Recently, CLARA Analytics announced the addition of two new members to its board of directors: Dave Hollander and Andy Pinkes. Last month, the CLARA team sat down with Dave to discuss his role with CLARA and what excites him about the opportunities ahead. This month, we take you on a deep dive with Andy.
Andy’s expertise has been honed over nearly 30 years in the global insurance industry. He has extensive experience leading change in complex organizations and implementing customer-centric operational strategies that drive profitable growth. His experience includes managing both domestic and international property and casualty and specialty lines, including legacy/runoff exposures.
To understand what makes Andy’s insights so valuable to CLARA’s future, here is an excerpt of our conversation.
Andy, welcome aboard! Tell us about yourself.
Thank you. It’s great to talk with you and to be a part of the CLARA team.
I started my career as a lawyer, and I practiced law before I entered the insurance industry. Then I served for just over 11 years at Travelers before moving to The Hartford for another 10 years. Then I spent two years as the global head of claims at XL, and most recently, I was with CNA, where I was responsible for the global claim organization.
What do you look for when joining a board?
In the venture space, the business must solve a real pain point and not be a solution looking for a problem. I look at a company’s senior leadership team and investors to see if they have a clear vision and passion for the business. They should have a track record of execution and delivering results. From a cultural perspective, the company needs to value transparency and embrace open and honest conversations.
What impressed you about CLARA?
CLARA is fulfilling a very real business need; has a leadership team with passion, vision and the ability to execute; and has a culture of transparency and continuous improvement. In addition, its investors have a proven track record of success and possess important expertise in this space.
What do you feel you bring to the board?
I hope I bring an independent voice and domain expertise in the P&C insurance space. Having been a buyer of products and services for many years, I plan to offer a perspective on the product, its evolutions, its marketing, and how to demonstrate the tangible value delivered.
What are your goals in your new role?
To provide an independent voice and share my experience as an operator, to help expand the breadth of CLARA’s offerings, and see CLARA achieve deeper penetration of the P&C market.
Why is our work at CLARA important right now?
For context, it is necessary to understand that there is a lot of discussion about a “hard market” right now, which the insurance industry clearly hasn’t experienced for quite some time. Almost all lines of business are seeing rate increases, with the exception of workers’ comp. With that said, there are significant unknowns with the economy and some headwinds for the insurance industry. In particular, interest rates are low and by all reasonable forecasts will probably remain low, and so there is a significant focus on underwriting profitability.
With that backdrop, businesses will face continued pressure to deliver results. Now, overlay the fact that the world has sped up with regard to the importance of data, advanced analytics, and how they can be used as tools for driving efficiency and positively affecting outcomes. Therein lies our opportunity.
So, why is expanding into the commercial auto line specifically important?
The commercial auto line has been getting rate for a while, pre-COVID-19. There are arguably a lot of different reasons for achieving that. Without getting into the minutia of the line, one thing that we know for certain is that once lawyers get involved, the price of resolving the claim goes up drastically — and not necessarily for the benefit of the plaintiff.
With insights through analytics that can tell you when a claimant will be more likely to involve a lawyer, CLARA gives the carrier an opportunity to triage claims, proactively manage, and appropriately resolve the claim.
Can you please share with us why you are excited about CLARA’s future?
Now more than ever in insurance, people understand that while there has been a long history of insurers holding everything close and building solutions themselves, there’s growing recognition that experts are out there who can do it better and faster. Building everything in-house is not the right answer. There are solutions that bring the best minds and capabilities, as well as diverse data, to the equation that will deliver real value in an efficient and timely way.
When you look at what CLARA has built, many, many, many have tried and failed at doing it themselves for various reasons. Being able to gain powerful insights efficiently, in a SaaS model, and still take advantage of your own data is a really compelling offering that delivers measurable value.
Thank you so much for your time and insights, Andy, and we’re delighted you’ve joined the CLARA family.