Successful Partnerships in Insurance: From Disruption to Evolution | Bryan Falchuk and David Gritz

by Juan de Castro, COO Cytora

This a shortened version of Making Risk Flow podcast, episode: “Successful Partnerships in Insurance: From Disruption to Evolution | Bryan Falchuk and David Gritz". In this episode of Making Risk Flow, host Juan de Castro sits down with Bryan Falchuk, the President and CEO of Property & Liability Resource Bureau, and David Gritz, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of InsurTechNY. Drawing upon research gathered from the Insurance Collaboration Index, the trio discuss the impact collaboration can have in the insurance industry. Juan, Bryan and David also cover key lessons for nurturing successful partnerships, why it’s important to maintain a transformative mindset, and enlightening case studies that can be replicated.

Listen to the full episode here

Juan de Castro: In previous episodes, we've talked about the vision of commercial insurance from many executives in the industry, and many of them mentioned that they are working with InsurTechs to really deploy scalable solutions at pace. And at the same time, we've also heard quite a few horror stories about how those partnerships have gone terribly wrong on both sides, on the side of the insurer and on the side of the InsurTech. So today I wanted to do an episode on what it takes to build a successful collaboration between insurtechs and insurers. And who better to discuss this topic with than two thought leaders that have recently published a book on this very specific topic, Bryan Falchuk and David Gritz. Bryan, David, thank you so much for joining me today.

David Gritz: Thanks for having us on. 

Juan de Castro: Let's start with a brief overview of your background and what are you focusing on at the moment. Bryan, do you want to start? 

Bryan Falchuk: I've got a mix of mostly carrier time, a bit of consulting to carriers, and then I made this big jump into insurtech. Spent some time within insurtech, and then I spent the last several years trying to help insurtechs and carriers effectively work together better. And that's been fun and difficult. There's a lot of opportunity, a lot of amazing things going on in the industry that are important. And at the same time, I’ve lived it firsthand and then seen so many other companies live it on both sides of that equation, there's a lot we can do to get better, to move the industry forward. And that's sort of me in a super tight nutshell, but I've been publishing this book series, The Future of Insurance, for a few years now to help do that, to give people some stories to help inspire them to say, well, what if we did this a little bit differently.

Juan de Castro: David? 

David Gritz: Yeah, I got involved in the insurtech space in 2015. I was recruited to join a workers' comp carrier that spun off an insurtech called Zero, focused on zero days of lost work. So no one getting injured, no one getting hurt in factories and other high risk settings. Helped grow the product and eventually the business until we were able to sell it to Everest. Actually, that's one of the chapters in the book and a lot of the lessons that I learned in that process. And then I spent some time helping the Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator run their programs, collaborating between carriers and startups and investors and noticing that there was really an open opportunity on the East Coast started InsurTech NY with my business partner, Tony, to really form an ecosystem in New York, pulling together insurtechs, carriers, and investors from all over the world. 

Juan de Castro: So starting with you, David, why did you decide to publish a book and why on this specific topic of collaboration? 

David Gritz: Really, a lot of the concept for it came from the discussions that we've had with insurtechs that have been through our programs. We run an accelerator program for growth stage insurtechs from seed to Series B, and we also run an MGA lab from pre-seed to basically Series B, helping MGA's. And all of those necessary components, whether it's a B2B software company or it's an MGA, they have to rely on the carriers either to be their customers or to be their capacity providers. And a lot of the founders had frankly complained to us and said, you know, this is really hard, some of these relationships take more than a year to form and really be fruitful. And I wish that there was a way for this to be simpler. You know, some carriers are great to work with, others are not, but there is no roadmap or science behind who's the best. Tony, my business partner, and I put our heads together and said, well, what if we did some research on which carriers were easier to work with and which ones were more difficult and what were the key factors? Bryan was probably one of the first people that we called up and said, Bryan, what do you think about this? And he had done some research in the auto industry where they had a similar index that kind of compared the OEMs to some of their suppliers and vendors. And we said, well, why don't we turn this into an index to rank insurance carriers on how good they are working with startups? That was the original vision that led us to the insurance collaboration index, which eventually inspired the book because the book contains instructive stories about some of the things that we learned in the broader collaboration index research. 

Juan de Castro: Sometimes people talk about what's the recipe for a successful collaboration, but I think you guys have put a really good structure around it. So tell us a bit more about that insurance collaboration index. What does it measure? How did you identify the different factors of the index? 

David Gritz: The original vision for the index was actually to rank carriers based on how good they were working with startups and getting the data from the startups, because there are a lot of startups that have had interactions, and generally we thought it was easier to get the data from them. What we learned in the process is that there are a lot of startups, and a lot of carriers that work with startups. So one of the key tenets of it was to make it anonymous so the carriers could be completely honest with us. But in order to do that and create a ranking, there had to be enough startups that were ranked with enough carriers. And what ended up happening is there just wasn't simply enough data available on each carrier at each startup. So we would have a dispersion where we would have a lot of carriers that have one ranking, two rankings, three rankings, but very few that had four and more rankings. So it made it very difficult to be anonymous. So instead, we focused on the data that we got in general, like the factors that led to success, things like executive sponsorship, the correct allocation of budget and funding, how quickly issues get resolved, do carriers do too much due diligence or just right, and are the resources available on both sides to make it happen for the entirety of the project? And those factors allowed us to really compare across different relationships and interactions. But really, we learned that the most important thing was the stories behind it. And that's kind of where Bryan's expertise came in from his previous books and interview processes that kind of led to the idea of creating the book and ultimately the process and the completion of the book. 

Juan de Castro: You've published this as part of a book, I guess a new carrier won't understand how they rank within that index. How do you help carriers in doing that self-assessment? 

David Gritz: We ended up giving up the ranking component. I mean, obviously from the data, we determined what the most important factors were and the book really talks about those. In terms of what we do as an organisation, we're not a consulting firm, so we're not necessarily solving that problem. But what we do as an organisation is help with that matchmaking. We help, I would say, find the needles in the haystack for the carriers, the right startups for them to work with to help make some of those interactions more fluid. And we'll support some of the initial partnership component of it through our growth stage accelerator and some of our matchmaking programs throughout the year. 

Juan de Castro: Is this index mostly to rank or to measure how good insurers are in collaborating with startups? Or do you have the opposite index to show how startups work with insurers? 

David Gritz: We only went one direction, but Bryan, feel free to add onto that. 

Bryan Falchuk: You know, I mean, I think that's a really interesting second piece to it. And I know through the work InsurTech NY's done, through the work I've done, so many other people that were part of the collaboration index work, we've certainly seen the other direction matters too. It's as much what is the environment that you're navigating through, and as it is how you're navigating it. So if you're that startup, you know, could the carrier be better? Absolutely. But the flip side is you could also do a better job bushwhacking through the jungle yourself. It takes two to tango. So that's definitely interesting. I think what we came up with was, you know, we had this idea that we could rank the carriers and have this index and whether we did it or another organisation did the consulting on that, you could help folks, you know, rise up in the index. And that's what goes on in the auto industry and the J.D. Power work that a lot of carriers are a part of. But then when we did it, we didn't have enough meat to be able to do that. So rather than that ranking and all the things that could come with that, whether it's one direction or both directions, what we said is the survey tells us what matters, but what it doesn't do is tell us how to do well on what matters. And that's where the stories come in. And that's what we realised is the survey is fine and it gives you those factors, and then, you know, you can run with that. But the truth is, I think for a lot of us, those things are like, hey, it matters if you have budget, it matters if you have resources, it matters if your executives are bought in. People are sort of like, yeah, I know that. And it's the same thing with the books. Takeaways are not earth-shattering, like, oh my God, no one's ever thought of this before. It's somewhat obvious, yet we still struggle with it. And so that's where you have to get a level deeper to be able to find something that's material and implementable and impactful. And that's why we all said that we need to dig into some of these stories and see honestly, what went well and what didn't, why, and what could we take from that. That someone could hear those details and say, okay, now I get it, now I know why we're getting stuck with this thing that seems blatantly obvious, yet we can't seem to do it. 

Juan de Castro: Let's do that, right? I think it probably would be really interesting to deep dive into a few of those case studies and really listen to what went well, what didn't, and some of the lessons learned. So Bryan, just pick one and tell us a bit more about it. 

Bryan Falchuk: We had five stories, 10 companies, because each story had an insurer, a legacy insurer, and a startup. And they're totally mixed, lots of different things going on, different kinds of relationships. We had Nationwide and a company called Kinetic working together on an IoT safety device and workers comp and making an investment and then also launching an MGA together to provide workers comp insurance. We had one of the farm bureau insurers, Mountain West Farm Bureau and Guidewire. Everyone probably has heard of putting in a cloud core system. It was a very ambitious project. Mountain West had tried this several times before, they had five failures of putting in new core systems, including two with Guidewire, but this one was quite a success. Ohio Mutual and a company called Pinpoint Predictive using AI to try to figure out what customers’ behaviours, propensities, and likelihoods to do certain things. And there's a particular use case that they had. Really small carrier out of New York City called American European Insurance Group or AEIG, and then a company called Protosure, it was a low code, no code way to sort of bridge the gap before they could put a new core system in place, yet not be made irrelevant amongst their agents because their systems were so far behind and their products were as a result of system constraints. And then the one I'll talk about a bit more is Homesteaders Life and a company called Benekiva, which is a really interesting story. For so many reasons, Homesteaders made an investment into Benekiva and was their first customer, but Benekiva wasn't even really a company when all that happened because the founders still had their day jobs. So there was a lot of uncertainty to that, but that story was around a claim system in particular, which is how Benekiva started and, Homesteaders being a life product insurer, not the core life, they have a life-focused product, they had lots of constraints for 117 year old mutual insurer from Iowa. You know all the things on paper that made people think they're not gonna move fast. A new CEO came in, made those decisions about making an investment because he recognized it's not just about getting a new claim system, it's about changing the culture, it's about trying to move forward. And I think their investment beyond the dollars and beyond saying, yes, we'll buy your system, was really about investing in themselves to make change. And you see that throughout. The good and the bad, the ways that they work together, you can see how it's about changing the culture. It's about engaging differently and recognizing we can't keep doing things the way that we did, and then scratch our heads as to why it's not going well. And there were a number of examples around this, but I think the biggest lesson in it was the fact that they were both an investor and a customer. And that can create problems. And they saw it early on where Benekiva was, you know, building the system a certain way and when you've worked the same way for decades, that feels very different as an SME in the business, a subject matter expert. You don't like that. You don't like hearing, I've always pressed the button this way, and now you're telling me there won't even be a button to press, I don't understand. And so there was this pressure to sort of say, well, like we own them or we gave them all their money, they have to listen to us. Hey, you know, that doesn't always lead to the best answers. And the flip side for Benekiva, they could have said like, hey, you know, you're making this multimillion-dollar investment in us. What's going on as a customer is sort of irrelevant because you invested in for the market potential. So why don't you tell your people to just deal with it so we can make more money off of your investment? And you get these sorts of conflicts of interests. And look, that's a specific one between investing and being a customer, but you see it all the time, even when you've decided to build your solution, the IT team and the business team, are they really working together? Are there conflicts of interest? What are the politics at play? And are those things leading to the decisions and the type of engagement? Or have you built the structure for interaction in such a way that you don't have that coming up? And that was foundational to this relationship where the CEO who was leading the investment side, he decided I'm not gonna sit in on the project team itself. I'm not gonna be a part of that steering committee because I have to draw a line and we have to put up a wall here. And it's not to say I won't know what's going on and I won't be invested in it emotionally and, you know, in my role, but if I'm playing both sides, it's gonna be very difficult for me to respect where that authority lies. And that came up over and over again, where his team would say, can't you just make them do this? Or Benekiva would say, this is difficult, can't you step in? And he had to let them sort those things out themselves or the project would always need training wheels. It would always need someone to step in. And that's how you saw Homesteaders change and Benekiva really defined their customer interaction for the long haul. So they're all these very specific decisions in the structure, in the type of engagement around how they work together. It's not about technology, you know, it's not about how much money or what specific, did you put on this cloud platform of that? None of that actually matters. It's about these foundational decisions from a culture standpoint, really, of how you're willing to engage, but then actually living that. We're going to meet this frequently and just because you're busy doesn't mean we're gonna skip the steering committee this week. Doesn't mean like I said, I'm not gonna step over this line, but we really just want you to get this done. So I'm gonna tell you to do it because we gave you a bunch of money. All of those decisions, when they actually come to the point of being tested, I think it's impactful to watch how you actually live those rules that you set up. 

Juan de Castro: Definitely, but you mentioned part of it is the structure of how they decided to make decisions and the freedom for the startup to also suggest their own path. But in that case, how important was it that it was the CEO himself who actually decided or pushed the investment? 

Bryan Falchuk: I mean, there's no question that was pivotal in this instance. That's not something they had ever done before. It was something obviously the board was supportive of or it wouldn't have happened, but that was a huge leap. And you know, Homesteaders, they're not teeny, but they're not massive. And life insurance has some like mega hundred billion dollar balance sheets in it. So they're not at the scale of some of those carriers. And they recognized, you know, we're not gonna set up a hundred million dollar CVC. We're not gonna have some fund that we manage ourselves. That's too much for us. But at the same time, we could be an LP in an existing fund or, you know, another insurance focused fund. But then we're so separated from it. We're just writing checks. We're not actually seeing things firsthand, learning firsthand, and having a real hand in it. And that's why they recognize we have to make direct investments ourselves on this smaller scale. And I think that was really interesting. So that was a strategic choice that they made. And yes, that took the CEO. And then it took them living that. And they've made a few of these now. It's funny, one of the things the CEO said is he always mapped out, well, what happens if this doesn't play out? What happens if the investment doesn't work? And what he's defined as the upside of a failed investment has to be good enough to be willing to make the investment. 

Juan de Castro: So, have you followed up with them since then? Because one of the things that was going through my head is, obviously, there's a bit of cultural shock initially, like giving some freedom to the startup. What happened once that startup hopefully acquired other customers, right? And then, obviously, the startup is being pulled in different directions. 

Bryan Falchuk: Yeah, and for me, I was lucky that when I wrote the story, a lot has played out. This is all in the book. But to that point exactly around acquiring other customers, they always knew that was gonna happen, and that's why they were making a commercial investment. What they hadn't thought about is, what if it's one of our direct competitors? That did come up fairly quickly, and that was a really great test. It's like, okay, what do we think about this? First of all, we have to tell the competitor that the main investor, only investor in that part, is Homesteaders. But then you have to make the strategic decision, are you being protectionist? And there's competitive strategic reasons why you might be, but then you may be harming your investment. If you're open about it and you recognize, that if I'm going to market to get a SaaS solution, that means everyone that they serve in serving those other companies, I get a benefit as well. I mean, what's gonna benefit you more than if they're serving a direct competitor? Because that's everything they're doing in that space is gonna be beneficial to you. But it goes the other way. So everything that they're learning by serving you is gonna help your competitor. That was a tough decision to make, but because they drew that line in the sand, where our role as customer is separate from our role as investor, and the upside of investment has to be, we have to have come into that with a clean conscience and eyes wide open, that allowed them to navigate that choice. And they said, yes, we will allow for that. In hindsight, they're glad they did that because that unlocked benefits for Homesteaders as a customer, but also really started to turbocharge things for Benekiva. And they were supposed to be a life solution, they're now in P&C as well. And they're in several of the top 10 largest P&C carriers in the US, which is pretty amazing for a company that literally didn't exist a few years ago, well months. I think that's fantastic. It is about the way you're willing to engage. And when you hit these walls that I think we traditionally as an industry would always say no to, ask yourself why? I see this every day, I was looking at a claims prediction solution. This is when I was a chief claims officer and we were all talking about this at a round table and one of the other CCOs of the table said, yeah, we can't do that because the tail on our business is so long, we won't know if we made the right decision or not on that claim based on that prediction. And I'm sitting here and I'm like, your loss ratio is around a hundred. Loss ratio, not combined ratio. Why are you suddenly afraid of something that might help you make better decisions? Cause I can tell you what you're doing right now is not better decisions. Your decisions are not okay right now, but because you're comfortable with them, somehow that feels like the right answer. I think we have to get off of that kind of thinking mentality. If it's not working, something different doesn't necessarily have to be bad, even if it's unknown, but you can also break it off and do pilots and see how things are developing. And it's just that risk-averse mentality. We need to think differently about that. Or it's not just we'll be stuck and we'll just sort of stay as we are, the opposite will happen. We will shrink. We will stop being relevant at some point. 

Juan de Castro: That is a fascinating story. Now I'm hungry for at least one other one. I’ll need another one. 

Bryan Falchuk: The Mountain West Guidewire one, I think, is important for the industry. I mean, in all honesty, as an industry, we have wasted probably hundreds of billions of dollars, literally, on core system projects that should have been done in much less time and much better. Despite what everyone says publicly behind the scenes, from what I've seen, the vast majority of core system projects take significantly longer, deliver significantly less scope and significantly less value than anyone anticipated going in for much more money. So it's worse on every front. And Mountain West was not immune to that. They were in the same boat. They brought in a new CIO who had done ERP deliveries in other industries, never been in insurance. And he heard everything about insurance, but came in and immediately saw all of the, we can't because, or we have to do it this way because, and he did the due diligence on the solution and saw the SCAD Wire's cloud-based insurance suite, claim centre and policy centre and billing centre on the cloud. And he said, look, it can do everything we ultimately need it to do. And it can do that out of the box. And if we don't believe that, we shouldn't be using it. So if we believe that, we have to go in with that mentality and defend that mentality and not do what every carrier does is like, well, but we need to customise this and we need to customise that or configure this to such an extent that it's really customization. Because as soon as you do that, you can't take upgrades, everything takes longer. And what you end up doing is you're rebuilding the way you've always worked for decades, just in a new and unfamiliar system. So it's actually worse off because the business requirements are, I hit this button, it goes to this person, they hit that button, it goes to-, you're just rebuilding the same broken processes in something unfamiliar. So that's no good. It's easy to say that. And I've been at lots of carriers as a consultant or employee who've said that. And that's not what they do. When it really comes down to it. Joe underwriter, who's very powerful, makes the decision that it's going to work the way I want it to work and it's built that way and you end up worse off. So it took the CIO standing up and saying, no, and the CEO had his back. And what's funny is when he made these really definitive, almost like, I wouldn't say threatening, but very strong statements to the leadership team. No one baulked. And he said, he thought it was because they were on board, but it's actually because they've heard all this before. It's never gone that way. And so they're like, if we just ignore it, it'll go away. But they set things up again, like the decision-making in the beginning, they set up weekly steering committee meetings. I don't know anyone who's done a weekly steer co. I know lots of people talk about it and very quickly they fall off, it's not optional, vacation or other holiday. You cannot miss it. The reason is we are going to hit major decisions. And if we can't come together to sort through them with the people who are actually the ones empowered to make those calls, we're never going to make this work. They had a 12 month delivery, I mean, anyone who's done core systems, that's insane. At the very first steer co, they hit one of these like, go, no, go, you know, we've made a decision going with Guidewire kind of calls, where Guidewire did not have a bundling of products kind of mentality. And one of the core things of the farm bureaus is they have a bundled product offering and it's differentiated from their competitors. It's like, okay, well Guidewire doesn't even have the conception of what we sell. This isn't going to work. It has something else. It has account billing so you can rebuild the package on the bill. It's not bundling, it's packaging. You can't have the package as its own product. And so you can say, well, we can customise it, which that's not what they said they were going to do, or we need to make a decision that we're not going to market the way we've marketed. We're going to change how we approach the market and we'll get to the same outcome, but it's going to look and feel very different. That's a strategic, you know, product decision, underwriting decision, marketing decision, that's a CEO level decision. If you have the CEO out for that steer co, and then you all come together for the next one, but this time the head of claims is out or the head of the CMO is out or whatever it is, you end up kicking the can down the sidewalk over and over again, never making the call you need to make. And so they said, everyone has to be there. It's not optional. You have to be prepared for the meeting and we're going to face tough decisions. They made that decision in the first meeting to yes, move ahead, change the way they're doing things so they can keep the system as is. And they hit multiple points like that throughout. And what the CIO said is, you know, it was pulling teeth initially getting people to be like, yes, you need to give up your schedule and move things around after about a month or so he couldn't ask people to not show up and today the company, not only that's how they wanted to work, but also he said, I couldn't get them to customise a system if I tried because they've already seen it's so much easier. They go live faster. They end up getting things that are better and they can get the upgrades. So it's allowed them to get early access to a lot of API driven third party tools and Guidewire’s marketplace. They've been either the first or within the first three to get any upgrades from Guidewire, including major upgrades to the next version of the system. And it is just like the flywheel spinning for them. Obviously, there's a lot more to that story, but that one's critical for the industry because of the fact that we've blown so much money and value on core system projects. So this point to me is like, can everyone just please listen and actually pay attention and then behave differently? Cause that would be like, imagine if you clawed back a hundred million dollars from that last core project that was supposed to be 80 million almost to 280, you know, like what if. 

Juan de Castro: In these cases, you're thinking of why it worked well, isn't because they define very clear rules of the game of we team mandatory steer goals, no customization, etcetera. Or is it the takeaway in general to avoid customization? 

Bryan Falchuk: No, it's the first one, the structure. And I think a lot of carriers say these things and that's what the idea is in no one will be like, oh yeah, that's profound. It's the fact that they actually did it and they really were not willing to bend. And it's the same thing with Benekiva, even with all the other stories in there, they said weekly steer cos and they meant it. They said no customization and they meant it. And one of the things they did for that was we're going to go live with it the way it is. You're going to take the off the shelf version of how they solve for what you're saying you must have that it can't do. You have to try it. And if you genuinely cannot transact business then we'll change it, but you're going to live with it first. And I've been to some places where we've done that. People are hooting and hollering this. I can't do this or I can't work this way. We're like, okay, work with it for two weeks. At the end of two weeks, come back to me. If it genuinely does not work for you, we'll do something about it. But the change management, the discomfort side of it, we have to make sure that's not really what this is. And I've never seen anyone walk back and say, no, yeah, it genuinely doesn't work for me. It's a tough thing to do. You do need the right, I mean, executive sponsorship, David mentioned from the survey, that's front and centre, super important. That was the one thing that was highly important that carriers actually do pretty well on, but you gotta really live it. And that's not just upfront when you're getting people excited. That is, in those weekly steer cos, their CEO was there every single time. You should be. There's a lot in it that's, what are the rules, but are you actually living them? I actually don't care about customising or configuring it. I think you should take it off the shelf, but if you really do hit a hard stop, then you need to think about what you do with that. Maybe the answer is customization. I'm sure a lot of people are upset with me for saying that, but it's less about whether you make that call or not. It's more about whether you have the right rules of engagement in the first place because then you know you're making that call for the right reason and not because of insecurity, politics, fear, discomfort, or any of the reasons why we tend to make those calls. 

Juan de Castro: Yeah, another fascinating story. I would love to go through all of that. But I do think we should leave some stories for people to read the book. If you think about all the case studies or all the stories in the book, what are the three, or five key takeaways that are from those stories? 

Bryan Falchuk: One, you and I are ex-management consultants, so we only think in three. So there are always three sorts of meta takeaways that span all of the cases. They're going to seem really obvious, but the devil's in the detail of how you do these things. But the first one is to make fast, rational decisions. I love that one because everyone's like, right because making slow, stupid decisions or irrational decisions, obviously that's not going to be the recommendation, but it's structurally rules wise, value wise how do you actually put the things in place to make sure that's what you're doing. So that's first and foremost. And that's both the sort of structural decisions about how you're doing things, but also the responsive decisions to the things you're gonna face because there will be ups and downs. How do you live through that? And the next one is to be on the same team. So not thinking about us versus them or the vendor, you know, who can you blame? The CIO at Mountain West, again, Tim Hays, he was like, if you're blaming the vendor or the system integrator, you're missing the point that you're the one who hired them. So if it is their fault, it's actually still your fault because you're the one who chose to work with them and you didn't manage them effectively enough to avoid that problem. So you can't have blame be a reason for separation. You have to be on the same team. And this one I've seen internally with build situations or just operational situations, as much as buying a system. You know, I always ask when I present on stage about the book, I said, like, how many of you work at a company where IT is referred to like a person? You know, IT said this or IT said that, or I always share, I've worked at British carriers for 10 years and at one of them, London was a person we talked about in the US like, well, London won't let us this or that. It's like, who's London? They're not separate. It's all one place. And then the last one is respecting the lines of responsibility. And we heard a bit of this in the Benekiva story, but it comes up in all of them where, you know, we all have our responsibilities and our roles. We need to engage in a way that's open and honest. And so if, you know, you're responsible for underwriting, I'm responsible for claims, I should have a say and be able to talk about and challenge what you're saying and viceversa for what I'm saying. But if it's a claims decision, it has to be mine. If it's underwriting, it has to be yours. And we have to respect that and stand by it. And you can't do that if you can't have the right kind of challenging openness. You have the right environment, but then when a decision is made, you know, we aren't going to customise the system, we are going to change our product. You're probably going to hear people grumbling. You're going to hear people who are uncomfortable with that, who say, you know, we made the wrong decision. Even if you disagreed with it, if you can be comfortable with the process and you respect that that was someone else's call, I have to stand by that and we need to row in the same direction here. You're much more likely to get the cultural shift that you're looking for and get the openness because you're helping people break through their natural barriers to change. So, you know, being on the same team, but then respecting that there are different responsibilities within that and being willing to stand with each other. Recognizing that we're not competitors, we're working together on this, whether you're inside or outside of the company. It doesn't matter. 

Juan de Castro: Definitely. It's a fantastic framework. Perhaps turning back to you, David, I mean, you obviously work with plenty of insurtechs, plenty of VCs. What has been the feedback from those communities on the book and what you've done that’s important for the industry? 

David Gritz: Generally, the feedback has been that’s a helpful guide, but I think beyond why it's important for the industry is really if you look at it from the big picture of where the money is going and where it's being spent. So Bryan made the point, right? If we had invested the hundred billion dollars that was misspent in certain core systems projects. I mean, for some carriers, that could mean being in additional states or not pulling out of additional states, meaning that the entire consumer base will have more options for more insurance products. At a global level, people are going to have better insurance products, they're going to have a better customer experience, and ultimately, there's going to be more resilience in the world from the insurance products that are out there. But at the micro level between the startups and the carriers, if you look at overall investment, roughly, if you split FinTech between banking and insurance, right? 90% of the money goes to the banking side, only 10% of the money goes to the insurance side. And I think partly that's because insurtech is younger than FinTech, if FinTech is kind of its older brother. But, you know, once they kind of get to age, they have the opportunity to really both be as influential in the market. But in order for that to happen, investors have to realise returns, which means that insurtechs have to have successful implementations and carriers have to get value. So the nitty gritty happens like when those years come together. The better that they come together, I think the better it is for everyone, like at the base level, you know, getting returns internally for the project, the startups being successful, the investors making money and then the overall industry being more resilient. 

Juan de Castro: In this podcast, we talk quite a lot about how to make underwriting workflows more efficient and effective to deliver better outcomes for clients and more affordable products, et cetera. And as you said, part of it, of making the industry more efficient is how do you get better return on investment on these partnerships, right? And, as Bryan mentioned earlier, how you stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in unsuccessful partnerships. I think it is a fantastic initiative that both of you and your partners have led. On one side for the insurers, to understand how they can build the most effective partnerships with insurtechs, but also why often, which is why I was asking for the other side of the index, carriers look at insurtech asking for what is the best way of engaging with you. So if also insurtechs could use some of these learnings to educate or to help carriers on what are the most effective ways of working together, I think that would be a huge tool too. Again, congratulations for the book and the insights, I think, bringing all these takeaways to light. But thank you, Bryan. Thank you, David, for joining me today. 

David Gritz: Yes, thanks for having us on.