Auto Insurance Report
National Conference 2015


The Waiting List is now closed. We have reached out limit for attendees. We hope to see you next year. Sign up early! Discounted rooms in our block at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach are open only to registered attendees. – Conference Chairman, Brian Sullivan

Auto Insurance Report National Conference 2015 Topics and Speakers (as of March 1, 2015)

Google: The Online Shopping Revolution and Lessons from the UK market, Francis Nicolas Weng Kan, Director, Google Inc.

Online shopping for auto insurance is well on its way to consumer acceptance, but the arrival of Google Compare to the U.S. marketplace provides a potent catalyst that increases the speed and intensity of this already disruptive force. Nic Weng Kan has already helped introduce online shopping to Europe, and joins us today to help explain how Google plans to work with insurers, shopping sites, and consumers to transform the insurance shopping experience in United States. With years of experience in the tumultuous U.K. market, he will also try to explain how lessons learned there might eventually find their way into the U.S. market.

The Connected Customer Comes to Claims SettlementBrad Weisberg, Chief Executive Officer, Snapsheet

With 90% of Americans now carrying some form of portable computer/communicator/camera (sometimes called a smartphone) in their pocket, it stands to reason that people are ready to use these new technologies to make their insurance lives easier. Chicago’s Snapsheet is one of the leaders using these revolutionary devices to help speed and improve the settlement of physical damage claims. CEO and co-founder Brad Weisberg will share with us the opportunities, and challenges, found by integrating the customer more directly into the claims process.

The Usage-Based Insurance Data Clearinghouse is Born (in Commercial Auto), Chris Carver, President, ATG Risk Solutions

For the past several years we have been arguing that consumers and regulators will not allow insurers to keep data on their customers’ driving behavior to themselves. Eventually, something akin to a credit bureau will be born to collect and consolidate consumer driving data so it can been seen by the consumer, and shopped around to multiple insurers. The idea of a driving data bureau is now reality, but it begins in the commercial auto insurance business. Chris Carver of ATG joins us to explain how the bureau works, how it might change commercial auto underwriting, and what lessons might be transferred to the eventual personal lines driving data bureaus.

License Plan Scanning Data is Now a RealityAlex Young, Vice President, Risk Solutions, Digital Recognition Network

The business of tracking vehicles through photographic scans of their license plates as they move around is booming. Starting as a means of helping banks find cars that need to be repossessed, the idea of using the growing data sets as a way to track vehicles for insurance uses was first introduced at our 2012 conference. Three years later, insurance applications for licenses plate database have moved from concept to reality. License plate scans are a proven tool for identifying fraudulent garaging addresses. Can this data set move to the next stage, and help insurers identify usage and travel patterns? How are regulators, and the public, responding to this new data set?

How Millennials Shop, and What That Means for Agents, Patrick Sullivan, Associate Editor, Auto Insurance Report

Any minute now, the 82+ million people who make up the Millennial generation (roughly ages 20-38), will become the most important buyers of property and casualty insurance. A quarter of the total population, this emerging economic force will continue the long tradition of being completely different than prior generations in that the way they shop and buy insurance products. In this session, Auto Insurance Report Associate Editor Patrick Sullivan will explore what is known about Millennial behavior and how that might play out in future insurance shopping. Though behaviors are still evolving, there are early signs that all might not be lost for insurance agents, if only they can learn to adapt to the unique behaviors of this rising generation.

The Sharing Economy Comes To Automobiles, Alex Benn, Chief Operating Officer, RelayRides

With every passing day, we get further and further away from the seminal songs of the 60s and 70s about how much people love their cars. Instead, we are cruising into a new future where cars are seen by many as transportation appliances to be used as efficiently as possible. One of the best illustrations of the changing times can be found in RelayRides, a six-year-old San Francisco firm that enables individuals to rent out their personal cars the same way a rental car company would. Unlike ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, RelayRides creates no complications for personal auto insurers – all rentals are covered by a high-limit commercial auto policy. But as an indicator of how consumers view their vehicles, few people have better insights than Alex Benn or RelayRides, who joins us with surprising tales of automotive free love.

Online Shopping is Ready for its CloseupKeith Moore, CEO, Coverhound; Andrew Rose, CEO,, Adam Lyons, CEO, The Zebra

Online insurance shopping, complete with price comparisons from multiple insurers, is now a reality. But the experience is hardly mature and the near future will see even more revolutionary changes than the recent past. In this panel discussion, three pioneers of the online shopping industry will discuss the many opportunities and challenges before them. Some sites will be full agencies seeking to close sales and keep commissions, others will be lead generators and referral sites, attracting customers, offering them prices, and then moving them along to insurers or other agents for the close. Still others will be a hybrid of the two, sometimes following a different path depending on the desires of each insurer, and each consumer. What is more, there are enormous challenges and opportunities to come in the acquisition, sharing and use of consumer data. How will insurers, data providers, and shopping sites work together to maximize the consumer experience while simultaneously maximizing profits for all parts of the transaction? Truth be told, there are so many variables in online shopping that we could allocate a full day to the discussion, so this hour-long exploration will be rich with insights and is not to be missed.

Making the Back Office Sing, James R. Kaufmann, Senior Vice President, Claims, California Casualty; Michael Jackowski, Global Managing Director, Accenture; Carson York, Senior Vice President, Insurance, Digital Matrix Systems, Inc.

As insurers lavish attention on the wonders of data analysis they are running up against a blockade few fully anticipated: inadequate infrastructure. Hobbled by an inability to effectively handle claims, manage policies, or account for all the activities of the customers and prospects, insurers with outmoded infrastructure are not only inefficient but also ill-informed. Thus it comes as no surprise that insurers are working feverishly to upgrade existing infrastructure through aggressive investment in better internal resources, or through purchases of third-party solutions. In this session we’re fortunate to have Jim Kaufmann of California Casualty, a pioneering insurance company executive at the forefront of implementing and utilizing third party claims management software, Mike Jackowski of Accenture/Duck Creek, a senior executive of one of the nation’s leading providers of third-party infrastructure, and Carson York of DMS, a senior executive of a specialist in connecting insurance company systems with insurance data vendors. Together we will explore the imperatives and nuances of modern infrastructure development, with an eye toward understanding the challenges facing insurance companies today, and in the years to come.

Restarting the Stalled Usage-Based Insurance Express, Brian Sullivan, Conference Chairman and Editor, Auto Insurance Report

Technological advances do not always speed progress. The remarkable achievement of using smartphones to track vehicles and measure driving behavior has put the brakes on the implementation of usage-based insurance, just as

Progressive Insurance proved the power of the concept with millions of customers and billions in premium in its pioneering Snapshot product. Now insurers, Progressive included, must contend with the uncertain future of costly devices connected to vehicles’ onboard diagnostic ports. In the session, conference chairman Brian Sullivan will examine the status of the leading UBI programs, the state of the art of smartphone UBI technology, and the prospects for the UBI industry once the technology fight is settled, allowing progress to begin anew.

Dispatches From The Front: Explaining “Price Optimization” To Regulators, Alex Hageli, Director of Personal Lines Policy, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

Since the birth of the modern actuarial profession more than a century ago, insurers have used mathematics to measure past losses and use those measurements to calculate the likelihood of future loss. Despite the rigors required to be certified as an actuary, predicting the future based on the past is now, and has always been, a highly inexact science. Once presented with the best work of the actuary, insurance executives, aware of the shortcomings of the science, have always added a degree of market knowledge to the mix before setting a price. No matter what the actuary says, if the price is too high, no one will buy and if the price is too low, profits will be inadequate, or disappear altogether. The combination of huge data sets and enormous computing power has begun to bring more rigor to this process, though the outcome remains inexact. The road toward greater intellectual rigor in price setting, however, brings with it questions about the nature of actuarial science, the intent of regulation, and the fairness of pricing presented to consumers. In this session, Alex Hageli of PCI will explore how regulators are responding to new pricing models, often dubbed “price optimization,” and how insurers can protect the advances in time-honored pricing behaviors without running afoul of public opinion and regulatory restrictions.

Twenty Trends, Brian P. Sullivan, Conference Chairman and Editor, Auto Insurance Report

Every year we end the conference with this summary session that highlights the most important trends facing the auto insurance markets. We look back to prior predictions to see where we might have gone wrong, and to celebrate a bit on what we got right. And we strive to provide action plans to ensure future success.