- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Survey Says: A Sharp Telematics Arrow Targets Drivers

Sometimes the results of a survey will disclose more about the organization conducting the survey than about the individuals responding to the survey.  This seems to be the case with a survey sponsored by Progressive Insurance on driving habits and willingness to use telematic devices to support pay-as-you-drive insurance plans. This was not a low… Read more »

Telematics: Thinking Beyond Discounts

Telematics insurance announcements continue for Canada.  Up to this point, the enticement for drivers has been price.  However, there are indicators that price efficiency is only a start for customer engagement with Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) programs. The Technology Conference will provide a forum for examining alternative approaches.  In a run up to that, we… Read more »

Telematics/UBI and Driverless Vehicles: Is There a Battle Royale Forming?

There is an interesting debate involving a couple of possibly competing trends: one is the use of Telematics to support Usage-Based Insurance (UBI); the other is the emergence of Driverless Vehicles.  We think that some of the discussions might be muddling some issues — and, regardless of the outcome, we think there are some clear… Read more »

In the Spring, Do Canadian Insurers’ Thoughts Turn to … Telematics?

With apologies to Lord Tennyson,  it appears that insurers might be putting telematics slightly ahead of other fancies in Spring 2013.  Part of the evidence is a mysterious ad campaign.  Are you feeling the pull? Rumblings In The Wind We have been noting the progress of telematics-based insurance offerings  in various geographies, such as the… Read more »

Insurance Telematics: Got Questions? There Are Answers!

In the past year, the use of telematics for insurance has gone from interesting to important, giving rise to a whole new set of questions regarding rating, marketing, underwriting, data management, etc.  Fortunately, there are emerging sources for answers, including a recent survey of industry participants and number of sessions at the 2013 Technology… Read more »

Telematics and Usage-Based Insurance: Usage to Innovation to Disruption

While the use of Telematics is just getting traction (pun intended) with insurance in Canada, it seems that some organizations elsewhere have already started releasing innovative product and marketing twists to engage, and retain, customers. is currently conducting a survey and is looking for your opinions and questions to pose to an expert panel… Read more »

New Telematics/UBI Research Highlights Opportunities, Challenges for Insurers, Brokers

New research from Strategy Meets Action (SMA) highlights opportunities and challenges for insurers and intermediaries as they consider how to align telematics and usage-based insurance (UBI) with their strategies.  SMA is clear on one point:  telematics technology and UBI are disruptive forces which will impact the personal automobile insurance market over the next decade. SMA… Read more »

Canadian Telematics Poll: Impact Expected to be Positive; Awareness and Interest High

A recent article on Telematics in PropertyCasualty360 began: “There is a conversation being held around telematics at almost every level of the insurance industry these days.”  Results of a recent poll bear that out, and indicate people are not tired of the topic, even though they are not yet heavily involved.  Are you one… Read more »


Can Telematics Be a Marketing Tool? Will Prospects Heed Flo’s Rally Cry?

Progressive Insurance has taken the use of Telematics further forward in the marketing cycle.  We’re interested in your opinion on whether this strategy can  attract qualified leads. In a recent Progressive Insurance TV ad – called Rally Cry,  Flo (Progressive’s ever ebullient spokeswoman) takes over the airwaves  to say, “Attention, well, Everyone ….” and goes… Read more »

Insurance Telematics In Canada: Poll Will Offer Opinions; Panel Will Offer Knowledge

Is Canada poised to jump onto the telematics train for insurance?  Insurance-Canada is approaching this question on two levels.  First, a poll is underway  to get a sense of levels of interest.  Second, a panel is preparing to offer expert knowledge on the subject at the 2012 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference. We have written here about… 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 »

The Internet of Things Morphs to the Infrastructure of Innovation

April 2017 may well go down as the pivot point when the Internet of Things (IoT) went from theory to reality. Some insurers (and InsurTech startups) are building models and working prototypes, but there are some serious gaps including resource allocation and governance. Where are you on the IoT journey? We have a map to… Read more »

Cyber Risk and Commerce: Communication Across Multiple Constituencies Required

We increasingly rely on digital for all matters of commerce. Whether we are buying tangible items or dealing exclusively in services, we expect risk-managed transfers of money, credit, communications, and control systems. And we rely on cyber insurance to indemnify gaps. But will we have standards & regulations in place to meet future business requirements?… Read more »

Wearables @ Work – You Just Watch

The introduction of the Apple Watch is moving wearable technology  out of running shoes and into business brogues. Wearables have thus far been seen mainly as consumer focused; however, there is increased interest in business generally, and for insurance organizations specifically. Wearables started on a one-way path … Wearable technology  has been envisioned by SciFi writers… Read more »

Will Canada Develop Its Own UBI Path?

A number of indicators are suggesting that telematics-enabled usage-based insurance is not getting traction as quickly as some expected. However, leading Canadian telematics suppliers are actively working with insurers and brokers to develop value-added and niche products which will improve the uptake, and perhaps create a uniquely Canadian UBI profile. The US trend might not be… Read more »

2015 Trends: A Year of Living Data-ly

It’s time for us to take our annual stab at trends and directions that are going to influence insurance technology for the next 12 months.  Last year, we saw interconnectedness as an overaching theme.  This year, we see that theme contributing to a larger construct:  The need to effectively cultivate, utilize and protect our most… Read more »

Are You (Digitally) Experienced?

Ok. Boomers, the title of this post is a not-too-subtle nod to Jimi Hendrix, and I will drag him in later. Before I do, we’ve got to talk about the Digital Customer Experience. And at the end, I’d like your thoughts on this. Can insurance be a digital ‘experience’? According to my reading of the… Read more »

Brokers: Where Will You Take Cyber Risk?

In planning for the 2015 Technology Conference, my IT and Underwriting friends tell me that cyber risk is a hot topic.  For sure, there is a fair amount of discussion in the insurance and IT trade press.  However, in talking to a few organizations who are actively developing/delivering these products, I hear that there… Read more »

Does the Big Data Future Start with One Step Back?

The old saying, “Data Rich, Information Poor,” seems more applicable today than when it was first coined. Paradoxically, at the same time as we are facing data avalanche, the most important tool to exploit 21st-century data might be one that has been around for more than three decades.  However, this “one step backward” approach may… Read more »

A Delicate Balance In Commercial Underwriting Technology

Is effective commercial lines underwriting technology an oxymoron?  There are enough graveyards filled with projects that have arrived DOA to make this seem true.  But hasn’t modern technology had an impact? Perhaps, but not on its own.  There is increasing evidence that technology solutions need to be blended carefully with business wisdom to balance efficiency… Read more »

Targeting Niche Insurance Products

Most discussions about marketing personal lines of insurance typically revolve around property and auto offerings. But how can insurers target niche products like boat, ATV, ski-doo, RV and pet insurance? It’s a dog’s life …. Raise these niche products in some boardrooms and you might get a smirk or an exasperated eye roll. Some executives… Read more »

What’s the Lifespan of Insuring Telematically?

Ten Years. Ten years could be the life span of telematics-enabled, usage-based insurance (UBI), and maybe auto insurance itself, according to one expert on autonomous vehicles, speaking at the  Insurance Telematics Canada 2014 conference in Toronto yesterday. Several members of the audience were vocally skeptical, but the Oracle of Omaha was quoted, adding some credibility. … Read more »

2014 Imperative: Execute New Technology Initiatives Effectively

Over the last few years,  it seems we have entered yet another era of dramatic changes in technology and applications in the insurance industry.  We have seen new core administration systems based on modernized technology, applied analytics tools and engines,  usage-based insurance programs, tapping into telematics devices, etc.  There is increasing reliance on cloud-based services,… Read more »

2014 in the Headlights

It’s time for our annual attempt to read tea leaves for the coming year. We’ve picked a few of the major developing areas. We also see a larger trend which may begin to manifest itself in 2014. We’d like your thoughts on our prognostications and we welcome your forward-looking thoughts.  Have a read and let… Read more »

Which Next-Generation Technologies Hold Promise of Innovation for Insurers?

What’s a good way for insurers to jump-start the innovation gate into the land of customer experience?  The answer, according to recent SMA research¹, is utilization of five next-generation technologies. We’re wondering if there is a direct line between technology and innovation, or if some insurers are getting a little seduced by technology.  We’d like… Read more »

Can Insurers Break Through to a New Plane of Digital Engagement with UBI?

Reports indicate that insurers have hit a low plateau in the implementation of consumer engagement strategies using digital technologies. There may be a unique opportunity, in the form of Usage-Based Insurance (UBI), which could allow a transformational breakthrough into the brave, new, digitally-engaged world. We’d appreciate your thoughts. What’s causing the blockage? As reported on… Read more »

Insurance 2023: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future

On October 3, fifty insurance professionals gathered at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto to review the results to date of a Study Team at the Insurance 2023 Forum. What started as a fairly routine set of presentations was quickly interrupted by a large, active conversation which set the tone for the Forum and will… Read more »

Summertime, And The Living Is … Frenzied?

With 2013 more than half over, some days it feels as though we’ve done a whole year’s worth of work already and there’s still a year of work more before the calendar year ends. Is this an exceptional period, or another “new normal”?  And is there anything that can help?  We’ve got some thoughts and… Read more »

Privacy For Rent or Lease

After the recent announcement of Ajusto – the Telematics-driven Usage-Based Insurance program from Desjardins – there were several posts that derided it as an invasion of privacy for drivers.  But seriously, with everything else going on out in the interconnected world, does anyone really think that driving behaviour is private information? Or any behaviour, for… Read more »

Accountability Review: 2012 Trend Predictions

Back in the dark and early days of 2012, we spotted four trends and one megatrend that we saw impacting the Insurance-Technology activity for the year.  As the year closes, we want to give ourselves marks for accuracy.  We will tell you honestly what we think and would like to invite you to leave your… Read more »

Is Big Data Bigger Than IT Can Handle?

Is ‘Management of Big Data’ an inherent contradiction?  Perhaps not completely, but recent evidence suggests that it may be beyond many organizations to undertake on their own. A number of publications have identified data management and analytics as critical to insurance success (this blog identified it as a ‘megatrend’ for 2012).  Recently, a report from… Read more »

Profiting From Disruptive Behaviour

At the 2012 Technology Conference (ICTC), Craig Weber, CEO of Celent, discussed “Creative Disruption in Insurance”.  Craig got high marks for his presentation.  Interestingly, some of the conclusions of the presentation dovetail with our read of trends in insurance and technology in Canada. First, what is Creative Disruption?  According to Craig, the next logical… Read more »

What’s Past is Prologue: The New Landscape (Part 2 of 2)

In our last posting, we discussed four trends we see as forming contours of a New Landscape for insurance technology in Canada.  These are: Social Media Becoming Social Business Increased Penetration of Mobile Technology and Telematics Broker-Carrier Connectivity Debate Increases (and maybe concludes) Modern Technology Becomes a Firm Foundation (for further progress, not an end… Read more »

What’s Past is Prologue: The New Landscape (Part 1 of 2)

Welcome to 2012.  As we move into the new year, we want to highlight some of the trends we see forming the contours of a New Landscape for insurance technology in Canada. In this post, we will cover these trends.  In our next post, we will discuss a mega-trend which encompasses the others and is… Read more »

Watch for Speedbumps on the Road to Location-based Services

Clearly,  there are opportunities for new location based services, including Telematics, or Pay-as-You-Drive for insurers.  However, there are cautions as well.  A recent study by Whitehorse, reported in  eMarketer, provides a reality check. We’ve blogged about practitioners in large insurance companies that believe that location will be a major trend for insurers.  But location is… Read more »