- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

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 »

The Five Main (High-Level) Benefits of Relay

By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — In our last blog post, we spoke about how Relay differs from other so-called “Placement Platforms”; now, let’s talk about the benefits. There are many, but they can be categorized in five main ones: CAPACITY: Relay provides a faster, more attractive way for cedents and brokers to structure… Read more »

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How Relay Differs from Other “Placement Platforms”

By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — We are sometimes asked why the world needs a new platform for Risk Transfer. There are already so many! The Quick Answer Let us start by saying that Relay isn’t just a placement platform. Relay is a SaaS platform that helps insurance and reinsurance participants with structuring and… Read more »

Is InsurTech Immune to COVID-19?

By John Bruno, Chief Operating Officer, Aon plc and Chief Executive Officer, Data & Analytic Services — In my last blog (“How InsurTech will save insurance from itself”), I talked about how the insurance and risk management industry must embrace innovation if it is to stay relevant to clients. The dislocation created by the novel… Read more »

Digital Risk Transfers in Insurance & Reinsurance: Time to Act – but Act Smart

By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change, that lives within the means available and works cooperatively against common threats. Charles Darwin In recent weeks, due to social isolation… Read more »

The New Era of Geocoding: The Key to Advantage in Property Underwriting

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — In the real estate market, it is often said that the three most important factors are location, location, and location. A similar argument could be made for insurance property underwriting. Of course, the attributes of the property itself are important – and there is… Read more »

InsurTech Distribution: The New Frontier – Again!

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — Compiling a list of the top 50 InsurTechs (as SMA did in April) is an interesting process. First off, you quickly realize that there are an amazing number of InsurTechs with meaningful value propositions that are on the path to success. Way more than… Read more »

Thwarting COVID-19 Claims Fraud

By Dan Gumpright, Global VP – Products, FRISS — History has proven that times of economic crisis see a huge increase in insurance fraud across most lines of business. We want to make sure you’re armed with a few best practices and examples to look out for. We’ll also discuss how a time like this… Read more »

P&C Tech Plans and COVID-19: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (but Mostly Good)

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — P&C insurers are staying the course when it comes to their original digital and technology plans and investments for 2020. Many insurers report no changes to their plans, with some reshaping and a few accelerating, but very few pausing or retrenching. These are the… Read more »

Insurance Fraud in Times of Crisis

By Simon Staadegaard, Customer Success Manager, FRISS — The COVID-19 Coronavirus is causing fear, uncertainty and doubt in the form of lockdowns, runs on toilet paper, hospital capacities and many other areas including businesses. Many believe it will lead to an economic recession, the scale of which is still unknown. As with any major catastrophe,… Read more »

Finaeo Advisors Place $1B in Coverage for Canadian Families

By Aly Dhalla, CEO & Co-Founder, Finaeo — I started my career as a retail financial advisor working for TD Canada Trust. My branch, located in a middle-class neighbourhood in Coquitlam, British Columbia, was a community close to my heart. I attended Centennial high-school just up the road and many of the families that came… Read more »

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Mitigate Risk of Self-Insurance with Smart Leak and Flood Solutions

By George Tsintzouras, CEO & Co-Founder, Alert Labs — Recent physical distancing measures have made it harder for maintenance teams at multi-family properties to carry out routine walk-throughs and inspections. Smart leak and flood solutions that allow teams to monitor remotely help keep tenants and staff safe and buildings damage-free. Water leak detectors that send… Read more »

How Parametric InsurTech is critically important for the long-term future of the Insurance sector in a post COVID-19 world

By Paul Prendergast, CEO, Blink, a CPP Group Company — Right now, our priorities are rightly focused on the health and safety of our families and the protection of those that are most vulnerable in our society as we adapt to the necessary restrictions on our way of living and working during the COVID-19 crisis…. Read more »

The Top 3 Ways To Optimize MGA Underwriting With A.I.

By Charles Dugas, Insurance AI Lead, Element AI — It’s no secret that the insurance industry is facing a challenging market right now. Managing General Agents (MGAs), like brokers and carriers large and small, are looking for new and innovative ways to accelerate growth to better serve their customers and to boost revenue, however few… Read more »

The Growing Case (and Opportunity) for Insurance Coverage Transparency

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — Sadly, the insurance-focused news outlets are starting to overflow with references to who is suing whom over certain types of coverage related to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a growing regulatory and legislative outcry for the insurance industry to pay out in instances where… Read more »

Insurance Tech Vendors: The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — With the dramatic shifts in the business world due to the pandemic, it seems that every aspect of tech and insurance is being scrutinized. After speaking with dozens of tech companies over the last few weeks – including incumbents, InsurTechs, and companies of all… Read more »

Will Auto Telematics Get a New Lease on Life In the Wake of the Pandemic?

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — Over the past several weeks, there have been numerous aerial photos of some of the nation’s largest highway systems – devoid of vehicles. The sight of tens of miles of interconnected ramps, junctions, and straightaways with no visible cars is startling, almost a made-for-Hollywood… Read more »