- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Barriers to Insurance Innovation and New Year’s Resolutions to Overcome Them

by Alan P. Demers and Stephen E. Applebaum — It’s that time once again when predictions about the insurance industry’s outlook for 2022 come rolling in like waves. They are interesting to those of us in the industry and may provoke discussion and healthy debate or even serve as a call-to-action for others, even though… Read more »

Commercial Insurers Are Shifting Their Transformational Tech Priorities

New SMA Blog by Heather Turner, Lead Research Analyst, Strategy Meets Action — It is difficult to imagine where digital business operations would be today if it weren’t for the catalyst that is the pandemic. For nearly two years, businesses across industries, and especially within insurance, accelerated digital transformation plans to adapt to remote access… Read more »

Four Principles to Guide Your Digital Transformation

By Greg Satell, Andrea Kates, and Todd McLees — Digital transformation is not just about technology. Success involves far more than simply procuring competent vendors and doing some user training. These initiatives can no longer be left solely at the feet of technology leaders and IT staff, but must involve a diverse set of ecosystem… Read more »

Techniques Insurance Companies Need to Master for their Future

By Pierre Gagné, President, Insurance Frameworks Inc. — This is the first of three short articles on what Insurance and Wealth Management companies need to master to face the future. This first short article covers the strategic aspects related to the industry. I do not need to tell you that the financial industry has never… Read more »

Are MGAs’ Digital Capabilities Ready for the Distribution Revolution?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — It would not be an understatement to say that Managing General Agent (MGA) and Managing General Underwriter (MGU) business has exploded in the past five years. Today, MGAs and their MGU cousins account for approximately $60 billion in premium flow, up from $25 billion… Read more »

Why Automation in P&C Creates the Need for More Human Experts

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The P&C industry has been on an automation path for many years. When the pandemic hit, it became a catalyst for accelerating automation and digital transformation. Straight-through processing, self-service portals, virtual inspections, and digital payments are just a few of the areas that insurers… Read more »

Best Practices for Creating an Insurance Quoting API

The ultimate guide for carriers, MGA-MGUs and their partners — By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — The insurance and reinsurance industry is re-shaping and re-tooling at a record pace. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has opened up for brokers, agents, and underwriters to close the digital divide and secure a key competitive advantage for years to… Read more »

Building Advanced Digital Solutions with Standardized APIs

Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) — What if brokers could serve their clients much faster, easier and more efficiently? It is entirely possible. CSIO and its Innovation and Emerging Technology (INNOTECH) Advisory Committee are working to advance digital experiences for brokers and their clients by moving information faster — with policy data available… Read more »

InsurTech is Real and Important – Not “Just Hype” 

by Stephen Applebaum — At ITC 2021 in Las Vegas, during an on-stage conversation with Munich Re board member Lisa Pollina, Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg commented that InsurTech promises of transformation are “just hype.”  With that, Greenberg put a spotlight on a debate that has been percolating since the term “InsurTech” was first coined around… Read more »

How UBI (Almost) Turned Me Into A Dangerous Driver

New SMA Blog by Deanna Breading, Guest Author — I’m a senior citizen. My now-grown kids used to chide me for hardly ever reaching the speed limit even before my hair turned gray and the wrinkles stopped disappearing when my smile faded. So, my pedal-to-the-metal foot had gone into storage long before usage-based insurance (UBI)… Read more »

InsureTech Connect 2021: It’s all about the people

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Participating in ITC2021 was a blast! It was great to see so many people in person for the first time in a couple of years. But aside from the joy everyone was experiencing in just being together, there was a very serious undercurrent to… Read more »

The P&C Claims Adjuster Role is Dead; Long Live the Claims Adjuster!

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Decades ago, a refrain began that predicted the death of the insurance agent. The Internet was going to cut out the middleman! Disintermediation would result in the demise of the traditional insurance agent! But here we are – years later – and distribution intermediaries… Read more »

The Complex Auto Claim Process: Tamed by Technology and Collaboration

Reflections on the recent webcast, “DISRUPTION: Technologies Transforming the Industry,” by Stephen Applebaum — Last week we debuted our “Connected Insurance” webcast series with “DISRUPTION: Technologies Transforming the Industry”.  I had the pleasure of serving as host and moderator and by all accounts the session was extremely well received. Our underlying theme for the session… Read more »

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Personal Lines Distribution: Digital Capabilities Continue to Evolve and Expand

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Within the insurance industry, the personal lines sector has frequently been the pioneer in building and enhancing digital capabilities. With increasing demands from both policyholders and distribution partners for digital solutions, technology innovation was and remains imperative to both staying relevant and increasing market… Read more »

Mid/Large Commercial Distribution: Digital Capabilities on the Rise

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Traditionally, success in the middle-market and large commercial segments relied on deep expertise regarding customer risks and deep relationships with a network of distributors with access to those markets. Those capabilities are still fundamental to success, but lately, the carriers’ digital capabilities have become… Read more »

The Distribution Technology Journey for Small Commercial: Are We There Yet?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — How far along are commercial lines carriers in delivering digital solutions to their agents and other distribution partners? Answering that question depends on whether you are a glass half-empty or glass half-full type of person. The pessimist might say: Despite huge investments in technology… Read more »

Video Marketing Best Practices & Trends in 2021

By Robyn Croll, VP – Customer Insights, Goose Digital — One of the most exciting and effective trends in digital marketing is the use of video. Regardless of if your end customer is a broker, a business leader or a homeowner, video has the power to engage and deliver content. And customers want more –… Read more »

A first look at the EU’s Artificial Intelligence proposal

By Martino Scheepens, Customer Success Manager, FRISS — While powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are already present in our day to day lives, AI is still in its relative infancy. According to PWC research, it could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, and it is no surprise that regulation is… Read more »

Tomorrow’s Insurance is Connected

By Stephen Applebaum and Alan Demers — Insurance is, at its core, five things; underwriting and pricing risk, selling and distribution, claims adjudication, servicing and finally, investment management.  Of course, there are hundreds of other skills and important areas of the business but these are the five central pillars of any insurance company. Technologies are… Read more »

Personal Lines Insurers Tech Plans and the Pandemic: Significant Reshaping and Acceleration

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The traditionally stable P&C personal lines insurance industry has been shaken up due to the pandemic. Insurers have been used to adjusting to economic swings and catastrophes that affect volumes and financials. Those kinds of adjustments are business as usual for the industry. But… Read more »

Technology is Transforming the Insurance Industry

By Maeliss Usher, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Finaeo — As an industry, insurance has been transformed by the digital revolution. Modern technology is reshaping the current and future state of insurance functionalities. Operations have been streamlined, customer interactions have taken place on chat, claims can be automatically processed, and brokers can compile information more efficiently as… Read more »

The Pulse Quickens for Commercial Lines Tech: A Post-Pandemic View

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The past 18 months have been interesting (to say the least) for anyone involved in technology strategy, planning, or implementation. Ideally, a roadmap with prioritized projects and defined resource allocations directs the activity, and the company stays relatively true to its path. Unfortunately, the… Read more »

Relay Facilitates $3Bn in limits in Commercial Lines

By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — Relay makes progress; thanks to the team! Relay is growing faster than it ever has, and we were already growing fast! We have now facilitated over 412 placements and close to $3 billions in coverage limits in both insurance and reinsurance. That’s almost triple the 1.25 billions we… Read more »

Personal Lines Channel Plans: It’s Complicated

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — When most insurance industry observers think of the channel strategies for personal lines, the picture appears to be fairly simple. More of the business is moving to direct distribution approaches, whether that is through call centers or the web. Furthermore, there is a clear… Read more »

Recent Trends in Life Insurance

By Karan Jain, CEO & Founder, Life Simpli — While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rapid shift in consumer needs, habits, and expectations, it also has been a much-required digital catalyst for the insurance industry. Indeed, the industry adopted digitization much earlier, yet it took a global pandemic for insurance providers and customers to… Read more »

Three Customer Experience Trends Transforming Insurers’ Customer Communications

By Andi Dominguez, Principal – Insurance & Healthcare, Quadient — The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded me that predicting the future is quite the fool’s errand. But as I optimistically-albeit cautiously-look at what 2021 may bring, it’s hard to miss some underlying customer experience trends shaking up customer communications in the insurance industry. Most trends point… Read more »

Insurers have a role in growing the carbon removal industry: Swiss Re

Despite wide agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we remain on the wrong trajectory; what’s needed now is drastic action to reduce carbon emissions, complemented by efforts to kickstart the carbon removal industry Zurich, Switzerland (July 8, 2021) – Scientists are clear what it takes to meet the targets of the 2015 Paris climate… Read more »

Investors Pour Venture Capital into Canada

Venture capital interest in Canadian start-ups, particularly tech, has skyrocketed in 2021, drawing capital from both domestic and foreign investors — By Charles McGrath, Senior Writer, Preqin — Venture capitalists have taken a shine to Canadian companies in recent years. This could be surprising to some, who see the country’s investment ecosystem revolving around energy… Read more »

Commercial Lines Channel Plans: The Times They Are A-Changin’

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Property & casualty commercial lines carriers have ambitious plans to expand their distribution channels. Much of the change is centered around traditional channels and agents, brokers, MGAs, and wholesalers. Because of that, my original title idea was, “The More Things Change, the More They… Read more »

Customer Experience in P&C Insurance is a Marathon – but the Finish Line Keeps Moving

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Much has been written and much has been done in the past decade regarding the customer experience in P&C. Progress has been made in better understanding customer needs and journeys, implementing digital solutions for mobile and self-service capabilities, and improving interactions with agents and… Read more »

Retail, wholesale and reinsurance brokers need smarter technology now to surmount hardening markets in P&C

By Greg Boutin, CEO, Relay Platform — 94% of brokers declare that “Faster quotes would help close more business.” Our Toronto-based venture Relay Platform emerged on the InsurTech scene in 2020 with a compelling platform helping brokers and cedents source and manage facultative reinsurance placements. Since then, we expanded into insurance, with a focus on… Read more »

Commercial Lines Distribution Platforms: Way Beyond Comparative Raters

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Commercial lines insurers have many options for distribution partners. The world of intermediaries is continuing to expand with many new platforms to connect distributors to carriers. We are frequently being asked by insurers how many distribution platform partners an insurer should have and how… Read more »

Insurance 2030: The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The pandemic has changed everything. Well, not everything… but it has changed many aspects of the lives of individuals and families and has had far-reaching effects on businesses in every industry. The patterns that represent the ebb and flow of daily life have been… Read more »

Continuation – the least understood benefit of group insurance?

By Hans Frauenlob, Co-Founder, Sentro — Group insurance often has a hugely important feature that is really poorly understood.  It is called a Continuation Option.  Let’s look at it from the perspectives of the employer, the employee, and the insurer. Finally, we’ll look at some recent improvements in our Sentro platform that make handling continuation… Read more »

The Digital Journey of Personal Lines Insurers

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Personal lines insurers experienced the disruption and change of 2020 like the rest of the world. Most were already on digital transformation journeys before the pandemic but the tumultuous events of last year caused many to reprioritize digital projects and change the shape of… Read more »

Replaying real life: how the Waymo Driver avoids fatal human crashes

By Trent Victor, Director of Safety Research & Best Practices, Waymo — Road safety is a major, global public health crisis. More than 1.3 million people die on the world’s roads every year, according to WHO. That’s more people than die from HIV/AIDS, and is equivalent to a passenger plane’s worth of people crashing every… Read more »

Finaeo is a Finalist in the MassChallenge 2021 FinTech Cohort

Submitted by Finaeo — Finaeo has been selected as the only Canadian company to join the 2021 MassChallenge FinTech cohort. Over 325 startups from around the world applied to participate, with only 30 companies being selected to join the program. MassChallenge, headquartered in the United States with seven locations worldwide, equips bold entrepreneurs to disrupt… Read more »

The Digital Journey of Commercial Lines Insurers

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Commercial lines insurers are moving forward on their digital journeys, spurred by customer demands and the acceleration of digital capabilities in the world at large. In earlier phases of the industry’s digital journey, all the attention was on personal lines. Commercial lines, especially those… Read more »

Parametric Insurance Insights from Paul Prendergast of Blink

Q&A with Paul Prendergast, CEO, Blink Parametric — Do you see Parametric as an under-served area of insurance? The vast amount of parametric insurance is written for large enterprises and governments. Our experience has been that there is latent demand for a platform that allows insurers to build and deliver simple, yet powerfully effective parametric… Read more »

Insurance 2030: Scenarios for the Future, Implications for Today

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — It can be difficult to think about the future when the demands of the day are so pressing. The pandemic and events of 2020 have caused seismic shifts in society, affecting everyday patterns, lifestyles, and business operations. Adapting strategies and plans to the pandemic’s… Read more »

Streamline Your Financial Advisor Practice with Digitization

Submitted by Finaeo — Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were not motivated to buy life insurance products throughout 2020, according to Deloitte. For the vast majority of consumers (79%), insurers were to blame “due to a combination of infrequent client communications” and their widespread perception of “transaction complexity,” among other issues. Fortunately, new digital… Read more »

InsurTech 2020: Has the Pandemic Changed the Trajectory?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Right before the pandemic hit, I published a blog that reflected on the first decade of the InsurTech movement and made predictions for the decade starting with 2020.† Little did I know that the world was about to plunge into chaos and fundamental change… Read more »

Battling Health Insurance Claims Fraud

Submitted by CaseWare RCM, Inc. — Insurance companies and providers of health care benefits lose hundreds of millions of dollars yearly due to fraudulent claims for health benefits. Some of these are bogus claims that originate from insured persons, while others are payments for insured services that are not needed but are wrongly prescribed by… Read more »

P&C Personal Lines in 2021: How Are Insurer Strategies Changing?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Individuals with strategy and planning roles have had a busy time in 2020 adapting to the evolving realities of the pandemic and economic uncertainties. 2021 is likely to be more of the same for people in these roles. Entering into 2020, personal lines insurers… Read more »

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 »