I really don’t follow hockey much, but I’m going to try an analogy from that sport.
Hockey is an exhaustive sport, where players normally skate at full speed while hitting, checking, sticking and crashing into things. All while wearing heavy padding that makes them look like football players on skates.
So they don’t spend a whole lot of time on the ice before needing a breather. A “line shift” is the often comical scramble of new players replacing exiting players while the game continues unabated.
Here’s the analogy: As a Generation Xer in the technology age, I often feel like the player who remains on the ice during a shift change.
There’s a comfortable familiarity with the players you have been working with, but the reality dictates change. And quickly.
This is where we Gen Xers have been for several years now. You don’t carry cash; you pay with a card. You don’t get cable; you stream programming. And for goodness sake, never hail a cab. You Uber, grandpa.
I haven’t Ubered yet, but I am considering using Airbnb during an upcoming trip to Chicago. People rent their spare bedrooms to strangers online – my father would not believe the world we live in today.
What choice have you? Keep playing your game as you did with the old line and you’ll find yourself on the bench alongside them.
How is insurance changing? A lot more than you might think for a traditionally buttoned-down industry. The new industry is being prodded by entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban.
Cuban, who made his fortune in software and webcasting, is a forward-thinking investor worth an estimated $3.2 billion. He looks for ideas that represent change.
Cuban is a big investor in Metromile, a company aspiring to sell per-mile car insurance. Tucked away in last week’s news was this item: Metromile “has raised a whopping $191.5 million in funding — ‘primarily equity,’ according to CEO Dan Preston.”
Metromile has been around since 2011, but reportedly raised just $14 million before the latest news. The new money includes a strategic investment of $50 million from China Pacific Insurance.
Metromile said it plans to acquire an insurance carrier called Mosaic Insurance to take care of policy underwriting. The company sells policies in four states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Virginia), but has the licensing to operate in all 50 states.
The idea is simple. The technology exists to bill car insurance based on actual miles driven. Several companies are offering pay-as-you-go insurance, including some larger insurers.
The template is pretty well set. Technology is enabling us to do things more efficiently and more segmented than before. And it is eroding traditional methods in ways we never thought of before.
How we respond to these changes will determine whether we watch from the bench, or stay in the game.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected].
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