How To Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs

If you own a home, homeowners insurance is an item in your budget thats there to stay. Depending on the size of your home, location, and other factors, your premiums may be significant and could increase over time. However, there are ways to minimize the cost of homeowners insurance. Taking the following steps could help lower your premiums.

Spotlight

Mercury Insurance

When it comes to choosing an insurance company, we know consumers want the lowest price possible. But they also want the appropriate amount of coverage to keep their family safe. Why should they have to sacrifice one over the other? With Mercury, we believe in having the best of both worlds. Low rates, excellent coverage and a local agent who’s there every step of the way. That’s what sets Mercury apart from our competitors. And that’s what makes us the obvious choice when it comes to insurance.

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Insurance Technology

Reinsurance Market Maintaining Its Firming Trend

Article | August 9, 2022

Despite economic pressures on reinsurers and cedants, nearly all buyers were able to secure coverage during the reinsurance renewal period. However, attachment levels and the cost of ceding risk were higher than most buyers desired, and supply constraints in some lines and territories caused stress not seen in years. As a result, according to Gallagher Re's latest 1st View renewals report, the reinsurance market has maintained its firming trend. Despite mostly positive H1 2022 results, the combination of inflation and rising interest rates has caused reinsurers to adjust their balance sheets and reserves while also taking into account how a recessionary environment may increase claims frequency. These economic factors, combined with sustained loss levels, allowed reinsurers to maintain upward pricing pressure as they sought to reduce their appetite for volatility. Key Contributions to Understanding: Natural disaster capacity decreased overall as reinsurers continued to shift away from low-level layers, which differed by country and region. Reinsurers were seen assessing cedants' inflation-related actions and applying carefully calculated loadings to relevant treaties. The Russian invasion of Ukraine increased interest in cyber and war contract provisions. Long-tail casualty placements remained popular among reinsurers, but there was more debate about ceding commissions than in recent renewals. Higher ILS risk transfer prices have attracted net new capital, but this has not resulted in market softening. The inflation discussions have been detailed and technical, with reinsurers eager to challenge cedants' model outputs. Most reinsurers are assessing reserve adequacy as interest rates rise, in addition to their concerns about primary rate adequacy in the new inflationary environment. They are experiencing effects simultaneously on the asset and liability sides, which has strengthened their resolve to maintain the pricing momentum of the previous two years.

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Core Insurance, Risk Management

Emergency Prevention: 3 Ways Insurtech is Leading the Way

Article | August 4, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the pressures on emergency medical services and healthcare professionals as well as insurance platforms. Insurtech has proved to be a robust area of technology that needs further investments to ensure that we are able to leverage it even in times when there’s little global turmoil. The Efma-Accenture Innovations in Insurance award winners have validated the exponential expansion of insurtech. Here are three insurtech innovations driving emergency prevention in healthcare. 1 bAIby – Interpreting Baby Cries bAIby is a next-gen baby monitoring device powered by AI. Labelled as a “cry translator,” the BabyT device uses AI to interpret what a baby’s cries mean. The bAIby solution is based on the understanding that the first six months of a baby’s cries universally communicate the following: sleepiness hunger discomfort stomach issues The developer of the BabyT AI, Zoundream, collaborated with insurance company Generali to enroll young parents and test BabyT. This allowed Zoundream to collect the massive amounts of data sets required to train the AI. The AI is able to detect pathologies like hyperthyroidism, autism and even hearing impairment. Furthermore, it will enable Generali to provide new parents with assistance, prevention, and insurance services, thus providing the peace of mind that insurance services should provide. This innovation won the gold in the Efma-Accenture Innovations in Insurance award. 2 Air Doctor – Finding a Doctor Overseas Silver winner Air Doctor is a cutting edge solution to help individuals find general practitioners in unfamiliar places. The solution is aimed at travellers and expatriates whose first instinct when sick overseas may be to visit a hospital, leading to high medical costs and burdening the local healthcare system. The Air Doctor platform provides access to a network of physicians in six continents and 70 countries. The information includes the doctor’s location, specialization, as well as online appointment booking and virtual care options. Insurance providers can integrate with the platform to connect with their customers by offering a digital link for quick verification and approval. The platform has made managing basic medical attention easier for both consumers and insurance providers. 3 bolttech – Boosting Insurance Penetration Bronze winner bolttech was recognized for its smart insurance exchange ecosystem that enables non-insurers to integrate insurance solutions into their purchase journey. For instance, smartphone vendors can use bolttech to provide insurance as an option during the purchase of a new phone, leveraging the most effective purchase touchpoints to provide coverage. This is especially crucial in markets that have a low penetration of insurance. bolttech’s platform has medical plans with self-declared underwriting, delivering instant cover and reducing the onboarding time to just 90 seconds. 4 The Way Forward Digitalization of insurance is the future of the industry. The above solutions have proven use cases that enable both consumers and providers to leverage digital network to create secure and stress-free access to insurance.

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Insurance Technology

The Age of Sustainable Fixed-Income Investing Has Arrived

Article | July 14, 2022

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations have increasingly entered the mainstream of investment discussions, both through routine incorporation into traditional investment processes and through distinct sustainable or impact investing styles. Recent and current global conditions, such as extreme weather events, the inequitable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising distrust of government institutions, and geopolitical challenges to a rules-based world order, have accelerated this trend, emphasizing the direct relevance of ESG and sustainability to understanding long-term market risks and opportunities. Until recently, equity investors were more concerned with ESG and sustainability than their fixed-income counterparts. That is, however, beginning to change, and at a rapid pace. ESG and sustainability have gained significant traction among bond investors, particularly since the implementation of COVID-19, and are now widely regarded as essential components of fixed income investing. For example, global sustainable debt issuance reached a new high of over US$1.6 trillion in 2021 and is expected to rise further in the coming years. Notably, we believe that ESG integration and sustainable fixed-income investing require a very deliberate, thoughtful approach — one that varies significantly from one fixed-income sector to the next. ESG and sustainability: At a high level, researchers believe that increased awareness of ESG and sustainability benefits global markets in two ways: 1. ESG integration allows market participants to think more holistically about the types of financially material risks and opportunities — such as physical, reputational, and (geo)political — that should ideally be reflected in asset valuations and taken into account during the routine portfolio construction and management process. 2. Furthermore, the conversation about sustainable investing is encouraging more market participants to look beyond narrow, issuer-specific investment thesis to consider how market participants' behaviors affect the broader systems and structures (e.g., climate stability, institutional strength) whose long-term viability is critical for the long-term health of economies and markets. We, like many others, believe that a stable global climate, clean air and water for all, adherence to the rule of law, strong institutions with broad public legitimacy, and broad-based access to economic opportunity are valuable public goods from which market participants would benefit collectively over time. As a result, a central goal of sustainable investing is to assist markets in evolving toward rewarding participants for exercising responsible stewardship of these public goods, which are critical to pursuing favorable long-term outcomes for the real people who are the ultimate beneficiaries of markets. This framing of sustainability highlights why fixed income is so important in moving global markets and economies in a more sustainable direction.

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Insurance Technology

Cloud Insurance Solutions Are Imperative for Insurers

Article | June 10, 2022

Insurance customers look for result-driven insurance services and products. To meet those demands and grow revenue, insurers need to move beyond conventional methods and envision their insurance business' customer interaction as aiding in the management of product and service deliveries. This necessitates a cloud-based strategy for future-ready operations. This is where the concept of cloud insurance comes into play. Insurers are receiving signals that the moment has come to invest heavily in the cloud ecosystem. But how? Read about it in the following points. The revenue landscape is shifting Investing in cloud infrastructure allows insurers to gain a competitive advantage in new revenue streams. In addition, it depicts a protected sphere where all the insurance business operations are risk-free, free of cyber risks and intrusions. Digital distribution appeals to customers and capital Customer-centric innovations, such as product distribution or cloud-enabled services, draw investors' attention. This results in increased revenue production. Why is There a Need for Cloud Insurance Solutions for Businesses? Insurance businesses face numerous obstacles in a continually shifting market position each day. As a result, insurance companies must primarily respond to the demanding and rising needs of customers. Cloud technology provides accurate solutions for the same. Let's look at the need for cloud solutions amid the trending approach. Customers expect personalized products, services, and experiences to support chosen communication channels like social media, a website, or a portal. Consequently, insurers need to improve their “speed to market” approach, which is possible through cloud technology and provide competitive products and services. Furthermore, sales growth remains under constant pressure. As a result, cost reduction is another eye-catching feature for insurance companies. By streamlining procedures and operations under one roof, decentralized, and digitalized, cloud insurance best suits to decrease costs and expenditure. Not to forget, globalization demands insurance businesses be more flexible and agile to win new markets and obtain new prospects. Cloud insurance infrastructure solutions are critical today and, in the future, to achieving all of these objectives. The Insurer’s Viewpoint is Critical for Success According to the report, leaders are more likely to use Cloud SaaSs, big data, AI and machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT). However, given the findings of the aforementioned study, it is clear that moving to the cloud is merely a baby step on a long journey of technological advancement. Cloud computing has emerged as a critical tool for digitization, and the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 issue have highlighted the benefits of cloud computing." Peter Heidkamp, Head of Technology at KPMG. The Internet of Services and SaaS as a service is particularly appealing to insurance businesses when it comes to cloud insurance (SaaS). In addition, SaaS licensing options allow customers to obtain software to reduce internet and operational costs. The real use cases or benefits of the cloud are: Business scalability and flexibility Increased customer satisfaction Optimizing business processes Cost reduction Encourages business backups Cloud Insurance: A Wake-up Call for Opportunities Cloud technology and its solutions enable insurers to leverage cloud capabilities and resources to stay abreast with market developments. The technology meticulously encourages customized products and services on time, develops corporate networks, and implements new business processes with high revenue. However, adopting cloud solutions is not always an easy decision for insurers, but those that overcome security worries can reap the benefits of cloud insurance. Therefore, utilizing cloud solutions is a continuous journey that necessitates constant innovation and adaptability.

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Spotlight

Mercury Insurance

When it comes to choosing an insurance company, we know consumers want the lowest price possible. But they also want the appropriate amount of coverage to keep their family safe. Why should they have to sacrifice one over the other? With Mercury, we believe in having the best of both worlds. Low rates, excellent coverage and a local agent who’s there every step of the way. That’s what sets Mercury apart from our competitors. And that’s what makes us the obvious choice when it comes to insurance.

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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