The Theory Of Changing The World To Be Eyeballs Rather Than Profits

by | August 21, 2020



In this episode of Agents Influence podcast, host Jason Cass interviews Bill Martin, President and CEO at Plymouth Rock Property Assurance. Bill talks about how he got into the insurance industry and his journey to becoming the CEO. He also discusses the value of understanding the analytics and data in the industry.

Episode Highlights:

  • Jason introduces Bill Martin. (3:06)
  • Is Bill an iPhone or an Android user? (3:41)
  • What was the last app that Bill downloaded? (4:56)
  • Does Bill love to win or hate to lose? (6:10)
  • Has Bill listened to Jason’s podcast before? (6:44)
  • What does Bill attribute to his success, skill or luck? (7:02)
  • Bill shares the first big break of his career in insurance. (7:55)
  • Bill shares his background and journey to success. (8:40)
  • Bill mentions that he did a series of three startups. (11:56)
  • Bill says that the main idea is that you should be able to know before you offer somebody insurance what you need to charge them. (14:43)
  • Bill mentions that there is no great insurance story that isn’t a distribution story. If you have great agents, you’re going to win. (18:00)
  • Bill explains that he gets to concentrate on making his product more attractive to both the distributors and the customers, and that’s where the value is going to be built. (18:46)
  • Would it be safe to say that a lot of CEOs don’t think like Bill? (19:25)
  • Bill mentions that there is some brilliance to the delivery of really good ideas that aren’t apparent at first. (21:38)
  • Jason shares that the distribution system has given him a life, he never thought that would be possible. (22:15)
  • Jason thinks that a lot of people lose sight of understanding that it’s a passion, a willingness, and a desire to change an industry and have it look perhaps, different. (22:34)
  • Bill shares that there are some great things about the regulation that we aren’t embracing enough, but there are also some things that are just getting old. (24:24)
  • What is the game plan that Bill cast as a vision for Plymouth, and how does he see the future? (26:14)
  • Bill mentions that he started the small piece of a company called Neptune Flood Insurance. (26:50)
  • Why has the industry not tried to take over the National Flood Insurance Program? (28:46)
  • Bill explains the two reasons why NFIP started. (28:55)
  • Bill shares that it’s not wrong to tell everybody what the secret formula is. Because they’ll come in and ease the pressure on you to offer rates that are not affordable if you aggregate. (30:57)
  • In Jason’s opinion, data is the single biggest differentiator in the insurance industry. (32:06)
  • Bill talks about an announcement from someone in Insurtech. (32:59)
  • Bill shares that it’s weird how they’ve used data to improve the insurance company’s lot, and they haven’t used it to improve the insure policyholders lot. They tend to use it to make their loss ratios better and out segment everybody, but they don’t use it to make the customers’ lives easier. (34:13)
  • Bill says that the interest rates can influence companies, but the companies that are influenced are the ones that probably aren’t going to survive in the long term. It’s the ones that are disciplined through the interest rate environment that will survive. (40:02)
  • Bill mentions that he’s reading the book entitled The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (The Revolution Trilogy) by Rick Atkinson. (42:31)
  • Bill thinks that CEOs often don’t have time to be nuanced. (42:51)
  • Bill thinks that the big factor for a lot of agencies is that they need to be really good technicians and they need to be really good with people. (44:05)

Key Quotes:

  • “I’m not trying something that’s enough on the edge to really make a difference. So if I don’t push the edge and fail, then I guarantee you that I’m not going to have something that succeeds.” – Bill Martin
  • “Anybody can lose money, you just lower rates. Anybody can make money and not grow, you just raise rates… But nobody seems to be able to grow and make money at the same time.” – Bill Martin
  • “I’m going to do the thing that does make sense and we’re going to compete with it, and there’ll be millions of things that don’t work because there are reasons we do things the way we do, and those reasons don’t go away just because you tried something new.” -Bill Martin

Resources Mentioned:


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