In September 2020, Pie’s Co-founder and President, Dax Craig, was a guest on The Ryan Hanley Show podcast. Hanley, an insurance agent, asked Craig about how Pie got started, how it’s been able to grow, and where he sees the company in the future.
Craig explained that while Pie is a frontrunner in the burgeoning insurtech space, using analytics in insurance pricing is 15 to 20 years in the making. Not a lot of insurance companies leverage data because the infrastructure to do so can be expensive—and just acquiring the data can be difficult. Once he figured the technology out, he tried to sell the analytics piece to insurance companies. When that didn’t work, he decided to start his own company.
“We kept trying to get people to pay attention and nobody would, so we said, ‘You know what? Let’s go see if we can do it ourselves’. That’s how Pie was born,” said Craig.
To build the company, Pie reverse-engineered the insurance-buying process by 1) figuring out what customers wanted and needed first and 2) aligning the technology to meet those needs. From its inception, Pie employed a multichannel distribution network, selling to both agents and directly to small business owners.
“If you make it super easy for the agent to do business with you, they can actually serve that small business so they’re no longer ignored,” Craig explained.
Through data analytics, Pie is able to bring the pricing down in many industries, even difficult-to-place small trades like trucking, landscaping, and painting. With Pie, small business owners can save up to 30% on workers’ comp coverage.
“I can’t stress enough how important the data and the data science are,” Craig explained. “That’s where other carriers have to catch up.”
When asked if Pie would write a policy based on an agent’s input (but against what the analytics found), Craig says the company already provides a combination of technology and the human touch. He said if there’s a “compelling argument” for why the analytics are wrong, for example, a new lockout/tag out program was implemented or the company sold off the subsidiary that had prior claims, his company is willing to entertain that “profitable risk” submission.
“As an agent with a carrier that uses analytics, my request is for you to tell us that those kinds of things are important and smart carriers will listen,” Craig said.
Craig said that his goal is to create the largest small business commercial insurance company on the planet by continuing to support small businesses through competitive pricing of workers’ compensation insurance.
“Will we get there? I don’t know,” says Craig. “But we’re sure going to try.”
You can listen to the entire podcast on the Ryan Hanley Show.
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