Devin Bostick is the CEO and Founder of LuckyTruck, a modern, all-in-one solution that puts buying, selling and managing commercial trucking insurance into a simple and elegant digital platform experience. Devin was interviewed by Michael Fiedel, a Managing Director at InsurTech Ohio and Co-Founder at PolicyFly, Inc.
Devin, how do you approach innovation?
“The way I like to approach innovation is to look at a market or segment and see if I can discover something that hasn’t been surfaced or developed yet. Then, I take the time to really challenge that discovery and decide if I truly believe in it. There are two common ways that entrepreneurs can approach this exercise: causal and effectual reasoning. Of the two I prefer effectual reasoning, which is imagining new possible ends using given means. That’s in contrast to causal reasoning, which is using given means to achieve a goal or outcome.
During this exercise, I question the validity of my findings until I arrive at a state of conviction. This validation process relies heavily on listening to what customers are asking for and taking the time to truly understand their needs. After validation, the effectual reasoning process kicks off – instead of turning to the typical products, services or distribution channels, I like to use effectual reasoning to identify core problems with an open mind to new solutions. This is where I, like many entrepreneurs, find meaningful opportunities to innovate.”
Do you see insurance industry professionals participating in innovation or feeling like innovation is being acted upon them?
“Many incumbents in the insurance landscape are smart in the way that they are investing in new entrants, like insurtechs. Many have realized that their legacy systems and structures have not given them the freedom or speed with which to truly innovate, so they have looked to insurtechs to lead the way. True innovation happens when a company can execute on the right strategy without being weighed down by legacy systems or structures, which is why insurtechs – who can be more flexible and pivot quickly – are at the cutting edge. Investments in insurtechs allow incumbents to participate in the innovation that is happening in the industry, whether they want to keep an eye on where the industry is moving through a minority investment or buy an insurtech outright to bring the external innovation in-house.
Beyond investment, insurtechs can also be enablers for incumbents, helping them to accelerate innovation in specific areas. Companies like LuckyTruck for distribution, Ascend for payments or AgentSync for insurance licensing are taking core customer problems and creating solutions that can enable incumbents to transact business more efficiently and/or with better customer experience.”
How can the packaging of a brand play a pivotal role in improving insurance experiences and products?
“Branding is a powerful way to make a customer feel understood and give them a sense of community, all while communicating to them the value of your product or service. The best insurance entities, old or new, should strive to create a brand that customers can immediately connect with as it delivers them the products and services they need.
LuckyTruck focuses on making trucking insurance as easy as possible for the small, American trucking company, think less than 6 trucks, a market segment that accounts for 90%+ of all American truckers. As such, we want the LuckyTruck brand to make our customers feel like our team is an extension of their small business, their team. Because of this, we’ve focused special attention on our culture and our internal training/development processes. In this way, we aim to create a consistent and meaningful experience for our customers in a segment of insurance that is particularly complicated and fractured – trucking insurance is often one of the most confusing, problematic and expensive aspects of a small, American trucking company’s operations.”
What does the insurance industry lack in terms of understanding modern customer expectations?
“In many cases insurance is a necessity, so I think the industry has historically been able to provide products and services to customers without needing to be truly customer-centric. With the advent of companies like Amazon, customer expectations and needs – even for commercial insurance customers – are shifting towards digital, self-serve, same-day service, etc. This is especially true at the lower end of the customer spectrum, where a small business can have the same expectations and needs as the average personal-lines consumer.
Because customer-centricity has not always been the focus of the industry, insurance companies have historically captured rich data about claims and losses, but not necessarily about their customers’ wants, needs, behaviors, etc. This type of customer data is becoming a necessity in the industry and insurtechs like us are creating business models that allow for the optimal capture of our customers’ wants, needs, behaviors, etc. so that we can truly meet their needs.”
In what ways can a focus on design elevate the education of the industry's customer base and make them a more informed and savvy insurance customer?
“Good design does many things – increases engagement, improves conversion, provides an elegant customer experience – but one of the most important things it can do is allow for improved customer learning opportunities. This is especially important in an industry where customers feel like they are being spoken to in “legalese” and/or they don’t fully understand what their coverage entails. By focusing on thoughtful design across the customer journey, insurance companies can craft an experience that allows the customer to maximize their information consumption, without making them feel overwhelmed. Creating the optimal environment for a customer to see and interact with different pieces of information or data leads to a savvier and more educated customer. One of the ways I am seeing this play out is in the gamification of the insurance buying and managing process – products and services that have been historically unexciting and dense have been put into an exciting design framework that makes the customer want to engage more and, therefore, learn more about the products and services they are receiving.”
By embedding insurance, what exactly makes it healthy from a mutual perspective?
“A good starting point when thinking through a healthy partnership for embedded insurance starts with a simple question: What insurance experience is our customer looking for? Whether it’s short-term rental insurance for Airbnb or short-term car insurance on Turo, it’s essential to put yourself in the customer's shoes and think about how they understand the insurance safety net available to them when things go wrong. In addition, when figuring out the partnership, it’s important to really align on strategy. Some key questions that come to mind are: How do we align our customer experience standards? How do we align our branding? How do we create win-win economics? What’s the long-term spirit of the agreement?
I see right now as an exciting time for customer experience across various products and services where insurance is a core feature. By creating additional convenience through embedding insurance in the right places, you can increase adoption while improving the customer experience. That all leads to the enhanced sense of security that well-designed and smartly packaged, delivered and supported insurance products can provide.”