18 years and more to come in the way of insurance, a brief talk with Martín Ferrari
The insurance industry is not easy, highly regulated, outdated in many processes, old systems, bureaucratic and just to mention a few; However, none of this has allowed many people to venture into disrupt it with proposals that seek to solve one, or several, of the aspects mentioned in order to improve not only the industry but also the insurance consumers, trying to make a real social impact.
From IoT, regtech to actuary, was how we could understand the great knowledge of Martín Ferrari, CEO and Co-Founder of 123Seguros, of the insurance industry, not only of Argentina but of the entire Latin American ecosystem. His 18 years of experience in insurance brokerage have allowed him to have an internal knowledge of the aspects in which upon can be improved; He has also been able to understand insurers mindset due to his father was in different positions in insurance companies and has been able to implement with him all that know-how to create the pioneer brokerage insurance company, 123Seguros of Latam.
In 34 minutes of conversation and with jet-lag of just over 7 hours we shared several topics.
And who is Martín Ferrari? Martín has lived and breathed insurance from a very early age, his parents of Argentine origin worked in several insurance companies where they met in the 70s, making insurance an issue very relevant element in his life, however at the beginning he never thought about working in the same industry because as he mentions “when you are young you don’t think that you will work in insurance… you always think about working for a great consultant or a multinational, but insurance isn’t sexy so you end up in the same thing as my father or my uncle … ” even though he decided to enroll in the newly brokerage firm that his father started, after having held several positions as an executive in insurance companies, and said to him ” you have a messenger ? I have free time” and this is how it begins its path in the summer of 2001 in the world of insurance. This beginning allowed him to understand everything that influences selling insurance, the inside of the industry, from his experience as a messenger in the street as well as in the construction of his father’s company, before asking him and his brother to embark on 123Seguros. Hence the idea of how with technology to provide a superior proposal that could contribute to the different problems of industry actors, insurers, brokers and the most important, customers.
Martín, is passionate about insurance, as he mentions “When we enter we stay, we are really passionate, we understand beyond the economic point of view, the social impact that insurance has, which no other financial service has …” His vision is very focused on how insurance is an engine of social change and how you offer solutions at all levels of the socioeconomic pyramid. His motivation goes beyond impact and goes through wanting to facilitate the purchase and administration of insurance for his clients, his motto is “make it easy”, that is why his efforts have been very focused on improving processes and the evolution from fax (where until less than 10 years ago it was the “indispensable tool”) to the digital world which he always saw as a challenge instead of a problem.
To solve these issues, his approach went far beyond the generation and sale of leads, where solving all the pain points for the client were far more important than the sale itself, which is why he moved away from the “aggregators” to focus on the customer and become a truly digital broker.
As he says “since we started we had to work we had to educate insurers in the digital model, so they we’d understand that we wanted to be with the client at the moment of truth… it took us 8 months to have 2 insurers connected and one day to sell 8 policies, 200 in the first month and we are talking about 2010…”, his model proved to be successful and considers that the customer is looking for a point of contact at all points not only in the sale.
More generally, we asked him how he sees the Insurtech panorama in Latin America? to what he told us “we currently work with 33 insurers and in each country the problem is the same as in all countries and we think that being Latin American is different that in Europe, Africa or Asia, but in reality it is exactly the same… the problem and its solution is companies that truly think of customers in everything (in the products, in the processes, in how they communicate, in the fine print) in a service DNA ”their vision is focused on the client and mentions that all ventures that are not focused on the real problem of the client are dead, or will cease to exist. Additionally, the second strongest trend that we will see will be 100% digital insurers, where technology will be that catalyst for user service demand. And as a third point, the evolution of regulation will make countries grow more the business model and as Insurtech guild, will have to break down barriers to work more closely with regulators and that this will generate greater penetration as an industry, so as impacts on the off-line world.
In disruptive and technological phenomena, he considers that the most important thing is the evolution of the Insurtech ecosystem with solutions from IoT, pricing, payments, claims, to which he mentions “a super fun stage comes that we came from” considers that it will be much more focused on the client and hoping that all this generates a movement of change in mentality as people sees insurance “not as a burden” but as a tool for peace of mind at the time of an eventuality, “truth time”.
Faced with the question of what do you think will be the technology that will disrupt insurance in Latin America? We emphasize “The client seeks to solve the current problems digitally, not necessarily a total disruption…” understanding their basic needs is the most important thing for “genuinely put together a customer-based insurance company”, is the key. The best way is to understand what technology must be implemented to be able to solve the client’s needs, regardless of a specific one, since he will be the one who will validate it with its adoption; to which he adds “The biggest disruption is to move from an industry that is thought from inside to a be thought for outside” this will reorganize the industry in a different way, the real disruption will be to change that image of insurance to one of tranquillity to know exactly which he acquired. Among his reflections, he mentions how products should evolve from being created by actuaries and subscribers, solely, without taking into account the real needs of the client, much less without considering easy processes after a purchase.
“The great disruption is mental, not from a particular technology.”
In the near future, we wanted to know what is coming for 123Insurance? he references to everything they learned from launching their operation in Colombia, the first country outside Argentina where they operate and in which they come with the growth of 200% inter-annual, and that how they could implement it in Chile where they completed 4 months of operation. Sees 123Seguro taking a regional leadership that does not exist today, assuming the responsibility, and the baton, of uniting the guild and generating a movement to enrich the Insurtech ecosystem.
In commercial terms, they have been creating strategies for detachment from the car product for 18 months now, to which it adds that their focus will be “solving all the needs in any product or modality that the customer is always looking for” pouring all their expertise in fulfilling the client’s promise, as they had done it during these 9 years of operation and improving day by day leveraging on technology and a human team with a DNA service.