For Black History Month, Triple-I is putting the spotlight on Black entrepreneurs and innovative leaders in insurance. We sat down with Kevin Henderson, Founder and CEO of Indenseo, an analytics software company based in Palo Alto , CA to speak about his background in insurtech and the way telematics is shaping the commercial auto insurance space.
Originally from West Medford, Massachusetts, Henderson moved to the Bay Area in California during the online 1.0 internet boom within the late-1990’s, where he led the worldwide data business for telematics company @Road [later acquired by Trimble] and partnered with commercial auto carriers on their telematics programs. Henderson’s extensive experience in insurance telematics led him to make Indenseo in 2013.
Data has a huge potential for insurance, consistent with Henderson. We are now ready to know in real-time what’s happening with the vehicle and the way it’s being driven. Combining telematics data with contextual data just like the road conditions, the limit is your imagination.
Yet, obtaining funding for Indenseo as a Black business owner provided initial hurdles for Henderson. Citing a Harvard Business article on diversity in innovation, he says there’s a direct correlation between the [racial] makeup of partners and people who get funded.” However, his difficulties with obtaining VC funding also led him to be more strategic in his fundraising approach. “It made [us] use the capital we did raise more efficiently,” he says.
While funding was an initial battle, Henderson shares the importance of getting a vision and other people around you that you simply trust.
“You got to have people around you that know the ecosystem, and other people who are going to be honest with you. It’s a numbers pool and you would like to be creative. find out how to focus on investors with an interest within the markets you’re trying to urge into,” he says.
While telematics is synonymous with commercial fleets, use in personal lines insurance remains low. COVID-19 has revealed telematics’ potential in personal lines. “People are more open with sharing their data,” Henderson says. “The shift in driver behavior caused by the pandemic has revealed that folks want to be priced supported what proportion they use their vehicles as against a typical premium that doesn’t account for vehicle use.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought its own set of challenges for Indenseo, including a slowdown in developing international business, but Henderson believes those opportunities will help expand his business in other countries. “Not everything are often done on Zoom. i will be able to be back on airplanes when international travel and in-person meetings are practical again.”
As on the longer term of telematics in insurance, Henderson believes that commercial auto will evolve very differently than personal lines.
“The risks are different, and therefore the technology is different. the danger you care about for an 18-wheel truck or a service van are going to be much different than the danger for a four-wheel sedan,” he says.
With the increase of latest specialty markets and new companies, distribution models will change, and new products will emerge. All this makes the longer term of telematics and commercial auto insurance quite unpredictable and exciting.
Indenseo are going to be hosting a free webinar with Jeffrey Williams of Forrester on February 25th, 1PM ET as a part of the “Connected Insurance” series on how IoT will transform insurance. During the webinar, they’re going to mention trends, technologies, and use cases.
You can learn more about the webinar and register here.
To learn more about Indenseo, visit Indenseo.com. Follow Kevin on