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The End of Insurance As We Know It

The End of Insurance As We Know It Summary

An international bestseller since its release, The End Of Insurance As We Know It is a one-in-a-generation book that goes into detail on why the insurance industry, long considered stodgy and boring, is experiencing foundational changes that are unprecedented in modern memory.

The confluence of cheap sensors that “observe” all manner of behaviors to cloud computing which is able to store these massive data setts to AI and the development of advanced algorithms that can make sense of it all, the fundamentals of how risk is measured and financed are shifting rapidly. Additionally, millennials are becoming the largest cohort in the workforce, and technology startups target insurance, funded by a sea of venture capital flowing into the sector, prod traditional incumbents to innovate or perish with “insurance”.

This powerful confluence of trends will result in massive upheaval in the $5 trillion industry over the next decade and beyond. Whether you are a seasoned insurance professional, a technologist seeking to improve the industry, an entrepreneur seeing lots of opportunities, or an investor looking for quick insights on how to profit from disruption, this book is an essential guide to lead you on the coming journey.

About the Author

Rob Galbraith has been called “the patron saint of insurtech”, “the prophet” and “the most interesting man in insurance” and is a widely recognized industry expert on insurance. Rob regularly presents his unique insights at events around the globe on the topics of innovation, insurance, and the future of insurance. He is the author of the international bestselling book The End Of Insurance As We Know It which was named as one of the best insurance books of all time by Book Authority.

Rob has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry in a variety of leadership positions with USAA, Citigroup, and the Federal Reserve Board. He is a recognized thought leader on P&C insurance who is a frequent media contributor and well-known industry influencer. Rob holds a Master's of Science in Insurance Management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Michigan State University.

The End of Insurance As We Know It Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



As an only child growing up in Saline, Michigan, I fondly remember some of the epic road trips that Mom, Dad, and I took growing up.  My parents were not big on flying, so almost every summer we loaded up in the family station wagon and went on a road trip somewhere.  Often, it was to see family in upstate New York, northern Michigan, or southwest Missouri, but we had ventured as far as Arizona, Utah, and Colorado from my hometown of Saline, Michigan.  At the young age of four, I would draw copies of the road maps that my Dad would get from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The maps were the best guide on the roads to take to make the ride as quickly as possible based on mileage and the type of road (e.g., freeway, divided highway, two-lane road, etc.)  I dutifully followed along on the map as we passed by landmarks, proceeded on our journey, and occasionally broke a stalemate between my parents when they disagreed on the route. Maps fascinated me as a child; the level of detail and endless paths. I still have some saved – they are souvenirs of cherished memories that I now share with my children.

In fact, those maps that my family relied upon were not so different from those used by ship captains to navigate across oceans to faraway places  Accuracy was key: a good map helped ships avoid serious danger of running ashore or running into treacherous waters. One wrong turn could result in a sinking ship.  When finding themselves in a new land, explorers worked hard to survey their surroundings and capture key information. These detailed notes, pictures, and descriptions were often used to make maps.  

These maps provided a way for other explorers to find their way back to different locations and held the potential to lead settlers to new resources for food, water, shelter, agriculture, and industry.  In short, the maps that were created and used by settlers sometimes led to larger settlements which led to villages, towns, and ultimately cities – population centers that generated a large amount of business and a thriving local economy that could support a large number of people.  

Mapmaking itself is a centuries-old specialized discipline – cartography – that requires special skills to accurately represent the 3-dimensional world of land and sea in a 2-dimensional space represented by concepts such as scale, distance, direction, elevation, and orientation. Maps have a lot of features that have made them an invaluable resource for centuries.  

They are compact, easy to transport, and take with you on your voyage. They express complexity in a simplified format: they exclude a lot of extraneous information, yet have enough detail that they can capture the richness of a location’s topography or the prevailing trade winds when crossing an ever-churning ocean. Maps provide alternatives: they show all possible routes that can be selected and provide information that informs better decision-making.  Maps can be brought together to broaden their reach to cover an entire nation and they can also be zoomed in to focus on an individual city. In short, maps are a superior product that have been ubiquitous and reliably served humanity well for centuries.


I recently took a road trip with my Dad again, this time from San Antonio, Texas to see his sister and brother-in-law (my aunt and uncle) at the family farm outside Syracuse, New York.  Dad is much older now and has some mobility challenges, but it’s been 10 years since he’s visited the farm. Given his age and declining overall health, along with his strong aversion to flying on an airplane, I told Dad I would drive him for the 3-day one-way trip from San Antonio to Syracuse to visit.  I also told Dad I’d happily make stops along the way as this will be the last time he can make a trip of this distance.

When I came to pick Dad up, he was carrying an armful of AAA maps he had recently picked up from their local office (yes, they still give out maps!).  I wasn’t sure why he had bothered since his Mercedes has a built-in navigation system. Having made essentially the same trip last year on a road trip with my family to New York City, I knew that we didn’t need maps or an in-car navigation system thanks to mobile GPS apps.  

We started our drive, and Dad opened all of his maps and followed along as we progressed on the trip, providing directions from his perch in the front passenger seat. Traditionally, family road trips have required a front-seat navigator role to assist the driver with staying on course.  However, in the modern era we live in today, my family and I have come to totally rely on GPS apps such as Apple Maps, Waze, or Google Maps. On this trip, I let Dad follow his tradition of advising me on the best route to take.

I wasn’t always convinced that Dad’s directions were the best, and at rest breaks, I’d sneak out my phone to check.  The app confirmed that we weren’t traveling the most efficient way possible, but we were not particularly in a rush to make it up to the farm so I was happy to let him guide us on a more scenic route.

We had a great visit at the family farm where I had spent many summer months as a boy.  The views in this part of New York are picturesque – the rolling hills of the area, the peaceful tranquility of winds rustling through the trees, the birds singing from the trees – are always a refreshing change of pace from the paved surfaces, crowded streets and hectic life of the city.  

The farm had changed quite a bit from what I remembered as a child: the barn roof is now made of metal, not wood and asphalt shingles. Solar panels on the main house roof help provide enough electricity to cool the home in the summer and heat it in the winter (along with a wood-burning stove).

The good system takes water from the local streams that are perpetually filled from snowmelt and seasonal rains to support household activities.  A sauna was added in the backyard, complete with a game room with a pool table. A fresh coat of green paint and light green trim made the old farmhouse look like a modern hideaway; a low-impact eco-friendly abode that was a perfect blend of historical architecture blended with modern technology.

After a stop to see my cousin and her husband in Rochester, New York, we had less than three days to make the long trek back home before I needed to be back at work.  While it was great to spend the time with my Dad and see my relatives, I missed my wife and three children back in San Antonio. I pulled out the phone to find the fastest route possible home.  

Dad still had the maps out and was following our progress, and trouble began in Columbus, Ohio. The GPS suggested heading southwest to Cincinnati, through Kentucky to Nashville followed by passing through Memphis, Little Rock, and Dallas before heading south to reach San Antonio.  Dad had other plans: he asked for the Indiana map. Indiana? It wasn’t a state included on the GPS route. I did see an alternate path on my GPS app heading due east through Dayton and Indianapolis before reaching Memphis that was only 30 minutes longer. Dad insisted on going through Dayton, and while I mentioned there was a faster route via Cincinnati, I did not press the issue.

After reaching Missouri, Dad asked to pull over so we could plan the rest of the trip.  I quickly pulled up the GPS app that showed the route through Memphis to be far superior to others, a 12-hour drive home versus a 15-hour one.  Dad said that his preferred route through Missouri was more picturesque and less stressful because it had less semi-truck traffic than passing through Little Rock.  

Looking at the AAA maps together, the route through Little Rock appeared to be a bit shorter, but if the traffic was bad, it could add hours to the trip. The problem was, that the GPS algorithm had not only considered the distance and speed limit for the route but also factored in known construction and traffic congestion based on real-time information sent from mobile phones in use on each route.[1]  The maps could only suggest which routes were most promising based on road miles alone; the GPS could ensure which route was most efficient.

Nevertheless, Dad insisted on going his way; he described the route suggested by the  GPS app as “nasty” in his experience. I was livid: while there would be undoubtedly more truck traffic on the GPS-recommended route, it was a tradeoff I was willing to make to gain three hours on our last leg of driving.  Those three hours meant seeing my family on Sunday afternoon and unwinding a bit before starting the workweek.

I reluctantly agreed to take the route Dad insisted upon, unable to convince him of the obsolescence of his maps relative to the superior technology of a GPS-based app.  We barely spoke ten words to each other the rest of the way home. Needless to say, it was an exceedingly quiet and painful 15-hour drive.


Maps were a critical product for centuries – until they weren’t.  The multiple advantages of GPS (traffic notification, time estimation) led to mass convergence and abandonment of maps for navigation.  These GPS-enabled apps have directly led to the rise of ride-sharing, which in turn have made taxis, previously a critical need, particularly in densely-packed urban places like New York City, less ubiquitous.  

Today’s changing consumer preferences enabled by the rapid pace of technological change harkens back to the time when horses and buggies met a critical need for personal transportation – until the automobile came along.  Landlines for telephones were a critical technology – until cell phones came along. There are innumerable examples of a popular product that enjoyed widespread use by the general public – until a new, better product (often made possible due to technological advancement) replaced it.

We are currently living through a remarkable period of technological change.  It has greatly impacted all aspects of our lives, and the repercussions of these new technologies in the age of the Internet have yet to be fully realized.  Maps were relied upon for centuries yet were replaced by GPS in less than a decade. My field of expertise, property, and casualty (P&C) insurance, a product that has remained relatively unchanged for decades, is not immune to these changes.  

Similar to the longevity of maps, P&C insurance has a long and rich history as a unique financial product that provides tremendous societal benefits today, as it has for centuries. Recently, rapid technological changes are leading to new innovations in space, commonly referred to collectively as insurtech.  The fast rise of insurtech over the past 3-5 years is providing a glimpse of a radically different future for risk transfer that promises the benefits of traditional insurance without its many drawbacks.  

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The End of Insurance As We Know It

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Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN1795400552, 978-1795400558
Posted onFebruary 9, 2019
Page Count395 pages
AuthorRob Galbraith, CPCU, CLU, ChFC

The End of Insurance As We Know It PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

An international bestseller since its release, The End Of Insurance As We Know It is a one-in-a-generation book that goes into detail on why the insurance industry, long considered stodgy and boring, is experiencing foundational changes that are unprecedented in modern memory.


Author: Rob Galbraith, CPCU, CLU, ChFC

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