EIOPA to produce cloud outsourcing guidelines for insurers

On 27 March 2019, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published a report that looks at outsourcing to the cloud by (re)insurers.The report was issued in response to the European Commissions request (through its FinTech Action Plan published on 3 March 2018) that the European Supervisory Authorities - EIOPA, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) - explore the need for guidelines on outsourcing by regulated entities to cloud service providers. As adoption of cloud computing in the financial sector increases, the Commission has concerns about the uncertainties of its interpretation by supervisory authorities within the scope of existing outsourcing requirements.

Spotlight

Neptune Flood Insurance

Neptune Flood utilizes advanced mapping technologies, and aerial remote sensing, to create a sophisticated algorithm that provides customers with a flood insurance policy in three minutes or less. The company demonstrates how data can be collected and utilized to develop smarter mathematics, predict risk, and ultimately mitigate future losses. Aside from delighting customers with a fast, more intuitive, online experience Neptune can provide valuable lessons for carriers around using data to better develop policies and price risk. This revolutionary approach to pricing flood risk often results in superior coverages, savings over the NFIP of up to 25% and is available to households in all designated flood zones.

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Insurance Technology

Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound?

Article | July 15, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the insurance industry overall, dramatically curtailing business activity, upending the everyday lives of employees and customers, and more. However, companies that derive a substantial portion of their business from motor insurance have enjoyed stronger bottom-line results during the pandemic than in previous years. That’s because when sudden lockdowns kept drivers at home and off the road (see exhibit), claims plunged by 60 to 80 percent almost immediately. As restrictions began to lift, claim volumes subsequently bounced back, although they remain 20 to 30 percent lower than they were before the pandemic. The corresponding drop in payouts for claims was only partially offset by the refunds on premiums that insurers paid to customers to compensate them for traveling fewer miles. Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound? As of mid-2021, motor claims volume remains suppressed—at least for the time being. For insurers, this offers a short-term window to pursue or accelerate strategic initiatives aimed at establishing claims excellence, a key driver of profitability. These initiatives include transforming claims processes to improve customer experience, building digital capabilities, leveraging advanced analytics to improve decision-making, and reducing long-standing sources of leakage. Acting now will help insurers be prepared when vaccination rates across Europe accelerate, economies reopen, and both mobility and motor claims rebound. Even as the pandemic recedes and business returns, insurers are likely to confront three persistent challenges that can be addressed—at least in part—by transforming claims management to improve profitability. Top-line pressure will continue. Pandemic-related top-line pressure will likely continue for the foreseeable future. If history serves as a guide, commercial lines, which suffered from a temporary halt in business activity in the tourism, aviation, entertainment, and local business sectors, may be slow to recover. During the 2008 financial crisis, for instance, commercial lines took significantly longer to recover than personal lines. As for personal lines today, declines in everyday commuting have altered customers’ perceptions of the value of insurance: if they drive less, they expect to pay less. As noted above, some insurers have proactively offered their customers premium paybacks for reduced car usage—a change that could endure. Digital is here to stay. Because of the pandemic, people shifted many everyday activities to remote channels and adopted new digital tools. For example, across Europe, 60 to 70 percent of consumers moved some of their shopping online, and most intend to perpetuate the new habit after the pandemic ends. This shift in customer behavior extended to engagement with insurers. In the United Kingdom, claims notifications filed via digital channels doubled during the pandemic, and insurers received 30 percent more digital inquiries than in the past. However, customers’ growing expectations for an end-to-end digital experience—with 24/7 service, instant feedback, and a user-friendly interface—still place most insurers in the position of playing catch-up. The large majority of customers still prefer to place a call rather than use digital self-service; in Europe, for example, more than 50 percent of claims are initiated when a customer contacts an agent. This preference could indicate that insurers have yet to fully digitize the claims handling process. Inflation will affect claims costs. Insurers anticipate increased pressure on claims costs from multiple sources. First, car repair shops have suffered the knock-on effects of the COVID-19-induced drop in claims volume. Many received government help, but they also responded by increasing labor rates and margins on spare parts. The claims inflation rate currently sits at 4 to 5 percent. Ongoing cost pressure means repair shops are unlikely to reinstate their pre-COVID-19 price levels without some restructuring in the sector. In one scenario, insurers could step into the role of ecosystem orchestrators, significantly consolidating repair volumes and offering strong incentives—including extending insurance services to include maintenance and offering negotiated prices for parts and labor—to repair shops to participate. Meanwhile, insurers can analyze increased volumes of claims data to continually assess the performance of repair shops and then use those insights to guide customers to the best deals. Even before the pandemic, insurers had made strides in improving the bottom line by increasing productivity and optimizing technical excellence, particularly via pricing. Now is the time to tackle claims. Claims organizations can use this period of lower claims volume to plan their strategic investments in advanced analytics transformation, to devise new digital talent strategies, and to improve their understanding of customer needs and expectations. A complete suite of analytics and updated process automation—prerequisites for accurate, end-to-end automation—constitute the backbone of the new claims and customer experience model. The tools are evolving, driving automated decision-making along the entire claims handling process: routing, triaging, liability negotiation, cost estimating, deciding to repair or write off damaged vehicles, cash settlements, and fraud detection. All these areas will increasingly use digital and analytics as opposed to manual labor, changing the entire claims operating model. Responding to customer demands for a seamless claims experience is a top priority. The pandemic has proved that customers are eager for and accepting of new digital experiences. They expect full transparency throughout the claims journey; minimal effort on their part (for example, very little engagement back and forth with the agent to get the claim resolved and receive payment); faster resolution of claims, perhaps including automated payments; and the ability to move seamlessly between the digital and physical worlds. Furthermore, insurers can work to reduce leakage and improve the bottom line. Leakage takes many forms, including replacing rather than repairing a vehicle, offering a luxury replacement vehicle rather than a car that matches the customer’s vehicle class, and incurring costs for in-person loss assessments even in obvious cases for which pictures would suffice. Tackling leakage will entail enabling efficient detection of anomalies, selecting claims for detailed review, and empowering the claims organizations to efficiently close claims that cast no doubt. Accomplishing these critical objectives will entail a shift from a scattered and often siloed approach using unintegrated digital and analytics tools to end-to-end digital- and analytics-enabled claims processes. On the front end, insurers will need to establish tools on par with the top digital services their customers use every day (for example, ride-hailing apps, social media, and digital banks). On the back end, claims organization will need to invest in a suite of analytics engines to support automated decision-making to cut costs. The opportunity starts with claims prevention—using telematics and the Internet of Things to issue safety warnings and damage prevention tips—and continues throughout the claims processing journey, from providing customers with an easy digital first notice of loss interface and improving claims cost accuracy, to digital selection of a repair shop and automated payment processing and invoice checks. This relative lull in activity also gives insurers a good time to provide teams handling claims with the training they need to learn new processes and operate new digital tools. Claims are already rebounding, so the clock is ticking for insurers. Building end-to-end digital and analytics solutions requires significant investment and will take substantial time. For claims organizations, it is critical to act now or risk missing the opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger than competitors.

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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

4 Aspects of Cyber Insurance that SMBs Must Know

Article | July 19, 2022

The pandemic pressed many businesses to go remote. While this enabled employees and their organizations to continue doing business in the face of global uncertainty, the fragility of cybersecurity infrastructure became more apparent than ever. From remote work to a more powerful online presence, cybersecurity threats are a significant challenge for many organizations. With data security, exposure to these threats meant cyber insurance needed to be amped up. In the race to fortify cybersecurity, small businesses, which have limited resources to train their IT staff, have much catching up to do. As a matter of fact, practically all small businesses maintain sensitive data on their staff, clients, or suppliers, making them open to hacking attempts, malware attacks, digitalfraud, and other online threats. A cyberattack can force a firm to cease operations, incur significant losses, and unanticipated costs, and harm their brand. This is why cyber insurance is so critical. Here are four things SMBs must understand about cyber insurance and what it covers. In Case of Data Breaches Data breaches are one of the most common types of cyberattacks on small firms. Cyber insurance coversthe cost of locating the origin of a data breachand assessing whether the information lost poses any legal obligations. It also includes the price of meeting those obligations, including sending notifications to affected clients, setting up a call center, and providing credit monitoring, as well as the price of hiring legal counsel and paying any fines or penalties. In Case of Malware Attacks Ransomware and malware attacks allow criminals to break into an organization’s back-end data. They use it to steal customer information or simply encrypt it which allows them to demand random from the business to reclaim access. Cyber insurance can pay for all of the expenses involved in restoring the system, including recovering data, ransomware removal, vulnerability patching, and, if required, paying the ransom itself. A ransomware attack is the most disruptive,and it may be covered if there is economic loss for the company. In Case of Phishing and Cyber Fraud By gaining access to a company's computer system, social engineering letscriminals trick employees intosettlingfictitious bills or diverting cash to their accounts. Businesses may be able to recoup lost funds with the use of cyberinsurance. Third-Party Coverage Third-party insurance can shield firms from cyber-related legal troubles, such as government responseor class-action lawsuits brought on by, for instance, unintentional malware spreador the inability to curbunauthorized access to companysystems. It covers all legal expenses, such as settlements and lawyer fees. What’s the Bottom Line? Cyber insurance cannot be an alternative to a robust cyber security infrastructure. And small businesses cannot afford to keep vulnerabilities in their systems. Many cyber advice solution providers offer advisory and risk assessment services that may be just what small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to start improving the security of their systems.

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Covid-19 will make cyber and digital insurance policies more relevant than ever

Article | April 17, 2020

Kennedy's Elizabeth Bardsley discusses the risks brokers need to be aware of as more and more professionals work from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As the insurance industry continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, many have begun to give thought to what lasting changes will stay with us once the crisis has passed. For example, attitudes towards flexible working are expected to permanently change as more and more professionals work from home. And in a similar vein, we are likely to see a significant impact on the popularity of cyber and digital liability policies.

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Spotlight

Neptune Flood Insurance

Neptune Flood utilizes advanced mapping technologies, and aerial remote sensing, to create a sophisticated algorithm that provides customers with a flood insurance policy in three minutes or less. The company demonstrates how data can be collected and utilized to develop smarter mathematics, predict risk, and ultimately mitigate future losses. Aside from delighting customers with a fast, more intuitive, online experience Neptune can provide valuable lessons for carriers around using data to better develop policies and price risk. This revolutionary approach to pricing flood risk often results in superior coverages, savings over the NFIP of up to 25% and is available to households in all designated flood zones.

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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