I don’t think anyone would disagree when we say “2020 is one for the history books.” Defined by a global pandemic, we have lived most of this year in a new remote reality and suffered the loss of loved ones. This year also challenged our country to have difficult and meaningful discussions on diversity and inclusion that will make us stronger today and into the future.
When we look internally at IVANS, 2020 has been a year of change and growth for us as a company, with the most significant development happening near year’s end when we named longtime InsurTech player Reid Holzworth as CEO of IVANS. Reid’s been busy shaping the strategic direction of the company, meeting with customers, and engaging industry associations to bring the value add of IVANS to the next level in 2021 and beyond.
As we look into the New Year, we wanted to take a second to sit down and introduce you to Reid and what he has in store for the insurance industry.
What most excites you about the insurance industry in 2021?
We can make the entire insurance industry much more connected by streamlining workflows so that all parties, tech providers, agents, MGAs and insurers, are working more efficiently. We know that for insurers and agencies, adopting new technology and implementing digital solutions can be overwhelming at times. But we at IVANS know that getting tech solutions in place can enable everyone in the business to work more efficiently and be successful in the digital future — together.
In processes like commercial lines submissions, for instance, we can take data directly from an agency management system or data capture solution and push it to an insurer’s quoting system, so they instantly have all of the information needed to begin a quote — no email, no mail, no phone. All that is needed is that connection between the agency and insurer. This process and so many more can become simple.
What career steps brought you to IVANS, and how will that experience influence your work here?
I’d call myself a serial entrepreneur. I started my first business as a kid at 19 years old and ran my own companies until I fell into insurance. In 2007, I had some friends who bought an insurance agency, and they were still doing really well even when the recession hit.
I was fascinated and decided to come on board, got my insurance license and was able to watch as they grew the business from a very small agency to about a thousand employees. Through this growth, I saw how important technology was to the business and everything else there was to know about the business.
Being an entrepreneur, I eventually decided to start my own agency, and I built the technology that worked for my business on the Salesforce platform. The technology worked really well so Salesforce reached out to bring the software to market. TechCanary became the #1 insurance solution on the Salesforce platform and was acquired by Applied in 2019.
It is with this entrepreneurial point of view that I come to IVANS. I want to build upon the great foundation IVANS has created. To bring new and innovative solutions to the entire insurance industry, solving problems I know I saw when I was an agent.
What types of initiatives do you plan to launch at IVANS?
I’ve always thought that IVANS was such a big opportunity for the industry. There’s so much that can be done to streamline the overall insurance workflow. Over three decades, IVANS has built the connections that connect the industry. With those connections, there are so many opportunities for us to modernize many of the manual, inefficient processes that still plague the industry.
Think of IVANS as the superhighway of insurance. Each exit is a different insurer. Independent agencies can hop on the highway through their management systems to access markets, exchange policy and client information, and download documents from insurers. This infrastructure already exists between more than 430 insurers, 40 MGAs and 40 different management systems. Our focus now is to modernize this highway and continue to build upon those connections.
Any other thoughts as we put a close on 2020?
I’ll just quickly end with the fact that it is truly an honor to join a team that can so greatly impact the industry in a positive way. Many people don’t know that IVANS actually stands for Insurance Value Added Network Services. It was built more than 35 years ago to digitally connect the industry, and we will continue working so that the industry only becomes more and more connected. It’s really time to use the connections that have been built and provide valuable, innovative solutions that continue to streamline all the processes throughout the insurance lifecycle. 2020 has been a tough one, but I am optimistic 2021 will be better, and we plan to spend it building technology to benefit the entire industry!