Community//

Andrea Luoni: “Listen more than you talk”

My company, RateCraft, challenges the current system to level the playing field. We solely represent our clients, working across all insurance carriers to find the best available rates without incentives. In fact, RateCraft only makes money based on if and how much it can save its clients. And, we have a 98% success rate finding […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

My company, RateCraft, challenges the current system to level the playing field. We solely represent our clients, working across all insurance carriers to find the best available rates without incentives. In fact, RateCraft only makes money based on if and how much it can save its clients. And, we have a 98% success rate finding savings! We certainly do not hate insurance agents, but we definitely frown upon the ones who take advantage of consumers.


As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Luoni, founder and CEO of RateCraft.

Andrea Luoni has more than 36 years of experience in the insurance industry, including 27 years as the CEO and founder of a consulting service specializing in insurance and coverage negotiations. With over 1200 completed projects throughout the U.S. including workers’ compensation, liability, property, professional liability, employee benefits, self-funded, captives, and international exposures. Ms. Luoni has delivered a strong reputation for delivering results with a 98% success ratio using proprietary benchmarking. Ms. Luoni began her career at Barney & Barney (Marsh), one of the largest independent insurance brokers in San Diego, CA. She completed her CIC designation (Certified Insurance Counsellor) in 1994 and has continued her education through the years in the area of risk management and alternative risk solutions. Prior to starting her own consulting business, Ms. Luoni was a commercial insurance executive with regional and national agencies. Ms. Luoni has worked with many of the national brokerage firms throughout the U.S., such as Lockton, Marsh McLennan, AJ Gallagher, AON and Brown & Brown. When not helping businesses reduce their insurance costs, you may find Ms. Luoni staying active in triathlons, running events and surfing around the world.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Most people do not choose to go into insurance — they usually fall into it. However, as a young girl, I was obsessed with growing up to work in business one day. My dad would bring work papers and computer gadgets home for me so I could play “business.”

After high school, while attending college at night, I begged my friend’s mom to get me a job where she worked — which happened to be in insurance. I started in the lower ranks as a file clerk, but I dressed in a full, professional suit every single day, and I was so motivated to take on more. People started to notice and within only a few months I got my insurance licenses and was promoted to handling my own accounts — something the person in my position before me hadn’t done in the course of a decade!

As I was working my way up through the ranks, I was able to see all the facets of how the industry worked and realized there were things that didn’t add up. At the ripe age of 25, I started a company giving consulting advice to insurance agencies. My advice was correct, but it was hard to get 50+ year-old men to take advice from a young woman. The same was true when I went back to selling commercial insurance — I was still one of only a few women selling and many clients simply liked doing business with their “guy,” the one they played golf and had a few beers with. At one point I was told that some of the male agents in our office were outselling me. That put fuel on my fire, and like a bolt of lightning, I came up with my current business model. I started working the concept one day a week and in three months, was earning more than I was selling insurance.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Having people be annoyed with you means something and, in this case, it’s clear that the industry doesn’t approve of my stance on full transparency — that disapproval is how I know I’m on the right track.

My entire business model is founded on the fact that the business insurance sales network is stacked against the buyer. Agents tend to have two to five favorite carriers they usually place business with — the ones they go to lunch with, pay more commission, or the ones involved in profit-sharing deals. It makes it nearly impossible to get the lowest coverage price and rarely does the buyer get full transparency when it comes to a plan’s costs and how they get paid. In reality, the more a business pays for insurance premiums, the more money their agent and carrier earn.

My company, RateCraft, challenges the current system to level the playing field. We solely represent our clients, working across all insurance carriers to find the best available rates without incentives. In fact, RateCraft only makes money based on if and how much it can save its clients. And, we have a 98% success rate finding savings! We certainly do not hate insurance agents, but we definitely frown upon the ones who take advantage of consumers.

We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

Mentors are key, and I have been incredibly lucky to have so many amazing people in my life. It may seem strange, but what comes immediately to mind is an old boyfriend from my early twenties. He was older than I, but we would talk business for hours. One night, he looked at me and said that I was going to make it, that I had a great way of thinking and creating and that I would be a success at anything I chose to do. He was the first person who was successful in business that told me “I can,” and gave me what I needed to believe in myself.

I grew up in a very traditional home and my parents were good mentors, but in a different way — they gave me my grounding in integrity, honor, hardworking nature and a heavy side of humor. I’ll never forget going through my mom’s cancer treatments making jokes and laughing about the process. It was always our way to deal with life’s absurdity and it definitely helps when building a business.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

  1. One is a phrase I’ve chosen to live by: If you’re willing to die, you’re certainly willing to live. Life is not always easy and I learned that as a young child. When I was twelve, my mom told me about a plant that was poisonous and not to eat it because it would kill me, so of course, I ate it. Nothing happened — I lived and as things do when you’re a child, life changed. At that moment, I kid you not, I created my “no fear” game plan. I put my introverted self aside and promised myself and those I loved that I would live boldly, audaciously, take risks, dream big, go for it all, and have the time of my life.
  2. Be unstoppable (age 41): From training for the Ironman race in Hawaii to dealing with marital problems at home, this statement was my mantra and was the glue that kept me together. An instructor in relationship class told me this and I still keep it in mind when making difficult decisions. Giving up is just not an option, even when it’s hard.
  3. Listen more than you talk (age 50): It is still a struggle for me but knowing that you have weaknesses to work on keeps your eye on growth and lets you know you’re still not done with this journey. Others need to be heard and we need to listen and allow people to express themselves.

How are you going to shake things up next?

Most of our work is for businesses that have more than 100 employees and those overlooked small businesses are some that are taken advantage of the most. We are currently working on an approach so that we can help small business owners receive the same help we offer our other clients.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

I’m an avid reader and since getting my iPod, I’ve started listening to Tim Ferriss Tribe of Mentors as well as Tony Robbins business-related podcasts. It is so inspiring to hear insights from so many successful individuals and learn of their struggles. When COVID-19 occurred, I was pondering how we could help and, after listening to a Tony Robbins podcast around coronavirus, came up with an idea to save clients’ money by deferring a significant part of our shared savings to the back end of their contracts so that they had more immediate cash flow. We also decided if we could sidestep waiting for a group health renewal in January we could find money right now and get it in their pockets.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂

My movement would be to create healthy Americans and fix the health insurance cost issue. RateCraft conducts quite a bit of work with group health insurance and has the privilege to review health data like types of disease and pharmaceutical usage. A group with 500 employees can often be prescribed over 13,000 drugs, from antibiotics, statins and diabetic medication to anti-depressants. The U.S. insurance system is dependent on the revenue from these drugs, and the best way to fix that dependence is with competent people changing the landscape of individuals and taking personal responsibility for their health.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know everything happens for a reason.” — Albert Schweitzer

During a particularly hard time in my life when I had $100 left in the bank, a lump in by breast and trying to keep a business afloat, a friend told me I should give up and go get a job. He didn’t know it, but he gave me what I needed at that very moment. I went for a run instead and came up with another way to simply succeed. I restructured a few ways I was doing business, made some calls to colleagues and kept going. Many people quit if they have a bad day, but the bad day is the lesson and the tough time is your teacher. Going through difficulty teaches you a different path and it allows you to appreciate your life once you get through it.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrealuoni/ or my whole team at https://ratecraft.com/.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“It’s energizing to do right by consumers and see the benefits you can bring to their lives” With David Lau

by Matt Schmidt
Community//

Insurance Disruptors: How RxBridge is Changing Healthcare for The Better

by Caroline James
Community//

“I’d like to inspire a movement to educate under- represented communities about financial tools that can really help them” With Monte Marable

by Matt Schmidt

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.