The InsureTech Geek Episode 37: Falling in Love with the Problem with Bobbie Shrivastav from Benekiva
JBKnowledge podcast network. On episode 37 of the InsureTech Geek podcast, talking about all things InsureTech with Bobbie Shrivastav from Benekiva. The InsureTech Geek podcast powered by JBKnowledge is all about technology that is transforming and disrupting the insurance world. We will be interviewing guests and doing deep dives into specific technologies we see changing the industry. We are taking you on a journey through insurance tech. So, enjoy the ride and geek out!
JAMES: Oh Yeah. It is another Friday. Tell you what, it is fall time. And of course, fall time for me means football time. It is the leisurely distraction on Saturdays that gets to take my mind off everything. I am so thankful. We have football back in the great state of Texas. These poor folks up in a big 10 country had to wait and wait. California. Geez. What a mass. But my Aggies beat Florida. It was a good game to go to Rob. I got to tell you it is happy days in College Station. Very sad days in Austin for those sad little Longhorns. They of course lost to OU. But you got to enjoy seeing football again huh Rob?
ROB: It is good to see. My Michigan State Spartans will start their season here in a week or so, so I do not know. We will see, I will tell you after the season, whether it was worth starting up again or not. Maybe we should have skipped this year. I do not know. Ohio State is going to be really tough.
JAMES: Yeah. I will tell you this. Prepare for them to be rusty. That is the main thing I noticed about my team the Aggies on their first go–round, was how rusty they were on their first game. It was pretty obvious. They had a lot going on. A lot of distractions and not a normal year. But they settle in pretty quickly. All with us Bobbie Shrivastav. Bobbie, what is going on?
BOBBIE: Living the dream, living the InsureTech dream.
JAMES: Ah! You know it! Where are you joining us from today?
BOBBIE: I live in North Carolina, Winston Salem.
JAMES: Winston Salem. That is right. The basketball season is around the corner. Every time I have gone to North Carolina during the basketball season, it is all anybody there talks about. Several years ago, I was in Greensboro. Is it Greensboro? Is that right?
BOBBIE: Greensboro Coliseum?
JAMES: Yeah. I was at the Coliseum there in Greensboro. I got to see North Carolina play, got to see Duke play. Did not get to see them play each other. Got to watch Tyler Hansbrough play his last few games. This is how long ago it was. Play his last few games for North Carolina, but a beautiful place to live. Before we jump into our interview, just a reminder for our guests, that you can subscribe to the InsureTech Geek podcast, if you are watching this video online, by texting GeekOut to 66866. Just text GeekOut to 66866. Make sure you never miss an episode.
Bobbie, you did your undergrad in IT, Marketing at Appalachian State. Of course, what everybody who likes college football knows Appalachian State for, is being that team that any year could upset their non-conference opponent. And they did to Mr. Galbraith’s archrival the University of Michigan if I am correct, Rob.
ROB: That is right. Loved AB State.
JAMES: Yeah, exactly. Of course, he does!
BOBBIE: That was years ago.
JAMES: I know. It was years ago. He still loves them though. This is still fun to love the up setter of things. Then you went to Western Carolina. You got your MBA from Wake Forest. You have done your rounds in the educational arena. What did you grow up wanting to do, first off? What was childhood career aspiration, and then what did you end up in and how did you wind up in InsureTech?
BOBBIE: Can I be very honest?
JAMES: Yes, please.
BOBBIE: Growing up, I wanted to be a developer. A software developer.
BOBBIE: That is exactly what I ended up doing right out of college. I did information systems and marketing. Also did a minor in Spanish and a minor in interdisciplinary studies. As you can see, I love learning. Eventually, I want to get my Ph.D. Have not picked a topic, but I just thought, at that time, back in 2000, I fell in love with both marketing and IT. And I wanted to do a blend of both. Most of my friends were not doing a blend of both, but it was a great experience doing that.
JAMES: Yeah. I started out at Texas A&M in computer engineering, switched to computer science. Computer engineering was more hardware heavy. Computer science was really all about software dev. And after two years, I was like, man, I have been doing this since I was 11, because I started writing software and I was 11. Then I plowed through about eight languages through an engineering high school. And I was like, man, I am tired of this. I got to do something else. So, I switched over to business and got a degree in accounting. And then got a master’s in information systems. And that combination of business and technology for me was really helpful. What I have told students that I mentor now, if I could go back and switch my master’s degree, I would actually get a master’s in marketing. Because, over half of my day, as the CEO of a tech company, is spent in marketing. And it is such a critical skill set. So, I totally understand what you are saying. And it is fun to study too. It is fascinating. It is really about human psychology, right?
BOBBIE: Yeah. Same with sales. In AB State, they wove in a lot of sales into marketing. Because back in 2000, digital was not there, so marketing was really about content and how do you sell to folks.
JAMES: Yeah, that is awesome. And look, I too, well, I cannot say from a child I wanted to be a software developer. I really enjoyed it. I wanted to be a concert pianist until I was 16. When I was 16, I found out how much money they made, and I was like, never mind. I had different aspirations, but of course, ended up in software. Rob, I do not think I have ever asked you this question. What did you do you want to do? Did you want to be a baseball player, astronaut? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
ROB: Yeah, it is probably one that will not surprise you that much, James, but I would have loved to be a sports general manager. I knew that I did not have any athletic ability and I probably could not coach anybody, but the whole idea of trading players, managing the team, and winning the championship. And I was probably ahead of Moneyball right? Like the use of analytics and whatnot, and players, so yeah.
ROB: I am definitely not in that space at all. I am great at analytics. Just not in sport.
JAMES: No, just not in sports. You are like a young Billy Bean. That is what it is. So, let us talk about your career, Bobbie. Pepsi. We are going to talk about Pepsi because you spent six years there. And then you got into, it looks like you got into some insurance, but tell me about Pepsi. Because you remember the Pepsi taste challenge, do you remember this? Were you around when they traveled around the country doing this?
BOBBIE: Oh yeah. The commercials? I remember the commercials. And Pepsi always won.
JAMES: Yes. Do you know why? This is a fascinating marketing study. Malcolm Gladwell did a whole podcast series on this. Did you know that?
BOBBIE: You have to tell me why.
JAMES: Because it was a sip test. In a sip test, people always picked Pepsi because it is grossly sweeter than Coke. In a can test where they drink an entire can, people almost always pick Coke. When Coke came out with New Coke, that was sweeter, their sales dropped, which is why they went back to classic Coke because they screwed up the tests. They did a sip test when people do not sip Coke or Pepsi, they drink the whole thing. Side note. Go listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast on that. It will change your mind in the way you do surveys and marketing. So, what got you into insurance?
BOBBIE: Honestly, even when I worked at AIG, United Guarantee, which was a division of AIG at that point, I never really thought about insurance until I met Brent. A lot of people do not know this, but during college, my freshman year, I worked at two different agencies. I worked at Nationwide Insurance. So, my exposure to insurance has been like all the way from when I was doing a part–time job during college, I quoted auto, they trained me on doing homeowners, even though I was not licensed, but I was just having them set up so that they could do the quote side. But I fell into insurance really after my first startup, when I met Brent Williams. And when he shared some really interesting research and statistic around the life insurance space. That is when I came into the industry, even though I have been surrounded by the industry during my career.
JAMES: Awesome. Rob?
ROB: Yeah, Bobbie, it has been great to get to know you and Brent over the last couple of years. And you both are just an amazing team. And I think Benekiva has an amazing story. Maybe you can just tell everybody more. Obviously, I come from the P&C world and you guys have been in life insurance for a while. We do not actually see a lot of InsureTechs in life insurance. I have seen increasingly, but you guys were definitely one of the earliest ones and you saw what seemingly such a basic problem is, but it is actually really challenging to solve. So, tell us more. What was that opportunity that Brent brought to you and how has Benekiva evolved and what problems did you guys solve?
BOBBIE: I will share a story in terms of how I met Brent. I had created a product with another founder, that handles all things document. What we wanted to do was, ultimately, we still believe we created a superior product than DocuSign. If you really think about some of the document challenges, DocuSign just touches the surface. We went deep into document facilitation, document generation. My husband and I traveled to Des Moines, Iowa and that is where he did his undergrad at Drake. And we created this startup together, back in 2015. In 2016, we went to Des Moines. I reached out to two random people that agreed to meet with me. One of them was the Mayor of Clive. Brent’s client on the advisory side. And she heard our startup pitch and said, you need to meet Brent. He is into this tech startup world. You guys can talk about this and maybe there are some synergies between what he is trying to sell and what you are trying to do.
We met Brent. Initially, he tried to sell us financial advisory products. And then we were like, no, we are more interested in what you are doing in the startup world. And he shared a statistic that 68% of claims go unclaimed for one reason or another. Which was totally shocking because it is like, how is that true? I had just bought life insurance. We had a one-year–old daughter at the time, and we were like, so 68% of them do not get the money? They were like, nope. And the claims process is even worse. He started sharing a lot of the research that he had done. And coming from the document side of the house, when he was talking about the claims process and other challenges, we were like, okay, we can solve this. We think we can solve this. We fell in love with the problem, to be honest with you. And that is how we started Benekiva. And I learned about the insurance industry because of that. Mortgage insurance is a different beast. Nationwide, the agency side was a different beast. I just fell in love with the life side of the house.
JAMES: The stats are really that, but this is something that I am having a tough time grasping. You are talking about when someone dies, like 60% of that money that is supposed to go to their dependents, never gets paid out?
BOBBIE: For one reason or another.
JAMES: Does it go to the state unclaimed property? Is that where it goes usually? Yeah, so I figured it.
BOBBIE: Brent heard this at a conference. Somebody was from an association was sharing this statistic. And honestly, I can see why. Because if you think about it, the claims process is, there is no proactivity in that, and it is so difficult. The money must end up, now being escheated, but that was after 2015. Before 2015, they still had to escheat it, but there were not any laws around it for the insurance carrier. 60 minutes did this episode twice talking about the top 30 companies that are not paying claims basically, and they have so much money that is just sitting in unclaimed property. And that is what created a lot or a different regulation around it.
JAMES: That is wild. I can see why it would be such a fascinating problem to try to solve. What is the solve though?
BOBBIE: In 2016 when we heard about the stat, we interviewed several of our family members that had actually gone through the adept process. There is a piece of unclaimed property, then there is a piece of claims, and then there are other areas like notification and how do you do beneficiary updates. So, the whole Benekiva vision has six modules that solve different pain points, but we have ended up focusing on claims because that was our foot in the door to say, we know the claims process is really backward. And there are four key problems with that. Like the legacy process, legacy systems. All of these laws keep changing around child lien, notification follow-ups, and then the unclaimed property. We have to escheat it per state. They have their requirements. So, we started to focus more on the claim side. But initially, we wanted to tackle the whole issue around everything. But as you know, with startups, you have to be pinpoint focused. Even though we built an MVP around those pain points, we ended up focusing more on claims. And that is where we have stayed focused is on claims. And then a little bit of update on that side for policyholder servicing.
JAMES: Awesome. Rob?
ROB: One of the fascinating things about your solution, Bobbie is, you guys use blockchain. And I know you and I have had conversations in the past and a lot of folks are saying blockchain’s all hype, it does not scale. It is just a solution in search of a problem. I am really curious. Maybe you can explain now that you have talked a little bit about the problem and the areas that you solve, how are you guys using it and why did you pick that technology to apply to the problem?
BOBBIE: That is a great question, Rob. And initially, we were planning to build our tech stack on top of a blockchain database. And we decided earlier on not to but make it up as part of an integrated solution. For folks that were interested in leveraging blockchain, like our first scenario, because a lot of carriers are asking us, okay, what does blockchain solve? If you think about the future vision, it could do a lot of cool things in terms of one experience for the beneficiary. And they do not have to go to five different entities if their loved one had five different policies at five different carriers. That is the ultimate vision. Is how do we create this consortium and this one unified experience but let us take a step back. Let us take baby steps, like crawl, walk, run. We can start storing this data, so from a signature perspective, you can start getting into smart contracts. That was a use case.
Another use case was an audit trail. When a regular regulator comes to you and says, hey, I want to see your claim records, you can say here is some data and it is backed by blockchain, so you know it has not been tampered with. Those are the different scenarios that we were looking at and got extremely excited about. But here is the catch. We got excited about building those scenarios. Our carriers love talking about that, but when implementation time came, nobody wanted to take a leap and still are not wanting to leap the blockchain. And, honestly, this year, I have not heard much. When we go and talk to a lot of prospects, they are so deep into fixing their current issues with claims servicing, like self-service claims or self-service servicing, this is not even a topic that they even talk to us about.
JAMES: They love paying lip service to it. It is like, oh yeah, blockchain is going to revolutionize business. But most people I talk to cannot really define what blockchain is. If you ask them to spend 30 seconds explaining it, they could not. And they will say yeah, it is going to revolutionize things and they cannot explain what it is. And then when you actually talk about allocating IT budgets to it, oh, my gosh. You are talking about, literally like the last place on the priority list. Now I will say blockchain is for real. It is not a fad. I do not believe it is. Because I have companies that I work with that have already deployed it successfully and it is actively working, but it works almost when you do not talk about it. It is like, you do not sell the blockchain, you sell the stuff that it does for them.
BOBBIE: Exactly. I totally agree.
JAMES: It is encrypted, and it cannot be changed. Here is the problem it solves. People do not buy a blockchain, they buy solutions. They do not care if it is on Azure or AWS or whatever. They just want a solution to their problem.
BOBBIE: It is like when COVID happened. You saw a lot of marketing around; we have a platform that enables digital transformation for the entire industry. What specific problems are you trying to solve? People just gravitate towards buzzwords and I am one of those people. I absolutely hate buzzwords. And, when people were talking about digital transformation and I am like, okay, here you go again. I have heard it since 2012, 2013. And we are still talking about it in 2020. Okay. Let us come up with another buzzword. I have very strong opinions on buzzwords. I am just not a big buzzword person.
JAMES: Well, I believe in strong opinions, loosely held. As long as you have strong opinions, loosely held will be good. That we can have an honest debate. Look, for those of us who have been around the technology development space since pre–2000 and went through the Y2K ramp up, we have been talking about digitization for over two decades. It has really been about two and a half decades because the Y2K conversion was the first time that everyone was like, okay, we have to digitize our systems. We got to get serious about it. And this all topic. But the reality is that you have a really well-defined problem that impacts a lot of people and it is impacting the insurers too.
They want to have a good reputation. They want to pay claims out. They really do not want to be on 60 Minutes, twice for being outed for not getting money to policyholders. That is bad for business. There are really strong motivators for everybody to figure this problem out. I just think blockchain is a nice solution because in a low trust, no trust environment, which is a lot of businesses, blockchain brings something that is, so far, proven to be quiet, reliable. And that is an immutable ledger. And it brings this ledger that can be written to, and not changed. At least until a quantum computer blows it up. That is what I think is so exciting about it. What is actually selling now? Because they are not buying blockchain, so what are they buying?
BOBBIE: They are buying a way to really, and I am going to use a buzz word, loosely coupled buzzword, but they are buying a claims transformation solution. And when we talk about that, it is claims intake all the way to pay out, including audit features, including how do we trigger new business. We built a platform that enables carriers to go self-service with their claims. If they cannot go self-service, enable it for their phone team, so they do not have to be on booklets of scripts to say, what questions do I ask? Or did I ask the questions in my customer management system? We have configured the system so that they could do that claim intake through Benekiva. They have a workflow solution; they have a requirement solution. There is no guessing game when it comes to adjudicating the claim, as well as how can we start to move the needle in the life side to auto adjudicate the claims. In the P&C world, auto adjudication was happening a long time ago. In life, paying lip service, people talk about auto adjudication, but not many carriers are doing that. We have the capability to allow them to do that.
JAMES: Do you integrate with their claim system or replace it?
BOBBIE: We can do both. We are a startup and our foot in the door is, we are a claim system. What we have seen though, is we are replacing their claim system. Because their claim system cannot do all of the different features and functionality that claim staff needs to do, as well as the experience the beneficiaries are really asking for. Those claims systems are more like an adjunct to an admin system, so they do calculations and all sorts of admin type of functionality. Which if you think about it, the claim staff maybe use these portions of it, but Benekiva can do all of that. Plus, have that nice front end for the beneficiary, that nice customer experience for the beneficiary. But we do integrate with admin systems to make Benekiva work, we need data from the system. So, we built a very flexible integration layer that allows us to integrate with any systems, including claim systems. They do not want to not replace their claim system.
JAMES: Understandable, Rob?
ROB: Bobbie, one of the things, when I think about you and I think about Brent and Benekiva is, you guys are so positive. A lot of folks in the InsureTech world have gotten to know both of you guys. And when we used to go to events, you were at pretty much every single event. It seemed like, you guys are always smiling, always laughing, always having a good time. And you are known for some of the video series that you put out, you know Making Lemonade out of Lemons and you guys have this wonderful, Happy Friday stories that you run, every Friday during the pandemic. I was fortunate enough to be a guest on one of those episodes. And you are just sharing stories about what happened this week, that was good in your life. So maybe you can just talk about A, the challenge as a startup to get noticed, get heard, like what drove you to this marketing strategy as a differentiator, and then B, how has that been working and how did you just settle on that? Because it is definitely something that is unique about Benekiva.
BOBBIE: From a marketing perspective, it is very interesting. When we came up with these video series, The Lemonade one, came out of a desire of, initially in my ecosystem, there are very few women entrepreneurs. It was all about making lemonade out of lemons. I would interview a lot of different women entrepreneurs so we could share perspective and motivate others to, hey, this is possible. You can have a side hustle if you are not ready to go full time. Marketing’s second. It was not about marketing. It was about sharing perspective, sharing knowledge. With Happy Fridays, we were so bummed about all of the negativity around what was happening in the state of the US with COVID. We were hearing news, blasting a thousand people died. It was just sad news.
And we were seeing our fellow InsureTech companies, telling us, hey, our investor pulled out. We kept hearing stories. The whole Happy Friday concept came of how do we spread happiness? Once again, the marketing angle came later to say, hey, we can publish this on Benekiva. And we can start tagging. It was an afterthought. You do not think of marketing first, it is like an afterthought. I think that has been like our success. We do not think about how we get new customers if we produce this content. The minute we do that, we do not get that. The minute we are very true to ourselves, true to our brand and what we are trying to do to make it better for the industry because it is going to help people, the minute the marketing angle starts opening up. And then it is like, oh yeah, we can do this. We can do this. It is a little bit of a different approach that we take.
ROB: It is super authentic to both you and Brent. It is who you are as people. And I think that comes through and it is not spin. It is very genuine, and you are just an inspiration. Because you post stuff about your exercise routine, which is insane. You are making me feel really, really lazy, and sob. You have wonderful photos of your daughter, you talk about your husband, you talk about your family and it feels like, you talk about work–life balance, but it is almost one for you, right? It is kind of integrated. And I think people embrace that genuineness about you and how it translates to your company. So, if you guys do not follow a Bobbie on social media channels, I encourage you to do that because she does a wonderful job hitting social media, for sure.
BOBBIE: Thank you, Rob.
JAMES: You know, when COVID hit, I had a really bad week, the first week of lockdowns. And I found myself downward spiraling mentally as well. And the best way to get out of it, I deleted all my news apps off my phone. I deleted all social media off my phone, and I left social media on my iPad, which I only touched at the end of the day. And my phone has literally no alerts come upon it at all. There is nothing, there is just like all my workflow tools and stuff. I have a lot of apps on there, but no news, no social media. And it was amazing how much better I felt. I really felt a lot better because it is like, okay, I can just deal with what I got to deal with. And I started setting these insane objectives for my COVID locked down. Like I am going to do this and this and this and knocked it out. I am glad to hear I was not the only one who was sick of the negativity. We got to focus on what we can control.
Let us wrap up with this. You are really focusing on the claims process and the claims problem. And you have already accomplished some really neat things in the area of trying to bring auto adjudication to the life insurance claims process and trying to transform their relationship between the claimant and the payer. But what is on the horizon? What are two or three or four years out that you would like to accomplish?
BOBBIE: That is a great question. I look at it from an 18-month perspective. What we are trying to do is create processes and automation to even further eliminate workaround that we typically see on the claims and customer servicing side. In the next few years, we want to start to tackle and crack the retention side of the house. We were starting to do that, but it is not fully there. So, the whole retention piece is, if I give you a great customer experience, a claims experience, it is a horrible experience, right? Personally, but if I give you a great experience, you are going to be better off. And if I engage the agents and financial advisors. Now they have an opportunity to do true retention with the assets. Based on our research for them, 4% to 6% of the time, their assets are retained. 94% of the time, the asset leaves the insurance carriers. And now they are trying to figure out new distribution models. They are not working on their book. With our model, we have a very strong hypothesis and research that show that, how can we start to retain that asset in house. So that is where we are starting to work with carriers on that. I would love to see several use cases on how we have successfully done that with some really good steps.
JAMES: That is awesome. Rob, your closing questions or comments?
ROB: Yeah, I love the way you almost bring P&C mindset to life. Is the way I am going to summarize it. You talked about the auto adjudication, you talked about that retention and it is different. You do not have that annual policy that you have in P&C, but you are right. We always know, positive claims experience. You can create a customer for life or gain a new customer through that experience. And again, I will make the analogy to auto insurance. People that have been in an accident and they may have to deal with not their insurance company, but another insurance company. And if somebody else was at fault, then they have a really good experience with that company they might switch and becomes a customer of that company. I just love that you are bringing this new and innovative approach to the life insurance side. Just curious, what has the reception been so far from the carriers that you have worked with, and then, what are you looking for? Who are you hoping to partner with? Are there new leads that you are looking to gain, or who would you love to connect with?
BOBBIE: Well, we have been blessed with the pandemic. We have actually been a COVID positive company, where we have been experiencing a lot of growth. Our team has grown exponentially in the last few months. I am hiring if anybody is looking for a role. But on the partnering side, I am actively looking now to partner with data companies. Because that is another trend that I want to look at third–party data, and how do you make that claim process, even more, richer that could feed into retention. That is where I am focused on. And from a customer perspective, we are pretty blessed. We recently celebrated our first tier–one in production that went life, and we have a few that are in the pipeline ready to close. Anybody that wants a great claims experience is who we are targeting. No matter what size. Because now we have proven that we can work with small to large carriers.
ROB: That is awesome great to hear that you have had success even during the pandemic. We know it has been a tough time for some but found out other founders such as yourself where actually business has never been booming more. It is great to hear about your guy‘s success. James, you want to talk a little news before we wrap up the show.
JAMES: Yeah, absolutely. I saw you have two news stories. I would love to talk about what you brought up.
ROB: We have had Darcy Shapiro from Cover Genius on a few episodes back. And this came across the newswires this week. They got a $15 million Australian, so that is 10.8 million US, more funding to expand. And they are looking to integrate with even more distribution channels. And, so as you guys might remember, this is the one API to rule them all episode where they talked about being able to sell insurance products, from a variety of products, variety of carriers, and what you might consider nontraditional channels. So, e-bay, Wayfair, companies like that, just meeting customers where they are. Going outside that traditional agents or brokers or trying to sell direct over your websites. So, congrats and, we are super excited to see that!
And then, the second one, we have not really talked about catastrophes, which used to be my bread and butter. It used to be the world that I lived in, James and Bobbie. And headlines this week, I guess it was a little back and forth with the Trump administration that has denied California’s requests for federal relief. And I am sure that it is a little bit of back and forth there. Hopefully, they will get it worked out but just highlighted that California has actually exceeded 4 million acres burned by wildfires in 2020. This is double the previous record. And I know I lived through some pretty bad years of California wildfires when I was managing cat exposure a few years ago.
That is not my world anymore, but we have had a number of hurricanes as well. We are up to the Greek letters. Hurricane Delta. And I even saw a new news item that said that hurricane Delta, estimated losses were 15% better than was expected because it followed and partially in the path of hurricane Laura. So, the fact that Laura already damaged property when Delta came around it, it actually made the losses a little bit less than they would have been. It has been a really bad catastrophe year. And, we just have not talked about it yet that much. I know it is probably flown out under the radar in many ways with the pandemic and the election coming up and everything. But yeah, I just wanted to have put a spotlight on it. And I think I had read that over 20,000 firefighters, from all around the world, and I have come and helped with the California fires. So, a special thanks to those that have been in the front lines and it continues to be a big issue for folks out West.
JAMES: Yeah, absolutely. And, certainly, obviously, all thoughts go out to everybody that is actually out there trying to mitigate that by fighting those fires. It has been a hellacious year, but, from an insurance perspective, you also have to know that there are going to be some consequences to a heavy hurricane year in a heavy fire year in one year. We are in hurricane Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, we have gone through all the named hurricanes and we are into much higher storms. Although, the second one that made landfall in Pensacola Mobile, that area, was pretty rough in comparison to the Lake Charles hurricane. It was moving so fast that it was not able to sit there and churn, like a lot of previous hurricanes did, but still a pretty heavy claim year. You are going to have to look at what happens to premiums and, certainly, there will be out of all kinds of pain that will come more technology to Rob. And you have to understand that every time you have a big bad year like this, there are always entrepreneurs and money that are looking at where the problem is and how they can solve it with tech.
I do have one news story I want to close out with. This is out of Chicago. I always like to keep track of, new InsureTech startups. The founder of DataCubes, a guy named Kuldeep Malik, launched an InsureTech startup. This was just reported, today, about three hours ago. Pretty familiar, Chicago tech personality. He has formed a company called B2Z. It targets small businesses that are still run by their original founders, have up to 25 employees. It is a small business insurance provider. They simplify the language for the buying process for business owners and are trying to drive simplicity to a mass market of smaller employers. I thought that was pretty interesting. They are rolling out coverage in two States. Illinois and Texas. Good to check out. Again, that is a B2Z-insurance.com and they have a bop and a work comp program. You can go and check that out and they are targeting two States and a few industries, worth checking out what they are doing, and seeing who the new InsureTech startup is because the news just hit the wire.
We will check that out and see what it is all about. I think we have more of those to come. You will have companies who want to help other insurance companies as InsureTechs and then tech companies who just want to become the insurance company themselves. And certainly, we are seeing a good bit of that. That is all the news we have this week. Bobbie, absolute delight to meet you. Stay positive, keep working hard, and thank you for helping transform a beautiful industry.
BOBBIE: Thank you for having me on this show.
JAMES: Awesome. And as always, the most interesting man insurance, endofinsurance.com. That is Rob Galbraith. Rob, always good to see you. And I am glad things are well in San Antonio.
ROB: Thanks for the plug, Bobbie. I appreciate it. Was so good to catch up with both of you guys. Great episode. I really enjoyed the conversation. Thanks for the plug. The check is in the mail, Bobbie.
JAMES: Yeah. I was actually chewing on your book the other day. I was reading through something again. Just to get my brain around it. It is good stuff. Really good stuff. If you have not read his book, go read his book. This has been as always, yeah, there you go, another plug for Bobbie. As always, this has been the InsureTech Geek podcast powered by JBKnowledge. It is all about technology that is transforming and disrupting the insurance world. I have been your host, James Benham, JamesBenham.com with co-host Rob Galbraith, endofinsurance.com. Big thanks to Jim Greenlee, our Podcast Producer, Kara Dalton-Arro, our Creative Producer, and Adéle Waldeck, our Transcriptionist. Remember you can see this on the video too, on all of our social media channels. You can go watch it on Vimeo and Twitter and Facebook and check our video stream out.
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