At Cowbell, every team member can have a strong impact on the overall performance of the company. As new people join, new functions get introduced that need to be built up from scratch. Matt Valentine did just that. Focusing on the relationships with existing agents, Matt joined our team as the first Territory Account Manager in May.
Matt – tell us about your background.
I’ve been in insurance all my working life, and I love the industry. I’m originally from Richmond, Virginia. Right out of college, I started working as an inside sales rep for Markel. After a year, I jumped into an outside sales rep role, and I did that until 2018. For the last two years, I’ve been a producer in a large Insurance firm here in Nashville. In insurance, there is always something new to learn, it truly never gets boring.
Why did you decide to join Cowbell?
A lot of it had to do with the growth opportunity in cyber insurance. Cyber is a new line of business for insurance and an amazing opportunity to grow and expand your expertise. I also want to educate agents and businesses on cyber. It is still new to most insurance agents. As of now, only about 30% of businesses buy cyber insurance, but adoption is accelerating. Being part of this growth as the cyber insurance market is being defined, was key in my decision.
“We need to get every business on board now and prevent incidents in the long run. After all, any business could be impacted by the next cyberattack.”
What are your responsibilities as a Territory Account Manager at Cowbell?
I develop and maintain Cowbell’s relationships with appointed agencies. I do everything I can to support them, and make the process of selling cyber policies, as well as understanding our company, our products, and our value proposition, as easy as possible. I also identify new opportunities and new agents to work with, but primarily, I’m responsible for getting policies on the books.
Is there interesting feedback from agents about cyber that you can share with us?
The most interesting feedback I get revolves around how little people understand cyber. We usually see an increase in interest after an incident has been made public. The wave of ransomware attacks that’s been happening in the past 2 years is helping with awareness, but businesses tend to forget the importance of having cyber coverage, until another business in their industry is hit by an attack.
We have made it our goal to provide businesses with cyber insurance before they’re the victim of the next incident. Getting them to acquire a cyber policy now is the way to do so. We need to get every business on board and prevent incidents in the long run. After all, any business could be impacted by the next cyberattack.
Why do you think companies hesitate to buy cyber insurance?
There’s still a lot of confusion around cyber insurance and cyber coverages. Learning about cybercriminals and the approaches they use, can seem daunting and intimidating, but that’s where Cowbell can help. We are here to support agents and businesses. Together, we can help protect SMBs from cyber crime. Our platform is especially helpful for cyber insurance newcomers – agents can issue a policy in 5 minutes using the name of the business and its web domain. Our platform does the work for them.
The COVID crisis only adds to the challenge with an increase of cyber crime and email scams that many businesses didn’t have to deal with before. With many businesses having to switch to home office, the risk exposure has also increased but changed. Employees might use their personal computer and still access sensitive information. Enterprise-level protection is often not deployed on home Wi-Fis. The lack of knowledge on the dangers of work-from-home is a challenge, but it can be eliminated through education. Cyber insurance can help there, too.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
At Cowbell, we are just getting started with Cyber Insurance. We have big plans to help agents and brokers serve their policyholders better, and for policyholders to get tangible value from their cyber policy. Right now, awareness about cyber insurance and what type of protection it brings is paramount.
Helping policyholders understand their cyber exposure and providing them with the right type of policy is what we focus on. Cyber insurance is maturing and it’s no longer sufficient to give out just one single score as a cyber risk assessment or write policies based on company size and industry alone. Cowbell Factors assesses risk on 7 dimensions, this makes for better cyber coverage and gives policyholders real value – telling areas of strengths and weaknesses with recommendations of how to improve their security posture.
As Cowbell is growing and Prime 100 gets rolled-out in new states, we need more people like Matt to work with our appointed agents. If you would like to join our Team as a Territory Account Manager as well, please send us your resume. We are hiring