A useful reminder for the general insurance sector

On 20 May 2019, the FCA published findings from its multi-firm review into the supervision by principal firms of their appointed representatives (ARs) in the investment management sector (Investment Management Sector Review).This review was conducted following the publication in July 2016 of the FCA’s Thematic Review TR16/6: Principals and their appointed representatives in the general insurance sector (see our blog post here for more details) (the General Insurance Thematic Review) which identified a number of shortcomings in the control and oversight of ARs by their principal firms. The FCA states that while the Investment Management Sector Review was focussed on the investment management sector, the findings may also be relevant to principals and ARs operating in other sectors of the UK financial services industry.

Spotlight

AG Insurance

With a 21.7% market share in 2017, AG Insurance is the first insurance company in Belgium. Our head office is located in Brussels. Our shareholding is divided between Ageas (75%) and BNP Paribas Fortis (25%). We distribute our products and services through various channels (independent insurance brokers and Fintro agents, BNP Paribas Fortis and bpost bank). More than 3 million private customers and 200,000 companies trust us.

OTHER ARTICLES
Core Insurance, Risk Management

Unlocking the potential of deeper customer-agent-insurer relationships

Article | September 22, 2022

Mr. and Mrs. Garcia purchased their first life insurance policies from their agent more than a decade ago, when their eldest son was born. They soon bundled their home and auto policies for a discount. A few years later, when the Garcias started a small business, they worked with their agent to establish commercial insurance. As the business thrived, the family set up fixed indexed annuities and mutual funds to put their growing savings to work. All of their policies and accounts are easily accessible via an online platform, and when a new need arises, they simply message their agent to discuss a new policy. The agent also reaches out regularly to make sure the Garcias’ evolving needs are always met. The experience of the hypothetical Garcia family shows how simple it would be for insurers to build deeper customer relationships. But many insurers continue to struggle to develop relationships with their customers that span multiple products. In fact, limited successes in this area have convinced some insurance executives that there is limited value in cross-sales initiatives. In our experience, however, a more coordinated approach can unlock huge opportunities to meet customers’ comprehensive needs through a principal adviser.

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Insurance Technology

Rising to the challenge of core insurance transformation

Article | July 13, 2022

There is no doubt that we are living in an era in which insurers have been called to transform their business offerings, infrastructure and operations. Successful transformation translates into new revenue opportunities, stronger customer relationships and sustained brand relevance. However, this need to evolve cannot be addressed through superficial changes. Leading insurers are transforming their core offerings to completely reimagine their role in the insurance landscape. As the nominations and winners for the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Core Insurance Transformation award show, leading insurers are starting their core transformation at the top, and applying it to every touchpoint of the business. Nine pioneering nominees The nine nominees in the core insurance transformation category lead core insurance transformation in various innovations across their value chain. The nominations were: AXA for A.Iconic Claims Discovery for AI Quote RBC for their conversational AI Platform, driven by Personal Insights for Life Insurance Application Generali for their fund transaction through blockchain innovation FWD for the AI-Everywhere Smart Insurance Framework China Life Insurance for an intelligent value evaluation system for salesforce Multiasistencia for MACARENA, an innovative AI voicebot that provides100% automated First Notice of Loss in home insurance claims Humania for their ground-breaking income insurance for accident and disability claims Mapfre for Verbatims, a cognitive behavioural model that integrates live customer feedback As can be seen, by the nominees above, AI is a leading technology in core insurance transformation. In fact, every innovation used technology in fresh, structured ways to create a lasting impact on their business. Let’s look closer at the winners, and what their innovations say about how to lead core insurance transformation in 2021. Gold: Discovery Discovery are transforming the way brokers and clients engage with them through the introduction of their AI Quote service. Users are able to upload a PDF or pictures of competitor insurance and investment documents via phone or computer, and receive an equivalent Discovery quote in seconds. The entire journey can be completed in under a minute. Brokers can take the quotes to their clients and where a client has completed the direct journey, they will be called by a sales agent to discuss the specifics of the quote and close the sale. Romek Sadowski, Discovery Life’s Head of Technical Marketing says, “Ultimately, AI-powered optical character recognition (OCR) technology has been able to equip us with a seamless journey for clients, advisers and employees of the business as a whole. For clients, benefits include receiving a comparable quote in less than a minute and an improved understanding of Discovery’s products relative to the market. For advisers, key benefits include more accurate and consistent competitor comparisons, as well as a reduction in sales and quoting frictions. By automating the process of extracting data from policy documents and then converting it into comparable Discovery Life benefits, our advisers are able to spend less time on manual work and more time assisting our clients. AI Quote has also created opportunities for Discovery Life to incorporate digital tools into many of our existing processes and create a single, seamless, digital journey for advisers and clients alike. Additional innovations, such as Virtual Underwriting which allows clients to undergo underwriting from anywhere they choose, have been developed and are being refined in order to make this goal for a seamless digital journey a reality.” This is an important innovation in the South African insurance and investment landscape, which is highly developed and innovative, and characterised by frequent product updates and enhancements. While products are fine-tuned to meet customer needs, it’s difficult for brokers to keep track of various products in the market and how they compare from one competitor to another. Clients are also not in the position to understand how exactly their financial products compare against competitors. “The South African insurance industry is a complex environment with a vast array of sophisticated products. Financial advisers are faced with numerous competitors each with multiple products and options, resulting in countless different quoting combinations. By automating the comparison process, AI Quote simplifies the new business experience for both advisers and clients, increasing conversion rates and improving stakeholder satisfaction. AI Quote ensures that clients who have existing policies with our competitors are quoted comparable Discovery benefits and gives advisers confidence that they are providing clients with the best possible advice when comparing policies.” By removing sales frictions and automatically carrying out comparisons, Discovery’s AI Quote aims to enhance the company’s exposure to potential clients, attract brokers to sell Discovery products, improve the accuracy of replacements and promote Discovery’s brand as a market-leading innovator. With an efficient client- and broker-centric platform, Discovery has taken quoting to the next level. The potential for AI, however, is just beginning to be untapped. Romek concludes, “The insurance landscape is evolving, and we have seen an influx in microinsurance providers, direct-to-customer insurers and niche players in the market. When it comes to life insurance, clients are faced with a dauntingly large number of options – and that number is increasing. Within such complexity, manual processing of data in order to generate benefit comparisons is simply inefficient. A key benefit of AI is that it can complement or replace manual processes and allows for a far more streamlined user experience. Outside of the new business process, AI has displayed immense success in other areas such as customer service, underwriting and claims. Chatbots are now commonly used by insurers around the world to assist clients and answer their questions. Car insurance has been fundamentally changed through advancements in telematics. Big data is more readily available and, with the help of AI, can be utilised to make faster and more accurate pricing and underwriting decisions.” Silver: Generali Generali conducted a deep transformation in the way they transact with their counterparts and custodians through the use of blockchain technology. Generali France currently processes 250 thousand orders on funds (to cover unit-linked policies) per year through classical schemes via custodians. The aim is to generate a direct link with asset managers for trading shares of funds without using the costly transfer agent of custodians. With this transformation in mind, Generali France invested in a startup called Iznes, developing a trading platform on funds based on blockchain technology. With this as a foundation, Generali has begun to connect its IT and operations to the innovative platform. The innovation can serve all middle and back offices of investment departments and asset management companies. It crunches transaction costs and creates a direct link between the buy-side and the sell-side. The total cost of Generali Unit-linked orders is expected to drop by half, supposing that 50% of counterparts join the platform. Bronze: FWD Led by their customers’ needs and vision to change the way people feel about insurance, FWD Group Data developed a ‘Smart Insurance Framework’ which sees the business embarking on a ‘AI-everywhere’ approach. The platform has transformed the entire insurance journey for both their customers and employees with the use of advanced technologies and AI power. To create a simpler and smoother insurance experience for customers, FWD created a modern data architecture framework that improves operation efficiency internally and convenience externally. The Group Office Data Platform (GODP) streamlines and integrates all data into a single platform that is smart, secured and scalable. This platform allows business users to harness data, insights and run analytics across all our markets, to help support a spectrum of initiatives in FWD with data. The clever use of data allows FWD to evolve and predict customer responses more accurately, develop a better understanding of customer needs and behaviour, and in turn serve them better. As the nominees and winners show, the insurance industry is embracing technology to pre-empt, analyze and streamline customer, broker and employee experiences. We would love to hear how you are transforming your core insurance operations. Submit your core insurance innovation to the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards for 2022.

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Automobile Insurance, Insurance Technology

5 Things Contractors Can Do About Insurance During Covid-19

Article | December 19, 2022

With the major impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, contractors appreciate the need for insurance coverage even more. You may be safely covered by Force Majeure and pandemic clauses in your policies. However, you may still be wondering how to deal with the associated costs related to the COVID-19 outbreak risks. In this article, let’s look at some of the steps you can take to handle your insurance position during the pandemic.

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Core Insurance, Risk Management

Is Your Policy Management System Costing or Saving Money?

Article | August 4, 2022

Insurtech is advancing, and the significance of an effective policy management system cannot be underrated. Policy management professionals understand the payoff it offers to an organization. On the other hand, a policy management system that just isn’t a good fit can prove to be a lot more expensive than previously budgeted. So what is it actually costing you? Is your policy management software updated, or are you still using an old version? Do you know how much it is hampering your financial productivity? Even then, often, an outdated system may not be affecting your process significantly but damaging it in other intangible ways that are just as crucial to business success. Analyze your current system for the following: Financial Implications of the Current System Manual processes for policy creation and management make up the costliest part of running a policy management system. Paper-based solutions incur high costs that can be easily avoided by using digital systems that use automation extensively. With thousands of policies and compliance procedures for your team to manage, costs can add up quickly, especially with printing and distribution costs. In addition to these expenses, manual processes are also responsible for policies being misplaced or lost. It may also result in a large fine for noncompliance if some policies are accessible to unauthorized employees. Indirect Expenses Organized policy management procedures are critical for high operational efficiencies. Policy management systems that require manual supervision can prove to be expensive over the long run as they require employees to monitor them constantly. However, automated policy management systems enable policy teams to optimize their resources better and direct team members to speed up other more crucial processes. Furthermore, modern policy management systems don’t need constant monitoring and require only a one time set-up. This enables teams to allocate resources where they are urgently needed. Wasted Resources If you have an outdated policy management system, chances are it takes a lot more micro-managing than it needs to. Businesses must be able to optimize their resources better but with old and outdated systems, it ends up cutting into the productivity and performance on an everyday basis. In addition, it puts undue stress on employees to keep up with compliance norms and changing regulations and policies. Policy management often requires various employees to pitch in with their inputs, and using an old system that doesn’t offer the option to collaborate can take away a huge chunk of productivity daily. What’s the Bottom Line? Automated policy management systems can undoubtedly save you a lot of time and resources. If you’re facing sky-high costs just to maintain your policy management system, it might be time for a rethink. From automating the lifecycle of policies and procedures to streamlining the management of policies by your agents, consolidating a policy management process with software is one of the best insurtech trends to look out for in 2023. It is probably what your organization needs to move the needle.

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Spotlight

AG Insurance

With a 21.7% market share in 2017, AG Insurance is the first insurance company in Belgium. Our head office is located in Brussels. Our shareholding is divided between Ageas (75%) and BNP Paribas Fortis (25%). We distribute our products and services through various channels (independent insurance brokers and Fintro agents, BNP Paribas Fortis and bpost bank). More than 3 million private customers and 200,000 companies trust us.

Related News

Valued Policy Law and Total Loss

inredisputesblog | May 21, 2019

Typically, a fire insurance policy pays a policyholder for the actual cash value or the replacement value of the property destroyed. But in 20 states, if there is a total loss, the amount the insurer must pay is equal to the value of the property at the time the insurance policy was issued. What happens if the policy covers a multi-building complex and one of the buildings is destroyed? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue. In Norwood-Redfield Apartments Limited Partnership v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., No. 18-2618 (8th Cir. May 16, 2019)(Unpublished), the appeals court affirmed a judgment in favour of the insurance company denying the policyholder’s claim to recover the full value listed on the policy of an entire complex of buildings when only one of the buildings was destroyed. The policyholder sued its insurance carrier after a fire destroyed one of the buildings out of 32 in the complex. The insurance carrier paid nearly $3 million for the loss, but the policyholder wanted the policy limits of over $31 million.

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Valued Policy Law and Total Loss

inredisputesblog | May 21, 2019

Typically, a fire insurance policy pays a policyholder for the actual cash value or the replacement value of the property destroyed. But in 20 states, if there is a total loss, the amount the insurer must pay is equal to the value of the property at the time the insurance policy was issued. What happens if the policy covers a multi-building complex and one of the buildings is destroyed? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue. In Norwood-Redfield Apartments Limited Partnership v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., No. 18-2618 (8th Cir. May 16, 2019)(Unpublished), the appeals court affirmed a judgment in favour of the insurance company denying the policyholder’s claim to recover the full value listed on the policy of an entire complex of buildings when only one of the buildings was destroyed. The policyholder sued its insurance carrier after a fire destroyed one of the buildings out of 32 in the complex. The insurance carrier paid nearly $3 million for the loss, but the policyholder wanted the policy limits of over $31 million.

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