Insurance-Canada.ca - Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Blockchain Moving to Mainstream, With Help from the Cooks

Blockchain is getting more traction in the business press, but implementation still seems to have remained in the IT domain. However, applications relying on Blockchain technology are emerging in the insurance domain. In addition, third parties are providing entry points for insurance professionals to understand and drive Blockchain applications. Are you part of these developments? Blockchain… Read more »

Claims 2017 – Distinctly Driving Digital

In the May 28 blog post, I suggested that claims and risk management are taking a prominent place in digital transformations. Today, I will review recent articles that describe potential impacts and possible time frames. I will also note sessions at our 2017 Insurance-Canada Executive Forum, which will provide unique claims thought leadership. Telematics is not… Read more »

Is Insurance the Future of InsurTech?

InsurTech is the hot topic this year, and for good reason. In the effort to improve consumer engagement, InsurTech’s new technology-driven construct is showing value. But can we envision base insurance principles being stretched in service of modernity? Customer Experience – Oxymoron or What? Having worked in the industry for a while, I can say… Read more »

Home Insurance: Engagement Rising Through Collaboration

When I started working in the insurance industry, a very wise (if somewhat cynical) colleague gave me his analysis of the product: “Insurance is dead simple, but trained professionals have spent 300 years making it impossible to understand.” This could be a theme which explains – and which caused – a current disruption trend. What’s… Read more »

Cyber Risk: The Mother of Innovation

“Jazz is not dead. It just smells funny.” – Frank Zappa For the last two decades, insurers have introduced products, which are intended to respond to cyber risk. However, the offerings seem to lag behind the technology risks. As we enter the new era of the Internet of Things, the risks will expand exponentially, but… Read more »

IoT as a Virtual Risk Manager

The Internet of Things (IoT) has gone beyond a passive monitor of activities to become an intelligent nervous system for the world of devices and people. As a result IoT could be the largest opportunity for improving the business of insurance. Last year, Aviva Canada introduced the “Home Protect Bundle” which included coverage that provided… Read more »

Could Claims Challenge Existing InsurTech Priorities?

While the majority of InsurTech activity leans towards marketing, underwriting, sales, and product service, there is growing interest in streamlining and improving claims reporting and adjusting. Could this mean that Claims disruption is on the horizon? Customer as examiner… Earlier this month, RDN – Repairer Driven News reported that Allstate will cease using the company’s drive-inspection stations… Read more »

23 Hours of InsurTech

Last week, we had a 23-hour opportunity to take stock in our readiness for the digital incarnation of insurance. As that time passed, we found some answers — and many more interesting questions. So we’re planning to do it again with a larger team of experts. Setting the pace and the place setting … Matteo Carbone, Founder and… Read more »

Borders and the Flow of Intelligence

Just after the last US presidential election, I posted a blog on the possible impact of US immigration policies on the tech industry in Toronto. Six months on, we’re finding that Toronto and Canada may be getting some advantage. I’d like your thoughts. Is this down to just one man? The Vector Institute – an “independent, non-profit research… Read more »

Notes On the Path to Insurance 2.0

In our last post, we noted the impact of derisking on the current insurance model. As technology lowers the probability of risks (with an attendant reduction of rates and premiums), we see insurance seeking new exposures and developing more engagement with consumers. This post turns to different elements in the new world. Going ‘Episodic’ Speaking… Read more »

Smart Canadian Insurers, Smart Homes, and Insurance 2.0

Canadian insurers’ interest in smart home technology is rising. At one level, this is providing new, cool insurance programs. At a higher level, this is a prototype of Insurance 2.0. Home, Dry Home … According to CB insights, Intact Insurance in April “became the latest insurer to invest in a smart home startup – water… Read more »

Are InsurTechs Defining the Next Generation of Enterprise Systems?

Since the mid-1970s, there has been a core group of suppliers who provide enterprise systems specifically designed for P&C insurers. The group changes periodically, with mergers, acquisitions, and new technology. However, the basic functions haven’t changed much. InsurTech may be the catalyst for disruption. Back in the day …. Insurers were one of the first… Read more »

Digital Insurance: What, Why, and How

‘Digital insurance’ is a hot topic within the P&C community. At a high level, consultants and practitioners can rapidly agree on the importance of ‘digitalization’. However, when we start developing and implementing a business case, definitions of the strategies and tasks get a bit murky. Two recent articles help focus on critical criteria. Why do Digital… Read more »

InsurTech: Threats or Opportunities for Insurers?

When traditional P&C insurers look at the world of InsurTech firms, there are two common reactions: InsurTechs are a flash in the pan: They have some slick customer interfaces, but not enough depth to be a lasting concern; InsurTechs will disrupt our business model: They will process the business with zero friction and take a… Read more »

Tags: ,

Will InsurTech Break Two Solitudes of Insurance?

An increasing number of  insurance practitioners are looking seriously at using InsurTech solutions for competitive advantage. At the same time, InsurTech suppliers are looking at our industry and developing solutions and constructs with little or no understanding of modern insurance. My spider sense tells me the ‘two solitudes’ approach – which has never worked particularly well – will continue… Read more »

Autonomous Vehicles – The Disruption Never Ends

As recently as four years ago, if you mentioned ‘autonomous vehicles’ as a serious alternative to traditional private passenger automobiles, there were good odds that you would be laughed at or threatened. That has changed, and the impact could be more disruptive than first imagined. It seemed straightforward at the time … At the first… Read more »

Telematics: A Larger Landscape

Telematics-enabled Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) has been slow in penetrating the traditional insurance market, causing some to dismiss the approach. However, the inexorable press of time is showing the larger significance of telematics. How do you see this impacting your digital strategy? It started out so simple… UBI has been around since the early part of… Read more »

Canadian Disruptions, Eh?

The theme for the 2017 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference on Feb.28 was “Disruption ⇒ New Realities, New Opportunities.”  I had the privilege of moderating two sessions, which demonstrated that Canadian insurance organizations are embracing the realities and creating opportunities. If you missed it in person, or want to visit it again, you will have the opportunity… Read more »

Pilots on the Disruption Path

The 2017 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference and The 2017 Broker Forum, have now come and gone. But their impacts remain. Over the next few weeks, I will reflect back on key elements. To the best of my knowledge, the first and the last speaker didn’t spend much time comparing notes. Yet these two were complementary pilots… Read more »

The Rollout of Automated Driver Assistance Systems and the Impact to Insurance Costs

Long available as high-end luxury vehicle options, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are now offered on a number of 2017 vehicle models. For example, Toyota Safety Sense offers an ADAS bundle that will be included as standard on the majority of Canadian models starting with the 2017 model year. How is the insurance industry responding… Read more »

Increasing Policyholder Retention through Telematics-Driven Claims

Auto insurance has one of the highest Net Promotor Scores™ of any industry, yet nearly all auto insurers struggle to engage with their policyholders in a positive and constructive way. Telematics can play a significant role in improving engagement and improving claims management. Low engagement, combined with highly price elastic customers, leads to the insurance… Read more »

One Step Towards Customized Pricing

Location has an impact on individuals’ everyday activities. Choosing to take up residence far from work increases daily travel time and higher accident risk. Residing in a poorly lit neighbourhood increases the chances of break-ins. Living close to waterways entails flood associated risks. These variables have been taken into account for years when establishing the… Read more »

Robo-Advisors to Humans: We’re Here!

Sci-Fi has relied on robotic advisors since the genre was launched, and for good reason: They improve the lives of humans. This science-fiction is finally being realized, and if you squeeze your eyes tight and look at the horizon, you can see the future forming for insurance. Who is Mr. Robo and What Does He… Read more »

Is it Possible to Calm the InsurTech Blizzard?

We are experiencing a blizzard of technologies and processes aimed squarely at changing the insurance industry. Early implementations show that there are opportunities to improve the business of insurance, but some of the edges are fuzzy. The new technologies rely on a new business model that can be a bit threatening. So, What’s New ……. Read more »

Data & Analytics: Going to the Core of InsurTech

In less than 2 years, ‘InsurTech’ has become a topic du jour for insurance and technology professionals. But much of the discussion focuses on ease of use and engagement; it misses some critical fundamentals. Fortunately, there is an opportunity to find the mix of externals and internals creating the magic. Ease of use is getting… Read more »

AI: The Computing We Always Wanted?

With all of the discussions about InsurTech, Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) may  be poised to slide in seamlessly and radically change how we do business.  Are we realizing what we thought computing should be? Where is AI now in insurance? We are already seeing implementations of AI.  Lemonade, which is bringing a new model… Read more »

Who Can Do InsurTech? Who Should?

The term “InsurTech”  is a bit ambiguous, describing a wide scope of activities.  Depending on the source, InsurTech  may cause disruption of current insurance practices, the rise of new insurance products, the evisceration  of entire insurance C-Suites, the ascension of new entrepreneurs to Unicorn status.  This is not particularly helpful. I prefer to use a… Read more »

InsurTech, AI, and the Future of Work: On Offer in 2017

The beginning of a new year is fertile ground for making projections. However, having been hoisted by this particular petard previously, I am retreating to safer ground, and simply noting two trends. I won’t predict where these will take us, but leave it to discuss as the year reveals its true colours. Chaos takes form… Read more »

Is Big Data Working in Insurance?

Editor’s note: The Intersection blog focuses primarily on the property & casualty insurance business in Canada.  However, we occasionally take stock of interesting insights relating to other parts of the insurance community and other parts of the world, as we did here. Big Data has become a big buzzword, particularly in the insurance industry. It… Read more »

Tags: ,

2017 – Dance with the Hippo or Sharpen Solomon’s Tool

A few days of rich food,  Big Bang Theory bingeing,  naps at all hours, and random acts of work can produce some interesting perspectives, one of which is that 2017 is likely going to shape the next generation of insurance processes, distribution, and product. And size will matter, but in a new way. Dancing with … Read more »

2016 – Digital Directions and Distractions

In the late days of 2015, we projected that 2016 would have one overarching driver for insurers and brokers: digital transformation. All things being equal, I think we hit a chord that resonated. However, there was a parallel trend that made the acoustics a little strange. Digital First In 2015, there were early indications of… 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 »

Emerging Tech in Canadian Insurance: Watch This Space

Emerging technologies seem to be taking the world by storm. The Internet of Things, drones, autonomous vehicles, wearables, and a range of other new technologies are in the news and poised to transform various industries as well as our daily lives. Canadian insurers are investigating opportunities and developing strategies for new technologies, with an eye… Read more »

Digital Then and Now: Why It Will Work This Time

In 1995, there was a lot of noise about the Internet revolutionizing insurance, which would result in savvy players becoming future winners.  While there was some impact, it looks like the real revolution was waiting for the ‘InsurTech’ phase.  What happened, what is making the difference, and how do you get more information? A brief history Insurers… Read more »

On Brokers, InsurTech Experience, and Friday Afternoons

Disruptive forces are pushing into the business of insurance in a big way. In many of the pronouncements from the usurpers and commentators, brokers are pictured as dull artifacts from a long-past time. Some brokers are emulating the digital pioneers. But is the reality of customer experience a bit more nuanced? Brokers Embracing InsurTech Jeff… Read more »

Infrastructure & Insurance, Risk & Reward

Public infrastructure and military projects played a critical role in socio-economic stability in the 20th century.  Insurers could expand that role to new requirements for monitoring, measuring, and mitigating risk for new assets in the 21st century. Infrastructure was a lifeline in the 20th century Growing up in the US in the 1950s and 1960s was… Read more »

On the US Election, Tech, and Coming Home

Since the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, the path forward has been a bit foggy. There is one straightforward result, however, which impacts Canada’s largest tech community. Why is tech different? Shortly after the U.S. declared a president-elect, Fortune’s editorial director, Adam Lashinsky, penned a short column on the new reality for the tech… Read more »

InsurTech – It’s About Time

In the last two posts, I focused on whether incumbent insurers can employ InsurTech; I suggested that insurers can, assuming that the insurer is ready to make changes. Today, I’m posing the question: How can insurers effectively bring in InsurTech? Hint: As with insurance, time is of the essence. InsurTech on a role InsurTech –… Read more »

Can Insurers Really ‘Do’ InsurTech?

Common wisdom has it that established insurers are not able to leverage InsurTech – the use of digital technology innovations designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency – with the same efficacy as start-up enterprises. We challenged two assumptions in our last post and will now address the third. In the last episode … I… Read more »

InsurTech: Threat or Salvation for Insurers?

InsurTech – defined as the use of technology innovations designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model – is threatening to cause significant disruption within the existing insurance community. How serious is this for established insurers and brokers? And what are the alternatives? Interest in InsurTech has increased dramatically over… Read more »

Following Closely: Cyberrisk and Self-Driving Cars

If you scan this blog, you will note that we have a high interest in autonomous vehicles.  Data demonstrate that there are reductions  in injuries and deaths, and improvements in transportation effectiveness. But there are new risks which need to be addressed. Is this an opportunity or just a large challenge? There are impressive benefits Autonomous… Read more »

Insurance Broken

If I had to recommend a one-line description for the 2016 InsureTech Connect Conference,  being held at the Las Vegas Convention Centre this week, I would suggest, “Insurance is critically important.  That’s why we must break it.” The heart of the matter… Caribou Honig, Partner at QED Investors and chairman of the event, opened with a… Read more »

A Letter to Peter: Tech Changes Insurance for Good?

Dear Peter Diamandis: I was pleased to see your post, “5 Tech Forces That Will Change Insurance for Good,” and your participation with Lemonade. I have followed your newsletter for years and have previously referenced your thoughts in this blog. I am offering a few comments and describing my admittedly foggy view of the future…. Read more »

The Future of Disruption: Will Telematics Uberize UBI?

We are hearing a lot about disruption that will hit the insurance industry as the result of InsureTech and digital transformation. However, widespread enterprise-wide implementations are some ways out, so we won’t see the impact of all of the moving pieces. But there is one exception: Telematics / UBI. Telematics is proven and poised for… Read more »

The Era of the Digitally Unthinkable

Digital transformation is a hot topic these days. In many ways, the technology is a catalyst for different approaches to the business of insurance. To take advantage of this, insurers and suppliers will have to look at the existing relationships and be prepared to commit to new terms of reference.  Are we prepared for that?… Read more »

Waiting for Disruption

An analyst and thought leader recently went public with a post suggesting that disruption is over-hyped and underwhelming from a practical standpoint. I respect the author and the analysis, but I think that we are in uncharted territory, and when looking at disruptive competitors, we might consider Hunter Thompson’s advice. Who is the analyst and… Read more »

If Digital Is Urgent, How Do We Play It?

InsurTech (Insurance Technology)  is a hot topic in the insurance community these days.  But how significant is this trend and how urgently do we have to respond?  We think that the recent  Insurance-Canada.ca Executive Forum (ICEF2016)  provided insight. What do we do and, when do we do it? Writing in PropertyCasualty360, PwC analysts, Jamie Yoder… Read more »

Will Driverless Cars Disrupt Uber and Insurance?

Ride-hailing services – the poster child being Uber – are recognized as a major disruptors for taxi fleets and other modes of transportation. These actors introduce continuous innovation by embracing internal disruption. However, there are other external initiatives that may disrupt the disruptors. And insurers may be collateral damage. We’d like your thoughts. Driverless cars… Read more »

Searching for Innovation in All the Wrong Places?

We all agree that innovation is the word of the decade (so far). But today’s version of innovation may require some humbling tradeoffs. Are you ready for this? Tell me if you’ve been here … It’s planning time and the executives have been spirited away to a 3 day retreat to finalize ‘The Plan’. The… Read more »

Millennials Leading the Way for Digital Transformation

With 75% of the workforce expected to be made up of digital natives by the year 2025, digital communications are becoming more and more important. I’m not a millennial, but I live with a few of them, and I have noticed some differences. Big Group/Big Differences.  Big Dollars/Big Opportunities. At first I didn’t buy into… Read more »