Our new Leadership Q&A series talks with the leaders of Kinetic, and sheds light on their specific areas of expertise. This edition features the Vice President of Workers’ Compensation Program Underwriting for Nationwide E&S/Specialty, Dale Hoppe, AIC.
We sat down with Dale, who oversees the growth of Nationwide’s workers’ compensation line of business for ESS Programs and manages the Kinetic partnership. In this interview, we discussed the partnership between our companies, why it’s valuable, and the support and services Nationwide brings to the program.
Q- Nationwide and Kinetic launched a partnership last November, can you tell us a bit about that relationship, and how it came to be?
A – Nationwide has a long-standing commitment to investing in innovative technology companies, which led us to make a venture capital investment in Kinetic in 2020. We’re big believers in the company’s vision of leveraging wearables to prevent workplace injuries, so it was a natural evolution to partner with Kinetic Insurance when they entered the workers’ comp space last year. This partnership is another example of our use of technology to help businesses protect their workforce and make smarter safety decisions.
As for the partnership, Kinetic Insurance and Nationwide’s E&S Specialty division entered an underwriting agreement to offer workers’ comp insurance combined with wearable technology. As an MGU, Kinetic handles the distribution, underwriting, and deployment of the wearable tech, and Nationwide handles all the back-office services like claims, billing, compliance, and such. So policyholders get cutting-edge safety technology that’s proven to reduce injuries with a workers’ comp policy backed by the strength and stability of one of the largest national brands in insurance.
Q – What’s your role in the Kinetic program and what experience do you bring to it?
A – I’m Kinetic’s primary point of contact with Nationwide, and it’s my goal to help maximize the profitable growth of the Kinetic program through our partnership. I look at how the program is performing and identify ways our team can support it, such as providing access to Nationwide resources like marketing and industry events; simply maximizing the breadth of Nationwide’s capabilities. Based on our early partnership success, we are collectively looking for ways to accelerate our market share.
I’ve been in the insurance field for over 20 years. I’ve worked in workers’ compensation claims with varying roles at Nationwide and now lead our WC Programs underwriting and services area. We solely focus on the workers’ comp line of business, which makes our team experts in risk selection and servicing a variety of clientele.
Q- How does the Nationwide-Kinetic workers’ comp program offer value to brokers and policyholders?
A – First of all, there’s huge value in the wearable technology available to Kinetic policyholders. It creates a safer workplace that leads to premium savings. The wearable device is proven to reduce injuries by over 50%, so it helps keep workers safe, improves safety culture, and reduces lost workdays due to injuries. Fewer injuries lead to a reduction in claims, which helps improve a company’s ex-mod score and reduce premium costs. And it’s available to policyholders at no extra cost. This gives brokers a differentiated product to offer clients in industries where strain and sprain injuries are prevalent and helps position them as a true risk management partner.
Secondly, with Nationwide backing the policies, policyholders benefit from top-of-the-line claims handling and easy online account access. And brokers can offer a policy that provides A+-rated paper, brand recognition, and superior loss control.
Q- What is Nationwide’s workers’ comp experience and what level of support and specialized services does Nationwide bring to the Kinetic partnership?
A – Nationwide has been offering workers’ comp for over 50 years. Our programs underwriting and product teams specialize in workers’ comp and focus exclusively on specialty programs like the Kinetic program. As a specialized team, we can offer customized, value-added solutions for program managers and policyholders.
We handle claims with a dedicated claims team and our experienced adjusters have a deep understanding of the workers’ comp laws in each state. We also offer a 24/7 nurse triage program and a prescription fill program.
Nationwide’s loss control services include onsite and virtual safety training and online safety resources. We have a variety of billing options available including several installment payment plans. And our online portal makes it easy for customers to access their policy information, make premium payments, and report claims.
Stay tuned for the next edition of our Leadership Q&A series, where we’ll chat with our Chief Operating Officer Adam Price on the state of insurtech and how Kinetic fits into that picture from an operational standpoint.