Insurance-Canada.ca - Where Insurance & Technology Meet

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 »

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 »

The Future of Insurance Work?

The insurance industry has a reputation for being a stable, consistent employer with a structured model for talent acquisition and development. But new demands may require additional skills, training, and terms of engagement to meet an emerging disruption. We’d like your thoughts. Insurers and Future Work The noted futurist David Smith produced a white paper… Read more »

On Robotics and Muddling Through

While reviewing material on the benefits and challenges of implementing omnichannel communications, I came across a new (to me) approach to introducing robotics into existing processes. I am a big fan of ‘muddling through,’ and this approach seems to offer help to organizations which are looking for a starting point to the digital world. It… Read more »

MGAs: on the Edge of Digital?

This past week, I read a post from CB Insights suggesting that Managing General Agents (MGAs) may become significant players in the digital insurance world. After cleaning my glasses to make sure I was reading correctly, I reflected a bit, and I and am coming around to the idea … sort of. First reality check:… Read more »

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Operationalized Customer Experience: On the Horizon?

The last two decades have not been kind to insurers. Sources of pain range from a continuing soft market and falling interest rates to regulations and judicial rulings that increase costs or limit revenues. Insurance marketers have sought strategies that could increase competitive advantage and improve profitability. One such strategy is ‘Customer Experience.’ Will this… Read more »

Marketing Disruption – The Future of the Insurance Promise

Disruption is challenging the construct of the insurance product, which leads to a crucial question: How do we convince consumers that existing insurance organizations are still needed? A new commercial is starting down this road. And reviewing some alternative ads might be in order. We’d like your thoughts. The End of Automobile Insurance Back in… Read more »

Customer Experience as an Ecosystem: New Opportunities, Old Bugbears

Customer experience (CX) is becoming critical as insurers and brokers look for ways to maintain and grow relationships. One aspect that is less understood is the relationship the client has with other providers. Getting a larger perspective on the ecosystem offers a broader landscape with which to work but can be challenging to operationalize. The… Read more »

Digital Divide: A Tale of Two Insurance Models

Common wisdom says that insurers must adopt digital technologies in order to become more flexible, more innovative, and more effective. The alternative is to face ‘disruption’ with insufficient resources to respond. But is this assumption accurate? Let’s compare two insurer models and develop some thoughts on the value propositions. The ‘digerati’ Digital transformation is a… Read more »

Enhancing Digital With Psychology? The Doctor Can Help!

You are designing a website which will provide quotes on a great new product suite.  In addition to insurance coverage, this site must link to related products and services that will engage the customer. You’re confident in your technical skills, but how do you make it engaging? Perhaps you need a doctor. Why do I… Read more »

Do We Go Outside to Bring InsurTech In?

A recent report documents the geometric increase in organizations and funding dedicated to innovation and disruption in insurance. While the result is a vibrant and robust ecosystem for insurers to navigate, the authors add an important caveat about the actual reach of the efforts, and suggest a trip outside might be in order. “InsurTech” is… Read more »

Drive To Thrive – On Our Way to Zero

In 2014, in the province of Alberta alone, there were nearly 145,000 collisions – causing close to 19,000 injuries and 370 fatalities. These numbers are staggering, especially when you consider that other provinces across the country are recording similar statistics. The data clearly shows us that something needs to change, and change we will. In… Read more »

On Digital Marketing, Transformation, and OREOs

Would you pay $15 for a box of OREOs, delivered as a present? Not a question I normally ask, but the answer – which came at the Strategy Institute’s Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit last week – was riveting and instructive on several levels, including the future of IT and Marketing. The marketing construct… Read more »

Fort McMurray, Insurance and Data: Hi-Tech supports Hi-Touch

During the second week in May, I attended a conference focused on the use of data in insurance. What I didn’t realize was that, quite apart from the formal agenda, I was going to learn the value of integrated data and analytic tools in catastrophic situations. On the banks of the Athabasca Fort McMurray, a… Read more »

The Future of Work, Platforms, and Insurance

The on-demand  economy is driving new methods of work. New products and services  that leverage digital tools are emerging rapidly. Much of the development – and use – of these tools occurs outside of traditional work arrangements. Until recently, this had little impact on insurance, but that is changing. The nature of work is changing… Read more »

InsurTech: Going Hard or Hardly Going?

To avoid being ‘disrupted,’ and – potentially – to improve the balance sheet, some insurers are driving experimentation of Insurance Technology (InsurTech). However, some initiatives are geography-specific and, from a global industry perspective, the commitment is underfunded. Is this just the nature of today’s innovation paradigm, or are we treating InsurTech as a lower priority?… Read more »

Customer Experience Focus: Worth the While?

Insurers are realizing that improving customer experience (CX) can bolster the bottom line.  The good news is that digital tools align well to support improved CX.  The bad news is that real changes are not sustainable without more fundamental transformation at the technology and business levels. On balance, is this worth your while? Consumers are… Read more »

Insuring the Digital Economy (Part 2): A Slice of On-Demand Insurance

Recently, I suggested that the the digital economy offered opportunities for new revenue – but this would require insurers to look at new models.  The example was the introduction of coverage that bridged a gap. Let’s look at a different model which meets specific features of the new economy and promises real disruption. When you… Read more »

Kanetix and ClientDesk to Offer New Insurance App Solution

With technology continually revolutionizing the way people communicate, the relationship between company and consumer is also changing at a rapid rate. The insurance industry is not immune to the evolving expectations of consumers, and the recent partnership between Kanetix Ltd. and ClientDesk Inc. will help insurance providers to connect with their clients in ways they’ve… Read more »