Nanotechnology to have dramatic impact on the insurance industry’s future assessment of policies and payment of claims

Close to 800 attendees at ISOTech 2005 hear keynote speeches on the influence of nanotechnology and technology tools for insurers

Nanotechnology will affect the future of the insurance industry with both positive and negative implications, according to Jack Uldrich, president of The NanoVeritas Group, in his keynote address at ISOTech 2005 held in Las Vegas. He explained to almost 800 senior insurers and claims adjusters from across the U.S. how nanotechnology would increase the durability of materials, enabling them to withstand greater pressure from hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes and thus reduce the damage caused to property and ultimately the payout that insurers will have to make.

He looked at how current developments in nanotechnology would also revolutionize the detection, prevention and treatment of a number of medical conditions, reducing medical expenses and therefore insurance costs. But he warned that there are many unknown effects on public health and the environment that will make it harder for insurers to set reserves, particularly for those who work with nanotechnology.

In the second keynote speech, ISO Chairman Frank Coyne cautioned that those leading-edge insurance companies who adopt new technology are stealing a significant competitive advantage. Data mining, pattern-recognition technology, data-visualization tools and scoring, for example, help reduce claims fraud and boost profits. “Not all insurers are leading-edge though, and a chasm is growing between those who use state-of-the-art analytics and those who don’t � between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots,'” warned Frank Coyne. “The ‘haves’ will be able to write business at the margins they target, and the ‘have nots’ will fall victim to adverse selection. The bar will rise continually as competition drives weaker players from the field. Insurers have to reinvent themselves by harnessing new technologies all along the value-creation chain in order to survive and prosper.”

“The ISOTech conference was a big success again this year,” commented Richard Boehning, senior vice president, ISO. “We had close to 800 attendees, which is one of the largest audiences we have had. Eighty independent technology vendors exhibited their solutions to the insurance executives who went around the exhibit hall. We heard some very relevant and forward-looking opinions from well-respected spokesmen within the industry. Jack Uldrich and Frank Coyne both gave very insightful presentations, and the attendees to ISOTech this year will go away with a better idea of what the future of the insurance industry will have in store for them.”

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