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Providence Mutual’s CEO: Mutual Insurers Share Common Ground With Insurtechs

NEW YORK //BestWire// - Sandy Parrillo, president and chief executive officer at Providence Mutual, said some technology-based entrants have adopted a business plan similar to a traditional mutual insurer model. The mutual insurers’ challenge is to leverage their business model with the aid of new technology, she said. Parrillo spoke with AM BestTV at the annual Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum in New York.

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Following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the insurance industry today?

A: One of the challenges we have is using technology in our business, in our business model, and using it effectively and efficiently. When I think about the incorporation of predictive analytics into our business model, we believe very strongly that any company that has to do it and does it thoughtfully is a company that’s going to be successful.

The key is to understand your technology, understand the use of data and data analytics, and doing it appropriately for your organization.

Q: What does a mutual company like Providence Mutual have in common with some of these insurtech startups?

A: I think it’s wonderful that we have the insurtechs and the disruptors coming into our business. They’re challenging us to make our business model better. They are making us look at and understand what our customer expectations are.

I also find it in a sense a little rewarding. Some of the business model of the insurtechs is to operate on peer-to-peer insurance, and frankly, that’s what a mutual company is. Going back to the start of our organization over 200 years ago and the start of mutual insurance 250 plus years ago, it’s about people coming together and supporting each other.

This peer-to-peer insurance is really the 21st Century version of what a mutual company is, maybe just under a different name.

Q: What can mutual companies learn from tech companies?

A: I think what we can learn, again, is how to use technology appropriately, how to understand data. Instead of just looking internally and saying, let’s change our model to have a delivery system as such it’s saying, what are our customers needing? Our customers are changing. Our products have to change to address different exposures that are out there now the autonomous vehicles, the drones, whatever it may be. We have to take our models, we have to take our products, and we have to understand what our customer expectations are. I think the insurtechs do a very, very fine job of that.

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(By Meg Green, senior associate editor, AM BestTV:


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