Jun 10, 2019
Why I Joined Embroker – Art Ilinets
Insurance is meant to be a tool that’s used to help businesses protect themselves and operate freely and efficiently. Every step of my career has been part of a journey to find a way to most optimize the insurance purchasing and servicing process for my clients, the majority of which is from the construction industry.
I began my career in insurance straight out of college, working for a boutique, regional agency and followed that up by becoming a VP at one of the largest brokerages in the world. I learned and grew quite a bit at both establishments. However, I saw some fundamental flaws that I thought needed to be corrected in both spectrums of the industry. As a result, I started my own agency, Resolve Insurance, to try and fix those flaws.
I invested in technology and other insurance services to enable my own agency to offer better resources while providing white glove service to clients, both large and small. I wanted to improve the customer experience. I sought to focus on service, communication, and efficiency. I wanted insurance to be a tool for my clients and not a necessary evil. The worst thing I could imagine was a client not getting paid because it took too long to provide a certificate of insurance or process an endorsement needed to meet a contractual requirement.
Few businesses know firsthand the issues that exist around dealing with insurance better than construction companies. Premiums are higher, service is slower, and purchase options are scarcer.
Construction companies pay exponentially more for insurance than other small business. Proper coverage and proof of it is frequently a requirement needed to land a project or get paid for one already completed. This proof of insurance is usually provided in the form of a certificate of insurance (COI) on the industry standard Acord 25, accompanied by various endorsements pulled from the policies the certificate is referencing.
These COIs are often needed immediately: For example, a plumber trying to get an emergency job to fix a serious issue at a building that’s flooding. It’s a simple document, but many contractors hate how long it takes to obtain one. Should it not be instantaneous? How long can it take to print a form? I always thought these requests should not take more than a couple of hours, if not minutes.
Clients commonly cringe at the thought of their insurance renewal. It’s a process often filled with endless applications that have more questions than anyone ever wants to answer in one sitting. I always thought that the process made doing business harder when it should have had the opposite effect. The back and forth between broker and client never left anyone happy and it’s no surprise that you see both insureds and brokers letting things renew without marketing the policies because it simply takes too long and people have businesses to run!
When I founded Resolve Insurance 3 years ago, these were some of the issues I wanted to fix. When I was approached by Embroker to head up their construction practice and bring over Resolve Insurance, I thought it was a match made in heaven.
Embroker has spent the last three years focusing on the customer experience and correcting some of the fundamental issues in the insurance industry that I have been lamenting since I started my career. It was an opportunity to take what I had built and was dreaming about and combine it with a company that shares the same values, and while implementing and deploying advanced technology to achieve the best results for my clients.
Embroker gives the power back to the insured. We remove the endless trails of paper applications and eliminate the back and forth. The insured can do everything via their Embroker account. They can buy coverage, renew coverage, request endorsements, view or download policies, request certificates of insurance, and our newest feature (and my personal favorite), instantaneously generating certificates of insurance and seeing benchmarking for coverage types and pricing.
There is no reason an insured should have to wait days for a basic certificate of insurance to get paid or bid on an important job. With Embroker, they will never have to. Insureds should have access to their policy documents and data at all times. With Embroker, they always will. Insurance customers should not have to wait days or weeks for updates to policies that can be processed within a day or two. Embroker automates the process and provides full transparency.
I am thrilled to be starting the next chapter of my insurance career as Vice President and Construction and Real Estate Practice Lead at Embroker. Three years ago, I started Resolve Insurance to actually resolve insurance, and this is the next step towards realizing that goal. Every day is about addressing pain points and deploying solutions to fix them. There is nothing more professionally gratifying than knowing you have fixed a problem for someone and provided a solution. At Embroker, we are doing that every day.