Carrier + Agent w/ Frank Sentner & Seth Zaremba

On the first ever episode of the Innovative Carrier Podcast

Keagan Henson of BriteBee is joined by two of the “leading leaders” in the insurance world, Seth Zaremba, owner and founder of Neon, and Frank Sentner, sole proprietor at Sentwood Consulting, to explore how Neon can help agencies and carriers relate more to each other.

About Seth and Frank | 2:26

As an independent agent, Seth was frustrated with the lack of infrastructure in the insurance world. He wanted to change that so he developed the Neon platform. He thinks of himself as a road crew that is going through and updating the pipelines between the carriers and independent agents which will allow them to communicate more effectively.

Frank has been in the insurance game for a long time. As a consultant, he has been providing technology solutions for 43 years, but still loves to learn how to make them better. He is dedicated to addressing the needs of insurance agents and their insurance carrier partners.

Frank first met Seth after hearing about Neon from a mutual friend, Chris Paradiso. He then flew out to Ohio to see first-hand how Seth was running his business. Seth uses a unified communications platform that provides real case management for insurance. Frank has never seen anyone focus on the communications and emotional content side of the business, and has now integrated that into his own work.

What is the state of Carrier Innovation? | 6:55

There are some amazing things happening on the carrier and independent agent side as well as in the insurtech space. However, these three groups rarely meet. Which is a major waste of opportunity for everyone. There was a time when these groups could go on doing their own things, but nowadays everything is all about the customer. These groups need to all work together to create a cohesive complimentary system for the customer. Insurtechs and carriers have created amazing solutions, but unless they can get together with the independent agent channel to build common solutions, they won’t be successful. Technologies like microservices and APIs are only as good as the the efforts made to collectively implement them. The challenge that faces everyone is allocating resources to them. It’s important for all these groups to work together.

Is the Consumer Disrupting the Industry | 17:59

Frank believes the expectations of the customer is drastically changing the industry. Insurance is very different from any other product. Customers want to be able to shop for insurance like they shop on Amazon and it’s tough for insurance personnel to compete with that. Insurance agents struggle with giving the customer a positive experience when shopping. Independent agents, carriers and insurtechs can’t think of themselves as competitors anymore because this creates a hostile environment. They need to start thinking of themselves as a different branch of the same company to help serve the customer because in the end, we all serve the same customer. Seth and Frank have been working for years to make this happen and it’s going to take more than that.

How can this Podcast make a Change? | 24:15

We influence by making this Podcast available to the people. We change by making sure it gets into the right hands. We have to gain mindshare with people who are making decisions. These innovations can start with just a couple carriers, but we need to get the message out to integrate it into other areas. It’s impossible for people to ignore dollars and cents. If we can usher a conversation about the economic benefits and drive it into the listeners mind, the message is going to get out.

Takeaways | 27:15

Frank believes that independent agents aren’t the only ones that need to manage their communications. Carriers need to manage it just as much as the agent. Carriers receive mostly service communications and their responsibility is the satisfaction of the customer, so a platform that can manage this will not seem intimidating. Frank wants to leverage this new platform by talking to carrier call centers and tell them how this product can help. He believes the mission is to figure out who you need to talk to to implement the Neon platform.

Seth has three carriers that want to run service centers off of this concept. So he feels focused on what he has to do. He believes he needs to be doing something or else he will be at war with himself. Insurance is so misunderstood which compels Seth to change this. His final takeaway is that carriers agents, and insurtechs are all partners. If we all treat each other with respect, great things can happen because of it.

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