The first point of contact with an insurer for most consumers is when they take out a policy or when they make a claim—neither of these experiences are easy or straightforward at best. At worst, they are frustrating, long-winded and often the policy doesn’t pay out in the way the insured expected. For the insurers, large swathes of the work conducted around claims operations are still very process-driven and expensive. Therefore, it’s incumbent on the industry to improve the customer experience and make it more efficient.
We are here to provide a better safety net for us all by supercharging insurance with speed and transparency. This is what drives me. Our mission is to become the major player in transforming the insurance industry. Communicating this clear vision so that it is pervasive throughout the organization is the key to good leadership.
I know I can’t deliver the vision on my own and I am lucky to have a fantastic team around me that buys into our company’s strong values and is committed to our goals. Omni:us is the third startup I’ve gotten off the ground, and each time I’ve learned new and different lessons that inform my thinking on how best to lead a company to growth and success. The learning curve with InsurTechs is very steep, and the challenges this brings leads to both intense frustration and tremendous excitement and joy. The key is to find a balance that allows you to channel these two emotions into something positive and tangible. It’s also important that that you recognize these emotions in your team.
I believe that it’s important to empower the team to achieve greatness; one of our values is “Keep on breaking walls,” and what we mean by this is that we want our employees to discover the unknown and solve the unsolvable. It’s important that employees have an aspiration and a challenge—a metaphorical mountain to climb.
It’s also important for them to know that in so doing, they can make mistakes. You have to allow people to fail, safe in the knowledge that they learn from their mistakes. Employees at omni:us are encouraged to take ownership when things go wrong, to say they are sorry and then fix the problem. From this experience they grow and learn as people, but so does the organization. In the field we work in we are pioneering. There is no road map, so we must be able to try things, even if we get it wrong. This is how you progress as an organization.
Another of our values is “Ship and celebrate.” We love to solve real business problems and endeavour to get there faster—always pushing to get better at what we do. I believe it’s crucial in this process to celebrate our progress and evaluate how we can improve, what we can do better.
The last value we have as an organization is “Win the hearts of our customers.” We do this for them because we passionately believe this industry can be transformed to allow insurers to focus on the customer rather than the process. Through the better use of data and automation, we see a much fairer, nonbiased and transparent claims industry that is focused on people.
We must prove ourselves as worthy partners to both the big and small players in the market to realize this goal.
I believe that there is a great deal of overlap between my leadership style and how we at omni:us envision the future of the industry: by creating a more empathetic approach. In contrast to popular opinion, we believe the industry will become more human—not less—as it becomes more efficient and effective using technology. I have this vision on my LinkedIn profile: “The future of claims has empathy.”
This is true not only of the industry we’re striving to change but also as a leadership quality. Empathy is absolutely crucial. Humans are good at being people, not machines. We need to realize their potential. This means treading lightly on their dreams and helping them reach for stars.