack of humility in the industry for many in the three groups, and that’s being ignored. We’re beginning to realize that we must focus on the customer in order to gain and increase our businesses and financial success. No one can pull off a very good tango alone—we agents must work together with the carriers so we can show the customers the best of us. We must look good to the consumer.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and it can only be achieved if we realize there are three parties to every transaction, the consumer, someone in the agency, and someone at the carrier. Right now everyone is seeing the product–the consumer–as “mine”; but they need to be seen as “ours” and treated like a football in the game. No one is going to win the game alone.

The only thing an insurtech wants is a customer. We need to understand all of this, and through podcasts such as this, discussions will lead to where everything fits in in the success of independent agents and their agencies.”

Frank Sentner:  “I’ve been an independent agent in the technology space, and have built a couple agency management systems, while being an independent consultant in the industry. I remember the day this well-known agent in Connecticut called me and said, ‘Hey, it’s Chris Paradiso—there’s some guy in Ohio who is doing some great new things with agency management systems, and helping the communication between agents, providers, and clients.’ It sounded intriguing, so I broke my personal rule about paying my own way and using my own funds for things like this, and booked a trip to Ohio to meet this guy named Zaremba. I’m glad I did, because I got to see what was happening in this new area, and learning something new about a business for which I’d been supplying solutions for four decades. Since then, it’s been interesting and fun, and I’m looking forward to continuing to find solutions for agents, suitably addressing the needs of insurance agents and their partners to grow their financial success.

Touching on Seth’s product, he’s created a unified communication platform that is providing real case management for insureds. This isn’t something I’d ever seen in an agency, even though I’ve built two management systems and worked on many more. I’ve never seen anyone focus on the communications and emotional content, tracking and fulfillment. I visited Chris, and he let me go deep into his computer system, and do some data checking. He has millions of communications, thousands upon thousands of customers. It was obvious this was working.

These days, in the automatic airways, it’s come down to “us versus you” in this conversation. But we must unite, and honestly and openly talk about the why of it all, where your business comes from, where does your financial success come from, your future financial returns. Right now, cohesiveness doesn’t exist—everyone has a different opinion, even an agency owner and his/her staff, about what is going on and happening in their agency.

This is not a tech problem. Tech has always outstripped the insurance companies’ abilities to deal with problems. I work with a lot of insurtechs, and many are building incredible solutions, but we have to get them to work together with carriers and agencies in order to build common solutions. It can only be as good as the efforts made to collectively implement these solutions.

The challenge is to spend the money to make these things happen.

Many agents feel victimized by the solutions they are forced to implement, while most carriers tend to focus only on what happens within their four walls. The challenge is that these two constituencies have perspectives that are not focused as thoroughly as they might be on meeting one another and implementing available solutions.

We need to create a revolutionary platform that everyone can share with the customer that will measure customer satisfaction. We need to know how the customers are feeling—we cannot increase our business bottom line without it. Consumers are getting more and more intelligent, and want more and more from their insurance agents. Because of this, we have to maintain the ability–as is being done by Seth and his platforms–to continue to increase our business success. We must focus on doing whatever makes the customer happy, and keeps them happy, and that’s what Seth’s building.

None of the sectors are going away. The billion-dollar carriers will continue gaining hand-over-fist and never go out of business; billion-dollar insurance companies will continue to grow; agents will never go away and will continue to increase their bottom line. What needs to be remembered is that customers will continue to increase their knowledge, and will force these two sectors to work for what they want, never letting them have the easy gain!

The bottom line is that everyone needs to manage their communications; this is all-important. Everyone needs to service the customer. This is where the rubber meets the road.

These podcasts must get out to right people so that they can make this happen; they should talk to Seth and see his product and how successful it has made his business. Everyone must share their data, their customer data, and data-mine so everyone’s business can grow and the insurance economy can grow.”

Make sure to listen and get all the wonderful detailed ideas we discussed! If you have any ideas for future podcasts or people you think we should talk to, an agent you admire for their practice of humility and humbleness, never taking center-stage, or who has amazing ideas for our industry, leave us a comment and let us know!

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