Insurance-Canada.ca - Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Digital and Analogue: Tails and Heads on a Single Coin

Back in the dying days of 2015, I posted on insurance organizations that were in the process of disrupting themselves.  So where did we end up?  Let’s take a look at the journey and see where we stand and where we are going. Are we behind the times? Insurance organizations have been tagged as laggards… Read more »

Artificial Intelligence: The Sine Qua Non for Future Insurance?

Since the mid-1950s, technology, business, and academic professionals have been intrigued by the concept of Artificial intelligence (AI).  Fast-forward 60+ years and we are now seeing commercial implementations in various sectors, including insurance.  So, will risk  and insurance professionals embrace this development? Theory and layers of reality As with most worthwhile concepts, there is no… Read more »

A Changing Climate or a Climate for Change?

In the 26 July 2017 edition of Insurance Business, a staff reporter penned a prescient headline  –  Climate change: Can insurers take the heat? – with a challenge to back it up: Climate change could lead to a larger market for insurers as more people seek protection from losses – but the higher probability of… Read more »

Who Wins the Risk Game: Humans or Machines?

Digital insurance and InsurTechs are keys to the ‘new’ approaches, which will support customer centricity and improve the insurance product and its distribution. But is this a revolutionary shift, driven by technology, or the next generation of insurance professionals driving improved processes and products? I’d like your thoughts. What’s new? For the last 30 months… Read more »

Using AI-Driven Voice Technology to Power up the Insurance Industry

Technology and insurance are increasingly inseparable, especially now with new AI-driven voice technology that enables the Canadian insurance industry to engage with consumers in new and creative ways. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled voice technology is the beginning of a new era, with the introduction of voice assistants taking the market by storm. This… Read more »

Does Customer Engagement Need A Happiness Halo?

With a persistent soft market and heavy competition, insurers and brokers have implemented strategies to differentiate products and services to improve customer engagement. However, new, sophisticated measures are revealing important information that may suggest the significance of consumers’ emotional desires as well as financial needs. More data is coming at #ICXF2017. Customer Engagement Practitioners and industry suppliers have been… Read more »

Is UBI Facing A Future That Isn’t UBI?

For the last decade, insurers have sought to change automotive underwriting by relying on real data from vehicles, rather than using proxies such as drivers’ estimates of mileage driven, traffic tickets, and accidents. However, as the industry in poised for rapid expansion, a leading expert is suggesting that it is already a failure. But there… Read more »

Disruption: 50 Years On

Disruption is very much in vogue as a target  for new technology.  But disruption is not a recent development.  As a fully invested boomer, I have been thinking about the 50th anniversary of 1967 – a year of fundamental disruption.  Two events stand out in my mind, the latter relating directly to insurance and the importance of… Read more »

Moving Beyond the ‘Trust’ Factor: Challenging the Traditional Marketing Approach

In the insurance industry, one marketing priority has always stood out: building trust. Trust is what allows consumers to feel good about choosing a certain brokerage or brand over another. It’s how positive word of mouth spreads and how awareness is established. But is trust enough to capture the loyalty of an increasingly informed audience?… Read more »

InsurTech Futures

InsurTech is a hot topic in the insurance community. Developers are bringing forward digital technologies, which improve existing functionality, increase customer experience, support new products, and reduce friction costs. The big question is whether InsurTech will continue to operate on the periphery of ‘standard’ insurance technology or integrate with insurers’ architecture. InsurTechs are taking positions……. Read more »

Big Data, Big Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Computing, Connected World…..Hadoop at the core!

Few would disagree that big data is maturing. Looking back over the past 11 years of Hadoop, we’ve seen many participants in the ecosystem – those with proprietary, others with ‘mostly’ open-source and, of course, 100% open-source distributions. In 2015, the Open Data Platform Initiative (ODPi) was created by a group industry leaders working collaboratively… 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 »

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 »

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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 Promoter 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 »

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 »