Ginger Pur­ga­to­rio, All­state

Digital Insurance - - CONTENTS - By Nathan Go­lia

The au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try is in a pe­riod of rapid dis­rup­tion and in­no­va­tion, and it’s bring­ing auto in­sur­ers along for the ride. In­creased dis­tracted driv­ing, ur­ban­iza­tion and au­ton­omy are pulling long-held as­sump­tions about trans­porta­tion risk in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions, and ques­tions of li­a­bil­ity are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly murky.

Ginger Pur­ga­to­rio, VP of ve­hi­cle project man­age­ment and prod­uct op­er­a­tions for All­state, is in charge of nav­i­gat­ing this quickly chang­ing sec­tor for the se­cond-largest auto in­surer by mar­ket share in the U.S. Her charge is to iden­tify the tech­no­log­i­cal and prod­uct so­lu­tions that the in­surer needs to pro­vide in the short and long terms so it can sur­vive the up­heaval.

In 2014, Pur­ga­to­rio was asked to lead the Drive­wise group — All­state’s us­age-based in­sur­ance pro­gram — which is a lead­ing com­po­nent of the car­rier’s con­nected-car strat­egy. One of her first projects was to de­velop a Drive­wise mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion that the com­pany could use to col­lect driv­ing data, rather than de­pend­ing on cus­tomers in­stalling OBD-2 de­vices. She says that UBI and telem­at­ics are be­ing forced to evolve in or­der to reach de­sired pol­i­cy­holder adop­tion lev­els. All­state has been all in, she says, be­cause it’s “re­ally about learn­ing from the data to in­form fu­ture prod­uct de­sign.”

Now that the data piece is in place, Pur­ga­to­rio and her team are think­ing about the next level for these prod­ucts. She is also re­spon­si­ble for the All­state Re­wards pro­gram, which al­lows safer driv­ers to earn points to­ward mer­chan­dise or gift cards. She says that value-added ser­vices and op­tions like re­wards and road­side as­sis­tance are cru­cial to­ward demon­strat­ing UBI’s value propo­si­tion.

“The cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and the cus­tomer per­cep­tion [of UBI] have changed so rad­i­cally over the past three years,” she ex­plains. “We see UBI as a rea­son for cus­tomers to have on­go­ing, reg­u­lar engagement with the brand. When you es­tab­lish a more fre­quent pos­i­tive in­ter­ac­tion, there’s a lot of value.”

Pur­ga­to­rio says that in­sur­ers should heed lessons from other in­dus­tries that cus­tomer-led dig­i­tal in­no­va­tions can hap­pen quickly. That’s led the de­vel­op­ment of Mile­wise, All­state’s first foray into payper-mile in­sur­ance. In­sur­ers can learn from ex­am­ples like the mu­sic in­dus­try, which in less than a decade went from sell­ing phys­i­cal me­dia, to dig­i­tal al­bums, to in­di­vid­ual songs, to monthly stream­ing sub­scrip­tions, that stay­ing on top of way prod­ucts are con­sumed — even ephemeral ones like in­sur­ance or mu­sic — is im­por­tant for sur­vival.

“The par­al­lel for in­sur­ance is that the con­struct of a term as de­fined by the in­dus­try to­day won’t be the same in the fu­ture,” she ex­plains. “Let’s think about the in­cre­ments of risk dif­fer­ently, maybe as a per-mile or per-trip ex­pense for con­sumers, giv­ing them au­ton­omy to make choices about the trip.”

LEARN­ING THE ROPES

Pur­ga­to­rio has been with All­state for nearly two decades, over which she has held sev­eral roles through­out the or­ga­ni­za­tion that al­lowed her to get a full view of how the in­sur­ance prod­uct is cre­ated, re­fined and de­liv­ered to pol­i­cy­hold­ers.

“Your ex­po­sure to the gamut of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, pro­cesses and de­part­ments be­comes a real ben­e­fit to de­ter­min­ing what you’re in­ter­ested in,” she says. “I au­dited agents at their lo­ca­tion, which gave me an un­der­stand­ing of the point of sale and un­der­writ­ing pro­cesses. I was as­signed to a cou­ple of au­dits re­lated to prod­uct and pric­ing. From there, I was in com­pli­ance and project lead­er­ship roles. I be­came known as some­one who could not only help with the strat­egy of how we solve the goal, but how to tac­ti­cally im­ple­ment that into the All­state tech stack.”

That ex­pe­ri­ence, she says, helped pre­pare her for this chal­leng­ing but re­ward­ing role.

“The con­nected-car space moves at a dif­fer­ent pace than All­state typ­i­cally does,” she says. “That re­quires con­tin­ual prod­uct man­age­ment. We’re shift­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion from think­ing about a port­fo­lio of projects from be­gin­ning to end to some­thing that’s go­ing to evolve and ma­ture as the tech­nol­ogy changes.”

Ginger Pur­ga­to­rio VP, Ve­hi­cle Project Man­age­ment and Prod­uct Op­er­a­tions, All­state In­sur­ance

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