Garret Gray Of CoreLogic: How AI Is Disrupting Our Industry, and What We Can Do About It

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Don’t try to look at AI as all or nothing equation. You don’t have to transform your digital ecosystem all at once with AI. Realize the value of incremental implementation into workflows where AI can add value and start there.

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the future; it is now. It’s reshaping landscapes, altering industries, and transforming the way we live and work. With its rapid advancement, AI is causing disruption — for better or worse — in every field imaginable. While it promises efficiency and growth, it also brings challenges and uncertainties that professionals and businesses must navigate. What can one do to pivot if AI is disrupting their industry? As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Garret Gray, president of insurance solutions at CoreLogic.

Garret Gray is the President of Global Insurance Solutions at CoreLogic®. Garret leads a team of industry experts focused on building market-driven solutions that drive better customer outcomes throughout the property insurance ecosystem.

Previously, Garret was the founder and CEO of Next Gear Solutions, acquired by CoreLogic in August 2021. Next Gear was an industry-leading source of water mitigation; job and sales management software; and claim scoping and auditing solutions. Next Gear’s tools combined CoreLogic’s products — a first of its kind comprehensive solution set — are used by the entire supply chain ecosystem across the United States and Canada and most of the top 25 U.S. insurance carriers.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I began my career in the property restoration contractor industry at a company where I quickly recognized that there was a way to digitize manual processes to ultimately save contractors time on their everyday tasks. So, I developed a solution for that organization. Eventually, I started my own company, Next Gear Solutions, to provide efficient, technology-based solutions for the entire property restoration space expanding into carrier partnership solutions. CoreLogic acquired Next Gear in 2021, and now I have the honor of overseeing our Insurance Solutions business and continuing to help the entire industry. It’s a lot of fun.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The first thing you need to know about CoreLogic is that we have the most comprehensive property database, and it underpins all our dynamic workflow solutions. We use this data in myriad ways, all driving toward CoreLogic’s mission in the property insurance industry: to provide solutions that enable people in our industry to focus on the lives beyond the buildings.

At CoreLogic, we offer data solutions and technology to support the entire property ecosystem, including underwriting, claims, supply chain and beyond. Our workflow and data solutions work together to form an integrated digital ecosystem, allowing stakeholders across the insurance supply chain to connect their departments and provide the best customer experiences for policyholders. Our solutions are developed and refined by industry experts with decades of combined experience.

We acknowledge that for the insurance industry to advance, participation from as many industry players as possible is required. This means that everyone involved in the insurance process, including underwriters, claims professionals, and restoration contractors, should prioritize the needs of the people they serve above their business processes. That’s why we emphasize collaboration through initiatives like our CoreLogic’s extensive partner base. This collaboration ensures our technologies integrate with the top players in the industry.

When I was looking for a new partner and a potential home for NextGear Solutions, our team was intrigued by CoreLogic. We recognized that what Next Gear Solutions offered was the missing piece of a property market puzzle that CoreLogic was already addressing with its powerful mission. By adding Next Gear’s property restoration solutions to the mix, we were able to further modernize the space. Insurance is an industry that impacts so many people, and I was ready to contribute to a company that does so much for insurance and, ultimately, the policyholders impacted by disasters.

You are a successful business leader. Which three-character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

First, being able to challenge the status quo is important. I love doing that. It’s critical to be able to recognize when there is a problem that can be solved, even when it feels impossible. To succeed, leaders must challenge the beliefs around these problems and push the limits.

Second, to be a successful leader, you must be able to attract and unite the best team players. Extraordinary things only happen with great people. To build a thriving enterprise, you must attract, nurture, and engage the best team, bar none. At CoreLogic, we have an incredible management team. Even with CoreLogic’s acquisition of Next Gear, we kept the standout players. Many of the founders of companies I acquired while CEO of NextGear chose to stay with the company post-acquisition — and are still with CoreLogic today — which is unique, but a big part of our success.

Third, it is important to fulfill the promises you make. At CoreLogic, we believe in being transparent and delivering on our commitments. We envision a future where the property insurance industry is digital, and we are taking practical steps to make this a reality. For instance, we announce our upcoming innovations every year at our conference, INTRConnect, and we work diligently to launch these products within the same year.

Let’s now move to the main point of our discussion about AI. Can you explain how AI is disrupting your industry? Is this disruption hurting or helping your bottom line?

AI is irrevocably changing how we live, work, and play, and it’s a massive opportunity for those who choose to lean in.

With AI algorithms capable of processing vast amounts of data, AI enables insurance and reconstruction professionals to efficiently make accurate, objective, data-driven decisions and create strategies that hinge upon all factors relevant to current and future circumstances.

Before I get into examples, it’s worth noting that AI must be trained on quality data for AI to be successful. Companies across all industries — not just insurance — must learn to ask what data is powering AI technology to ensure its good-quality, complete data. In the property insurance industry, including property restoration, carriers and contractors should work with technology providers with access to a comprehensive set of accurate property data.

Here are three examples of how AI is impacting the insurance industry:

  1. Better modeling and prediction — for instance, the ability to assess the likelihood of a particular risk/hazard and its potential impact for more effective underwriting and pricing.
  2. Workflow and process automation — for example, the ability to automate data collection and decision making in damage assessment, scoping, and estimating process.
  3. Data derivation — the ability to collect more accurate descriptions of the exposure to make better decisions — for example, leveraging imagery analytics to determine property condition.

AI brings efficiencies that help the bottom line, but also growth initiatives, which brings top line impact. Ultimately, removing friction from processes in insurance allows for more of a focus on the people — the policyholders — and not the processes. AI augments rote tasks, allowing people to have the time to extend empathy to people in their greatest times of need.

Which specific AI technology has had the most significant impact on your industry?

It’s hard to point to a single application where AI has been the most impactful. Still, I will say that technologies that can process photos and automatically generate information based on the imagery are extremely powerful.

CoreLogic’s AI Virtual Survey has impacted underwriters because it removes the need to physically send a person to the property to conduct inspections. Image analytics present new data, and when machine learning techniques are applied to the inspection process, there is intelligent data blending to create accurate and complete datasets. This enables straight-through processing, which is the goal of every underwriting function.

The image analytics feature in our restoration job management platform, CoreLogic DASHTM, has been transformational for restoration contractors thanks to its ability to scan property imagery and describe the subject of a photo. DASH identifies property condition, building grade, home features, kitchen quality grade, the presence and type of damage, and more. With these photo tags, users get a full picture of upcoming projects to optimally plan. This function also saves technicians time by eliminating the need to manually enter this data for every property they manage.

Humans are visual, so examples that people can see — like image analytics — is the most natural way to see AI teams starting to evolve. However, the future will and is starting to embrace large language model use cases and AI-pattern recognition analysis systems for improved and more efficient management, insights for analytics, QA on decisioning, and more. These examples are less obvious, but you could make the argument they are even more impactful.

For example, within CoreLogic’s product suite, our upcoming Customer Sentiment functionality will change the way restorers work. Leveraging generative AI, Customer Sentiment will be integrated into DASH, which will process project notes from all sources to determine customer feelings and outlook. This will be a powerful tool for business owners and managers looking to empirically know when a customer needs extra empathy or attention.

Once Customer Sentiment is established, DASH will be configured to automatically send alerts to management teams when a sentiment falls into a certain category. From there, the right professional can reach out to customers to understand their needs.

Can you share a pivotal moment when you recognized the profound impact AI would have on your sector?

I got a taste of AI’s profound impact on the insurance sector when CoreLogic took 80% of a carrier client’s files and made them low touch.

To ensure that a claim is settled fairly, an adjuster and contractors should each review hundreds of data elements. This manual work limits a professional’s ability to provide a personal touch to a policyholder in their time of need. When I realized that we could automate mundane tasks, it became clear that adjusters could focus more on relating to the policyholders and handoff ‘paperwork’ that is critically important to a machine. This realization can improve the lives of policyholders and the professionals involved in the process. The idea that we can simplify the jobs of adjusters and allow them to focus on the human aspect of their work is transformative.

How are you preparing your workforce for the integration of AI, and what skills do you believe will be most valuable in an AI-enhanced future?

CoreLogic is encouraged by the impact AI has had and is having on our industry. We’ve been working with AI for some time now, so there isn’t a lot of internal preparation required outside of continuously inviting our people to understand the latest applications. However, that’s not the case for everyone in our industry and so having a proper change management plan is essential to the adoption and success of AI applications. When new processes and workflows that leverage AI are introduced, it is important to train people appropriately. For instance, if there is a new data element that is used in underwriting such as a Roof Condition scope that includes a confidence scope, an underwriter will need to know how and when to use it to make decisions.

One of our goals at CoreLogic is to promote the positive impacts AI can have on our industry — viewing it as an opportunity, rather than a threat.

To that end, CoreLogic Global Insurance Solutions group hosts an annual conference, INTRConnect, which brings together thousands of professionals across the property insurance and restoration industries. The entire program, from panels to workshops to furniture placement, is designed to spark collaborative conversation. Ultimately, conversation facilitates collaboration that will continue to be invaluable in learning how to optimize an organization for an AI-enhanced future.

However, collaboration is not possible without empathy. As an InsurTech provider, CoreLogic serves a people-first industry. The benefit of using AI for the property insurance ecosphere, which includes the restoration function, is that it enables people to be more human-centric by shifting focus away from processes. The value of empathy will reign in an AI-enhanced future.

What are the biggest challenges in upskilling your workforce for an AI-centric future?

AI adoption can be approached as organizational change management. You’ll need to get people on board and ensure continued, consistent company-wide usage of AI. Arriving at this goal will involve training and instilling confidence that AI will not replace any employee — it will simply enhance their jobs and what they can do for people. Employees can’t be distracted by fear as they adapt new skills when leveraging new AI technologies.

What ethical considerations does AI introduce into your industry, and how are you tackling these concerns?

There are a few ethical considerations when it comes to AI. The one that is always top of mind is data privacy. That’s why the data we collect is never shared or sold to other sources. We also build safeguards into our systems to protect our vast amount of data.

Second, there is the risk that AI could be biased and create discriminatory decisions. This underscores the importance of data quality because discrimination happens when AI is trained on subjective data. At CoreLogic, we train all our AI on the industry’s most comprehensive, objective data set, which includes more than 1 billion points of property intelligence.

Lastly, there is always the ethical question of when human intervention is necessary in an AI workflow or process. To that end, we ensure that our technologies don’t make risky decisions without prompting human oversight or action.


What are your “Five Things You Need To Do, If AI Is Disrupting Your Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

I challenge using the word ‘disruptive’ because while I think there are warning signs for people who don’t embrace the opportunity, the conversation should be more about the opportunities AI presents to transform people’s lives. As such, here are five things to do to welcome this technology.

1. Embrace AI and fall in love with the technology, even outside your space. Understand how it impacts both work and play. Learn as much as you can about AI to determine your company’s appropriate level of investment into the technology.

2. Recognize the opportunity. The industries that will get left behind are those that take the dystopian view of AI and choose not to identify what opportunities may be in store for the industry. Understand that AI can help people make better decisions by automatically calculating what can be streamlined through technology to transform and enhance the market.

3. Pursue AI with organizational change management. Have a company-wide strategy for getting AI in place, having everyone using it to the fullest degree, and advocating for the continued, consistent use of the tool following implementation. One example of this would be implementing incentive programs to encourage the ongoing use of AI technology and prevent returning to old processes.

4. Understand the impact of data on AI. The data you have in your digital ecosystem will train your AI. As a result, you must have a complete set of quality data. Work with technology vendors with access to comprehensive datasets so that your AI gets optimal training to produce the best results.

5. Don’t try to look at AI as all or nothing equation. You don’t have to transform your digital ecosystem all at once with AI. Realize the value of incremental implementation into workflows where AI can add value and start there.

What are the most common misconceptions about AI within your industry, and how do you address them?

The most common misconception is that AI will take the place of humans. People should not be worried about AI taking over their jobs. Instead, they should embrace AI, knowing it is a technology that can enhance their jobs. If they don’t learn how to leverage AI in their roles, there is a chance they could be replaced by someone who knows how to use AI effectively.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

One of my mantras is “limits are a lie.” That’s something I like to say to my team. It applies to everything. The limits we think are in front of us are all lies. What people can do, especially as a team, is limitless. When you recognize this, know this, and believe it, you can achieve everything. Our group is an example of this. With the innovation we are driving, we are busting through the boundaries of what was once considered impossible. It’s what makes CoreLogic such a special place to work.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

At CoreLogic, our success is based on the people we have and their ability to be successful. As we continue to fight for talent during a time when people can work from anywhere, my main concern is being able to attract and maintain the people we have. That puts a lot of my brain power into what kind of culture we are creating. I’m constantly thinking, “Does this culture excite and make people feel bigger than themselves?”

Also, our customers must perceive CoreLogic as a company with an authentic culture that inspires and fulfills our employees. The industry has acknowledged that CoreLogic is an organization of high-performing, highly engaged, and limit-shattering individuals. We are focused on keeping CoreLogic recognized internally and externally as an engaging, fulfilling workplace. I want our employees to feel that we are a team of people who feel honored and excited to serve our industry.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 😊

I would love to start the ‘Unlock the Possible’ movement if I had unlimited resources and time. It would involve going to areas around the world where people lack opportunity and figuring out how to unlock individual potential. It’d be a global movement about giving people life-changing, and possibly world-changing, opportunities in areas where communities are not focused on achieving dreams. The cure for cancer could come out of this. The ability to unlock impact means multiplying impact, so it is crucial to go to areas without a lot of opportunity. It is the recipe for unearthing limitless potential.

How can our readers further follow you online?

You can connect with me on LinkedIn and follow CoreLogic Insurance Solutions to stay in the know about our latest developments.

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you continued success in your great work!

Thanks for having me!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.