How Fast Is Insurance?

Justin Suttmiller

Them: It’s hard, it takes forever, it’s regulated, it’s legacy systems, it’s...

Me: Yeah, I know. I’ve felt it, I’ve lived it, I’ve seen it, I’ve probably caused some of it!

Them: Well it’s  not going to change, that’s just how this industry is. If it was easy to go faster, everyone would be going faster!

Me: Bullshit!

That’s the totally fictitious conversation that has been bouncing around in my head since I walked out the doors of the Big Corporate Insurance Carrier world. 

Fast forward 45 days, and I’m  in my new role, leading insurance product for Coterie. I had my first (of what was soon to be many) “WTF Moments.” 

Our team is supposed to be getting together to set 90 day goals, but the meeting never actually starts. So here we are, sitting in “the” conference room (the only one in our 1,000 square foot HQ), asking the exact same question: What the hell are we doing, and why is it taking so long?

It had recently become brutally obvious that our plan to launch a streamlined version of our insurance product in just a handful of states over a couple months, just wasn’t going to work. That’s not how anything  works in startupland...especially insurance startupland. 

This led to a crazy day that soon became a sleepless night.

Luckily, our actuarial consultant is based in Australia, half a day ahead, so a late night of back and forth with him, lead to an early morning flurry of text messages with our team.

Me: I think we’ve got something!

Them: Can we really do that? How much will that cost? Who is going to do it? Has anyone done anything close to that, and at our size?

Me: We can handle the cost, we will do it ourselves, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else has done or not done because it’s what we’ve GOTTA do. 

This one isn’t fictitious, this one actually happened.

So that brings us back to the title of the post. “How fast is insurance?”

Our answer: “Who cares?”

We don’t know how fast insurance is, but at Coterie, we know how fast we can be.

In the past 140 days we have built, filed and received approval to write BOP and GL in 40 states and Professional Liability in 30 states. In all seriousness, I have been on teams twice the size of this one that took 6+ months just to implement a rate change for an existing  product in a single state.

Crazy? Maybe. 

Necessary? Absolutely. 

So, if you’re reading this as a fellow insurance nerd, we have a question for you:  

How crazy are we?

And if you’re a startup junkie from outside insurance, we have a question:

How’s this for fast?

All you insurance people who might be reading this:

If your brain works like mine, you’re poking holes and asking 19 rapid-fire questions

about what we’re doing, how we are structured, what’s the product, etc. -- you’ll definitely want to check out Part II of this post (coming soon), where I’ll go into the insurance stuff for real.

Lastly, if being a part of a team that pushes any and every boundary they can find sounds cool to you (regardless of your area of expertise, industry or background) we would love to connect and hear about your super powers.

Thanks for reading, and if you have an answer to the questions above, just email me at Justin@coterieinsurance.com


Running a business takes enough of your time. Start a quote now and get your business insured in minutes.

Get a Quote