Unsurprisingly, discussion surrounding government’s role in free markets with large corporations can be contentious, but it’s critical to understand that laws and regulations serve a purpose. To what extent regulation is appropriate has always been a hotly debated issue.

Executive Summary

Insurance regulations, which vary from one state to the next, confuse consumers and result in oversimplified messaging from carriers, says Adam Lyons, CEO and founder of The Zebra, explaining one impetus for starting up an online comparison marketplace with educational features. Referring to a recent panel discussion at SXSW, during which co-panelist and The Zebra investor Mark Cuban noted that worries about regulation kept him from investing in Uber, Lyons explains that The Zebra has been able to use state regulation to its advantage by accessing publicly available rating information from state insurance departments, among other data. Going forward, however, as incumbents and newcomers investigate opportunities in technology innovations including AI, IoT and driverless cars, he raises a series of thought-provoking questions about whether government regulations will hinder the process.

The conversation is shifting from a debate on regulating large corporations to government’s role in tech companies’ ability to innovate—those like Uber, Airbnb and many insurance upstarts.

Today, most consumers in the U.S. have computers in their hands more powerful than IBM’s biggest computer just a few years ago. Technology impacts our lives in more meaningful ways than ever before, and at an increasingly accelerated pace.

I had the privilege of addressing the issues surrounding technology regulation on a global stage in March at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival, which takes place every year in Austin, Texas, where my company, The Zebra, is headquartered. During a featured panel titled “Is Government Disrupting Disruption?” Mark Cuban and I discussed the political impact on tech companies at a global, national and local level. When is government a boon to innovation, and when does it run the risk of “disrupting” disruption?

At The Zebra, we’ve built a business addressing the consumer pain felt as a result of the complex regulatory environment that is property/casualty insurance. Our quote comparison marketplace leverages technology to help increase the efficiency of what has become accepted as the status quo in insurance distribution.

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