Distinguished Cellars: Chicago

Last week, we hosted the another Distinguished Cellars: a dinner gathering industry experts and influencers in the community to discuss an emerging theme over dinner and wine. A chance to network with peers and enjoy food and wine with industry friends.

We gathered a diverse group of insurance executives, investment bankers, brokers, and more to discuss the future of the insurance industry, specifically as it relates to emerging technologies. At a historic motor row loft in the South Loop of Chicago—over a delicious meal by renowned chef, Brian Runge, and 6 curated flights of Spanish wines by Jeremy Hitzig, CEO of Distinguished Programs—participants divulged their hopes, fears, and current realities that make this industry tick.

While it’s difficult to share with you the complexity of the blind tasting bite or the intricate tasting notes of each wine, we can share some of the most interesting things we learned in discussion.

Predictably over speed.
Instant gratification. Whether it’s ordering your food and having it arrive at your door 15 minutes later through GrubHub or household items through AmazonPrime instant delivery, consumers today are experiencing more and more of a delight demand economy—click and you shall receive. What allows for these increasingly speedy transactions? Technology does. Reducing the need for people and human interactions does save time, but is it worth it? Brokers recognized that by over-automating the submission process, the personal element (the key piece that builds relationships and loyalty) is lost. Rather than demanding a faster process, it’s predictability and consistency they’re after.

Value over price.
Sure, everyone wants to save money or spend less, but when it comes to insurance you want to be covered. Nothing can be more crippling to a small business than an unpaid claim. This is why it’s not always the lowest price that wins. Here’s what we heard you say: Low prices are important, but adequate and quality coverage are more important. Educating the customer in the program benefits and limitations is critical in building trust.

Distinguished will review these anecdotes and more, using them as a basis to continuously improve our systems and business.

Next up: the west coast. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Distinguished Cellars: Chicago