Insurance-Canada.ca - Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Telematics: Service Providers Lead a Path that Insurers Could Follow

We have blogged in the past about some of the isolated examples of insurers using Telematics – use of technology to monitor vehicles – (e.g.,  see comments on Commercial Underwriting) as well as on-going debate by some insurers as to the utility of the approach.  A recent posting by Jamie Yoder, principal at PwC’s Diamond… Read more »

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Broker/Carrier Technology Relationships: Ships in the Night, or All Row Together

In a recent editorial in PropertyCasualty360, Ellen Carney, a senior analyst with Forrester, asked ‘In dealing with carriers, do agents feel like they are on their own when it comes to technology issues?’  This is a fundamental question, still relevant since it was first posed over 40 years ago. ACORD in the US has just… Read more »

Key Competitive Elements: Mixing Claims Service and Technology

In his role of senior executive for claim quality, customer and policyholder service, reserving, expenses and regulatory compliance,   Mike Lancashire’s leverages his background in claims and his commitment to technology to compete with much larger insurers. According to a recent article in Insurance & Technology, Lancashire, who is Senior Vice President of Claims and… Read more »

Standardize or Customize? SaaS May Influence the Decision.

There is a long standing debate in technology implementation. Should we shape the technology to fit the user or force the user to fit the technology?  The movement towards Software as a Service (SaaS) may force the decision. We all like freedom to do what we want with technology. This is what a lot of… Read more »

Age and Gender in Underwriting: The Politics of Neutrality

A recent ruling by the European Court of Justice suggests that insurers may be forced to take age and gender out of the underwriting process.  While seemingly taking  the high ground, similar initiatives have been eviscerated by the scalpel of politics.  And Canadian technology professionals were collateral damage in the last attempt at this in… Read more »

Key to Social Media for Insurers: The Customer Controls the Conversation

In her well received presentation at the 2011 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference, Technologies that Make a Difference, Christina Colby, Vice President, Global Business Intelligence Leader for Insurance, Capgemini, gave attendees common sense advice on how to take advantage of Social Media.  In a nutshell, the advice is:  Lose Control and Prosper. Colby noted that the daily… Read more »

IT Spending and Employment: A Change in the Calculus?

Is increasing IT putting downward pressure on employment? We recently commented on the rise in IT budgets in 2010 and the possibility that the ‘new’ money might be spent outside the IT departments with BPO, cloud technologies, and the like.  Joe McKendrick in Insurance Networking News looks at the same budget trend and wonders if… Read more »

Predictive Modeling Gaining Momentum with Insurers

There is increasing evidence that P&C insurers in the US and Canada are seeking, and finding benefits with the use of predictive analytics and modeling in underwriting, and claims. National Underwriter On-line reported that a recent Towers Watson survey found that 90% of US insurers surveyed indicated that the use of predictive analytics enhanced rate… Read more »

Canadian Brokers and Carriers: Technology Connects and Disconnects

Two leading analysts at the 2011 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference produced new, original research showing that Canadian Brokers and Carriers have important common interests with technology.  There are, however, significant disconnects, which may offer opportunities for selected partners. Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst for Gartner spoke on “Insurance Trends in Canada:  Hot Topics and… Read more »

2011 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference a Success; the Legacy is New Information

The 2011 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference was held Monday, February 28, 2011 at the Sheraton Centre in Downtown Toronto.  Over 400 delegates registered, creating a new record for the conference.  New studies were released by several analyts. The sponsors provided details on new products and services, and the speaker provided new information.  The insurance-Canada team is… Read more »

Insurance in ‘Jeopardy’? What does Watson think?

Jamie Bisker, who has spoken several times to Insurance-Canada conferences (most recently in 2010), is putting forward some compelling thoughts on how natural-language question and answer (QA) systems – such as the IBM Watson system – which recently successfully competed on Jeopardy – could ‘change the insurance landscape’. Bisker, who serves as the global segment… Read more »

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2011 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference – Almost Ready for the Reveal

With one week left to go, the Insurance-Canada.ca team feel they will be ready to ‘reveal’ the 9th annual insurance-technology conference to what appears to be a record number of attendees on February 28, 2011. The conference theme – Business Results Through Informed Action – is carried through out the programme by a high-caliber faculty,… Read more »

Will IT be Spending the New Insurance-IT Budget?

The brutal competition in the P&C market may be driving increased spending on technology.  But this could be a two-edged sword for in-house insurance technology professionals as BPO and cloud based services offer alternative strategies. As published in Propertycasualty360.com, a recent report by Celent, titled “IT Spending in Financial Services: A Global Perspective”, noted that… Read more »

Getting Started with Social Media: Be a good Listener

Social Media can be intimidating.  The language is unfamiliar, and the variations and options seem endless.  And  it seems there is a steep, and  time-consuming learning curve.  A recent article from Matt Marko, Marketing Process Manager for Progressive Insurance offers some clear (and time-saving) tips. For example, here’s  Matt ‘s suggested starting point for time… Read more »

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Cloud Computing – Real Opportunities, Real Risks, Real Insurance

There is little doubt that Cloud Computing presents real opportunities.  But there are also real risks, and real risk mitigation strategies, which can include insurance. As we’ve noted recently in this space, organizations of all sizes and shapes (including insurers),  are moving to cloud computing to reduce fixed costs, and allow greater flexibility.  And there… Read more »

Social Media and Claims Investigations

Claims professionals may have much to gain from using social media, but must take care with the tactics used. Two years ago, at an insurance association session on social media, the presenter asked if anyone was using social media for business.  A  half dozen people (out of 50 or so) raised their hands.  One was… Read more »

Insurer-Broker Technology Collaboration Beyond Transactions – New Canadian Research Study

Brokers and insurers collaborate in varying degrees to acquire, serve, and retain Canadian property & casualty customers. While the industry continues to improve broker-insurer transaction efficiencies, a potential new area of collaboration is the sharing of information and insights gained through customer analytics. Based on a new SMA research study in Canada, “Analytics to Enhance… Read more »

Social Media: Marriage of Marketing and Customer Service

There is a lot of talk about the power of social media in selling insurance.  But, as was the case with the emergence of the Internet in the mid 1990s, the real power (for good or ill) may be in marketing through customer service. The holy grail of marketing is getting the customer to recommend… Read more »

Win-Win: Commercial Fleet Underwiting with Telematics

We blogged recently on competitive uses of predictive analytics,and noted that ‘Telematics,’ the use of location technology to automatically track automobile usage, was gaining some favour for some auto underwriting.  There is now evidence that this will extend beyond obvious uses in personal lines to more sophisticated applications in commercial  fleet insurance. The neat spin… Read more »

BI/Analytics: More Complex, More Mobile, More Important

For the  folks who have been able to dismiss the significance of business intelligence/predictive analytics, and relegate its use to actuaries and computer geeks,  there is growing evidence that this is a bad idea which is only going to get worse. Bob Evans, Editorial Director at Information Week, puts out an annual ‘Top 10’ list… Read more »

Business Driven Modern Technology – Removing the Fog from Cloud Computing

It has become fashionable in some insurance circles to relegate Cloud Computing to a technology in search of a solution.  This might be premature dismissal of an approach which could offer significant business benefits. In a recent blog post, Celent’s Ben Moreland says that people who focus solely on the technology miss the point.  While… Read more »

Insurer On-line Marketing Opportunities High, Use Low – Accenture

In an interview with eMarketer, Michael Costonis, Executive Director, Insurance North America for Accenture said that the state of insurance with respect on-line marketing “is probably slightly behind banking, which is really behind the rest of the world in terms of online sophistication of marketing.” According to Costonis, this is in spite of consumer trends… Read more »

Math lesson: Is there ROI for Core Systems Replacement?

A sharp IT professional recently argued with his colleagues that there is no cost-based return on investment argument that favours replacement for core insurance administration systems.  His contention was that there are lots of good reasons, but none that are cheaper than maintaining the old beast. This sounded just contrarian enough that it might be… Read more »

Tablets are coming. Oh, Wait … they’re here

No matter what measure is used, it is clear that tablets are capturing the imagination of business professionals, including insurance professionals, in ways previously unthinkable. Although tablets are best known as consumer devices, most analysts concur that tablets are moving rapidly into business, especially for mobile professionals.  InfoTech Research, in a recent blog post, says: … Read more »

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Social Media & Insurance Best Practices – New ACT Report

A new report from the  Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, IIABA, provides practical insight on effectively using Social Media for insurance sales and Service. ACT  is a subgroup of IIABA set up to bring independent agents/brokers together with insurance carriers and vendors to explore areas of common interest.  Thanks to dedicated staff and… Read more »

IT Budget Trends ‘Cloudy’: New Opportunities; New Challenges

IT managers generally, and Insurance IT managers specifically, are being given additional resources to do more, according to analysts, but these come with serious business alignment requirements.   This is increasing interest in Cloud Computing and Software as a Service (Saas) solutions. Jonathan Feldman, writing in Information Week on December 18, 2010, notes that a November… Read more »

Competitiveness Drives Use of Operational Data Analytics

There is increasing evidence that insurers are looking to better utilize data analytics in an operational environment to improve competitiveness in current market conditions. Insurance & Technology recently reported on a conversation with Piyush Singh, CIO of Cincinnati-based Great American Insurance Company, who believes there will be an ‘industry-wide shakeup that will be driven by… Read more »

Happy 2011: Year of the New Insurance Customer?

Developments in social media, cloud computing, and new technology are challenging IT professionals, but progress is being made, and the challenges are turning into opportunities. We sometimes fail to appreciate that customers – insurance customers – are going through the same challenges and are seeing similar opportunities in selecting companies and products which meet their… Read more »

Holiday Wishes

The Editors and Publisher of The Intersection thank you for your support during our introduction and wish you the very best for the holidays and for the new year. We will be back in full voice early in 2011.

Mid-Market Commercial Lines – Transforming Data to Knowledge to Action

Mid-market commercial lines has always been a holy grail for insurance automation – alluring, but out of reach.  New developments suggest we might be extending our reach. The core problem has been the volume and type of data that is required to be gathered, synthesized and intelligently acted upon has defied easy solutions.  Collecting and… Read more »

Canadian Clouds: Location, Location, Location

IT World Canada reports that Canada may have significant legal and geographic advantages as a location for cloud based computing services. Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa, is quoted in the article as saying:  “Location matters and where the cloud exists matters an awful lot when it comes to issues around privacy… Read more »

Consumers Interested in Social Media Connections with Financial Institutions, but Lack Awareness

The results of a recent survey by Fiserv of 3,000 US consumers indicate that the population has wide spread interest in using social media to connect to Financial Institutions, but lacks awareness of the ability to connect to these institutions. Some of the key finding are: Younger customers are more likely to use Social Media,… Read more »

Results At the Core of the 2011 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference (ICTC)

At the 2010 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference, Jim McGregor, CEO, The Precept Group, and long-time supporter of technology to improve the insurance business, made a controversial statement.  To paraphrase, Jim said that when he first got involved in broker-carrier interface in the late 1980s, the expense ratio for broker supporting insurers was 35% – ‘unacceptably’ higher… Read more »

Welcome to The Interesection: An Insurance-Canada.ca Blog

Welcome to The Intersection, an Insurance-Canada.ca Blog. Since 1995, Insurance-Canada.ca has been devoted to providing technology/insurance content through its web site, seminars, conference, and newsletters.  The website has become a meeting  point for insurance and technology professionals and consumers.  The Intersection is intended to extend the distribution and expand the content, Hence the sub-title:  Where… Read more »

Employees’ Home Technology Trumping Work Tools?

We recently commented on research indicating that an increasing number of organizations are accommodating employees bringing personal technology to work.  More evidence is surfacing that there is general employee dissatisfaction in Canada with current tools as compared with those available personally.  Further, within the insurance industry in the US, it seems that there is pressure… Read more »

Major Challenges to BI – Redux

A few days ago, we posted on a Novarica report which provided insight on major challenges to Business Intelligence.  The largest inhibitors for insurers seemed to be systems/data related (core systems inflexibility, poor data quality,  lack of standards for data).  Now a major study by the IBM Institute for Business Value in collaboration with MIT… Read more »

Being ‘Social’ Just Isn’t Enough

  There are lots of success stories around social media these days.  It is important to remember that just being ‘social’ doesn’t guarantee success. IT World Canada recently did a look back on 7 Social Technologies that died in 2010.  All come from well known technology companies. In case you don’t recognize the logo here,… Read more »

Major Challenges of Business Intelligence

According to a recent Novarica study – Business Intelligence in Insurance: Current State, Challenges, and Expectations – some of the major challenges facing insurers in implementing Business Intelligence solutions come from data access and data quality. Solving this requires addressing questions such as: How do I consolidate duplicate information and ensure accuracy? How do I… Read more »

But It Followed Me to Work

A hot topic among IT and HR managers is the trend for workers to bring their own personal technology to work, and expect to incorporate it seamlessly into their tool kit. Although the jury is very much out, it seems that a number of organizations are accepting this trend as inevitable, and looking to make… Read more »

CIOs: Death in the Clouds?

Predictions are that Cloud Computing might be the roadmap to the future, but a recent posting on the Celent blog suggests that it might be a dead end street for some professions. Many of us have heard rumours of the demise of the technical CIO in insurance organizations for years. The argument goes that given… Read more »

The Social Media ‘Branch’

When discussing resources required to support social media, a colleague of mine came up with a neat concept. She said that the social media initiative of an insurer or broker should be thought of as the organization’s next ‘branch’. The amount of resources assigned should relate to the type of functions performed in the ‘branch’… Read more »

Are You Having Too Much Success Exhibiting @ Trade Shows?

If you seem to be having too much success when you exhibit at trade shows (getting too many leads, having too many people come directly to your booth, etc.), you should read: 11 ways to ensure you have a results-free trade show at the InfoExecutive Web Site. It is a whimsical list of suggestions to… Read more »

Strategy and Measurement are Keys to Navigating the New Insurance Normal

Opening the ACORD Implementation Forum in Fort Lauderdale this week, a panel of senior insurance technology executives, moderated by Celent’s Donald Light, reviewed the ‘New Normal’ for insurance organizations and agreed that the future needs to be navigated carefully, guided by increasingly precise measurement of actions and impacts. Light, in his opening comments, said that… Read more »

Modern Technology and the Apple

Most everyone has heard about the great success of the iPad with consumers. Lesser known is the penetration within the business community. And insurance is no exception. Geico has taken to expanding a popular customer application, Glovebox, to a variety of devices, including the iPad. Watch this to be the norm for any insurance applications…. Read more »

Social Media and Market Share: Linked or What?

Two pieces of data crossed our desk this week. The first came from Insurance Network News which quoted a recent study indicating that a recent report from NetProspex on Social Media Use by Business found that the insurance industry ranked 43rd out of 50. (Banks ranked 3rd.) The second piece of information came in conversation… Read more »