- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

InsurTech: Not Dead, But Different

by Stephen Applebaum and Alan Demers — The title of this article brings to mind two famous quotes from American culture. Mark Twain is reputed to have said, “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” The saying could also apply to the frequent statements made by InsurTech detractors who have recently pronounced its death,… Read more »

It’s time to invest in a national flood insurance program

By Celyeste Power, President & CEO, IBC — Canada is becoming a riskier and more dangerous place to live. That’s not an opinion – it’s a fact. Severe weather events in 2022 caused approximately $3.1 billion in insured losses, one of the highest annual totals on record. Disasters affected almost every part of Canada, disrupting… Read more »

Adapting to Uncertainty: Commercial Lines Insurers are Approaching Strategic Initiatives Differently

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — If you were to ask us to describe the transformational activity of commercial lines insurers in the past few years, acceleration would be the first word to come to mind. But in 2023, another word may be more accurate – adapting. Economic pressures, such… Read more »

The Metaverse: Closer Than You Think, or Further Than You Can Imagine?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The Metaverse was one of the major themes at CES2023, as evidenced by a wide range of sessions and tech solutions. The keynote from the Consumer Technology Association identified Metaverse as one of the top themes with the tagline of “Closer Than You Think.”… Read more »

The Evolution of Mobility and Transportation: What it Means for Insurers

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — In part one of this blog series, we discussed major trends spotted at CES, including mobility, electrification, sustainability, and digital experience. But how will these emerging trends impact P&C insurers now and in the future? I categorize the implications into the good, the bad,… Read more »

New Trends in the Evolution of Mobility and Transportation

Spotted at CES 2023 — New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — CES has become one of the biggest auto shows in the world – but rather than focusing on new models and styling, the orientation is toward the most advanced technology capabilities and the user experience. Among the many sessions… Read more »

Major Themes In Technology From CES 2023

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The CES event in Las Vegas always provides a good window into technological advancements and innovation. The over 3200 exhibitors and hundreds of sessions once again provided all-encompassing views of the current state of tech and the future possibilities. As usual, it was also… Read more »

Are Personal Lines Insurers Accelerating Transformational Tech Plans Post-Pandemic?

New SMA Blog by Heather Turner, Lead Research Analyst, Strategy Meets Action — The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for technological change across the insurance industry, especially within personal lines. Customers demanded virtual and digital interactions, so insurers responded by accelerating the development and investments in transformational technologies. Although it may not be accurate to… Read more »

Property/Casualty Insurers Aren’t Slowing Down in 2023

By Martina Conlon, Head of P&C Insurance Practice, Aite-Novarica Group — Insurance has traditionally been viewed as resilient to recession and economic uncertainty. Yet, besides the tough economic conditions, the insurance industry is facing an unprecedented number of business challenges: increasing claims severity rates due to supply chain issues and rising inflation, climate risk and… Read more »

Distribution Technology: Where Personal Lines Insurers Are Investing Today

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — We say it often here at SMA – the personal lines segment frequently leads the insurance industry with deploying new innovations, particularly within distribution. Over the next five years, insurers focused on personal lines will likely continue to spearhead the distribution revolution through new… Read more »

Business Drivers Shift for Small Commercial Distribution Tech Investments

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Small commercial insurers are in a unique position in the insurance industry. While the personal lines segment often pioneers the latest innovations first in the industry, small commercial carriers are frequently at the forefront of change in the commercial market before technologies reach mid/large… Read more »

Are Transformational Tech Plans Still Important in Commercial Lines Amid Economic Turbulence?

New SMA Blog by Heather Turner, Lead Research Analyst, Strategy Meets Action — Commercial lines insurers have endured their fair share of ups and downs since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic over two years ago. And through the course of 2022, geopolitical conflicts and inflation have rocked economies, leading to further uncertainty about the… Read more »

Are Insurers Satisfied with Their Digital Offerings for Mid/Large Commercial Distribution?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — In recent years, the mid/large commercial lines segment has worked extensively to evolve the distribution ecosystem through new partnerships and expansion strategies. Additionally, carriers in the segment have been deploying new technologies for distribution to not only enhance internal operations and processes but to… Read more »

Outsourcing 2.0: Suddenly A P&C Best Practice For A New World

by Stephen Applebaum and Alan Demers — We have all been living through a period of intense uncertainty for almost three years and the pace of disruption shows few signs of slowing; instead it is morphing. Our New World The degree to which the post-COVID world in which the Property & Casualty insurance industry operates… Read more »

Personal Lines Underwriting is Entering a New Age of Data

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, CEO & President, Strategy Meets Action — It would not be an understatement to say that the insurance industry is built on data. For decades, insurers have harnessed data and analytics to drive risk analysis decisions, and perhaps no other segment has done that better than personal lines. In… Read more »

Commercial Lines Insurers Cannot Afford to Stand Idle in Today’s Channel Environment

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — According to a recent SMA survey of executives, ninety-one percent of small commercial lines insurers and 82% of mid/large commercial lines insurers have plans to expand their channel partnerships. When you consider the evolving distribution landscape, including increased consolidation, new entrants, and more sophisticated… Read more »

Canadian Insurance Industry: 2022 InsurTech Trends Impacting Insurance Carriers

By Jenna Earnshaw, Head of Revenue, Wisedocs — As we near the end of 2022, the Canadian insurance industry is in a positive place, setting itself up for long-term success in a remote-first and digital-forward environment. Globally, the insurance market has transformed into a digital business model. The digital insurance landscape had an estimated worth… Read more »

Automation Accelerates in Small Commercial Lines Underwriting

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, CEO & President, Strategy Meets Action — Over the past few years, insurers reexamined their strategies amid new demands and increasingly digital customer interactions, with underwriting departments, in particular, experiencing waves of changes. Now, new research shows the results of insurers’ efforts in transforming their underwriting businesses, and the… Read more »

Birds of a Feather Brand Together: How social identity and trust can help brokers build stronger brands (Part 2)

Consumer-Company Identification → Trust/Commitment → Loyalty Behaviours by Steve Pieroway, Founder, Benevolent Marketing — In last week’s article, we investigated the power of identification. Specifically, how identity similarity, distinctiveness and prestige help to form strong relational bonds. But enduring relationships (be it with a company, brand or person) need other elements to endure. Namely trust… Read more »

Businesses need to do more to stay cyber-safe

IBC calls for continued vigilance as Cyber Awareness Month concludes Toronto, ON (Nov. 1, 2022) – Cyber Awareness Month may be over, but the need for vigilance to guard against cyber attacks is greater than ever. IBC’s research shows that many businesses need to do more to prevent cyber attacks, particularly when it comes to… Read more »

Birds of a Feather Brand Together: How social identity and trust can help brokers build stronger brands (Part 1)

Consumer-Company Identification → Trust/Commitment → Loyalty Behaviours by Steve Pieroway, Founder, Benevolent Marketing — “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” – Bob Burg That’s every service provider’s Shangri-La, right? We want customers and prospects who are aware of us, like us,… Read more »

The Evolution of MGAs: Strong Relationships Are No Longer Enough

New SMA Blog by Heather Turner, Lead Research Analyst, Strategy Meets Action — Today’s Managing General Agencies (MGAs) and Managing General Underwriters (MGUs) look vastly different than they did ten years ago. The InsurTech boom brought new tech capabilities to the space, including digital and analytics platforms, that have evolved the services MGAs/MGUs are able… Read more »

Cheat Sheet: Canadian Mental Health Resources for Employers

by Cindy Danielson, Simply Benefits — October is a busy month to raise Mental Health Awareness in Canada, so we consolidated this Cheat Sheet with links to free or low-cost resources for Employers and Advisors – just download, brand, tailor & share with clients. October is Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month, a time when employers and employees are… Read more »

Why Knowledge Management Is Critical for the Insurance Industry

By Mitja Alexander Linss, Senior Director – Marketing, ProNavigator — Finding, managing, and sharing information quickly has value for any organization, but especially in the insurance industry. Insurers offer a vast number of products and services, each with its own underlying complex legal agreement – the insurance policy. Buyers and sellers alike need to have… Read more »

Connecting The Insurance Ecosystem: An Imperative For Truly Digitized Insurance And Straight-Through Processing

by Stephen Applebaum and Alan Demers — In an uncertain world, cloud migration can create certainty More than any other area of insurance operations, Claims is best positioned to benefit from a digitized, unified, and continuous ecosystem in order to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of today’s consumer, support management’s key strategic objectives,… Read more »

Twenty Leading P&C Claims InsurTechs Making A Difference Today

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Anyone who says InsurTech is an up-and-coming space hasn’t been paying close enough attention. The InsurTech movement, which began around 2010, is long past its infancy and is both maturing and evolving. This is especially true in the P&C claims space, where companies are… Read more »

A Comprehensive Guide To Benefits Advisors in Canada

by Cindy Danielson, Simply Benefits — As an employer, finding the right expert to help you with your group benefits plan can be a daunting task. If you’ve never worked with an advisor before or are looking for a new one, our list of Canadian benefits specialists is organized by geography – and is a… Read more »

Adapting to Change: The Next Era of Underwriting in Mid/Large Commercial Lines

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, CEO & President, Strategy Meets Action — What word would you pick to describe the future of underwriting? If ‘adaptable’ came to mind, you would be joining the majority of insurer executives in the mid/large commercial lines segment who thought the same in a recent SMA survey. The past… Read more »

What is Marketing Automation in the Insurance Industry?

by Chris Mustakas, Director of Marketing, Ai Insurance Organization Inc. — The insurance industry is notoriously complex. This complexity makes marketing automation in the insurance industry essential for long-term success. In this blog post, I will explore what marketing automation is, its importance to the insurance industry, how it has helped Ai Insurance Organization succeed,… Read more »

What to Expect When Applying for Cyber Insurance

by Jamie Ross, Marketing & Communications Manager, Wedgwood Insurance — In today’s connected business climate, cyber-attacks are no longer a question of if, but when. More and more, we’re seeing people reach out to discuss their options when it comes to securing cyber liability insurance – from adding personal cyber liability to an existing homeowners… Read more »

How Good Are You At Growing Your Insurance Business In a Riskier World?

by Damien Philippon, Co-Founder & COO, Zelros — Our world has become a riskier place. Individuals and companies face a different risk landscape today, one impacted by factors including climate change, cyber security threats, health risks in an aging population, and uncertainty about new and harmful global viruses. These dynamic risks are creating an increasingly… Read more »

Applied Systems Partners with Humber College to Secure P&C Talent for the Future

by Steve Whitelaw, SVP & General Manager, Applied Systems Canada — Before the pandemic struck, the short supply of skilled candidates joining the broker channel was one of the biggest threats to the industry’s future. The skills gap dilemma hasn’t left us, and, in many ways, the pandemic made the gap a wider chasm to… Read more »

Tomorrow’s FNOL Has Arrived Early

by Stephen Applebaum and Alan Demers — As digitization, mobility and connected vehicle technologies transform auto insurance, a better FNOL solution is now critical – and it’s here. Claims are frequently cited as “the moment of truth,” and FNOL (First Notice of Loss) is where all claims begin. Now, new technology through an innovative industry… Read more »

Embedded Insurance: A New Route To Growth And Value

By Simon Torrance, Founder, Embedded Finance & Super App Strategies, and Chris McMahon, Senior Marketing Manager, EIS — The rapid emergence of new digital technologies, consumers’ heightened expectations for more personalized service, and a new and growing wave of more complex risks have put pressure on insurance companies to enhance their products and find new… Read more »

Personal Lines Distribution: From “Agents First” to “Agents Last”?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Let me begin by saying I am a big fan of agents, and I believe they will play a vital role in personal lines distribution for a long time to come. Clearly, direct distribution models in personal lines, and the prominent companies that feature… Read more »

Insurance Vendors’ Competition for Talent Heats Up

New SMA Blog by Karen Furtado, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Talent has been a front-and-center topic in boardrooms across the U.S. amid the pandemic, widespread resignations, a labor shortage, and other trends challenging the recruitment and retention of employees. Yet, through the adversity, companies across the insurance ecosystem have adapted remarkably well, including the… Read more »

How Personal Lines Insurers are Addressing Digital Transformation Gaps

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, CEO & President, Strategy Meets Action — The personal lines segment is known for leading the charge with innovations and technologies – a reputation that only strengthened during the pandemic. From digital underwriting submissions and virtual inspections to digital FNOL and other capabilities, personal line insurers were poised to… Read more »

Digital Transformation in Commercial Lines: A Frenzy of New Activity is Underway

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, CEO & President, Strategy Meets Action — Since 2020, there have been endless discussions around COVID-19’s impact on customers’ needs and how the insurance industry adapted swiftly to unprecedented times. Although the pandemic helped accelerate innovation in some areas of the business, many commercial lines insurers also came to… Read more »

Preventing Employee Burnout in Insurance: A Virtual Conversation with Jennifer Moss

By Mitja Alexander Linss, Senior Director – Marketing, ProNavigator — Is employee well-being on your organization’s radar? It better be. According to a 2021 APA survey, nearly three in five employees or 59% of workers experienced negative impacts of work-related stress. Forbes estimates that ignoring workplace well-being and mental health costs America $193.3 billion in… Read more »

From Policy-Driven to Customer-Centric Approach in the Insurance Industry

By Sebastien Forget, CEO, Solutions Metrix — Policy-Driven vs Customer-Centric Benefits of Adopting a Customer-Centric Approach Shift to a Customer-Centric Approach with CRM Benefits of a CRM-Based Policy Purchase Process The Future of CRM in Insurance Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and the insurance industry is no exception. Many insurers are turning to… Read more »

What are Insurers’ Top Talent Objectives in the Post-Pandemic Era?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The pandemic has altered life in so many ways over the past two years. And one change that will likely stick around for years to come is the new workforce dynamic. The competition to attract top talent is as fierce as ever as industries… Read more »

Winds Of Change: Emerging Weather Science Supercharges A New Generation Of Risk & Insurance Solutions

by Stephen Applebaum and Alan Demers — Mark Twain is credited with saying that “everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” That’s no longer true. Well before the climate change debate focused the world on meteorological threats, insurance companies were well aware of the risks associated with extreme weather events. What… Read more »

Digital Transformation Acceleration Relies on Core Systems

New SMA Blog by Karen Furtado, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — In today’s digital-first environment, insurance companies absolutely need state-of-the-art systems to support every aspect of their businesses. These core systems that support policy, billing, and claims functions have been foundational to the digital transformation of insurers and MGAs for years and continue to accelerate… Read more »

Six Ways Employee Benefits Brokerages & Advisors Can Grow Their Business

by Cindy Danielson, Simply Benefits — Employee benefits brokerages and advisors that want to beat their competition and grow their block of business can implement some or all of these simple but affordable marketing tactics to grow their client-base and revenue. When I was a Benefits Advisor years ago, I learned first-hand about the ‘eat… Read more »

“Want Cyber Insurance With That?”

By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — This month, Relay Platform is delighted to share that our growth rate is accelerating to unprecedented levels as we establish ourselves as the preferred cyber insurance quoting solution for wholesale and retail brokers. Every single month since October 2021, we saw 60% and 75% growth in the number… Read more »

Build More Customer Trust and Profitability with Responsible AI Governance

by Antoine de Langlois, Data Scientist & Responsible AI Lead, Zelros — With the wide adoption of AI, insurers are starting to pay attention to a new form of governance called “Responsible AI” – the governance practices associated with the regulated data side of their business. For most insurance organizations, it involves removing any unintentional… Read more »

Insuring Connected Homes: Will Matter Matter?

By Donald Light, Director, North America Property & Casualty Practice, Celent — Insuring connected homes has three pretty good value propositions: The insurance industry can show policyholders and society as a whole, that it does more than collect premiums and pay claims A connected home may have fewer or less severe losses — i.e. impacting… Read more »

2022 Channel Strategies: P&C Agencies are Ready to Break from the Status Quo

New SMA Blog by Heather Turner, Lead Research Analyst, Strategy Meets Action — The distribution landscape is evolving, and retail agencies and brokers are rethinking their channel partner strategies just as carriers and others across the distribution landscape do the same. Although carriers will always remain underwriting partners, more agencies are exploring new channel partners… Read more »

The InsurTech Revolution: Don’t Get Left Behind

Submitted by Finaeo — The pandemic has accelerated changes in healthcare and created an InsurTech revolution. InsurTech companies broke records on the largest number of deals and funding in 2020. InsurTech companies raised more than $2.5 billion through 104 deals during the third quarter, according to a Willis Towers Watson report. This equates to a… Read more »

P&C Personal Lines Insurers: Viewing Key Strategic Initiatives Through A New Lens

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Personal lines insurers are no stranger to widespread digital transformation and innovation, having been at the forefront of these changes for the past decade. When the pandemic hit in 2020, personal lines insurers responded in different ways. Some stayed the course with their existing… Read more »