Insuring Smarter

We are not a bunch of startup entrepreneur indicating that we are disrupting the insurance world. FinanceFox co-founder and CEO Julian Thicke told me during a call late last week. The company, which is announcing $28 million in Series A funding today, is one of some European insurance startups who are trying to bring coverage into the modern digital age. Top car insurance companies in California agree it is good idea.

But, unlike others, such as  Thicke says FinanceFox is as much a platform for existing insurance agents as it is an app to bypass them altogether. That’s simply because agents can transition their client base onto the app, and use it to find coverage gaps in and sell additional coverage.

And by fully digitizing their core processes, brokers are then able to provide a way more up-to-date way of communicating with clients, helping to retain them along the way.

We are trying to work along with some industry gurus who have experience, states the FinanceFox CEO, added that his dad is a 30-year veteran of the insurance industry. The start-ups boss in Switzerland is known as Michael John, who is additionally the president of the national brokers association.

This, says Houston insurance brokers such as Steve Griffin, “It brings a level of trust, not least amongst insurance agents with whom FinanceFox partners and who could otherwise view insurance startups as a threat.”

I consider the insurance brokerage industry a broken brokerage industry, he says, arguing that agents who adopt platforms like FinanceFox will indeed survive and those that will be blocked out by tech players. They’re losing clients to digital suppliers they have the large administrative expense, they have a lack of efficiency in their processes, and they have no real way of communicating with clients in a new innovative way.

During the process, FinanceFox will then contact each of your insurance providers to digitize current policies, from which it can then monitor coverage and suggest better, cheaper or more appropriate insurance. FinanceFox eliminates all pain-points, is how Thicke put it to me.

Notably, the service is free for the client, with the startup and its partner agents making money by using a service component paid by insurance companies in return for FinanceFox handling most of the admin and support part of insurance.

Oregon insurance agency owner, Bill Cavinee states, “The business model has been around for almost as long as insurance brokerage has existed, but it’s also one that incentivises insurance startups like FinanceFox to digitize as much of the insurance process as possible as well as drag insurance companies and agents along with it.”


How To Appear Smarter At Work

In a recent brainstorming session, the pressure of creating ridiculously fresh ideas can be a bit debilitating. The very last thing most corporations want is new ideas.

During these vastly pointless exercises, the point is to contribute using the mere gravitas of your presence, make other people’s ideas may seem like your ideas, and you appear to be a leader by questioning the efficiency of the entire process.

Here are nine tips to make you look like you are a valuable creative genius on your team.

  1. When you go to get water and ask if anyone needs anything.


Right before your meeting starts, ask if anyone needs anything. People will think you are thoughtful, and you’ll be able to disappear for 10 minutes without question. Still, come back with bottles of water, soda, and snacks.

Your colleagues will feel compelled to start drinking and snacking, and your foresight will make them think you can predict the future.

  1. Grab a pad of paper and draw.  image2-2

As topics are being addressed, grab one of those notepads and start creating meaningless flowcharts. Colleagues are going to look over at you with worried interest, wondering how you are coming up with so many complicated ideas even before you know what this meeting is for.

  1. Make an analogy that’s so simple it sounds complicated.


When everyone else is attempting to define the issue, make an analogy about baking a pie, or something just as completely unrelated. Your colleagues will then nod their heads in agreement, even if they don’t understand how what you’re saying is related to what they’re speaking about. Talking completely over their heads will make you seem wildly transcendent and intimidatingly creative, even though the truth is you just like cake.

  1. Ask if we are asking the correct questions.


Nothing makes you seem smarter than when you question the questions by asking if they the right questions. If someone responds to you by asking you what you believe, the right questions are, say you just asked one.

Do you wonder if an idea seems too little? Then your colleagues will see you as a big thinker and a game changer.

Use one of these phrases:

  • But how is it disruptive?
  • Is this 10x?
  • Is this the future?
  1. Utilize an idiom.


Using an idiom to question ideas is a smarter way of questioning it. Here are some phrases to choose from:

  • Isn’t that gilding the lily?
  • Isn’t that putting lipstick on a pig?
  • Seems like were polishing a turd.
  1. Create a quirky, creative habit.


Develop a quirky habit that helps you think and gets your creative juices flowing. This may be anything from showing up in your pajamas, meditating on the floor, jogging in place, throwing a ball against the wall, air drumming, or even all of those things at the same time. Even if you’re not coming up with any ideas, your colleagues will be intimidated by your uncontrollable creativity.

Strategically shoot down large ideas.

Use one of the phrases below:

  • Is it disruptive?
  • How does this fit into the roadmap?
  • This looks to be a pivot.
  • Isn’t that a non-starter?
  1. Consider how you suspect the CEO would respond.


Make some of your colleagues believe that you have a close relationship with the CEO by bringing up how you think she may react to an idea. Mention the CEO by their first name. Indicate that you might run this by him during your next meeting. Congratulate everyone for coming up with something that he’d like. By associating yourself so closely with theCEO, people will start to think of you as some CEO-in-training.

  1. Ask if we are creating the right framework, platform, or model.


You will almost always appear as if you’re thinking larger than everyone else by bringing up a framework that calls for moving forward, or a way of thinking, or how we can turn this into a platform. It’s an excellent way of blowing everyone’s minds and masking the fact that you have no idea what anyone’s talking about.

  1. When everyone seems to agree with an idea, yell out “ship it.”


There will come a point in time when everyone seems to be excited about an idea. At this point, you should attempt to be the first person to yell out Ship it! Sure, it’s a humorous thing to say that will make people chuckle, but it will also convey some authority on your part to both end the meeting and make a decision, even though you have no real power to do either.


Dinosaur Names

As a kid, I grew up with two brothers, so you must realize there were more than just a few toy dinosaurs strung out around our house.

While the idea of them was exciting to all of us, we never really thought they were that cool. I mean, they weren’t around anymore!

Little Noel would likely beg to differ.

Aside from being amazingly adorable looking, Noel knows more dinosaur names than the majority of us.

He knows all the names!

Not only is he exceptionally smart, but he’s really super nice about it.

He’s like Ross Geller from Friends, yet a lot cuter.