The 9 Types of Small Business Insurance Coverage You Need

As with health insurance or car insurance, small business insurance is hopefully something you never have to use. But when something unexpected happens, having business insurance can be the difference between your business’s continued success or failure. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses aren’t covered. According to Next Insurance, 44% of small business owners have never purchased business insurance, even after operating for at least one year. By purchasing the right types of business insurance, you can protect your company’s assets against damage and legal claims.

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AAIS

The American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) is a member-owned, non-profit national insurance advisory organization that provides specialized services to property/casualty insurers.

OTHER ARTICLES
Core Insurance, Risk Management

5 Essential Features of Policy Management Tools

Article | September 22, 2022

The worldwide marketplace is undergoing a host of structural changes and insurance companies are consistently working to capitalize on them. The past few years posed a number of new challenges. For an industry whose primary promise is to “be there when customers need us,” delivering top-notch timely services is not only crucial for business continuity but the most urgent goal. Inspiring trust through every process of the policy lifecycle is a significant factor for insurers to be able to maintain goodwill in the market. Recent pressures proved that the industry needs a systemic metamorphosis and digital solutions may be able to provide them. This is also why many industries are jumping on the bandwagon of digital transformation and insurance is no different. With a barrage of new technologies, solutions and software, it has become easier to automate processes and eliminate inefficiencies that hamper day-to-day-operations. One such area of transformation is insurance policy management. Forward-looking insurers today, can start by rethinking their policy management framework. The Importance of Automated Policy Management Simplifying all internal processes is a priority for many insurance providers worldwide. Much of the insurer’s business outcome hinges on streamlined workflows, seamless document management and effective use of different tools. In policy management, mitigating risk is another significant aspect that impacts the bottom line. Today, insurers are heavily investing in new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotic process automation, data analytics and much more. Policy management entails the comprehensive process of administering policies. From pre-sale to renewal to claims, at every stage of the policy lifecycle, insurers must ensure a smooth process at every stage. Some of the stages of policy management that can be enhanced by using automated policy management tools which include: Member services Loss mitigation Risk assessment Claims processing Policy issuance Policy renewal Policy cancellation Compliance It’s clear that insurance policy administration system (pas) encompasses all the main business processes of an insurance company and the importance of policy management is enough to invest in high-quality solutions that span the policy lifecycle. The Must-Haves of Policy Management Software A smart insurance policy management simplifies the process for both the insurer and the insured. For insurers, it should be able to optimize resources and save time in administering policies. For example, life insurance policy management system can help a provider scale their operation, introduce flexibility and administrative simplicity. Here are the components of a policy management solution that is a must-have for every insurance provider. For the insured, the solution can help organizations not only provide a smooth experience Policy Issuance, Update and Cancellation The most significant must have that an effective policy management solution should have, is the ability to digitalize every aspect of policy administration. This includes being able to generate documentation, centralize records and oversee all operations across the policy lifecycle. For instance, everything should be synced so that any updates are made universally across all documents. This eliminates doing manual changes to all the records. In addition, with technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), repetitive tasks can be automated and reduce the time it takes to process documentation. Underwriting Underwriting is a process where individuals or firms take financial risk for a fee. In insurance, underwriters are responsible for evaluating the degree of risk to the insurer’s business. It is in essence a manual process that comprises extensive research and assessment of the prospective policy holder. For instance, medical underwriting consisted of ascertaining the charges to levy or even whether to provider coverage to them based on an applicant’s health condition. Even though underwriting is a time-consuming process, it doesn’t have to be tedious. Underwriters need to access data that is spread across a range of different platforms and sources. Automated policy management enables organizations to accelerate the process of data collection and collation. This is why, automation in underwriting functionalities is one of the most important features of a policy management software that is a must-have. Estimates and Quotes Holistic policy management tools are incomplete without quote estimate capabilities. Quoting allows insurers to generate leads. With automated quoting features, insurers can provide estimates without having to directly contact customers, saving time and money in cold calling. In addition, it helps insurers to gather the information they need to then target their leads and tailor solutions that meet consumer expectations. Quality policy management systems include these capabilities. They work by letting customer input their information and receive a quote estimate based on it. For insurers, in addition to providing leads, it lets them engage customers from the start itself. Policy Renewal Renewals is a critical stage in the policy lifecycle. Overseeing renewals and reducing customer churn is something every insurer must prioritize. Renewals handling amplifies the importance of policy management software that offer renewals management tools. Renewals management features allow insurers to alert policy holders about the ending of their coverage and provides a timely reminder to renew it. Since renewals management tools offer ready information for insurers to access, customers need to update fewer fields. It not only reduces customer churn but contributes to an easy, fast, and customer-friendly process. Claims Processing Claims processing is when an insurer reviews a claim process to verify and authenticate the claim made by the policy holder. As a core business process, claims management and processing needs intelligent systemization. Insurance policy management tools that integrate claims processing will enable insurers to automate the settlement process. Modern policy management tools sync different systems so insurers have a centralized database and can simplify tasks like assigning claims, detecting fraud, record payments issued and automatically generate reports. Regulations and Compliance Insurance is a heavily regulated industry and insurers must keep up with the many compliance and location-specific regulations to avoid hefty fines. Regulatory policies are also subject to change and can often realign processes to protect consumers. This may sometimes cause insurers financially. However, complying with new regulations is a business necessity and policy compliance management solutions help immensely. Insurers must be able to monitor any changes in global and local policies or keep an eye out for announcements regarding the change in rates or regulations. Many insurers have a team to do this but maintaining a team is costly and causes operational complexities. Modern policy management tools offer the automation capabilities that eliminate the need for extensive overhaul or insurers to keep up with new regulations. These policy compliance management tools help in detecting breach and minimizing it. They also enable better resource allocation as teams no longer need to monitor new and upcoming regulations and plan for implementing the change. Customer Support Customer support is one of the most critical aspects of policy management. Beyond software and applications, being able to meet your customers’ demands, address their concerns throughout the customer lifecycle is vital in order to meet business objectives on time. With digitalization transcending platforms and devices, policy management tools today need to be able to keep up to meet customer demands. This is why mobile-ready policy management solutions are a must. They allow insurers to respond to customers quickly and keep channels of communication open and flowing. In addition, features like quoting estimates and claims processing that accelerate policy administration and management in a streamlined manner are bound to keep customers happy and reduce churn. Some policy management tools come with marketing automation capabilities as well as a CRM that lets insurers deliver a great experience right from buying decision to ongoing support. Conclusion There is no denying that digitalization is the future and insurers need to be ready to adapt to new challenges and evolving demands from consumers. Policy management tools not only enable insurers to overhaul their core process but simplify it and eliminate operational inefficiencies. The importance of policy management cannot be understated. Age-old challenges and bottlenecks of managing millions of policies can be mitigated with comprehensive policy management solutions. The above components are the most critical process your organization should look to simplify. These essential features ensure you are able to optimize resources, improve operational efficiencies, streamline processes and translate all these into enhanced customer experiences. Frequently Asked Questions How does insurance policy management differ from other policy management tools? Insurance policy management is a specialized solution that caters to insurance companies and enables them to manage renewals, claims, underwriting and all other processes associated with managing an insurance policy for their customers. Other policy management tools help organizations frame policies and management internal policy documents. What is an insurance policy lifecycle? An insurance policy lifecycle starts with generating a quote for the customer, onboarding the customer’s application, and finally setting the payment of premiums and renewals. When a policyholder claims insurance, the insurer has to process the claim, verify its authenticity then accept the claim fully or partially or reject it. What are the ways the insured can choose to pay for the insurance policy? The insured can either pay a lump sum amount or choose to pay monthly, yearly or quarterly. These payments are called premiums and are calculated based on certain condition set by the insurer.

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Insurance Technology

Cybersecurity Material for Private Companies

Article | July 19, 2022

Cyberattacks are one of the world's most pressing concerns. In fact, they were ranked among the top ten risks in the World Economic Forum's Global Risk Reports for 2020 and 2021. 1 According to the reports, cybercrime-as-a-service is becoming more affordable, accessible, and sophisticated. Though previously regarded as a technological issue, cybersecurity is now a growing ESG concern for private companies, investors, regulators, and consumers. Why cybersecurity is material for private companies Cyberattacks are significant issues for both private and public companies because they increase the risk of exposing confidential company information or sensitive customer data, disrupting supply chains, increasing regulatory scrutiny, and/or causing reputational harm. In 2021, the average cost of a data breach (including ransom payments and customer compensation) was $4.24 million per incident (the highest level in 17 years),8 and the global cost of cybercrime is expected to be $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. 9 Companies with marketable client or intellectual property information face increased financial risk as a result of the impact that data has on both their value and brand loyalty. Furthermore, firms that rely heavily on real-time operations can expect high per-minute costs of lost opportunity and revenue if a denial-of-service (DoS) attack occurs. As a result, while some attacks may result in no direct material loss, these risks can have a significant impact on a company's valuation by influencing brand perception and operating costs. Private companies should consider these potential risks when evaluating cybersecurity investments, as underspending can significantly increase long-term costs. Cybersecurity is a widespread and rapidly growing issue that has significant material impacts on private companies.These risks are especially relevant as private companies prepare to enter public markets, where strict oversight controls are regarded as good governance. Companies, in our opinion, must have the necessary expertise and infrastructure to navigate these significant risks and the corresponding increase in regulation and disclosure expectations.

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Insurance Technology

How the Blockchain is Revolutionizing the Auto Insurance Industry

Article | July 14, 2022

The blockchain has penetrated the mainstream. We predicted this in our 2019 article “Blockchain-as-a-Service: the Accelerator for Blockchain Adoption” where we talked about the technology's ease of integration. Companies can seamlessly adopt blockchain technologies by referring to existing use cases like smart contracts, data authentication, and asset management. They can also take advantage of open-source materials. With the blockchain's accessibility on top of its formidable qualities, it’s no surprise that the digital ledger system is being integrated into every industry–from banking and healthcare to gaming and cybersecurity. As a cornerstone of the rise of financial technology or fintech, another industry it’s now serving is auto insurance. Here’s how the blockchain is revolutionizing the auto insurance industry: Benefits of the blockchain in auto insurance Multiple back-and-forths can slow down the manual processing of both insurance contracts and filed claims. Blockchain-based tools can speed this up by accessing necessary information through the data network. Insurers can easily access and verify the personally-identifiable information (PII) required for insurance contracts via the blockchain, as well. This means no lengthy coordination with other parties, shorter queuing time, and less paperwork. Moreover, the blockchain helps those who buy auto insurance worry less about their PII being used by malicious individuals and organizations. Monash University asserts blockchain security effectiveness by pointing out how its design can alert any network of even the most minor changes to the data it contains. This is because blocks containing data are marked with hashes–input strings of computation characters–that become invalid when information is modified. When hashes become invalid, the network is notified. With such a prompt and responsive alert system, insurance agencies can easily detect hacking activities to protect sensitive data. Blockchain applications in auto insurance The most significant benefit of the blockchain’s application in auto insurance arguably lies in optimizing property and casualty (P&C) insurance verification processes. Sound Dollar defines property and casualty insurance as coverage for any damage the possessions stipulated in your contract incurs. Blockchain-based tools, like smart contracts, can immediately gather relevant information from an insurer's network to verify damaged possessions. It can also identify which ones are covered by your insurance contract. This streamlined verification process saves insurers billions of dollars in operational costs and makes filing a claim much easier for the client. The blockchain can also be used to minimize and prevent fraud. Some of the best blockchain-based tools can identify whether an individual claims payouts from multiple insurers. These tools cross-check PII and non-PII with salient information from claims filed elsewhere to check for similarities. Moreover, the Insurance Innovation Reporter found that advancements in anti-fraud blockchain technology can detect third-party helpers, such as garages and brokers. This enables insurers to expand their data on fraudulent networks and prevent future cases of fraud. Challenges to full implementation of the blockchain in auto insurance Before full-on integration, developers and businesses have to address data integrity. While blockchain data cannot be edited, it does not ascertain that encoded information is true. This means data has to be verified before it's encoded on the blockchain. Blockchain-based technology is also expected to become more expensive in the coming years. As it becomes mainstream, demand for the technology and relevant development research will further drive operation and maintenance costs upwards. There is still much work to be done if the auto insurance industry wishes to fully integrate the blockchain into its workflows. But with the long-term benefits it brings, insurers and clients alike will undoubtedly look to blockchain-based technology for improved services and a better overall experience.

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Claims

Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound?

Article | September 14, 2021

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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Spotlight

AAIS

The American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) is a member-owned, non-profit national insurance advisory organization that provides specialized services to property/casualty insurers.

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Risk Management

Nearmap Announces Agreement to Acquire Betterview, a Complementary Property Intelligence and Risk Management Platform

Nearmap | December 07, 2023

Nearmap, one of the world's largest location intelligence and aerial imagery solutions providers, has signed an agreement to acquire Betterview, a leading property intelligence and risk management platform in the insurance industry. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap expanded operations into the U.S. in 2014 to help companies better visualize the truth on the ground to make more informed business decisions. Today's announcement marks a significant milestone in the advancement of the Nearmap global growth strategy. This will reinforce the company's position as a leading source of imagery intelligence, data and solutions, and expand and complement its expertise and capabilities for insurance customers and partners. "The Nearmap acquisition of Betterview is transformative for the industry," said Andy Watt, CEO of Nearmap. Integrating the Betterview platform and AI solutions into the Nearmap technology stack will enable better visualization of the truth on the ground with a richer, more powerful set of AI capabilities that combine the best of both companies. This is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to innovate solutions for insurance carriers, and expand our presence within the property and casualty space. [Source -PR Newswire] Betterview is an established and trusted source of property intelligence and risk management for the insurance industry, applying artificial intelligence and computer vision to help identify and mitigate property risk, improve and automate underwriting and inspection workflows, and provide a more productive, seamless customer experience. "Combining the offerings of two best-in-class providers will deliver greater impact for insurers," said Betterview Co-Founder and CEO David Lyman. "The acquisition of Betterview by Nearmap will increase access to premium imagery and cutting-edge, scalable property intelligence solutions for the insurance industry." "We are optimistic about the outcomes this acquisition will bring to our customers, the potential for developing even greater products together, and the impact it will have on the future of the insurance industry," said Betterview Co-Founder and COO Dave Tobias. Nearmap and Betterview will harness the power of the leading image intelligence and property risk-management technology solutions — including a historical archive for change analysis, comprehensive post-catastrophe imagery, and AI attributes — to provide customers and partners with greater certainty and clarity, through More efficient development of insurance solutions and capabilities Faster and more accurate underwriting, property condition identification, and overall mitigation of risk Enhanced visualization and interpretation of over 100 AI-powered property attributes Deeper analytics, with more recency, and regularity through insights easily accessible within a browser, via API or business intelligence tools, or seamlessly integrated with existing underwriting or claims core systems From imagery to insights to answers, this acquisition aligns with the Nearmap long-term global vision to be the source of truth that shapes our livable world. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Jefferies served as exclusive financial advisor to Betterview. About Nearmap Nearmap provides easy, instant access to high-resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, AI data sets, and geospatial tools. Using its own patented camera systems and processing software, Nearmap captures wide-scale urban areas in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand several times each year, making current content instantly available in the cloud via web app or API integration. Every day, Nearmap helps thousands of users conduct virtual site visits for deep, data-driven insights—enabling informed decisions, streamlined operations, and better financial performance. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap is one of the largest aerial survey companies in the world. About Betterview Betterview is the Property Intelligence & Risk Management Solution the insurance industry depends on to identify and mitigate property risk, improve underwriting and inspection efficiency, and build a more transparent customer experience. Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer vision to aerial imagery and geospatial data, Betterview generates the most accurate property information insurers trust to automate pricing, underwriting, and renewals while focusing strategic action on critical properties, helping transform property insurance from Repair and Replace to Predict and Prevent.

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Core Insurance

NAIC Members Approve Model Bulletin on Use of AI by Insurers

NAIC | December 06, 2023

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Membership voted to adopt the Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence Systems by Insurers during the 2023 Fall National Meeting. The bulletin reflects the work of the NAIC Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Technology (H) Committee, chaired by Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane. Michael Conway, Commissioner of the Colorado Division of Insurance, and Doug Ommen, Commissioner of the Iowa Insurance Division, are co-vice chairs of the committee. "This initiative represents a collaborative effort to set clear expectations for state Departments of Insurance regarding the utilization of AI by insurance companies, balancing the potential for innovation with the imperative to address unique risks," said Commissioner Birrane. As the insurance sector navigates the complexities of AI, the NAIC's Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence Systems by Insurers provides a robust foundation to safeguard consumers, promote fairness, and uphold the highest standards of integrity within the industry. [Source -PR Newswire] The H Committee, comprised of representatives from 15 states, began drafting the bulletin in 2023 with the goal of establishing comprehensive regulatory standards to ensure the responsible deployment of AI in the insurance industry. The bulletin addresses critical issues related to the usage of AI, such as potential inaccuracies, unfair biases leading to discrimination, and data vulnerabilities. While not a model law or regulation, the AI model bulletin serves as a guiding document, fostering uniformity among state insurance regulators regarding expectations for insurance carriers deploying AI. The bulletin comprises four key sections, each addressing crucial aspects of AI usage by insurers. It emphasizes the importance of responsible governance, risk management policies, and procedures to ensure fair and accurate outcomes for consumers. The bulletin reminds insurance carriers that decisions impacting consumers that are made or supported by advanced analytical and computational technologies, including AI, must comply with all applicable insurance laws and regulations, including unfair trade practices. The bulletin also sets forth state insurance regulators' expectations on how insurers should govern the use of such technologies by or on behalf of the insurer to make or support such decisions, including the creation and implementation of a written AIS Program, commensurate with an assessment of the risk in accordance with the guidelines established by the NAIC's 2020 Principles of Artificial Intelligence, and to ensure that decisions impacting consumers made or supported by AI are accurate and do not violate unfair trade practice laws or other applicable legal standards. The bulletin also advises insurers of documentation that a state Department of Insurance may request during an investigation or examination. The initial draft was presented to the working group on June 29, 2023, and subsequently exposed for public comment periods, allowing for extensive input from industry stakeholders, consumers, and legislators. The process involved two exposure periods, with the first public comment period ending on Sept. 5, 2023, and the second ending on Nov. 6, 2023. The review process also included in-person comments during the 2023 Summer National Meeting in Seattle, WA, and during the 2023 Fall National Meeting in Orlando, FL. Significant updates were made to the model bulletin based on the feedback received. These updates addressed concerns raised during the review process, including a shift in focus toward outcomes, revisions to key definitions aligned with National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) standards, and updates to language on third-party contracting and testing and validation protocols. Commissioner Birrane expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts of the H Committee, drafting groups, and all stakeholders involved. The completion and adoption of the model bulletin mark a significant step forward in adapting regulatory frameworks to the evolving landscape of AI in the insurance industry. About the National Association of Insurance Commissioners As part of our state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides expertise, data, and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. The U.S. standard-setting organization is governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer reviews, and coordinate regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally.

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Insurance Technology

Integrity and Hemati Insurance Agency Join Forces to Strengthen Expansive Services for Agents

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC | December 05, 2023

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has partnered with Hemati Insurance Agency, an independent marketing organization based in Austin, Texas, and led by Eric Hemati. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed. "Eric comes to Integrity with two decades of experience and a deep understanding of this business, but he knew there would be more opportunities for growth through our partnership — he wanted to help even more people and offer the strongest support and products possible to his agents," explained Bryan W. Adams, Co-Founder and CEO of Integrity. "We created Integrity precisely to give leaders, like Eric, the meaningful foundation and cutting-edge resources they need to take an agency to the next level. Now that Hemati Insurance Agency is partnered with Integrity, it can tap into an amazing network of expertise and experience. Our partners are positioned to help one another expand and thrive, which stems from our philosophy that a rising tide lifts all boats. I can't wait to see the 'Integrity Effect' of powerful growth make an impact on Hemati Insurance Agency — this business will be one to watch!" After spending several years in the field, Hemati brought a valuable agent perspective when founding Hemati Insurance Agency in 2003. The company provides clients across the country with life and health insurance products. In order to help protect more families, Hemati focuses on optimizing the agent experience by constantly expanding its support, mentorship and technology offerings. This commitment led to a partnership with Integrity. "Integrity is a force multiplier! Its vision of bringing together world-class services, technology and leaders to elevate agents' potential is an approach I resonated with immediately," shared Eric Hemati, Principal of Hemati Insurance Agency. Integrity has also created the dream team of partners in the insurance space — these are the leading players in the industry who have founded some of the country's most successful agencies. The opportunity to tap into their wisdom and collective experience is a game-changer for any entrepreneur. My agents are thrilled to utilize Integrity's best-in-class products, especially LeadCENTER and MedicareCENTER, which take the guesswork out of prospecting and allow us to help more people faster and more efficiently. This partnership is a major milestone for our business and significantly accelerates our growth. With Integrity's support, our future looks exceptionally promising. [Source -PR Newswire] By developing thoughtful solutions and best-in-class products, Integrity offers resources that make an agent's job more effective and fulfilling. Its end-to-end insurtech platform offers proprietary access to groundbreaking products such as Ask Integrity, a revolutionary AI-powered and voice-activated customer relationship management technology, and LeadCENTER, an on-demand platform which instantly connects qualified leads anywhere in the country with agents ready to serve. Integrity partners receive additional world-class resources and support, including strategic leadership guidance, richly insightful data and analytics, and ongoing product innovation to keep agents at the forefront of industry developments. Integrity empowers agents to reach more families through its holistic approach to life, health and wealth solutions. The Integrity partner network, comprised of many of the country's leading insurance and financial services companies, recognizes the growing need for cross-industry initiatives to offer comprehensive planning and services to every consumer. This prestigious group is collaborating on best practices and innovations that benefit all stakeholders. Their ingenuity and commitment help more Americans plan for the good days ahead. About Integrity Integrity, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of innovative solutions for wealth management and retirement planning. Through its broad partner network of agents and advisors, Integrity helps millions of Americans protect their life, health and wealth with a commitment to meet them wherever they are — in person, over the phone and online. Integrity's proprietary, cutting-edge technology helps expand the insurance and financial planning experience for all stakeholders using an omnichannel approach. In addition, Integrity develops products with carrier partners and markets them compliantly through its nationwide distribution network. Providing best-in-class service to our clients and consumers is at the center of Integrity's holistic approach to life, health and wealth protection. The company and its partners focus on helping families and individuals prepare for the good days ahead, so they can make the most of what life brings. About Hemati Insurance Agency Hemati Insurance Agency has rapidly become a key and influential player in the insurance industry. The Austin, Texas-based agency focuses on empowering its agents, thereby ensuring the best possible service for its clients. Hemati Insurance Agency consistently provides in-depth training, resources and support designed to help its team of hundreds of agents work more efficiently and effectively. It is also committed to delivering a wide range of personalized solutions that help protect more than 20,000 American families annually.

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Risk Management

Nearmap Announces Agreement to Acquire Betterview, a Complementary Property Intelligence and Risk Management Platform

Nearmap | December 07, 2023

Nearmap, one of the world's largest location intelligence and aerial imagery solutions providers, has signed an agreement to acquire Betterview, a leading property intelligence and risk management platform in the insurance industry. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap expanded operations into the U.S. in 2014 to help companies better visualize the truth on the ground to make more informed business decisions. Today's announcement marks a significant milestone in the advancement of the Nearmap global growth strategy. This will reinforce the company's position as a leading source of imagery intelligence, data and solutions, and expand and complement its expertise and capabilities for insurance customers and partners. "The Nearmap acquisition of Betterview is transformative for the industry," said Andy Watt, CEO of Nearmap. Integrating the Betterview platform and AI solutions into the Nearmap technology stack will enable better visualization of the truth on the ground with a richer, more powerful set of AI capabilities that combine the best of both companies. This is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to innovate solutions for insurance carriers, and expand our presence within the property and casualty space. [Source -PR Newswire] Betterview is an established and trusted source of property intelligence and risk management for the insurance industry, applying artificial intelligence and computer vision to help identify and mitigate property risk, improve and automate underwriting and inspection workflows, and provide a more productive, seamless customer experience. "Combining the offerings of two best-in-class providers will deliver greater impact for insurers," said Betterview Co-Founder and CEO David Lyman. "The acquisition of Betterview by Nearmap will increase access to premium imagery and cutting-edge, scalable property intelligence solutions for the insurance industry." "We are optimistic about the outcomes this acquisition will bring to our customers, the potential for developing even greater products together, and the impact it will have on the future of the insurance industry," said Betterview Co-Founder and COO Dave Tobias. Nearmap and Betterview will harness the power of the leading image intelligence and property risk-management technology solutions — including a historical archive for change analysis, comprehensive post-catastrophe imagery, and AI attributes — to provide customers and partners with greater certainty and clarity, through More efficient development of insurance solutions and capabilities Faster and more accurate underwriting, property condition identification, and overall mitigation of risk Enhanced visualization and interpretation of over 100 AI-powered property attributes Deeper analytics, with more recency, and regularity through insights easily accessible within a browser, via API or business intelligence tools, or seamlessly integrated with existing underwriting or claims core systems From imagery to insights to answers, this acquisition aligns with the Nearmap long-term global vision to be the source of truth that shapes our livable world. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Jefferies served as exclusive financial advisor to Betterview. About Nearmap Nearmap provides easy, instant access to high-resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, AI data sets, and geospatial tools. Using its own patented camera systems and processing software, Nearmap captures wide-scale urban areas in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand several times each year, making current content instantly available in the cloud via web app or API integration. Every day, Nearmap helps thousands of users conduct virtual site visits for deep, data-driven insights—enabling informed decisions, streamlined operations, and better financial performance. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap is one of the largest aerial survey companies in the world. About Betterview Betterview is the Property Intelligence & Risk Management Solution the insurance industry depends on to identify and mitigate property risk, improve underwriting and inspection efficiency, and build a more transparent customer experience. Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer vision to aerial imagery and geospatial data, Betterview generates the most accurate property information insurers trust to automate pricing, underwriting, and renewals while focusing strategic action on critical properties, helping transform property insurance from Repair and Replace to Predict and Prevent.

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Core Insurance

NAIC Members Approve Model Bulletin on Use of AI by Insurers

NAIC | December 06, 2023

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Membership voted to adopt the Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence Systems by Insurers during the 2023 Fall National Meeting. The bulletin reflects the work of the NAIC Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Technology (H) Committee, chaired by Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane. Michael Conway, Commissioner of the Colorado Division of Insurance, and Doug Ommen, Commissioner of the Iowa Insurance Division, are co-vice chairs of the committee. "This initiative represents a collaborative effort to set clear expectations for state Departments of Insurance regarding the utilization of AI by insurance companies, balancing the potential for innovation with the imperative to address unique risks," said Commissioner Birrane. As the insurance sector navigates the complexities of AI, the NAIC's Model Bulletin on the Use of Artificial Intelligence Systems by Insurers provides a robust foundation to safeguard consumers, promote fairness, and uphold the highest standards of integrity within the industry. [Source -PR Newswire] The H Committee, comprised of representatives from 15 states, began drafting the bulletin in 2023 with the goal of establishing comprehensive regulatory standards to ensure the responsible deployment of AI in the insurance industry. The bulletin addresses critical issues related to the usage of AI, such as potential inaccuracies, unfair biases leading to discrimination, and data vulnerabilities. While not a model law or regulation, the AI model bulletin serves as a guiding document, fostering uniformity among state insurance regulators regarding expectations for insurance carriers deploying AI. The bulletin comprises four key sections, each addressing crucial aspects of AI usage by insurers. It emphasizes the importance of responsible governance, risk management policies, and procedures to ensure fair and accurate outcomes for consumers. The bulletin reminds insurance carriers that decisions impacting consumers that are made or supported by advanced analytical and computational technologies, including AI, must comply with all applicable insurance laws and regulations, including unfair trade practices. The bulletin also sets forth state insurance regulators' expectations on how insurers should govern the use of such technologies by or on behalf of the insurer to make or support such decisions, including the creation and implementation of a written AIS Program, commensurate with an assessment of the risk in accordance with the guidelines established by the NAIC's 2020 Principles of Artificial Intelligence, and to ensure that decisions impacting consumers made or supported by AI are accurate and do not violate unfair trade practice laws or other applicable legal standards. The bulletin also advises insurers of documentation that a state Department of Insurance may request during an investigation or examination. The initial draft was presented to the working group on June 29, 2023, and subsequently exposed for public comment periods, allowing for extensive input from industry stakeholders, consumers, and legislators. The process involved two exposure periods, with the first public comment period ending on Sept. 5, 2023, and the second ending on Nov. 6, 2023. The review process also included in-person comments during the 2023 Summer National Meeting in Seattle, WA, and during the 2023 Fall National Meeting in Orlando, FL. Significant updates were made to the model bulletin based on the feedback received. These updates addressed concerns raised during the review process, including a shift in focus toward outcomes, revisions to key definitions aligned with National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) standards, and updates to language on third-party contracting and testing and validation protocols. Commissioner Birrane expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts of the H Committee, drafting groups, and all stakeholders involved. The completion and adoption of the model bulletin mark a significant step forward in adapting regulatory frameworks to the evolving landscape of AI in the insurance industry. About the National Association of Insurance Commissioners As part of our state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides expertise, data, and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. The U.S. standard-setting organization is governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer reviews, and coordinate regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally.

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Insurance Technology

Integrity and Hemati Insurance Agency Join Forces to Strengthen Expansive Services for Agents

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC | December 05, 2023

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of wealth management and retirement planning solutions, today announced it has partnered with Hemati Insurance Agency, an independent marketing organization based in Austin, Texas, and led by Eric Hemati. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed. "Eric comes to Integrity with two decades of experience and a deep understanding of this business, but he knew there would be more opportunities for growth through our partnership — he wanted to help even more people and offer the strongest support and products possible to his agents," explained Bryan W. Adams, Co-Founder and CEO of Integrity. "We created Integrity precisely to give leaders, like Eric, the meaningful foundation and cutting-edge resources they need to take an agency to the next level. Now that Hemati Insurance Agency is partnered with Integrity, it can tap into an amazing network of expertise and experience. Our partners are positioned to help one another expand and thrive, which stems from our philosophy that a rising tide lifts all boats. I can't wait to see the 'Integrity Effect' of powerful growth make an impact on Hemati Insurance Agency — this business will be one to watch!" After spending several years in the field, Hemati brought a valuable agent perspective when founding Hemati Insurance Agency in 2003. The company provides clients across the country with life and health insurance products. In order to help protect more families, Hemati focuses on optimizing the agent experience by constantly expanding its support, mentorship and technology offerings. This commitment led to a partnership with Integrity. "Integrity is a force multiplier! Its vision of bringing together world-class services, technology and leaders to elevate agents' potential is an approach I resonated with immediately," shared Eric Hemati, Principal of Hemati Insurance Agency. Integrity has also created the dream team of partners in the insurance space — these are the leading players in the industry who have founded some of the country's most successful agencies. The opportunity to tap into their wisdom and collective experience is a game-changer for any entrepreneur. My agents are thrilled to utilize Integrity's best-in-class products, especially LeadCENTER and MedicareCENTER, which take the guesswork out of prospecting and allow us to help more people faster and more efficiently. This partnership is a major milestone for our business and significantly accelerates our growth. With Integrity's support, our future looks exceptionally promising. [Source -PR Newswire] By developing thoughtful solutions and best-in-class products, Integrity offers resources that make an agent's job more effective and fulfilling. Its end-to-end insurtech platform offers proprietary access to groundbreaking products such as Ask Integrity, a revolutionary AI-powered and voice-activated customer relationship management technology, and LeadCENTER, an on-demand platform which instantly connects qualified leads anywhere in the country with agents ready to serve. Integrity partners receive additional world-class resources and support, including strategic leadership guidance, richly insightful data and analytics, and ongoing product innovation to keep agents at the forefront of industry developments. Integrity empowers agents to reach more families through its holistic approach to life, health and wealth solutions. The Integrity partner network, comprised of many of the country's leading insurance and financial services companies, recognizes the growing need for cross-industry initiatives to offer comprehensive planning and services to every consumer. This prestigious group is collaborating on best practices and innovations that benefit all stakeholders. Their ingenuity and commitment help more Americans plan for the good days ahead. About Integrity Integrity, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a leading distributor of life and health insurance, and provider of innovative solutions for wealth management and retirement planning. Through its broad partner network of agents and advisors, Integrity helps millions of Americans protect their life, health and wealth with a commitment to meet them wherever they are — in person, over the phone and online. Integrity's proprietary, cutting-edge technology helps expand the insurance and financial planning experience for all stakeholders using an omnichannel approach. In addition, Integrity develops products with carrier partners and markets them compliantly through its nationwide distribution network. Providing best-in-class service to our clients and consumers is at the center of Integrity's holistic approach to life, health and wealth protection. The company and its partners focus on helping families and individuals prepare for the good days ahead, so they can make the most of what life brings. About Hemati Insurance Agency Hemati Insurance Agency has rapidly become a key and influential player in the insurance industry. The Austin, Texas-based agency focuses on empowering its agents, thereby ensuring the best possible service for its clients. Hemati Insurance Agency consistently provides in-depth training, resources and support designed to help its team of hundreds of agents work more efficiently and effectively. It is also committed to delivering a wide range of personalized solutions that help protect more than 20,000 American families annually.

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