Why I 'fell for Federato'

Megan Bock Zarnoch
February 21, 2022

Setting The Scene

In my 20+ years in the P&C Insurance space, I’ve seen countless companies use band-aids and bubble gum to hold together the systems where underwriters transact business. New projects to build transformative solutions, often mean timelines of five+ years and costs climbing upwards of 9 figures. Finish lines feel unreachable and the results are not good.

Fatigue from constant change that doesn’t align to the way work actually gets done is common. Put simply, life for today’s underwriters is a grind.

Those First New Encounters

It was along those lines that I first met Federato. The company exuded empathy, impact, equity, curiosity, purpose, inspiration, and fun.

Does it surprise you that I’m describing an insurance technology company? The intelligence and technical acumen I encountered at Federato were always top notch, but what most surprised me when I met Federato co-founders Will Ross and William Steenbergen 18 months ago was their curiosity and passion for people. They truly dedicated themselves to improving the lives of underwriters in pursuit of a more efficient and more equitable insurance industry. In every conversation we had, there was a genuine desire to understand not just how underwriting worked but how it felt to be an underwriter using today’s technology.

As I engaged Federato more formally as an advisor, I discovered more of the same - a collection of hugely talented individuals who believed that businesses don’t have problems, people do. To a person, the Federato team embraced a human- centered design approach to fully understand what underwriters face and how they could improve that experience. The team’s ability to take 100s and 1000s of hours of material, distill it into a few salient insights, and build new technology at a pace I had never seen in the industry was astonishing. Words like machine learning and cloud computing weren’t the end-all be-all for them. They were tools used in the pursuit of a solution that would actually make a difference.

Federato was charting a path to the future I want for the insurance industry. One where empowered underwriters focus on the tasks where humans thrive - strategic development, informed execution, relationship building and value creation.

Just as important, they were having so much fun doing it. The Federato team was held together by a different kind of work culture, one that today’s underwriters, including myself, could only dream of having in the insurance industry. As I continued to think about what this could mean for my clients at Boundless, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was missing out on all the fun.

Going Further Together

Over time it became increasingly clear that the Federato team and I were all tackling the same challenges from different angles. That is why when they asked me to join forces just before the New Year, I knew this was the right decision. Frankly, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

These were people I trusted, respected, and admired. They were presenting the opportunity to do exactly what I was doing with the potential of going even further together. And they offered a new type of journey in InsurTech that was authentic to my underwriting roots but full of new, growthful opportunities.

I am ecstatic to be a part of this very different kind of company. In my first week as Federato’s Chief Operating Officer, every conversation with Will and William, team members, and most importantly customers has validated that there’s something different and special about what is happening in the ecosystem that has formed around the company.

The problem is well documented. The product is incredible. But the people and the energy, both internally and at our customers, is unprecedented. I could not be more proud to join this team.

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