The InsurTech Mentor Spotlight is a series of interviews profiling inspiring stories from our extended network of mentors at Hartford InsurTech Hub. Today, the spotlight is focused on our mentor, Abel Travis.
Hi Abel, what is your background in insurance?
Abel: Today, I lead the commercial lines product management group for a large insurance company, and what we do is we build all of the products for all lines of business across the industry. So, when you think about property, casualty, auto, and those sorts of things. So, whether it’s enhancing current products, or building new products, that’s what I do within my organization and within my team. What we try to do is ensure that we keep up to date and up to speed with the market. Innovation is key to what we need to do in order to be successful and provide the right value proposition for customers.
How did you become interested in InsurTech?
When a lot of the changes started to occur in the industry, when we talk about things like InsurTech, it really helped me to want to get an understanding of what those changes are and what the implications are going to be long-term within the insurance space. That is where my interest in InsurTech came in. It’s really to continue to innovate an industry that is doing so much good for the country and for the world.
Can you tell us about your Insurance Innovation Podcast?
I host a podcast called The Insurance Innovators Unscripted Podcast, and in that podcast, I speak with innovators, influencers, and thought leaders in the insurance industry. I’ve had the opportunity to sit with Sabine Vanderlinden, who’s the CEO of Startupbootcamp InsurTech, Daniel Schreiber, the CEO of Lemonade, and folks from all across the industry that have a different perspective of what’s happening in insurance, really around the insurance technology space, but then also innovations.
Why did you decide to become a mentor for Hartford InsurTech Hub?
As I think about the organizatons, or the startups that are trying to do things to innovate and to enhance what we are doing within the insurance industry, I wanted to make sure that I can be a part of the innovation and the transformation that’s happening by providing guidance and advisory mentorship to the startups that are a part of Hartford InsurTech Hub. We provide such a great value to customers and to policy holders, so when I think about the organizations that are also taking part in this, I see that the long-term value that they’re going to provide is going to help enhance this industry, transform the industry, and continue to provide a significant value to the customers that we serve. That’s the reason I decided to get in. I think that’s a very important piece of what you all are doing here.
What interests you most about working with the startups?
The thing that interests me the most is to see what the startups are trying to do, but also the passion that they convey when they’re executing on their business models. As I continue to say, passion is key in order to be successful in a lot of what you do. I see these startups that are looking to gain subject matter expertise, or may already have subject matter expertise in the insurance space, and they’re digging in deep in order to understand what the impacts are that they can have to transform this industry, and they are doing it with a level of passion that’s fairly significant that’s going to help the process of transformation.
When you aren’t working on insurance innovations, what do you do in your free time?
Interestingly enough, I spend most of my free time doing things around insurance and insurance innovation. What I do though is I’m an avid family person. I have two children and a wife, and whenever there is an opportunity, I love to travel and see new places. We recently had the opportunity to travel to Ghana in West Africa to see how people live there and to experience a different environment. So, travelling is key for me. Another thing I like to do is dig into different things that I don’t have a clear understanding of. So, reading a lot about different things that are occurring throughout the world and getting an understanding of what’s happening with different technology types. That’s what I love to do outside of just focusing on insurance innovation.
Thank you, Abel!