The Attachment Point – SlackChat#12: A Discussion on Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends Report

Welcome to The Attachment Point. This is our SlackChat content where volunteers on The Insurance Nerds Slack Channel (join here) discuss various topics. We do very little editing (so excuse the typos) and we try to keep it as conversational as possible. Enjoy!


Nick Lamparelli: Nick set the channel purpose: The Purpose of this channel is to discuss the voluminous report Mary Meeker published and it’s implication to insurance/insurtech

Nick Lamparelli: Hello everyone. Welcome to SlackChat#12. The purpose is to discuss Mary Meeker’s Slideshare on 2018 internet trends. I want to see if there are any brave souls who would be willing to summarize what they learned from the slide deck?

Nick Lamparelli: Here is a link to the deck: <>

TechCrunch – Mary Meeker 2018 Internet Trends Report

Rob Galbraith: The report should be called “the Exponential Trends Report” as virtually every chart shows a massive increase in something or other. For insurance, I think the proliferation of connected devices, particularly for “smart home” applications, is highly relevant both from a data, loss prevention and cyber perspective. Also, the continued use of mobile for commerce, the digitization of money and gamification.

Ryan Deeds: What’s up nerds fam. I keep seeing twitch as an interesting platform and it seems like it has a lot of growth left. Is there a way we can start shaping the perception of our industry with younger folks through that mechanism?

Rob Galbraith: So, I can’t speak specifically to that, but I am on record as saying gamification has humongous potential in our industry. Humans learn best through trial and error, but insurance is generally not the space to “experiment” because the consequences of “getting it wrong” are financially devastating, as we’ve all seen. What better way to allow people to experiment with different options and “see” the results of those choices in a safe way.

Nick Lamparelli: Rob Galbraith I have thought about gamification forever. Before the internet became ubiquitous (yes, I am that old), I was envisioning a board game to teach and simulate and wrapping it into software to build a database. We humans, know so little. If there was a wisdom room, our human knowledge would be the dust on the floor. We need games to spark curiosity, test ideas and to make the process satisfying.

Nick Lamparelli: I think that connected properties will be a use case that can lead to an enormous shift in the perception of the property policy. A connected property has advantages for both the insurer and property owners. I don’t think insurers are doing nearly enough. I recall a conversation I had with Bill Wilson about the $20 steel hose he bought for his washing machine and how insurers should have at least had a policy to reimburse him for that purchase that could have saved $1000’s in potential claims. But nope. Connected properties will languish as an insurance vehicle because most insurers are just too timid to get in front of it and take any risks.

Garrett White: Morning Fellow Nerds, I am about 50% of the way through the nearly 300 slides, I think there are some vast takeaways through this whole presentation and from a society standpoint, one big item is that, we are evolving and becoming more mobile connected and our interfaces are constantly changing.

Garrett White: I think gamification in our industry would be huge, but I am not sure how we move it from obtaining knowledge (which let’s face it… outside folks in insurance, no one wants to learn more about insurance) to some sort of value/transaction phase… Ideas?

Nick Lamparelli: Garrett White,  I envision two types of games. One is specific for insurance executives/professionals. It would still be a game, but it would capture the business ramifications of decision making throughout the business model (for example, every so often a surprise natural disaster hits, which then affects other parts of the model and a new set of decisions need to be made OR a regulator denies a rate increase etc.) the other type of game I was contemplating would be more consumer oriented. I love Sim City, I was thinking something like that except abstract insurance decisions are added in the background so that we could peer in to see how consumers would use these risk transfer tools in action.

Garrett White: Ryan Deeds I’m interested to see the evolution of twitch, hell it may become the next YouTube for the next wave of folks. One item that I think is absolutely paramount, is that we as insurance professionals need to stop thinking in the same boxes, and realize that these other mediums will be viable channels in the long run, even if we cannot and do not understand how to capitalize on them now.

Tony Cañas: At Nationwide I participated in 2 different software simulations of running an insurance company and I learned so much. I always wondered why don’t we put them on the intranet so everybody can play them and learn the 40,000 ft view of the industry regardless of their role, instead they’re restricted to some 30 people a couple of times a year.

Nick Lamparelli: Tony what was that simulation like? I’m curious

Tony Cañas: It was built on excel but looked much sharper than that. It was kind of the old text games, you made decisions as a team for each quarter (underwriting, pricing, staffing) and then it produced results. You were trying to grow while keeping your LR under control and competing with the other teams. In the second one you’re a small brand-new carrier and you also have to make reinsurance decisions.

Tony Cañas: The results were a lot of graphs

Tony Cañas: And while making decisions you could see forecasts

Tony Cañas: But based on how far your assumptions were from what ended up actually happening your forecasts would thus be off

Tony Cañas: It left a deep mark on the way I see insurance

Rob Galbraith: Love this Tony and totally agree with you!

Nick Lamparelli: How can we focus the Insurance Nerds gang to team together to build something like that?

John Hassan: I may be interested in helping with the computer programming side of something like this.

Tony Cañas: An open source insurance management training simulation would be amazing!

John Hassan: Exactly

Tony Cañas: I wonder how much coding talent we have among our crowd… I can only think of 2-3 that code.

Nick Lamparelli: that’s all we need. I think the hard part will be figuring out what the game would look like (strategy etc). I doubt it would be too complicated for a reasonably good coder to develop.

Garrett White: Tony I think that would be awesome, to have sort of a “carrier” launch sim… with some elements of pricing, reinsurance, market and UW strategies. Could actually drive some younger folks into insurance…

Garrett White: After reading through all 294 slides (breezed through China.. sorry China) and listening to Mary’s presentation… I’ve come away with some key take-aways 1) Amazon: They are a force to be reckoned with. With the levels they are at, it seems that they will be able to enter the insurance market and make a splash. I think this may be the “key” disruption that could up-end the marketplace. 2) Tech is Rising: The market continues to evolve payments, voice, social and companies continue to dump money into R+D in these areas. This provides an adopter opportunity for carriers, brokers and agencies that are willing to branch out and try something new. 3) Distribution is Changing: From mobile everything, to subscription and pay-for service models, the next generations will desire items that fit into the products they are used to consuming.

Nick Lamparelli: Garrett White  What role will Amazon play? Do you think they will play in the homeowners or auto sandbox?

Garrett White: Nick I really think in that simple P&C landscape… (Home, Auto, Renters)… They already have a brand following, and enough data to actually rate in ways that typical insurance folks might not think about… Albeit, you would need to get them filed and approved… I think Bezos has some friends that might get that done.

Nick Lamparelli: ok. do you think they will take risk or just intermediate?

Garrett White: Nick with their moves to steal some Lemonade people, it’s hard to say… They may just want to disrupt the distribution and partner with a large carrier or really start their own. Tough to say.

Nick Lamparelli: My $0.02 is that they will focus on margin and just sell coverage and let the carriers take risk. I would be very interested in anyone else’s opinions.

John Hassan: <>

Amazon reportedly had discussions about offering home insurance

Garrett White: Think about all the consumer data they have. Scary.

Nick Lamparelli: Garrett White that and the ability to mix technology equipment into the sale. Sell a package of smart home technology and throw homeowners insurance in OR sell homeowners insurance and throw the safe home equipment in. Then capture the data from the equipment and keep devising more products.

Chase Russell: I love the idea of the carrier management simulation. Especially having just finished CPCU, learning about the reinsurance aspects, regulations on growth vs surplus, etc. Would be nice to have visual implementation. Much like the ones they do for MBA students.

Nick Lamparelli: we will need to figure out what a small next step might be for this. I will need to discuss with my tech man Ryan Deeds when he’s available.

Nick Lamparelli: @channel any other surprising insights from this monumental deck of information before we close down SlackChat#12??

Ryan Deeds: Chase Russell I love that idea as well as a broker centric one.

Garrett White: A little more in-depth article on Amazon here… <;et=editorial&amp;bu=PC360&amp;cn=20180607&amp;src=EMC-Email&amp;pt=Daily>

Nick Lamparelli: @channel thank you everyone for contributing. I am closing this SlackChat and this will go live Wed 6/13.


About Nick Lamparelli

Nick Lamparelli is a 20+ year veteran of the insurance wars. He has a unique vantage point on the insurance industry. From selling home & auto insurance, helping companies with commercial insurance, to being an underwriter with an excess & surplus lines wholesaler to catastrophe modeling Nick has wide experience in the industry. Over past 10 years, Nick has been focused on the insurance analytics of natural catastrophes and big data. Nick serves as our Chief Evangelist.

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