Interview with an expert of the insurance market and the founder of information and analytical resource for insurance Calmins.com Denis Lebedev
Exactly a year ago, the information and analytical resource Сalmins.com –deliberate insurance was founded.
For this first anniversary of our portal we decided to take an interview with his author and the founder – Denis Lebedev.
– Denis, good afternoon! During the first year of the existence, calmins.com has passed the way from the idea to a demanded Internet portal, won all hearts of the audience. Why did it all start, how did the idea appear to create such a resource?
– After working during 20 years in insurance and having passed the path from the insurance agent to leadership positions, I constantly felt, on the one hand, the lack of information necessary for professional insurers, and on the other, I saw that informational and communicative prop between the insurer and his client. They often talk different languages, the placement of insurance information for customers on insurance companies solves this problem just a little. The insurer shows its products on their “shop window” most attractive, and the client before purchase can’t see how it works in reality. In addition, insurance is a complex subject, and to figure it out, sometimes you need to spend a lot of time and strength, or buy insurance is thickened and make mistakes. In this information vacuum, I decided to create a resource, examining insurance for screws, helping, on the one hand, the mass client of insurance companies (and this is with you, and our friends and acquaintances) to blame the insurance without making mistakes. And on the other hand, helping the professional community of insurers to be more customer-oriented, take into account the needs of the final consumers when creating their product offers.
– When and how did the work on your website and Calmins.com project start? And why Calmins.com?
– It all started in August 2020, when the idea came up. Oddly enough, the pandemic and the lockdown helped. First, Generali’s IT project in Russia (which I gave a lot of time and effort) has been closed due to a pandemic (at that difficult time, the company decided to close all investment projects). Although the IT platform for B2B sales of insurance services, which we created as part of the project, was already prepared and we even carried out test sales. But, it is not for nothing that when one door closes, another opens, and that every cloud has a silver lining. I now have time to think about and launch this project – Calmins.com. Those who know me also know how quickly I move from idea to action: I launched the project literally as soon as the idea came up, thought it over and refined it along the way. I was helped by my first associates and like-minded people (whom we later called NEO-volunteers in the project), many of them still help the project.
When it came to choosing a name, we went through a lot of names and domains. We discussed the pros and cons, even had a brainstorming session. And we settled on calm ins (insurance), which means “calm insurance”, which was later transformed into Calmins.com – considered insurance. A year later, we became an actively visited insurance resource “Calmins.com” with an audience of about 100,000 readers per month.
I myself drew the first version of the logo on my phone and sent it to the designer of our IT partner – the OPGIO company (Kostroma). Then that logo, which you all know well, appeared.
– Still, I wonder what happened next? Coming up with a name and even a logo doesn’t mean launching a project. What steps did you take?
Initially, we started with a small team of like-minded volunteers (NEO volunteers) and were able to launch this project. The first publications in test mode took place on August 23, 2020. But then no one knew us.
IT developers gave us the site only at the end of September 2020. We registered groups in VKontakte, Facebook and Telegram, found a designer for pictures. The publications were published several times a week.
At the end of the year, an artist came to our team and we began to supplement all publications with our unique thematic pictures. Found our own style.
In 2021, we decided to “lighten” our site – to make it more airy and updated in the fonts. We have attracted more NEO volunteers, some of them have been helping us for more than half a year, who write articles, make Test purchases and help develop the resource.
Also, such well-known experts of the insurance market as Maxim Chernov and Alexey Zubets (Doctor of Economics, Candidate of Technical Sciences, Professor) began to actively participate in the development of our project. In my opinion, these are some of the best analysts in the Russian insurance market.
Quite a lot of experts from the insurance market responded to our call to contribute to our project, they were interested. You can read an interview with them in the section of our resource.
– What makes your calmins.com project unique, how does it differ from other insurance information projects?
– The first and, probably, the most important thing is that we in simple language, in an accessible form, tell our readers about the unobvious nuances of insurance, help to understand the complex, make a choice and save time. And this is unique content, we do not reprint someone else’s, we test insurance products on our own experience, analyse the opportunities that exist in the insurance market, so that it would be easier for ordinary readers-users of services to navigate.
In addition, it is interesting for us to tell readers about what is happening in Russia and the world in the insurance sector – what is changing, how new technologies are developing: artificial intelligence, inshurtech. As we can see from the growth of views and the growth of the average time on the site – readers are interested.
The second is direct communication with the reader. We are glad to comments and questions, we always respond to them and try to satisfy the requests of our readers.
About 100,000 people a month are readers who are interested in the topic of insurance and are potential consumers of insurance services.
Especially for English-speaking readers, we have a separate ENG section, where you can get acquainted with the most interesting materials. Also, all interviews with experts are translated into English and posted on the site.
Third, we want to develop and maintain the “insurance agent” brand. In the era of development of Internet technologies, the illusion was created that the agent was no longer needed, that it was a relic of the past. But this is not the case! An insurance agent is a necessary link in communication between insurance companies and clients, they are “translators” of the complex language of insurance into a simple, human one, they are negotiators who find a consensus between the interests of the client and the insurer. This is a difficult profession, not always rewarding, but very interesting and allowing, on the one hand, to realize oneself, on the other, to make good money.
We help insurance agents become more famous in the digital age, raise their status to a new level. We believe that complex products are an agency topic and we believe in the importance of direct and friendly contact with the client.
Fourth, we prepare analytical reports and articles on the Russian insurance market, analyse insurance products on the market, and interview experts.
We generate unique and in-demand content that promotes mutual understanding between insurers and customers, enhances the insurance culture of people and their insurance competencies.
Thanks to the insurance market expert Maxim Chernov, who provides our resource with up-to-date interactive info tables on the Russian insurance market. The tables are compiled according to the data of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation in the context of insurance companies, products, regions, sales channels, etc. They are very easy to use, first of all – for insurers. In addition, a few months ago we launched infographic tables for the Russian car market. Information according to the Bank of Russia is updated on a quarterly basis on the insurance market, and on the new car market – on a monthly basis. There are several more joint ideas for implementation on our resource.
And finally, the fifth – we help the insurers create customer-oriented products, starting with ideas, study, underwriting, ending with his lending to the site of the insurance company and its further promotion. I am confident that the insurance market is not enough products that would really close customer needs. While the precipice of the insurers and consumers of their services is. Products are made not for customers; few people study their real needs. We try to be in trend and tell not only that has already happened, but also about the future insurance. This is the most exciting. We try to be objective in our research, conclusions and recommendations. In fact, we are a link between the insurers and customer’s market.
– Denis, you said that you have about 100,000 new users monthly, and how much, in your opinion, is a professional audience?
– According to our data, about 10 000 (10%) people regularly enter our site. With a large share of probability, it can be assumed that this is a professional audience. According to our data, about 1,000 readers keep our site in the “tab” or daily enter the resource. 1000 participants signed to our page in Facebook. Yes, and on the site from the moment of launching more than 1000 articles are already published: insurance news, market tests, interesting facts, control purchases, author articles, interviews with experts, etc. More than 100 podcasts are already posted on various Stringing Services. For me, a good indicator of what you know – this is when you send a link to an interesting article to someone from the colleagues in the insurance community, and they tell you that they have already read it.
– What kind of audience do you want to win in the next 2 years?
We want readers to come back to us and read more often wrote their questions and comments. For myself, we put the goal – to increase the number of unique users up to 10,000 per day. Already now the average reader stays on the site for more than 3 minutes – this is a very good indicator. We hope that our control purchases, author’s articles with expertise insurance products will help customers to understand the world of insurance and choose the right product for themselves, and insurers will enable the existing product line or offer something new. Already, we are actively cooperating with the All-Russian Union of Insurers, insurers, insurance brokers, aggregators and agents, expert agencies. We are developing not only insurance, but also “near insurance” subjects: News Insurtech, automotive market, fintech, finance and investment. I am confident that in the modern world, all this is very intertwined, and much is inextricably linked. For example, There still practically do not exist clean insurance. And this is a global trend that we want to light up, and tell you – our readers – about all the novelties, innovations and “chips” of boring insurance in a non-pie and understandable language.
– Denis, and the last question of our interview: What are your plans for Calmins.com – a deliberate insurance for the next 2-3 years?
– We are planning to actively develop as an information and analytical insurance agency, with analytics and expertise both the market itself and products. This will allow more often to produce more developed materials for both the mass reader and professional participants in the insurance market. We call on all participants in the insurance market to the active dialogue with the client, and our resource is ready to help you with this. We will be glad to new partners, those who truly believe in customer-oriented insurance in Russia and trying to make it more accessible and better.
Together we will do it more efficiently and faster. On behalf of the editorial board, thank Denis for an interesting conversation and wish the development and prosperity of the project.
Neo-Correspondent Lyubov S.
More interesting articles and information on our information and analytical resource – Calmins.com deliberate insurance