Once upon a time, in 1994, Amazon entered the commercial marketplace as an online bookstore. While Amazon was not the first company to offer this service, it was the first to offer to deliver any book anywhere.

Executive Summary

When should legacy carriers start worrying? When customer-focused InsurTech's start developing Amazon-like "killer apps" that are indispensable to insurance customers. Here, River Communications President Frank Salerno gives advice to legacy carriers and to InsurTechs about preparing for potential disruption on the horizon (beyond the boundaries of what is visible).

Not every journalist or financial analyst predicted success for the new company. Some, in fact, chose the all too obvious Amazon.bomb while ridiculing its efforts. They predicted industry heavyweights such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Brentano and Waldenbooks would overwhelm the newcomer with their own e-commerce sites. (Author’s note: Barnes & Noble is the only one of these four companies still in business. As I write this article, its stock is trading at a 25-year low at $5.98/share, while Amazon’s stock is trading at a 20-year high at $1,836.00/share.)

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