PUTTING TAILWIND BEHIND DATA COLLECTION – BEN HUBBARD, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, PARSYL
This week´s guest on The Voice of Insurance podcast is the visionary behind Parsyl, the supply chain data company and cargo insurer, protecting all things perishable. A true insurtech innovator, Ben Hubbard, CEO and co-founder of Parsyl, joins host Mark Geoghegan to discuss the compelling business idea that sparked the creation of Parsyl and how the company uses data to underwrite more efficiently in the global cargo market. Ben also chats about the unique approach of offering economic incentives and enhanced coverage to customers, encouraging them to change their behavior and run their businesses more efficiently and sustainably. Ben also gives us a glimpse into the growth plans for the company and where he sees Parsyl heading in the future.
We encourage you to listen to this podcast to hear how one company uses reliable, real-world data from multiple sources to reduce risk in the supply chain.
Mark kicks off the podcast by asking Ben to give the Parsyl pitch. Ben describes the company as a mission-driven insurer of essential supply chains, “We focus predominantly on cold chain products, so perishable temperature controlled goods. We use a lot of data to underwrite accounts, additional data than is currently used today to better understand and price risk, and then we use our policy forms to create financial motivation for the client to actively risk manage, helping us mitigate any potential claims and to utilise our risk management solution, which is an IoT platform that can help us in the event of a claim really identify what the issue was and have a much more efficient process for handling the adjustment and payment and subrogation.”
Ben recounts his background working in humanitarian supply chains in sub-Saharan Africa to provide vaccines and medicines in the early days of HIV/AIDS treatment. Working in this environment and through the public sector health systems offered a lot of exposure to supply chain management, especially in developing countries, which ignited the idea for Parsyl. “We started this company really around that experience which was a lot of product was getting lost in the distribution chain, and there wasn´t a lot of data to tell us where and why and how we can avoid it.”
As Ben tells it, his curiosity grew around how to solve the problem of safely transporting perishable cargo and why technology that he was enjoying as a consumer in the US couldn´t be used in a similar approach to something that really matters in developing countries, and that can save lives. “We really started the company focused on how do we better understand the distribution of childhood vaccines in Africa. How do we make sure that a kid in rural Kenya gets a safe and potent vaccine by the time it gets to them?” Ben continues, “And that just started us on this journey, and it´s always been about understanding risk, using better data to understand risk and mitigate it, and that really quickly led to insurance, and we´ve just been on this evolution really starting with granular data collection, been building up all the way through now to operating a Syndicate at Lloyd´s of London and operating as quote-on-quote a full stack insurer.”
Ben discusses the number of efficiencies around data and how Parsyl uses smart sensors to monitor temperature, location, and humidity during the entire shipment process in storage and transit. These sensors capture data enabling Parsyl to notify customers of both major catastrophic and near-miss temperature breaches and identify methods how to proactively reduce risk. “The technology, yes, it´s there, it enables us, it´s very, very important, but it´s about much more than a sensor, it´s about much more than buying a kit from a technology company.”
Speaking further about using data to make more effective decisions, Ben adds, “It´s a privileged position. I think you are in a position to create incentives for the practices you want to see clients carry out, and for us, it’s putting tailwind behind data collection and helping shippers improve.” Ben discusses how he has taken inspiration from some of the good things that auto and home insurers have pioneered, and that there are many successes that commercial and specialty insurers can learn from but which need to be adapted to a B2B and broker context. Ultimately, the company´s mission is to move food and pharma products worldwide so we, as users, can have confidence in the quality of those goods.
Enjoy the podcast.