- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

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 »

Is InsurTech All of What We Need?

After 5 years, ‘InsurTech’ still captivates insurance and technology. Nary a day passes without multiple media descriptions of the latest tools and techniques, making yesterday’s nirvana irrelevant. Don’t get me wrong.  I am quite keen on new approaches, methods and systems.  Where it goes south for me is rejection of other systems that have served… Read more »

Inflection Point 2019: 8 Tech Essentials Digital Insurers Can’t Do Without (Part 1)

by Brad Worth, EIS Group — The bells have been peeling a new tune for insurers and 2019 is shaping up to be the year insurers begin playing from the new songbook.  The sound is a call to compete in the experience-driven digital economy, with its new and evolving B2B and B2C ecosystems. 2019 is… Read more »

Insurance Technology: A Third of a Century, And Only One Bump

When I started in the insurance industry, circa 1984, I had experience with marketing and technology. I quickly learned that each segment was considered critical, but the relationship between the two was not well understood. Over the years, issues were addressed and resolved, only to find new expectations and challenges. Now, 35 years on, we still… Read more »

Blockchain: Another Star on the Horizon

On a disruption scale from 1 to 10, Blockchain could take the 10. But understanding it and making it work, on a difficulty scale from 1 to 10, might just rate a 15! Going deeper, I believe that Blockchain is just not something that is intuitive, or will be in the near future.  Especially when… Read more »

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Driving Disruption

Back in the 1990s, two insurers – Aviva and Progressive – started to look to automotive technology to get a leg up on competitors.  Automobile manufacturers provided access to travel information as well as the health of the vehicle.  After a few years of mediocre responses, Aviva dropped out and Progressive continued, albeit at a… Read more »

New Insurance & New Tech for a New Year?

Happy New Year! And with the new year, insurers and brokers are introducing new insurance products tied in to new technologies.   Pretty slick.  The outstanding question is simple:  Will users take the digital bait?   Let’s look at two experts. Profound changes in a short time… Seth Rachlin, executive vice-president and chief innovation officer… Read more »

Communicating in Today’s Language

Back on 12 November 2017, I published a post, ‘The 4th Generation of the Previously Unthinkable.’ The purpose was to describe how technology emerges and overtakes old paradigms. And a funny thing happened. I expected that we’d get some pushback. But nothing came. I did a short update in this space two months ago, ‘Thanks for… Read more »

Climate Change, Big Water, and Parametric Disaster Coverage

Over the last few decades, climate change has garnered interest and concern.  With the exception of a few deniers, most folks recognize that more destructive events – water, fire, etc. – will cause damages and injuries, some of which will be life threatening. Climate change events can be dramatic, but, in the overall scheme of… Read more »

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InsurTech: Time is of the Essence

Maybe I’m looking with skeptical eyes, but it seems that some insurance organizations are viewing InsurTech more as ‘saying’ than ‘doing.’ While there are new approaches by brokers and insurers, there is not an even approach. I’d be very interested in your thoughts. Where there’s hope … In a recent post, Mike Berris, a 25-year… Read more »


How MGAs are positioned to innovate in the insurance market

Managing general agents (MGAs) and innovation go well together. A combination of resources, agility, and specialist knowledge sets MGAs apart from other players in insurance, whether carriers, wholesalers, or brokers. An MGA typically has a focus on a sector or an industry and deeper knowledge than a more generalist insurance carrier, facilitating innovation. At the same time, MGAs have underwriting and claims… Read more »

Customer Experience is the Product, and Other Takeaways from InsurTechTO 2018

Last week, I spoke at the InsurTechTO conference in Toronto. The theme of the conference was “Driving Advantage from InsurTech,” with an eye on being ready for the insurance industry’s evolution. My main contribution to the event was a presentation on the impact of digital on the customer experience. Customer expectations are deeply impacted by… Read more »

The Giant is Awake?

In early 2018, Rick Huckstep – one of the trend-setters in the InsurTech world – wrote about milestones that he encountered since 2015.  These were early days, and practitioners were simply mirroring Fintech (banking, etc.). However, by the end of 2017, Huckstep noted, “the sleeping giant of insurance has been woken roughly from its slumber.” Based on… Read more »

InsurTechTO: A Really Big Shoe

If you are wondering how Nikes or Florsheims fit into a title of an InsurTech blog, you are likely a Millennial or younger. We’ll put a note together at the end of this screed. Meantime,  let’s focus on what will happen at InsurTechTO next Wednesday, November 7, at the Toronto Sheraton Centre. #InsurTechTO Background Starting… Read more »

Reefer Madness and Digital Insurance

On October 17, 2018, Canadians discovered legal pot.  The Globe and Mail covered the event, focusing on Ian Power, who arrived at Canopy Growth Corp.’s Tweed store in time to be the first in the the line-up to legally buy marijuana at the stroke of midnight. “There’s a tear in my eye,” Power said. “No… Read more »

IBC, GAA and RSP filing problems? You’re not alone, and it gets better!

By David Gallagher, Senior Vice President, Hubio Technology — IBC reporting—and for that matter, all submissions to regulatory bodies, including the GAA and the Facility Risk Sharing pools—is most often seen as an administrative headache with little business benefit. But it is necessary, and we’ve identified four common problems insurers face that need solutions. The… Read more »

Whither Goeth InsurTech? (The Continuing Story)

The short answer is: “The seeds are sprouting”. “InsurTech” is in its third year of driving digital transformation.  At the outset, there was significant interest in using new technologies to improve the existing insurance programs and assist in developing new products and services.  However, some cynics, and other just plain normal folk, have become weary… Read more »

Thanks for the Previously Unthinkable

I have been lucky to witness major milestones in the insurance / technology environment over the last 35 years. Last year, I suggested that technology belongs to what I call “previously unthinkable”.  This seems to be true, and there are bigger changes yet. Are we ready? A brief history of disruption … Borrowing heavily from… Read more »

Insurance and Digital: Desperately Seeking Alignment

From the outside, insurance may appear “slow to learn and slower to execute.” Moreover, insurance professionals take hits for over-explanation as well as all the risks and threats going well beyond explaining protocols. The advent of InsurTechs has hit some chords in offering new tools (often developed by the InsurTech itself). But the new tool might… Read more »


Will InsurTech Models and Core Systems Align?

“Traditional” insurance programs generate the vast majority of P&C insurance revenue, profit, and resources. And major insurers continue to buy and update core systems to improve functionality and manage “main street” insurance programs. However, new digital tools are changing methods and roles. Can these two approaches come to fully support the digital future? Smart Homes …… Read more »

InsurTechs, Ecosystems, and Consolidation

InsurTech has emerged over the past ten years, with a rapid acceleration in the last three. One feature has been a ‘no holds barred’ approach, where insurers, brokers, InsurTechs and others seek new insights and opportunities. In some cases, there have been collisions of different tools. However, consolidation is taking control under the banners of… Read more »

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Personalized by platforms: Just what we wanted?

Ever since I started working in the insurance community, I learned (and repeated) an admonition to tech leaders: “Technology enables, but Content rules.” In other words, knowledge workers (underwriters, claims adjudicators, channel managers, etc.) trump IT workers, if the latter couldn’t immediately serve the former. This is shifting in the favour of technology. While my heart is… Read more »

Insurance vs Amazon: Does Risk Differentiate?

If you read enough insurance trade magazines, you would swear that 75% of agents / brokers / insurers would be on the dole in the next year,  The balance of survived insurers would have to compete with large, technology organizations which will eliminate underwriters and claims managers in favour of AI and blockchain tools. Who… Read more »

New Rewards from New Risks

Back in 2013, the Insurance-Canada staff and a select group from insurers, brokers, and suppliers held a series of study group meetings to help us all understand what would be the major trends over the next 10 years. Looking back, one significant element did not rise to the top:  fundamental changes to the insurance product…. Read more »