A few months after joining Livegenic as Senior Vice President of Technology Partnerships, Dave Grever sat down with a business journalist to talk about his journey through the insurance industry, plans for his department, and what the future holds for the industry. Here is part one of that discussion.
|Dave, can we start by talking about your new position at Livegenic. Could you tell me how you propose to direct your past experience in your new role as SVP of Technology Partnerships?
|Given my background, what I’m hoping to bring to the table, is the ability to see the insurance carrier’s point of view and also that of the customer and the claims adjuster – three pivotal players in insurance – by developing partnerships with other key vendors serving the insurance industry.
I believe all carriers, large and small, need and can benefit from this technology, as it’s the future. I believe that I will be able to demonstrate to the Insurance carrier...how their current processes work and the flaws therein.....in order to help them understand how, incorporating Livegenic into the process, can improve the process and their bottom line.
|Speak to us about your very impressive personal 30-year journey in insurance?
|Yes, actually it’s closer to 40 years, as I joined Aetna Life and Casualty in 1977 right out of college. I left Aetna and went to AIG in 1996. During my career, I’ve done essentially everything in Claims, from outside field claims handling to auto appraising to management. My experience includes both personal and commercial lines claims. Over the years I progressed into roles of increasing responsibility – supervisor, manager, executive – so I’ve been able to see how things work from several different angles.
We merged the half dozen or so claims departments and built a single system...It was around 2002 when Jim Porcari (now Livegenic Executive Chairman) came on board at AIG, initially as a consultant to help us figure out how to consolidate our various claims departments (we had several different personal lines claims departments or companies that were all operating somewhat independently) different systems, management, processes and procedures. AIG corporate brought Jim in as a consultant to help us figure out how to bring all that together, as what we were doing was simply not an efficient way to work.
Jim, who later became head of claims, saw the technology spark in me and asked if I would head up – what he called Claims Technology! We merged the half dozen or so claims departments and built a single system, migrating everything over time to the new single system we had built. I continued in that role as head of Claims Technology until 2009 when we were acquired by Farmers.
|After the Farmers acquisition, I had an opportunity to move to IT where I held various management positions including a period where I was responsible for a data centre. I was a Business Major in college, so I was completely self-taught in technology. I surrounded myself with a good team and learned a lot from them as well as working with vendors in the technology space.
|In 2015, I left Farmers to join QBE as Head of Technology for Shared Services, another IT role. QBE outsourced certain IT functions to Accenture, so again, I gained further experience partnering with vendors, which gave me a good understanding of both the importance and the challenges of working with vendors.”
|With your long career in insurance - you have had the advantage of being a senior leader in both the personal and commercial lines of insurance - as an industry, what are the developments and also the challenges that you’ve seen throughout this time?
|Most carriers are working with outdated legacy systems that are not well integrated. They generally shy away from the use of cloud-based storage, and they have limited capital to invest in new technology.
I saw that in my most recent experience at QBE. In Claims, we hired a lot of independent adjusters to inspect property or auto damage. Even working with technology vendors, the tools the vendors had were difficult to integrate, and that was a real challenge for us. Even for large companies, budgets and resources are limited and the industry is generally slow to adopt new technology. They don’t have the money to spend on video collaboration unless it’s already integrated with something else they’re using, and typically insurance companies don’t have the appetite to do this on a stand-alone basis.
|As someone who has been involved in, and observing the insurance industry for some length of time - and during your time as an advisor to Livegenic - what are the values and innovations that Livegenic brings to the industry?
They have developed the best platform out there.During my time as Advisor to Livegenic, I saw they had the solution to some of the problems we faced at QBE, and that I knew other carriers were experiencing as well. I realized that there wasn’t anything else like Livegenic out there. No one was doing live video collaboration well. Livegenic had really built something the industry needed. They have developed the best platform out there.
|Which leads me to my next question. Given your Claims, IT and Operational experience, how would you help clients – specifically the insurance carriers - to optimize their processes with Livegenic’s new technology?
|Partnerships are very important. Take, for example, QBE who is already working with partners like Guidewire and Symbility, a vendor that connects carriers with independent appraisers and adjusters.
When I was still at QBE in October 2017, we held a technology summit in Chicago, where we brought in about 20 different vendors to present their technology to us. They were a good number of startups and others who had been around for a while. After each session, we scored them to ascertain which technologies warranted a further look – and I can tell you that Livegenic had a very compelling offering. We saw what they were capable of.
However, as is the case with many large organizations, implementing this (the Livegenic Platform) as a standalone system, was not part of the strategic forward planning. Therefore, the partnerships that Livegenic is developing with Guidewire, Hyland and Symbility are extremely important.
Once those relationships are in place, we can go back to QBE and other carriers and say, you don’t have to do anything. We already have Livegenic integrated with the platform you’re using, you just have to turn it on. This slots in easily as part of something you’re using that would improve the processes immensely.