Betterview is excited to announce the hiring of our new Chief Revenue Officer, Jeffrey Heine. Jeff comes into the company with multiple decades of experience in the Property & Casualty insurtech space, including time spent with major industry players such as Guidewire Software. We sat down with Jeff to talk about his new role, his thoughts on Betterview, and his predictions for the future of P&C insurance.
Betterview: Welcome to the team, Jeff! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your career path, and how it got you here to Betterview.
Jeff: Happy to be on board. I have been involved with high-tech startups for about twenty years, specifically oriented around the P&C insurance space. I got my start at a company called CCC Information Services, and I’ve had stints with notable companies like Guidewire, Adsensa (now Coupa Software), Endeca (now Oracle), and OutStart (now IBM). I most recently worked for Groundspeed Analytics, another startup in the P&C insurance space.
I’ve spent a lot of time in insurance, and have met a lot of friends and colleagues working in that industry who I really respect. What is clear to me is that this is an industry full of really talented, hardworking people. They know what they’re doing, and when given the right tools and data they are really good at underwriting property risk. I’ve made it my mission throughout my career to help provide these insurance professionals with tools that can accelerate their processes and help them operate their businesses more profitably. That is why I’m so excited to join Betterview, a company that I believe shares that mission.
BV: What do you think are some of the major challenges and opportunities facing P&C Insurance right now?
J: Sometimes I think the two are one and the same! Right now, high-quality data is more available than ever to insurers. That applies to both entrenched, large carriers, as well as smaller and mid-sized insurers. The other side of that coin, though, is that there is such a thing as having too much data. Or, to put it more accurately, too much unrefined data that ends up creating more work for underwriters. It can be a major challenge for carriers to implement this data into their processes on a realistic timeframe. This industry is rife with legacy systems and processes. It is not a straightforward task to adopt new technologies and workflows. It requires time, it requires an understanding of a company’s specific needs, and it requires a buy-in from all parties involved. Ultimately it is worth it because of how effectively these new tools can prevent future losses, lower expenses, and improve customer experience.
What insurers need right now is not simply more data. What they need is the ability to make better and faster decisions. That’s what I am focused on, and it is what Betterview is committed to providing.
What intrigued me the most about Betterview is how it is not simply a data company. Yes, data (including aerial imagery, and third-party data from companies like HazardHub and e2Value) is a major part of the product. But this data is combined with a suite of other tools – including proprietary Machine Learning processes, as well as common sense workflow management tools. All of these components have been synthesized into a cohesive platform that is 100% focused on providing actionable insights. It is built with the actual needs and pain points of underwriters in mind. It is designed not to bog down these professionals, but to accelerate and strengthen their workflows. 86% of underwriters report taking direct action after viewing the actionable sights on our platform, whether that means adjusting a policy, sending in an inspection team, auto-renewing, or any number of actions at any stage of the policy lifecycle.
The insurance industry is full of talented and knowledgeable individuals. These people really know what they are doing when it comes to underwriting property risk. We have no interest in replacing them with automation, and we have no illusions that we can do their job better than them. What we instead want to do is provide them with the tools that they actually need. We know that once the underwriters are given the actionable insights that we are capable of providing, they can work miracles with them. They can improve their combined ratios, predict and prevent future losses, and create a much more positive customer experience. Providing these people with the tools they need to do their job better has been the focus of my whole career.
BV: What excites you the most about joining Betterview?
J: One thing I love about joining any startup is the opportunity to build a team. I thrive on building and growing, really helping a company to become the best version of itself. I am joining such a talented, passionate group of individuals here at Betterview, and I can’t wait to see how we can all grow together. I tend to have a very engaged, very active leadership style, so I look forward to working very closely with our employees, our sales team, and especially our customers.
Betterview has had some great wins lately, and people are really excited about the quality of our product. As we expand, just like at any startup, we need to make sure that we’re growing in the best possible way. This is a normal part of any company’s evolution, but it can be a challenging time. I am going to focus on working very closely with the team during this period of growth, and also engaging a lot with the customers. Because it’s important that, as we grow, our customers are continuing to get the most out of their relationship with us. Customer experience is the most important metric to measure as a company grows. That’s something I’m going to be focusing a lot on.
BV: Do you have any predictions about the future of the P&C insurance industry?
J: It’s a time of great change and disruption right now. Technology related to automation and digitization is making major waves in every industry, and insurance is not immune to that. Customers are getting accustomed to processes that are much faster and more convenient; an example would be a company like Hippo providing almost instantaneous quotes for homeowner’s policies. You can even buy auto insurance on a mile-by-mile basis now!
These types of consumer-friendly interactions are starting to make their way into the small commercial insurance space, and will likely continue to grow in commercial insurance. I also see that with a better understanding of risk, carriers may offer consumers different types of insurance coverage in the future such as Cyber. With a changing world, the nature of risk changes for consumers and businesses. I have no doubt that coverage opportunities will change as the world does. It’s an exciting time, and we’re seeing a lot of innovations that would have been hard to imagine a few years ago.
At the same time, insurance is an industry full of very large, very entrenched players. It can take them a long time to integrate some of these new technologies, for the simple reason of their massive scale. Some of the smaller and mid-sized carriers are going to have more flexibility to adopt these new processes. In turn, that is going to create higher demand for automation and digitization.
Betterview is in an interesting position within this dynamic. Although we are a technology startup, so many of our employees have experience within the insurance industry. There are former agents and underwriters; Dave Tobias, our co-founder and COO, got his start working for a roof inspection company. So unlike other startups that try to disrupt an industry from the outside, we are operating with more insider knowledge and experience. We always take the perspective of the underwriters themselves into account, because we know they are the ones that are actually going to be using our platform. If we are not providing solutions to their real pain points, then we are not doing our job.
That’s one of the reasons why I joined Betterview, in fact; because they are focused on providing solutions that actually help underwriters do their jobs better. Yes, we offer the highest quality of property intelligence. And yes, our Machine Learning processes are cutting-edge. But the real strength of Betterview lies in our ability to empower underwriters to take action faster and smarter. That’s how we help to prevent losses, reduce expenses, and build a better customer experience. And that’s why I am so happy to join the team.
Betterview is on a mission to turn high-quality data into actionable insights for the P&C industry. We foster a collaborative environment, working together to find the best solutions for our customers. If you are interested in joining a strong, innovative team, head over to the careers page on our website or contact us directly.