- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

How Brokers Can Optimize Their LinkedIn Presence To Increase Sales

By David Dyck, Editor-in-Chief, Apollo Exchange — LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools in an insurance broker’s toolbox. Done right, it can be your most powerful asset when it comes to driving leads and making connections. You might be wondering why LinkedIn and not some other social media platform? Consider the following stats: Number of… Read more »

Artificial Intelligence Adoption: Wonderful, or Wonder Why?

Since the beginning of commercial insurance technology – roughly in the 1950s from my perspective – there have been long-view opportunists who seek intelligent technologies. These would imitate humans’ cognitive functions and, perhaps, would eventually allow people to focus more on high-level thinking, paired with cold beverages and palm fronds. While we are much closer… Read more »

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Dorothy

Back in the mid-1970s, I accepted a job at the Red Cross as a disaster manager, which included planning, executing, responding, and mitigating results to help people recover after natural catastrophes. Each event had its own nuances, and most recoveries involved specific responses, some smaller, some larger. I moved away to other jobs, but as… Read more »

The Homeowners Insurance Quoting Process: Is It Improving?

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — One of the big areas of focus across the insurance industry, in general, has been to streamline the application/quoting process. Whether it’s agents who are submitting applications for their customers or individuals and business owners filling out their own applications, there is a clear… Read more »

What’s the Best Approach to the Small Commercial Market?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The small commercial insurance market is hot – there’s no doubt it. In fact, the entire small business environment is quite active, with around 11 million businesses that employ less than 20 people, according to the US census bureau, and another 6 million with… Read more »

Insurance in the Platform Economy

According to Doug Grant, partner at, Inc., many of the folks who heard about Amazon in 1994 really thought that Jeff Bezos was chasing shadows. However, the Internet demonstrated  that ‘virtual’ efforts could not only deliver ‘real’ things, they could do so in shorter time frames and with lower costs. So, when executives engaged… Read more »

Product Proliferation: Don’t Let the Trends Pull You In

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — Our digital world has changed many things in a blink of an eye, it seems. I don’t need to remind you. There are tens upon tens of blogs that remind us of all the ways digital has – or sometimes has not – changed… Read more »

Earth, the Moon, Insurance, and Beyond

In 1962, US President John F. Kennedy made a speech which committed that the United States would land a person on the moon within 10 years. Immediately, two camps were formed.  The first group was excited, confident, and committed (ranging from skilled scientists to cheerleaders). The second group was also committed: “There is no problem;… Read more »

Tags: ,

The Future of Insurance in an On-Demand World

By Denise Garth, SVP – Strategic Marketing, Majesco — Last week Manish Shah and I attended SVIA’s Digital Insurance Leadership Series: On-Demand Insurance in Palo Alto, California. Attending with us were a number of industry leaders who are instrumental in the planning, experimentation and scaling of this new type of insurance. What is on-demand insurance?… Read more »

‘Gradually, Then Suddenly’: Insurers Must Prepare for Exponential Doubling of Computing Capacity

In claims, and across the entire insurance enterprise, the pace of technology-driven change is accelerating — By Stephen Applebaum, Insurance Solutions Group — The phrase “gradually, then suddenly,” is spoken in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, by character Mike Campbell when asked how he went bankrupt. “Two ways,” he answers. “Gradually, then suddenly.”… Read more »

InsurTech, Climate Change, and a Tight Rope

While there are exceptions, the insurance industry is (still) not well known for using new technologies. This was true in the past, but insurance leaders are bringing together various organizations which provide different views of internal and external alterations and improvements. The result can demonstrate not only the value for clients, but radically improved products… Read more »

InsurTech in 2025: Will it Fade or Dominate?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Say what you will about the InsurTech movement; it still seems to be chugging along quite nicely. InsurTech has had its ebbs and flows since emerging out of the FinTech movement in the 2012/2013 timeframe. And at various points, pundits have been eager to… Read more »

Driving Value from AI in Insurance: Delivering Success with Sun Life and Scotiabank

By Ira Sopic, Project Director, Insurance Nexus — Much discussed, yet often misunderstood, it’s clear that Artificial Intelligence is set to dominate the global Insurance sector for the foreseeable future – and Canada is no different. Despite being a somewhat nascent discipline within insurance, progress in silicon centres across the nation mean carriers recognize the… Read more »

A Midsummer Day’s InsurTech

August is a great time to find a body of water, some nice sand, and a tree under which to focus exclusively the future of insurance and technology. Well, maybe the brain takes on some other thoughts, but I do try to focus. The fact is that there have been so many changes to insurance… Read more »

The Reinsurers Are Coming – And It Might Not Be How You Expected

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action — It is always exciting to see industry results – particularly those that rank insurers by premium size. It is probably the competitive nature that lies within most of us that gets a bit of a thrill out of seeing which insurer is gaining position… Read more »

Dispelling the Myth that Robo-Advisors Are The Way of the Future

By Alysha D’Souza, Director of Content, Finaeo — We’ve seen these headlines countless times: Robo-advice is the way of the future or Financial institution introduces direct-to-consumer technology. Many industry experts believe that robo-advisors are on track to replace the traditional roles and responsibilities of human advisory services. As far-fetched as this sounds, it’s hard to… Read more »

The Co-operators and Sun Life on The Transformational Impact of AI on Canadian Insurance

By Ira Sopic, Project Director, Insurance Nexus — From day-to-day operations to the very relationship between insurers and policyholders, it is no exaggeration to say that Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents the biggest potential for transformation that insurance has witnessed since the invention of the computer, even changing the very nature of the insurer-customer relationship. Insurance… Read more »

The Future of Insurance is Distribution

In the business of insurance, channel distributions are high on the list of the most critical insurance functions. Channels are the delivery mechanisms, which consolidate functions, requirements, communications, and delivery correctly and completely. These are critical factors, some of which are expanding. Until recently, the majority of these decisions rested on longstanding methods and systems… Read more »

How To Prospect Commercial Accounts Online (In 2020)

By Dane Gorton — Like it or not, the smartphone in your hand is changing how we do business … and you’re right, insurance is not immune. You might not feel the pressure yet, but momentum is growing … fast. But here’s the question on your mind: How will it affect commercial insurance producers? Every… Read more »


Are Personal Lines Insurers Investing in Foundational Technologies?

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — The personal lines segment of the insurance industry is quite active today, with many initiatives and projects underway across the value chain. For many, the objective goes beyond incremental improvements to positioning the company for fundamental transformation. The many projects planned or in progress… Read more »

War, Refugees, and Technologies

Ever since I started working in the technology insurance industry,  I occasionally look back on the technologies and the people who are the providers. In the beginning, there were different tools and computing devices, which held back standards. However, previous results were brought together, removing problems and allowing better linkages. Now, we find the industry… Read more »

Could An Insurance Company Become The Next Sears?

By Stephen Applebaum, Insurance Solutions Group — The thought of a major insurance company – and its brand – disappearing from the market seems impossible to comprehend and more like the stuff of an attention-grabbing headline. But that’s probably what everyone once thought about Atari, Commodore, Kodak, Nokia, Xerox, Polaroid, Blockbuster, The Sharper Image, Enron,… Read more »


Climate Change: Touching a Wide Horizon

Individuals, commercial entities, governments, and insurance organizations have lately been taking climate change more seriously. The insurance community’s interest in this issue goes back quite a way, but with climate change getting a lot of press these days, parties at all levels – from concerned citizens to mega-corporations – are focusing on new methods to… Read more »

Insurance 2030: Preparing for Fundamental Change

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — There is little doubt that the P&C insurance industry is transforming. The so-called disruption touted by InsurTechs and others has not hit full force, but there is a coming tsunami of change that will be driven by outside forces. Technologies such as AI/machine learning… Read more »

In the race to commercialize AI and arm it with every citizen’s digital footprint, who is guarding our privacy?

By Stephen Applebaum, Insurance Solutions Group — Is Data Privacy becoming the “Climate Change” of Our New Digital World? Way back in 1975, geochemist Dr. Wallace Broecker of Columbia University published his article, “Climatic Change: Are We on the brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” Today, almost 45 years later, the debate has intensified but… Read more »

Three Major Data Challenges in the Digital Era

New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Data is powering the new economy and is the main driver behind much of the transformation of industry and society. According to multiple sources, 90% of the data in the world has been created in just the last two years. In measuring the volume… Read more »

InsurTech is moving forward, but is privacy catching up?

By Brad Smith, TurnOnVPN — With technology disrupting so many aspects of insurance, insurers are under increasing pressure to update their business model. On one hand, InsurTech startups are attracting young customers and investors with innovation and newness; on the other, tech giants like Amazon are entering the field with immense resources and digital expertise…. Read more »

When Emerging Technology Is No Longer Emerging: The Insurance Implications

Transformational Technologies for Insurance — New SMA Blog by Mark Breading, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — At SMA, we have been tracking what we and others have called emerging technologies for the better part of the last decade. However, the question arises, “when is an emerging technology no longer emerging?” Technologies such as drones or… Read more »

Core Systems Buying Game: Are We in the Late Innings of Yesterday’s Game or in a Brand New Digital Game?

New SMA Blog by Karen Furtado, Partner, Strategy Meets Action — Of all the software sold within the insurance industry, core systems continue to be the dominant purchase for hundreds of insurers. And just when you think it might slow down – that every last insurer has bought the system that they will need to… Read more »

Thinking Big for True Transformation

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, Founder & CEO, Strategy Meets Action — An insurance transformation journey is a required trajectory for every company within our industry’s ecosystem that wants to remain relevant beyond 2030. So how do you get past all the hype around disruption, digital, and innovation, and really set a course to… Read more »

Cutting through the noise: What does ‘digital’ even mean?

A lot of brokerages are calling themselves ‘digital’ – it’s time to raise the bar on what that actually means — By Margo Lyons, Head of Broker Engagement, Apollo Insurance Solutions — There’s a lot of noise out there about what makes a digital brokerage. When I investigate what exactly makes a brokerage digital, it’s… Read more »

What is AI First-Mover Advantage in Insurance?

By Charles Dugas, Insurance AI Lead, Element AI — As artificial intelligence reshapes the insurance industry, insurers that embrace AI early on will gain a key competitive advantage—but it may not be the advantage you think. By building the position and experience that accrue to adopting AI early, insurers can redefine intelligent decision-making for themselves… Read more »

Cyber Risk, Insurance, and Aligning with Hope

In spite of some arcane-sounding words and phrases, the vast majority of insurance transactions are pretty straight-forward. However, insurers, brokers and third parties are looking to new opportunities to get a broader portfolio. And a number of insurers are looking to cyber risk as a new tab on file. But what are the challenges? This… Read more »

Use Software Accelerators to Fill That Elusive Twenty Percent

By Saifuddin Bhagat, Senior Consultant, X by 2 — In the modern computer era of the last several decades, industries including auto, banking, and, of course, insurance have developed and re-developed their core processing systems many times over. That often leads to a tipping point when companies must decide whether to continue to invest in… Read more »

Insurance Re-imagined: Small Businesses, Big Opportunities

Small Canadian businesses are being recognized as net-new business for insurance suppliers.  However, new operations can be more challenging than just punching in coverages. At the same time,  soon-to-be successful entrepreneurs have less time to work with insurers and brokers to get the coverage just right. Is there a way to cover the requirements for… Read more »

Timing is everything: Lessons from the intersection of insurance and technology

By Corey Forrieter, Lead Software Developer, Apollo Insurance — It might sound like an understatement to say that insurance has been around for a long time, but compare it with how long digital technology has been around and it would look like a peanut next to an elephant. As with any institution that has withstood… Read more »


NOMBO (Not On My Beautiful Orb)

There are different perspectives on climate change, its timetable, and its impact. However, we have noticed that the examples we’ve seen are far away and a little fuzzy around the edges.  However, Canadians have strong support for our native land.  However, some of our other neighbours didn’t get the memo yet. My climate change interest… Read more »

Farming the Digital Acres

When it comes to new insurance products and services, risk and knowledge are the critical elements.  A wise leader put it this way: “There are three segments that will make or break new initiatives: Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns. Approach accordingly.” We will take a look at how The Co-operators –- a Canadian… Read more »

InsurTech: Morphing Well with Brokers

I just ran across a couple of new perspectives on insurance websites. Both suggest brokers are leveraging technology to improve accuracy, decrease turn-around times, and continuously offer new products and services to engage customers. And they are doing it their way. Let’s start with AI in Insurance … Edmund Zagorin, a procurement expert, offers some… Read more »

Moving Fundamentals: Cashbacks to Platforms

A recent report from Deloitte Canada – “Insurance re-imagined” – focused on new techniques for to marketing, pricing, and  aligned supports. Forward-thinking insurers and distributors are creating new methods to increase the significance of insurance and the growth of new results for insurers, suppliers, and users.  What will this mean? Let’s start with the easiest: Cashback …… Read more »

Looking Down The Road

There is an old adage – Parkinson’s law – which says: “Work expands to meet the time and resources that are made available.” When I read a few postings around the Platform Economy, I realized that this was not going to make the cut, specifically with all the bazillionaires you’ve ever met. Why was I… Read more »


Travelers’ Autonomous Vehicles in a Mixed Environment

Autonomous vehicles are coming to roads near you. There are lots of discussions, but recently I saw that Travelers – a major insurer in the US and Canada – had published Insuring Autonomy: How auto insurance can adapt to changing risks. Rather than taking a whole new approach for autonomous vehicles (AV), Travelers offers methods… Read more »

Reshaping Homeowners Insurance with Digital

By Dominic Croucher, Content Marketing Specialist, Square One Insurance Services — Responsible homeowners and tenants seeking home insurance have grown accustomed to the same in-person approach favoured by the generations that preceded them. But in the age of information, comparing home insurance quotes could mean spending an entire afternoon driving all over town. The advent… Read more »

Brokers and the Adoption of Digital Insurance

Last week we produced our 17th annual ‘ Technology Conference’ (ICTC2019). As is our wont, we had one stream focused on insurers, and another targeting brokers. I spent the majority of my time managing the former, and my colleague, Doug Grant, took responsibility for the broker stream. We got good marks, thank you.  And the… Read more »

On Insurance-Technology Content and Event Production

Just as we have seen changes to insurance, InsurTechs have made moves to embed technology into platforms, which will allow better results for insurance practitioners and consumers alike.  At the same time, practitioners are targeting new approaches.  This post focuses on the underpinning of insurance-technology event production and the resulting impact on those who participate…. Read more »

Get the Best: The New Insurance Order Trumps Sweet Grifting

When I was 16, I found part time work after school at a large, independent drug store.  Beyond deodorant, soap, lipstick, and the like, the owners had really good candy.  And, the owners prided themselves with really good candy that came from Europe and England. The owners were quite generous with the Baby Ruths and… Read more »

Artificial Intelligence: A 50 year Overnight Sensation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic for decades. Over the years, scientists and deep thinkers have mapped out the interest, needs, and rudimentary applications, awaiting the proper technology to support new applications that could calculate, summarize, and present with a time close to human responses.  Are we making progress? It started out with… Read more »

Going With Millennials and Beyond Underwriters

For as long as I can recall, insurance products and services have been developed and supported by internal insurance company resources. With the exception of large commercial insurance buyers, clients don’t have the interest or the time to go beyond fiddling with premiums and coverages. This might be changing. In widespread events, insureds might find… Read more »

Insurance Technology: Through the Generations

I am periodically amazed by the progress I’ve seen – spanning more decades than I’d like to admit. For the following, I am using notes and memory for the First Gen. And would be interested in how you are seeing Insurance and Technology. First Generation Insurance carriers live and die by data and processing.  Prior… Read more »


Inflection Point 2019: 8 Tech Essentials Digital Insurers Can’t Do Without (Part 2)

by Brad Worth, EIS Group — You won’t want to miss any of the action in 2019.  In part 1 of this blog, I proposed that 2019 is the inflection point where many insurers make the fundamental technology pivot toward supporting new platform-based business models. Expect to see signs of future digital insurance leadership in… Read more »