PonyProof is all about getting everyone in proof-of-insurance on the same page. But each party's page is specific to their role in the process. PonyProof benefits all participants:
When a client requests you to deliver his proof-of-insurance to his client, simply press the Deliver button, enter his email, his client's email, and attach the certificates, forms and any other files needed.
Your clients will also be able to login to PonyProof and initiate proof-of-insurance requests to you. When they do, they'll see a list of questions from you to make sure they get the right documentation.
You'll get an email from them with their answers to those questions as well as the requesting party's name, email and address. All you have to do is reply to that email attaching the certificates, forms and any other files needed. That's it.
After logging in, General Contractors, Property Managers & Shippers see a list of their Subcontractors', Vendors' and Subhaulers' files arranged by partner or by project/property showing which have expired, are about to expire, or marked as incorrect or incomplete.
To request proof-of-insurance from your business partner, simply click the Request button, enter his email, the project's name (optional), attach any needed files such as his contract, and check off any requirements that don't apply or have already been fulfilled such as worker's comp for sole proprietors. Those requirements are configurable by you, so you can decide what your partners need to submit valid proof-of-insurance. For example, if your partners need $10mm General Liability and $5mm Automotive, you can easily apply that in the Settings.
Your partner will get an email from you with instructions to forward it to their broker, who'll also see instructions to fulfill your request and see your requirements right in that email. When your partner's broker replies to that email, you'll get his response in your email.
You'll also have a copy of those documents in a file within PonyProof where you can check off requirements that have been met, or request more documentation from your partner and his broker if your requirements haven't been met either in PonyProof or just by replying to that email. You can also set an expiration and be reminded when it's time to get updated proof-of-insurance from this partner — and so will your partner and his broker.
To send proof-of-insurance to your business partner, simply click the Send button, enter your insurance agent's email, your partner's email and address (unless it's already in PonyProof) and attach any files that your agent needs such as the contract you've signed with this partner.
Your agent will get an email from you asking for your insurance documents as attachments to his reply. When your agent replies, you and your business parter will get those documents. Your business partner can set an expiration date on those documents so that you, he and your insurance agent will be notified when it's time to refresh them.
We spend our lives learning.
Back in the 80's, I learned about construction watching my dad build affordable housing in Oakland. I learned about putting other people first from my Mom, who worked long hours as a secretary to put me through high school. I learned about trust – and being worthy of the trust my fellow line dogs placed in me – while serving as an infantryman at Second Ranger Battalion. And I learned some things at Stanford University, too.
But the thing I learned most from was a failure.
Back in 2003, my brother and I bought a small dump truck company. We worked hard, were fair to our clients, and tried to pay our subhaulers on time. We had high hopes but also some bad luck, and trusted some people we shouldn't have – disreputable clients who never payed us what they owed. Contractors who more experienced dump truckers knew not to deal with.
After losing two years and $200,000 we sold our trucks and moved on.
I learned how depressing it can be to get cheated, how stressful it is to fall behind on your bills. And it taught me how painful it is when you have to let employees go through no fault of their own.
The idea for PonyProof was born of long reflections on success, failure, trust, reputation, and relationships. You work with subcontractors who've earned your trust, and for clients when you've earned theirs. You buy insurance from agents you trust – and insurance agents write policies for companies they trust to pay attention to safety.
On the surface, PonyProof is a practical, easy way to get proof of insurance from your subs and send it to your clients, and then manage it over time. But it's deeper than that. My vision for PonyProof is to help establish trust between you, your clients, your subcontractors, and your insurance agents. If you have suggestions on how we can do this better, email me directly at email@example.com. And please, if you're confused by anything or have a question, even if you think it's a stupid one, just give me a call at (415) 873-3892.
Because I'm still learning, remember?
When I was graduating from Yale, the two most acceptable career paths were management consulting and investment banking. But ever since discovering email and the world wide web as a freshman in 1993, both in their just-before-the-public-found-them stages, it was clear they would soon change the world – and at the time, building the technology behind changing the world seemed much more meaningful to me than evaluating a company's financial statements, or tweaking their strategy before an IPO.
So I rode out to Silicon Valley on a motorcycle in 1997.
Since then I've had the chance to work at some successful tech startups like SalesForce.com, and some others that never quite got off the ground. I've watched companies like Google and Craigslist succeed by staying focused and putting their users first. I've had the chance to teach English in Korea and to consult on technology issues while living in China. But until now I haven't been as involved in changing peoples' lives as I wanted.
So when Fred showed me his idea for PonyProof and explained some of the problems construction companies have managing their insurance documents, I saw a way to help make a change. A way to solve real problems that real people -- construction risk managers and project managers -- struggle with every day. The system you see is pretty basic right now and we won't pretend that it meets all of your needs. But if you use it, I promise to listen to your feedback, and work with you to improve it every single day until we get it right -- right for you, right for your subcontractors, right for your agents, and right your clients.
Together we can save trees, toner cartridges, time, and money – and you'll help me to make a change. It's overdue.