InsurTech Origins – the Fax Machine?

Published 2018-09-16 13:09:55 into Case Studies & Usage Examples
Remember when owning a fax machine meant your agency was ahead of the tech curve?  Me neither.  I'm a millennial, but in the 80's it was a game changer for the commercial insurance sales cycle.  While the times and devices have changed the principles remain.  When is the last time you looked at the new tools and resources being developed and how they can be applied to commercial insurance prospecting?


Not long ago I was talking to Mark Weaver, owner of Agency One Insurance in AZ.  He has been selling insurance a little longer than I’ve been alive.  Longevity aside, it is impressive to see a successful vet actively finding and learning about new tools, and how to incorporate them into his sales process.  

It was the mid 1980’s and technology was in the air.  Computers were becoming available (48k of RAM!), car phones were being installed, and fax machines were finally within reach for a mere $6,000 (about $14k in today’s money).  Without a fax machine, paperwork was sent and received in the mail.  To say there was a lag time is an understatement.  

And on one faithful day (followed by many more) in 1985 Mark capitalized on this.  Thanks to his $6,000 investment in said fax machine, he had a fully bindable quote for new biz, who’s incumbent was still working on the renewal, in the 11th hour.  I don’t have all the details, but Mark does.  And Mark said that fax machine paid for itself twice with that deal.  I like to think he got the call on his car phone, cruising down route 66 in a miata, top down.  It was in person though.

Obviously, Insurance Xdate was a no-brainer for Mark.  It eliminates the initial x-date call, he knows the prospect’s carrier history, and he doesn’t need to look for contact information (usually).    But enough about us.  In fact, enough with this post.  Go see what’s out there.  Maybe one of those digital form companies (Indio, Broker Buddha) will get you a couple hours of life back per week.