Impact of Coronavirus on Life and Health Insurance Policies

Coronavirus has caused 9 deaths in India so far, with confirmed cases to touch the 600 mark soon. As numbers increase rapidly, how can health and life insurance policies come to your aid if you or your family member is tested covid-19 positive? Earlier this month, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) had issued guidelines for health insurers asking to expedite coronavirus related claim settlement in the case of hospitalisation.

Spotlight

Highland Capital Brokerage

Highland Capital Brokerage is committed to developing client-focused relationships with financial advisors using our core competencies of life insurance, annuities, and long term care. We distinguish ourselves by providing point-of-sale support, advanced marketing, and creative estate and business planning techniques. We provide these services in an environment that extends to carrier and product expertise, underwriting negotiation, and complete back office processing.

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

Will your insurance IT investments pay off?

Article | July 20, 2022

Automated claims processing, price comparison platforms, mobile bill paying—these are just some of the digital services that insurance customers expect and insurers want to provide. As the demand for digital skyrockets, so does the need for insurers to invest in IT. In the past seven years, the share of IT in total operating costs of property-and-casualty (P&C) insurers increased 22 percent. The rise of digital means technology is no longer a cost center. Rather, it is an asset that, if managed well, can increase growth and profitability. But do these IT investments pay off? As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates already increasing cost pressures, insurers’ IT budgets are under scrutiny; they want to see the business impact of their IT investments. Insurers with targeted IT investments achieve better growth and performance Data from McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking survey provide strong evidence of the positive business impact of targeted IT investments. In fact, insurers that invest more in technology outpace competitors that don’t pursue targeted investments in business measures such as gross written premium (GWP) growth, return to shareholders, and expense and loss ratio (exhibit). As an example, in life insurance, companies that invested more in IT saw a greater reduction in expense ratios (by 2.0 percentage points) and higher returns on technical reserves2 (1.7 percentage points) when compared with insurers with lower IT investments. Insurers achieved these outcomes within three to five years of making their investments. For P&C insurers, those with high IT investments achieved approximately twice the top-line GWP growth of low IT investors. High IT investments also produced a greater reduction in combined ratios when compared with those with low IT investment. Four areas for targeted IT investment So what kinds of technology investments can help insurers achieve growth and improve productivity and performance? Investments in four areas are critical: Marketing and sales: Marketing technology solutions can increase sales and processing efficiency, improve the quality of core customer-facing processes such as policy inquiries and policy applications, and improve customers’ overall experiences. McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking data show that tech investments in this category can facilitate top-line growth for P&C insurers by up to 20–40 percent; for life insurers, that growth could be 10–25 percent over a three- to five-year period. Underwriting and pricing: Automated underwriting fraud detection can improve the likelihood that insurers correctly identify fraud and set accurate prices. A pricing tool kit that analyzes pricing across competitors and enables a flexible, more segmented market versus technical pricing further improves profit margins. Insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 10–15 percent in P&C insurance and 3–5 percent in life insurance. Policy servicing: Workflow automation, artificial intelligence–based decision support, and user experience technologies in policy servicing and within IT can improve the customer self-service experience and automate back-office processes, thus reducing IT and operations expenses. And state-of-the-art self-servicing options will reduce processing times and even improve customer experience. An analysis of programs for large-scale insurance IT modernization finds that insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 5–10 percent in P&C insurance and 10–15 percent in life insurance. Claims: P&C insurers can use automated case processing—machine-learning technology trained to process basic claims cases—to segment more complex cases and significantly improve claims accuracy. Combined with better partner integration and steering technologies embedded in a transformation of the claims operating model, such technologies can help P&C insurers improve profit margins by 25–40 percent, according to McKinsey analysis of large-scale IT modernization programs. To realize the full value of IT investments, insurers must strategically allocate their resources and view tech as an asset, not a tool.

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Claims

How Are Insurance Firms Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Article | July 15, 2022

In the insurance industry, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword. Nonetheless, despite the fact that we are still in the early stages of AI implementation, the industry has made significant progress. The Need for AI in Insurance Insurance is a long-established and highly regulated industry. Perhaps as a result, insurance companies have been slower to adopt technological change than other industries. Insurance is still dominated by manual, paper-based processes that are time-consuming and necessitate human intervention. Even today, customers must deal with time-consuming paperwork and bureaucracy when filing a claim or enrolling in a new insurance policy. Customers may also pay more for insurance if policies are not tailored to their specific needs. Insurance is not always a pleasant customer experience in an age when most of our daily activities are online, digitized, and convenient. Having said that, we are beginning to see a global push by insurance companies to enhance their technological capabilities in order to do business faster, cheaper, and more securely. There have been several notable examples of insurers investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence solutions in recent years. If AI technology is fully applied to the insurance industry, McKinsey estimates a potential annual value of up to $1.1 trillion. How are insurers implementing AI? There are numerous examples of insurers around the world using AI to improve both their bottom line and the customer experience. There are also a slew of start-ups offering AI solutions to insurers and customers. I'll discuss a few interesting cases here. The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Insurance AI has the potential to transform customers' insurance experiences from frustrating and bureaucratic to quick, on-demand, and more affordable. Customized insurance products will attract more customers at lower costs. If insurers apply AI technology to the mountain of data at their disposal, we will soon see more flexible insurance, such as on-demand pay-as-you-go insurance and premiums that adjust automatically in response to accidents, customer health, and so on. Insurance will become more personalized as insurers use AI technology to better understand what their customers require. By accelerating workflows, insurers will be able to save money. They will also discover new revenue streams as artificial intelligence-driven analysis uncovers new business and cross-selling opportunities.

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Core Insurance

Reinsurance Market Maintaining Its Firming Trend

Article | July 11, 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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Spotlight

Highland Capital Brokerage

Highland Capital Brokerage is committed to developing client-focused relationships with financial advisors using our core competencies of life insurance, annuities, and long term care. We distinguish ourselves by providing point-of-sale support, advanced marketing, and creative estate and business planning techniques. We provide these services in an environment that extends to carrier and product expertise, underwriting negotiation, and complete back office processing.

Related News

Insurance Technology

AgentSync Launches API to Streamline Insurance Producer Onboarding and Compliance

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

AgentSync today announced the launch of its first commercially available ProducerSync API for carriers, MGAs, and agencies to manage producer and adjuster licensing and appointment validation without the paperwork. The ProducerSync application programming interface (API) acts as a menu, allowing insurance businesses to draw from a selection of National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) data on licensing, appointing, and personal information for producers. AgentSync humanizes and contextualizes the data so end users have actionable information from the industry source of truth without hours of manual research. "ProducerSync API represents a key step in our long-term strategic vision. By streaming accurate and comprehensive data to our customers' existing systems, ProducerSync API drives better business decisions," said Jenn Knight, Co-Founder and CTO of AgentSync. "We're focused on building modern technology that unlocks value for our customers, and highly flexible and adaptable products like ProducerSync API do exactly that by leveraging current data for better all-around business outcomes." The ProducerSync API uses REST API architecture, making it lightweight, scalable, and flexible, and is the first of AgentSync's planned suite of APIs to be available to the wider insurance market. It joins a family of modern business solutions the company uses to connect the industry. "Our first product, Manage, has had strong customer adoption by delivering superior business data with a modern user interface and comprehensive features for compliance and producer management," said Knight. "ProducerSync API builds on this vision, giving customers programmatic access to NIPR data elements in a way that is highly modular and reusable for a variety of use cases." Insurance runs on data, but maintaining the accuracy and quality of producer data across ecosystems is, historically, a challenge for all stripes of insurance organizations. With ProducerSync API, users can have confidence in their data while reducing maintenance, driving down business risks, enabling better-informed decisions, and eliminating inefficiencies with a scaled, secure solution. About AgentSync AgentSync builds modern insurance infrastructure that connects carriers, agencies, MGAs, and producers. With customer-centric design, seamless APIs, automation, and unparalleled service, AgentSync's solutions provide data intelligence and streamlined onboarding and compliance management processes that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and get producers ready to sell in hours instead of weeks. Founded in 2018 by Niranjan "Niji" Sabharwal and Jenn Knight, and headquartered in Denver, CO, AgentSync has been recognized as one of Denver's Best Places to Work, a Forbes Magazine Cloud 100 Rising Star, and as an Insurtech Insights Future 50 winner, and was ranked 65 in Forbes – America's Best Startup Employers 2023.

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Insurance Technology

Ladder and Envestnet | MoneyGuide Announce Integration to Provide More Advisors Digital Access to Term Life Insurance Offerings

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

Today at the T3 Technology Conference, Ladder, the insurtech offering digital, flexible life insurance in minutes announced an integration with Envestnet | MoneyGuide, a leading financial planning software company serving over 107,000 financial advisors. This will empower more financial advisors with the capabilities to provide clients with term life insurance issued by reputable insurers. With this partnership, financial advisors utilizing Envestnet I MoneyGuide Elite's Advanced Lifetime Protection tool will be able to offer their clients digital, convenient, and affordable term life insurance. Financial advisors will be able to estimate clients' coverage needs, generate a quote, and send clients a link to apply—all from within the Envestnet | MoneyGuide platform. MoneyGuide's Advanced Lifetime Protection tool is designed to illustrate how a clients' protection needs can change over time. This tool may help advisors identify an opportunity to improve a client's probability of successfully achieving the goals in their client's financial plan. "Life insurance is a critical piece of a comprehensive financial plan," says Mike Izakov, Head of Financial Institution Partnerships at Ladder. "We believe MoneyGuide has the most robust planning tool in the industry, and we're excited to make it even easier for advisors to get clients the coverage their plans call for." With Ladder's industry-leading digital capabilities and proprietary flexible coverage (i.e. "laddering"), advisors using Envestnet | MoneyGuide will be able to utilize a visualization showcasing how a strategically laddered Ladder policy may save clients up to 40%* over a 30-year term compared to traditional term coverage. "Envestnet's generational research shows that a surprising 50% of Baby Boomers are not formally organizing their long-term finances," said Rose Palazzo, Group President of Envestnet Financial Planning. "Through our partnership with Ladder, our advisors are better equipped to help their clients take action on organizing their financial plans, including the important step of seeking to secure their financial futures through life insurance coverage. Ladder provides our advisors with digital access to term life insurance products, with an integration built right into our protection planning solution." Ladder offers term life insurance for coverage between $100,000 and $8 million, for terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. There are no medical exams required for coverage up to $3 million, just questions about an applicant's health are asked. The pricing is fully underwritten and backed by reputable carriers. Ladder offers a variety of partnership and compensation models to meet the needs of fee-based and insurance-licensed financial advisors. About Ladder Ladder is the first full-stack, digital life insurance company offering flexible online term coverage in minutes that can save policyholders up to 40%* by adjusting their coverage as their life changes. Ladder uses real-time underwriting to make life insurance as accessible, affordable, and beloved as it should be. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, and offers coverage up to $8M with no hidden fees. ABOUT ENVESTNET Envestnet is transforming the way financial advice is delivered through an ecosystem of technology, solutions, and intelligence. By establishing the connections between people's daily financial decisions and long-term financial goals, Envestnet empowers them to make better sense of their finances and live an Intelligent Financial Life. With more than $5.4 trillion in platform assets—more than 107,000 advisors, 16 of the 20 largest U.S. banks, 48 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, more than 500 of the largest RIAs, and thousands of companies, depend on Envestnet technology and services to help drive better outcomes for their businesses and for their clients.

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Core Insurance

Inszone Insurance Services Continues Expansion in Colorado with the Acquisition of High Desert Insurance

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Inszone Insurance Services, a rapidly growing national provider of commercial, personal, and benefits insurance, is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of High Desert Insurance, out of Pueblo, Colorado. High Desert Insurance, born in 2011, has been a trusted insurance go-to for over ten years. Starting with three employees, they've grown into a team of seven, always coming through with top-notch insurance solutions for individuals and businesses. The values of High Desert Insurance mesh perfectly with what Inszone Insurance is all about, making this acquisition a great fit as Inszone looks to grow its services in Colorado. "We are delighted to welcome High Desert Insurance to the Inszone family," expressed Chris Walters, CEO of Inszone Insurance Services. "With a decade-long track record of delivering outstanding outcomes for its clients, High Desert Insurance has built a commendable legacy. Our commitment extends to preserving and enhancing this legacy by offering comprehensive back-office support and access to additional markets to the High Desert team." The newly acquired High Desert Insurance will operate under the Inszone Insurance brand and maintain its existing Pueblo, Colorado, location, ensuring a seamless transition and consistency in service for its valued clients. Inszone Insurance is dedicated to retaining the experienced team from High Desert Insurance to ensure the continuation of the high-quality service that clients have come to expect. As Inszone Insurance continues its strategic growth, the acquisition of High Desert Insurance represents not only a significant expansion but also a blending of values, reinforcing the commitment to excellence in service within the dynamic landscape of Colorado. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Sacramento, California, Inszone is a full-service insurance brokerage firm that provides a broad array of property & casualty insurance and employee benefits solutions. With a strong, experienced management team, Inszone continues to grow organically and through acquisitions. With 54 locations across California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington, the company is looking to expand further throughout the United States.

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Insurance Technology

AgentSync Launches API to Streamline Insurance Producer Onboarding and Compliance

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

AgentSync today announced the launch of its first commercially available ProducerSync API for carriers, MGAs, and agencies to manage producer and adjuster licensing and appointment validation without the paperwork. The ProducerSync application programming interface (API) acts as a menu, allowing insurance businesses to draw from a selection of National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) data on licensing, appointing, and personal information for producers. AgentSync humanizes and contextualizes the data so end users have actionable information from the industry source of truth without hours of manual research. "ProducerSync API represents a key step in our long-term strategic vision. By streaming accurate and comprehensive data to our customers' existing systems, ProducerSync API drives better business decisions," said Jenn Knight, Co-Founder and CTO of AgentSync. "We're focused on building modern technology that unlocks value for our customers, and highly flexible and adaptable products like ProducerSync API do exactly that by leveraging current data for better all-around business outcomes." The ProducerSync API uses REST API architecture, making it lightweight, scalable, and flexible, and is the first of AgentSync's planned suite of APIs to be available to the wider insurance market. It joins a family of modern business solutions the company uses to connect the industry. "Our first product, Manage, has had strong customer adoption by delivering superior business data with a modern user interface and comprehensive features for compliance and producer management," said Knight. "ProducerSync API builds on this vision, giving customers programmatic access to NIPR data elements in a way that is highly modular and reusable for a variety of use cases." Insurance runs on data, but maintaining the accuracy and quality of producer data across ecosystems is, historically, a challenge for all stripes of insurance organizations. With ProducerSync API, users can have confidence in their data while reducing maintenance, driving down business risks, enabling better-informed decisions, and eliminating inefficiencies with a scaled, secure solution. About AgentSync AgentSync builds modern insurance infrastructure that connects carriers, agencies, MGAs, and producers. With customer-centric design, seamless APIs, automation, and unparalleled service, AgentSync's solutions provide data intelligence and streamlined onboarding and compliance management processes that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and get producers ready to sell in hours instead of weeks. Founded in 2018 by Niranjan "Niji" Sabharwal and Jenn Knight, and headquartered in Denver, CO, AgentSync has been recognized as one of Denver's Best Places to Work, a Forbes Magazine Cloud 100 Rising Star, and as an Insurtech Insights Future 50 winner, and was ranked 65 in Forbes – America's Best Startup Employers 2023.

Read More

Insurance Technology

Ladder and Envestnet | MoneyGuide Announce Integration to Provide More Advisors Digital Access to Term Life Insurance Offerings

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

Today at the T3 Technology Conference, Ladder, the insurtech offering digital, flexible life insurance in minutes announced an integration with Envestnet | MoneyGuide, a leading financial planning software company serving over 107,000 financial advisors. This will empower more financial advisors with the capabilities to provide clients with term life insurance issued by reputable insurers. With this partnership, financial advisors utilizing Envestnet I MoneyGuide Elite's Advanced Lifetime Protection tool will be able to offer their clients digital, convenient, and affordable term life insurance. Financial advisors will be able to estimate clients' coverage needs, generate a quote, and send clients a link to apply—all from within the Envestnet | MoneyGuide platform. MoneyGuide's Advanced Lifetime Protection tool is designed to illustrate how a clients' protection needs can change over time. This tool may help advisors identify an opportunity to improve a client's probability of successfully achieving the goals in their client's financial plan. "Life insurance is a critical piece of a comprehensive financial plan," says Mike Izakov, Head of Financial Institution Partnerships at Ladder. "We believe MoneyGuide has the most robust planning tool in the industry, and we're excited to make it even easier for advisors to get clients the coverage their plans call for." With Ladder's industry-leading digital capabilities and proprietary flexible coverage (i.e. "laddering"), advisors using Envestnet | MoneyGuide will be able to utilize a visualization showcasing how a strategically laddered Ladder policy may save clients up to 40%* over a 30-year term compared to traditional term coverage. "Envestnet's generational research shows that a surprising 50% of Baby Boomers are not formally organizing their long-term finances," said Rose Palazzo, Group President of Envestnet Financial Planning. "Through our partnership with Ladder, our advisors are better equipped to help their clients take action on organizing their financial plans, including the important step of seeking to secure their financial futures through life insurance coverage. Ladder provides our advisors with digital access to term life insurance products, with an integration built right into our protection planning solution." Ladder offers term life insurance for coverage between $100,000 and $8 million, for terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. There are no medical exams required for coverage up to $3 million, just questions about an applicant's health are asked. The pricing is fully underwritten and backed by reputable carriers. Ladder offers a variety of partnership and compensation models to meet the needs of fee-based and insurance-licensed financial advisors. About Ladder Ladder is the first full-stack, digital life insurance company offering flexible online term coverage in minutes that can save policyholders up to 40%* by adjusting their coverage as their life changes. Ladder uses real-time underwriting to make life insurance as accessible, affordable, and beloved as it should be. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, and offers coverage up to $8M with no hidden fees. ABOUT ENVESTNET Envestnet is transforming the way financial advice is delivered through an ecosystem of technology, solutions, and intelligence. By establishing the connections between people's daily financial decisions and long-term financial goals, Envestnet empowers them to make better sense of their finances and live an Intelligent Financial Life. With more than $5.4 trillion in platform assets—more than 107,000 advisors, 16 of the 20 largest U.S. banks, 48 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, more than 500 of the largest RIAs, and thousands of companies, depend on Envestnet technology and services to help drive better outcomes for their businesses and for their clients.

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Core Insurance

Inszone Insurance Services Continues Expansion in Colorado with the Acquisition of High Desert Insurance

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Inszone Insurance Services, a rapidly growing national provider of commercial, personal, and benefits insurance, is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of High Desert Insurance, out of Pueblo, Colorado. High Desert Insurance, born in 2011, has been a trusted insurance go-to for over ten years. Starting with three employees, they've grown into a team of seven, always coming through with top-notch insurance solutions for individuals and businesses. The values of High Desert Insurance mesh perfectly with what Inszone Insurance is all about, making this acquisition a great fit as Inszone looks to grow its services in Colorado. "We are delighted to welcome High Desert Insurance to the Inszone family," expressed Chris Walters, CEO of Inszone Insurance Services. "With a decade-long track record of delivering outstanding outcomes for its clients, High Desert Insurance has built a commendable legacy. Our commitment extends to preserving and enhancing this legacy by offering comprehensive back-office support and access to additional markets to the High Desert team." The newly acquired High Desert Insurance will operate under the Inszone Insurance brand and maintain its existing Pueblo, Colorado, location, ensuring a seamless transition and consistency in service for its valued clients. Inszone Insurance is dedicated to retaining the experienced team from High Desert Insurance to ensure the continuation of the high-quality service that clients have come to expect. As Inszone Insurance continues its strategic growth, the acquisition of High Desert Insurance represents not only a significant expansion but also a blending of values, reinforcing the commitment to excellence in service within the dynamic landscape of Colorado. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Sacramento, California, Inszone is a full-service insurance brokerage firm that provides a broad array of property & casualty insurance and employee benefits solutions. With a strong, experienced management team, Inszone continues to grow organically and through acquisitions. With 54 locations across California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington, the company is looking to expand further throughout the United States.

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