It’s the holiday season, so I know you’re busy with that, year-end renewals, and other things that compete for your time this time of year. Same here…after 40 years of buying Christmas presents for my wife, this year I’m at a loss other than the cordless electric hedge trimmer and spare battery for her cordless leaf blower that I’ve already bought. (I know, I’m a hopeless romantic.)

For this reason, I’m not going to take your time this week with a bunch of brain-straining, coverage-intensive blog posts. Instead, I’m doing a single post with a brief update on two insurtech announcements, along with my legendary chili recipe. After a month of dining on leftover turkey (perhaps with more to come next week) and/or ham and other holiday treats, you’re probably settling in for a cold winter and wondering what you could eat that’s filling and warming. I have just the thing for you, but first….


InsurTech Update

I have several sources for insurtech information but #1 on my list for something other than hype and hyperbole is Shefi Ben-Hutta’s daily Coverager newsletter. If the impact of insurtech on our industry concerns or at least interests you, then I encourage you to sign up for this daily quick read.

Insurtech startup Lemondade just ran another in their tidal wave of press releases, announcing $120 million in new venture capital funding. In her coverage of this PR, Shefi questions the financial viability of Lemonade. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read the analysis. In addition, I’ve written about insurtech startup financial viability before in this blog post.

Whenever I read another press release about funding like this, I’m reminded of this tweet:

Ignorance has never gotten me excited unless I quickly came to the realization that it was leading me to disaster, but that’s a different kind of excitement from sky diving, gambling, and gambling’s more prim and proper stepsister, venture capital investing.

The second insurtech story was brought to my attention by Chet Gladkowski of GAPro Systems. It involves insurtech startup Trov and autonomous auto upstart Waymo (not to be confused with the Wham-O toy company). You can click on the links in the last sentence to see what they’re up to but, as usual, it’s something that’s going to revolutionize everything.

The only thing I have confidence in most of these startups doing is spewing out press releases like a drunken sailor on shore leave. I haven’t seen a lot of evidence that they’re good at anything else other than pie-in-the-sky predictions and braggadocio. For all we know, Trov and/or Waymo won’t even be around a year from now. I still think any large scale autonomous transportation systems are years away and probably beyond the patience of most venture capitalists who apparently have a lot of money to throw away right now in a booming economy. And all this emerging industry needs is one or two major disasters to set it back several years and potentially burst the insurtech bubble.

But enough of that. Let’s move on to something REALLY important right now…chili.


Willy’s Chili

The following is my legendary chili recipe. I’ve spent decades perfecting it. It was the 3-time (consecutively, then retired) winner of the Johnny Cash Burning Ring of Fire Chili Cook-Off Contest.* So, if you’ve had your fill of refried turkey sandwiches, try ‘gobbling’ some of this up:


Willy’s Chili Recipe


  • 4 cans dark red kidney beans
  • 4 cans light red kidney beans
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups catsup
  • 3 lbs. ground round (any lean ground beef)
  • 1 Bermuda onion, diced
  • 4 oz. chili powder (approx.)
  • 2 Tsp cumin powder
  • 2 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tsp paprika


  • Simmer first 6 ingredients plus 3 oz. chili powder and 1 Tsp cumin powder in a large pot on low heat.
  • Brown remaining ingredients in a skillet and DRAIN WELL, then combine into pot.
  • Continue to simmer the chili until the acid cooks out of the tomatoes (probably a couple of hours), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Add more chili powder to taste (I use at least 4 oz. and sometimes 6 oz.)


*  Disclaimer:  Not affiliated in any way with the real and equally legendary Johnny Cash or his estate. In fact, it wasn’t much of a chili contest…it was put on by the Tennessee Pond of the Honorable Order of the Blue Goose, International, a social and charitable insurance organization I’ve been a member of for over 40 years.

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Bill Wilson

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One of the premier insurance educators in America on form, coverage, and technical issues; Founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University; Retired Assoc. VP of Education and Research from Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Reprint Request Information