Women in Insurance: Jocelyn Getson, Chief Growth Officer, Bindable

Women in Insurance - August 4 2021

In this interview series, we profile women who are shaping the future of insurance. This week, we speak with Jocelyn Getson, Chief Growth Officer at Bindable, a market-leading insurtech company focused on alternative digital property and casualty distribution. Prior to joining Bindable, Jocelyn held various leadership positions in the insurtech industry including Head of SMB Strategy at Slice Labs and VP of Enterprise at Corvus Insurance. Jocelyn shares her career path to insurance and Insurtech, how data and APIs are transforming traditional insurance distribution channels, and her predictions for the future of distribution.

Jocelyn, tell us about your path to insurance and insurtech. What attracted you to the profession?

Well, as a young child, I dreamed of being in insurance…. Doesn’t everyone?

Actually, it was a bit of an evolution for me. I am truly passionate about customer experience and the struggle of protecting and differentiating a brand while helping people in their most challenging moments. I started with service contracts and warranties, which is an industry that pushes you to think through the entire product lifecycle. For example, I was always thinking: “What could go wrong? How can we repair damage? What are the customer’s expectations?” From there, I transitioned to working on a variety of products including commercial, cyber, and personal lines P&C, but the consistent theme has always remained the same – being trusted with making the sale, service, and coverage as transparent, convenient, and relevant as possible for the end customer.

What do you find most fulfilling about the work you do?

I truly feel that we are doing positive things every day in the insurance space by helping people in their times of need, while making things easier for everyone involved through technology. My team and I have the opportunity to drive innovation and directly improve the customer’s overall experience which is exciting.

Commercial insurance distribution channels are being disrupted due to rapidly changing customer demands, emerging tech, and digital business models and ecosystems. Take out your crystal ball: what will commercial insurance distribution look like in 5-10 years?

I think commercial insurance will become more customized by leveraging real-time data and signals to underwrite the coverage more efficiently and effectively based on the risk. So, it will become less about industry classes and more about the specific insured’s key risks. Things like vendor contracts, location, digital exposures, and remote working employees are risks that change throughout the year and should be accounted for. I also think the line between personal and commercial products will continue to blur with the continued growth of gig and contract workers. People are using personal phones, cars, homes, and other amenities to conduct business; there should be holistic policies and coverage that follow the insured throughout their day no matter how they conduct business.

Distributors are looking for greater ease of doing business and have demonstrated a willingness to favor carriers that can meet their expectations. What can commercial lines carriers do to ensure that they continue to be the first choice of brokers and agents?

API, API, API…. Carriers in both personal and commercial lines need to have all of their products on a consumable API so they can integrate into agent-facing tools, provide for frontend quoting experiences, and embed offers in other relevant digital journeys. Extending into non-traditional channels will only help you reach more customers by meeting them where, when, and how they want to shop.

Throughout the pandemic, insurance leaders have had to manage distributed teams, and everyone has had to learn to collaborate 100% virtually and stay focused and productive. What lasting impact do you think the pandemic will have on the future of work?

I think people have really had to up their communication skills – from email to instant messaging to video conferencing. You can’t rely on the social component and your expense account; you have to rely on your ability to connect and communicate with your coworkers and partners. It really just proves that human interaction is key to everything we do and that, no matter how you connect, showing respect, trustworthiness, and care towards others is what really matters.

The insurance industry is in the midst of massive change, and the pace of change is accelerating. If you had to pick one technology trend that will fundamentally transform insurance over the next 5-10 years, what would it be?

The use of APIs. It is all about automating communication and data transfers, which can only be achieved at scale through APIs. We all know how important it is to meet customers’ expectations in order to overcome the competition. Data and personalized experiences are integral to meeting these expectations throughout the buying process.

Just look at what Amazon has done to retail. By using data and focusing on the customer’s needs, they set a bar that traditional retailers struggle to meet without the right investments in technology. But not only that; how consumers shop on Amazon has affected how they interact with everything from healthcare to banking. The consumerization of insurance and keeping up with customer expectations is only possible through API-driven solutions that use data to create seamless experiences.

The insurance industry faces a recruitment challenge with millennials and Gen Z choosing professions they deem to be more progressive, challenging and fun. Do you see insurtech playing a role in helping insurance carriers and brokers attract new talent to the industry?

Absolutely! Data science in particular is really a brand new, critical component of insurance going forward. Underwriters and actuaries are now empowered by the findings from their data science teams to better understand risk and how to price it. Insurtechs make it less about the “insurance” and more about the problems they can solve.

Think of how you would get a ride to the airport even just a few years ago; you’d probably wave down a cab (if you were in the city) or call days ahead to schedule a livery service. Now, we have ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft which helped enable finding an on-demand ride easier. However, I doubt most of the corporate staff at these organizations consider themselves as employees of a taxi company. Rather, they are focused on transforming a whole industry. That is where I see insurance headed and why people looking for a fun challenge should pay attention. Insurance won’t be as much about providing and selling policies, it will be more about creatively solving problems by making things easier and more convenient for others at large.

Looking to the future, what skills does the insurance industry need to invest in to stay relevant, innovative, and able to provide the kind of frictionless digital experience that customers are demanding? 

Dedicated data science, engineering, and CX/UX teams are key to future innovation in insurance. Treat your tech like it’s its own product and have a team focused around how to build a digital-first insurance platform to help grow your distribution and service opportunities.

According to a 2017 study, just 12 percent of insurance companies’ top corporate officers are women. Why do you think there are so few women in senior leadership roles in the insurance industry? Do you see a similar situation in insurtech with women in senior leadership?

I think across the board the insurance space is behind other industries from a tech and even regulatory perspective, and I think that could translate into hiring practices. If a company lacks diversity in their senior leadership that is very solvable; they need to audit their hiring and promotion practices for opportunities to improve inclusivity and implement changes to correct course.

What positive changes have you seen since you began in your career?

Across the board, our industry is making a conscious effort to improve overall customer experience by leveraging digital tools to find new ways to build insurance products, sell, and service them. That is naturally going to translate into seeking a diversity of opinion, ideas, and skill sets. By including more people at the table, organizations will broaden their thinking and ideally be able to service their customers with more personalized and diverse solutions that don’t just serve the mainstream.

What advice would you give the next generation of women considering a career in insurance or insurtech?

We’re truly at an inflection point in the industry. With new technologies and solutions being released (what seems like) almost daily, there is so much opportunity in our space to make a difference. There is also a real need for future leaders to emerge and bring a fresh perspective. I encourage women to channel their unique experiences to help solve big picture issues and to know how much value their thoughts and opinions genuinely have.

Jocelyn Getson HeadshotJocelyn Getson is Chief Growth Officer at Bindable. Jocelyn is an executive known as a change agent in the Customer Service industry. She is a respected thought leader who is a frequent speaker, valued advisor and writer, whose vision enables her to identify, develop and implement new programs for her organization and partners within multiple industry verticals including insurance. Prior to joining Bindable, Jocelyn held various leadership positions in the insurtech industry including Head of SMB Strategy at Slice Labs and VP of Enterprise at Corvus Insurance. 

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