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Commercial Lines Channel Plans: The Times They Are A-Changin’

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Property & casualty commercial lines carriers have ambitious plans to expand their distribution channels. Much of the change is centered around traditional channels and agents, brokers, MGAs, and wholesalers. Because of that, my original title idea was, “The More Things Change, the More They… Read more »

Customer Experience in P&C Insurance is a Marathon – but the Finish Line Keeps Moving

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Much has been written and much has been done in the past decade regarding the customer experience in P&C. Progress has been made in better understanding customer needs and journeys, implementing digital solutions for mobile and self-service capabilities, and improving interactions with agents and… Read more »

Retail, wholesale and reinsurance brokers need smarter technology now to surmount hardening markets in P&C

By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — 94% of brokers declare that “Faster quotes would help close more business.” Our Toronto-based venture Relay Platform emerged on the InsurTech scene in 2020 with a compelling platform helping brokers and cedents source and manage facultative reinsurance placements. Since then, we expanded into insurance, with a focus on… Read more »

Commercial Lines Distribution Platforms: Way Beyond Comparative Raters

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Commercial lines insurers have many options for distribution partners. The world of intermediaries is continuing to expand with many new platforms to connect distributors to carriers. We are frequently being asked by insurers how many distribution platform partners an insurer should have and how… Read more »

Insurance 2030: The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The pandemic has changed everything. Well, not everything… but it has changed many aspects of the lives of individuals and families and has had far-reaching effects on businesses in every industry. The patterns that represent the ebb and flow of daily life have been… Read more »

Continuation – the least understood benefit of group insurance?

By Hans Frauenlob, Co-Founder, Sentro — Group insurance often has a hugely important feature that is really poorly understood.  It is called a Continuation Option.  Let’s look at it from the perspectives of the employer, the employee, and the insurer. Finally, we’ll look at some recent improvements in our Sentro platform that make handling continuation… Read more »

The Digital Journey of Personal Lines Insurers

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Personal lines insurers experienced the disruption and change of 2020 like the rest of the world. Most were already on digital transformation journeys before the pandemic but the tumultuous events of last year caused many to reprioritize digital projects and change the shape of… Read more »

Replaying real life: how the Waymo Driver avoids fatal human crashes

By Trent Victor, Director of Safety Research & Best Practices, Waymo — Road safety is a major, global public health crisis. More than 1.3 million people die on the world’s roads every year, according to WHO. That’s more people than die from HIV/AIDS, and is equivalent to a passenger plane’s worth of people crashing every… Read more »

Finaeo is a Finalist in the MassChallenge 2021 FinTech Cohort

Submitted by Finaeo — Finaeo has been selected as the only Canadian company to join the 2021 MassChallenge FinTech cohort. Over 325 startups from around the world applied to participate, with only 30 companies being selected to join the program. MassChallenge, headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt… Read more »

The Digital Journey of Commercial Lines Insurers

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Commercial lines insurers are moving forward on their digital journeys, spurred by customer demands and the acceleration of digital capabilities in the world at large. In earlier phases of the industry’s digital journey, all the attention was on personal lines. Commercial lines, especially those… Read more »

Parametric Insurance Insights from Paul Prendergast of Blink

Q&A with Paul Prendergast, CEO, Blink Parametric — Do you see Parametric as an under-served area of insurance? The vast amount of parametric insurance is written for large enterprises and governments. Our experience has been that there is latent demand for a platform that allows insurers to build and deliver simple, yet powerfully effective parametric… Read more »

Insurance 2030: Scenarios for the Future, Implications for Today

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — It can be difficult to think about the future when the demands of the day are so pressing. The pandemic and events of 2020 have caused seismic shifts in society, affecting everyday patterns, lifestyles, and business operations. Adapting strategies and plans to the pandemic’s… Read more »

Streamline Your Financial Advisor Practice with Digitization

Submitted by Finaeo — Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were not motivated to buy life insurance products throughout 2020, according to Deloitte. For the vast majority of consumers (79%), insurers were to blame “due to a combination of infrequent client communications” and their widespread perception of “transaction complexity,” among other issues. Fortunately, new digital… Read more »

InsurTech 2020: Has the Pandemic Changed the Trajectory?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Right before the pandemic hit, I published a blog that reflected on the first decade of the InsurTech movement and made predictions for the decade starting with 2020.† Little did I know that the world was about to plunge into chaos and fundamental change… Read more »

Battling Health Insurance Claims Fraud

Submitted by CaseWare RCM, Inc. — Insurance companies and providers of health care benefits lose hundreds of millions of dollars yearly due to fraudulent claims for health benefits. Some of these are bogus claims that originate from insured persons, while others are payments for insured services that are not needed but are wrongly prescribed by… Read more »

P&C Personal Lines in 2021: How Are Insurer Strategies Changing?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Individuals with strategy and planning roles have had a busy time in 2020 adapting to the evolving realities of the pandemic and economic uncertainties. 2021 is likely to be more of the same for people in these roles. Entering into 2020, personal lines insurers… Read more »

How to do open enrollment when you can’t find the workplace

By Hans Frauenlob, Co-Founder, Sentro — “Everything you know is wrong.” These days, that one phrase prevails over everything else.  The global COVID-19 pandemic has turned conventional wisdom about how business and society operates upside down.  We’ve all had to adjust to travel restrictions, limits on social gatherings, and many other changes to the way we… Read more »

Different starting lines, same end goal: Commercial Lines Underwriting Transformation

New SMA guest blog by Megan Bock Zarnoch, Founder, Boundless Consulting Group — When Deb Smallwood and I authored “A Recipe for Commercial Lines Underwriting Transformation” in August, we articulated the need to break free of the traditional paradigm of siloed and incremental evolution being viewed on a quarter-by-quarter and year-by-year basis. We challenged commercial… Read more »

Industry Collaboration to enhance the Digital Ecosystem

By Steve Whitelaw, Vice President – Industry & Partner Relations, Applied Systems — Digitization is transforming the insurance world. The ability to streamline manual, paper-intensive activities allows brokers access to information at any time and optimize everyday procedures for better customer service. One area that has historically challenged brokers with manual, paper-intensive tasks is commercial… Read more »

Battling Insurance Agent Fraud

Submitted by CaseWare RCM, Inc. — Insurance fraud is a constant challenge to the industry and can take on many appearances, from fraudulent claims to elaborate scams and conspiracies created by agents themselves or working with complicit policyholders. The fraud can be small, amounting to an individual payment of a few dollars, or it could… Read more »

Should Cyber Insurance Be Like Auto Insurance?

By Hans Frauenlob, Co-Founder, Sentro — My morning commute to work now usually involves a trip from my bedroom to my lounge. I log on to my computer, and start my work day. Actually, my work day starts earlier, when I check my smartphone for overnight email after I wake up. My car stays parked… Read more »

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P&C Commercial Lines in 2021: Innovation or Optimization?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The unexpected, unprecedented events of 2020 have turned the world upside down. Like every business sector, commercial lines insurance has had to adapt and adjust throughout the year. Many commercial lines insurers have experienced significant financial hits from the pandemic due to increased claims,… Read more »

IoT: A One-Sided Coin?

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — The insurance industry excels at tactics. If one is an underwriter, a claims person, or contact center manager, and a problem is detected, it’s all hands on deck to solve that problem. What tactics could wrestle that problem to the ground? That’s generally the… Read more »

Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Commercial Underwriting. Here’s How.

By Lisa Seguin, Field Marketing Manager, Insurance, Element AI — In 2020, it’s difficult to think of a sector that artificial intelligence (AI) won’t disrupt. The technology promises to transform businesses ranging from transportation to telecommunications, while also holding promise for sectors held back by manual processes and legacy technology. Insurance is one such sector…. Read more »

P&C Distribution: Blending Traditional and New Models

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — A great deal of activity is underway by insurers investigating or implementing new distribution channels. For every line of business across P&C, there are compelling reasons to expand distribution beyond the tried and true channels. This is not to say that agent/broker channels or… Read more »

Under Construction: Commercial Lines Underwriting Transformation

New SMA guest blog by Megan Bock Zarnoch, Founder, Boundless Consulting Group — SMA, in partnership with Boundless Consulting, recently conducted an industry survey that provided an enlightening view of our industry’s current state while affirming that industry leaders all expect a significantly different future in underwriting. Our results show that for most carriers, the… Read more »

Which AI Technologies Are Most Valuable for P&C Personal Lines?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Artificial intelligence technologies are everywhere. The great leap forward in AI over the past decade has come along with an explosion of new tech companies, AI deployment across almost every industry sector, and AI capabilities behind the scenes in billions of intelligent devices around… Read more »

How Would You Describe the Underwriting Organizations of the Future?

New SMA guest blog by Megan Bock Zarnoch, Founder, Boundless Consulting Group — Boston, MA (Oct. 20, 2020) – We recently conducted an industry survey, and 80% of industry executives expect underwriting to be significantly different in the next five years. 94% expect it to be significantly different by the end of the next decade…. Read more »

AI Investment in Commercial Lines – Do Insurers Have It Right?

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been in almost every technology-based headline over the past 24 months. If an incumbent technology provider or a newly emerging InsurTech organization wants to grab attention – well, just insert AI in the first few lines of the description. Or,… Read more »

P&C Insurers Shift Course as the Pandemic Continues

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — When will the COVID-19 pandemic end? Will it end? P&C insurers, like all other business sectors, are faced with a time of unprecedented uncertainty. There are always multiple external factors to consider when developing strategies and adjusting ongoing plans. Now, layer into the traditional… Read more »

Property Insurance Claims Innovation: Its Time Has Come

By Stephen Applebaum and Vincent Romans — The Personal and Commercial Property claims process has traditionally lagged well  behind other segments of P&C insurance in the adoption of technology and innovation. That officially ended in 2020, ironically aided in part by the effects of a global pandemic that changed virtually everything about life and business… Read more »

Claims 2021 Planning: Are You Placing the Right Bets?

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — It’s planning season – at least in most insurance companies. It is time to take out the 2020 budget and see where line items need to move for next year. Did the claims organization meet objectives? If not, what adjustments need to be made… Read more »

Keeping Up With Innovation

By Dan Gordon, CTO, Sønr — If you want to stay on top of technological innovation in insurance, you need to consider far more than just insurance startups. You need to be looking at all technology that can impact the sector. Tech and Deep Tech have the potential to refashion the industry, so to stay… Read more »

Reflections on InsurTech and the Pandemic

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Much has already been written about the implications of the pandemic, the related economic activity, and how they will affect the InsurTech movement. As usual, there are a wide range of opinions. Will InsurTech be one of the casualties of COVID-19? Or will the… Read more »

The Digital Future of Insurance: Three Ways to Become Paperless

By Steve Whitelaw, Vice President – Industry & Partner Relations, Applied Systems — As we think over the last few months, businesses in every industry have been facing new and unprecedented challenges. Independent brokerages have had to evaluate and launch new plans to get staff working from home, connect with insurer partners to access critical… Read more »

IBM’s Roadmap For Scaling Quantum Technology

By Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and Vice President, IBM Quantum — Yorktown Heights, NY (Sept. 15, 2020) – Back in 1969, humans overcame unprecedented technological hurdles to make history: we put two of our own on the Moon and returned them safely. Today’s computers are capable, but assuredly earthbound when it comes to accurately capturing… Read more »

Transformational Technologies in P&C During the COVID Era

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Technologies like machine learning, the IoT, RPA, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) were hot topics in P&C insurance before the world was turned upside down in 2020 due to the pandemic. These and many other “transformational” technologies have great potential for insurers in the… Read more »

The Difference Between Audience and Prospect

By Kevin Butler, VP – Marketing & Strategy, Goose Digital — I’m often asked what the difference is between “audience” and “prospect.” While my answer might sound like I’m splitting hairs, the distinction between the two is critical. In my mind, the difference defines engagement, department ownership, and the primary methods by which each should… Read more »

New Digital Communications in Insurance: Options for Prospects, Producers, and Policyholders

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The options for digital communications keep expanding. Insurers’ mobile interactions with prospects, producers, and policyholders have become common, while methods like e-mail, web portals, and even fax are extensively used. Now there is a whole new world of messaging platforms, chatbots, business texting, voice… Read more »

Five uses of AI in commercial underwriting

By Charles Dugas, Insurance AI Lead, Element AI — Underwriting is all about data. Since its inception, people in the insurance profession have been evaluating data on risk, value, and other factors in order to make their decisions. Today’s underwriters have more variables to contend with, more submissions, more competition, and more data of all… Read more »

What Would Your Underwriters Say?

New SMA guest blog by Megan Bock Zarnoch, Founder, Boundless Consulting Group — Boston, MA (Aug. 31, 2020) – You believe your culture is pretty darn good, and your systems, while not perfect, are improving … but what would your underwriters say? Underwriting professionals are acknowledged to be the company’s most valuable assets, which you… Read more »

Insurance Technology, Investment & Innovation under COVID-19: A Tale of Two Realities

By Stephen Applebaum, Insurance Solutions Group — This is a companion article to “Working-from-Home: Infecting People and Organizations in Insurance,” published on Aug. 17. As if our lives and the world in which we find ourselves aren’t confusing enough, for those of us working in the insurance industry ecosystem there are also less obvious threats… Read more »

Cooking Up Change: A Recipe for Underwriting Transformation

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood & Megan Bock Zarnoch, Strategy Meets Action — The world is changing fast. And commercial insurance fills an increasingly important need in our world by creating predictability out of uncertainty and helping businesses of all sizes navigate this turbulent time. This insurance model enables businesses to continue to participate… Read more »

Work-From-Home: Infecting People and Organizations in Insurance

By Stephen Applebaum, Insurance Solutions Group — The world is entering month eight of the pandemic and the complete disruption of the personal and business lives of virtually every one of us. While the timing and response to COVID-19 may have varied by country, region and city, nobody is unaffected. And the timeline for a… Read more »

The Biggest Insurance Disruptor: Lemonade or Tesla?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — I’ve never been a big fan of the term disruption. I believe that in the InsurTech world, a majority of the startups are partnering with incumbents to enable industry transformation. They are catalysts for change, to be sure. But few are truly turning the… Read more »

Three Moments of Truth that Make or Break the Customer Experience

By Andi Dominguez, Principal – Insurance & Healthcare, Quadient — If you are in the insurance business, your goal is to establish long-term, trusting relationships with customers, and those relationships have many touchpoints along the journey. To win and retain customers, it’s essential to identify the most critical of these touchpoints so that consistent, relevant… Read more »

Digital Communications in Insurance: Managing the Expanding Options

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Most P&C insurers have gradually expanded their options for digitally communicating with prospects, policyholders, producers, and employees. As the industry moves beyond the web, portals, and email, there is a growing recognition that a whole new world of digital communications options can be applied… Read more »

Strategic Planning for Insurance in the COVID-19 Era

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — No one will mistake 2020 for just another year. The turmoil caused by the pandemic, lockdowns, and social unrest is unlike any other year. Businesses, individuals, and governments have all been forced to make dramatic changes and adapt to new realities. The P&C insurance… Read more »

Coronavirus, what have you done?

By Martino Scheepens, Customer Success Manager, FRISS — The pandemic impacted the insurance industry in both predictable and unexpected ways. From the moment news of COVID-19 started spreading, insurance carriers knew there would be a significant business impact. Exactly what the impact would be was not immediately clear, and still leaves some room for guessing…. Read more »

Data and Personalization: How Brokers Can Drive Value With Customer Marketing

By Robyn Croll, VP Customer Insights, Goose Digital — It’s no secret marketing has evolved. Thanks to the digital revolution that’s been under way for over 10 years, marketing’s ability to impact and influence audiences has never been greater. Marketing now has the tools to reach and address leads and customers across the entire buying… Read more »