The benefits and limitations of small business insurance

Small business insurance can help you comply with state laws, protect your employees, and win more clients. There are numerous examples of small businesses that have experienced significant troubles by failing to insure themselves, not buying enough insurance, or getting the wrong type of coverage. But in some instances, neglecting to purchase small business insurance is not just risky: It’s illegal.

Spotlight

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group

An independent, specialist financial services group, we’re a commercial business with a charitable purpose. We grant a significant proportion of our profits to our charitable owner, which invests them independently into communities. We also have our own charitable giving programme. Since 2014 we have given £50m to good causes and our new target is to give a further £100m.

OTHER ARTICLES
Automobile Insurance, Insurance Technology

Innovation rises to meet disability and long-term care risk

Article | December 19, 2022

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are learning to live with it and mitigate its risks. While older adults have suffered disproportionately from the health impacts of COVID, they have also suffered from the effects of efforts to control its spread. Infection rates rose in recent months, and many long-term care facilities again closed their doors to visitors. This left many families separated from elderly and disabled loved ones during the holiday period.

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Core Insurance, Risk Management

Advancement of Technology in the Insurance Industry

Article | September 22, 2022

In the 21st century, we have witnessed high technological advancement. Just like any other industry, the insurance sector is transforming at a rapid speed. With the changes in demands and expectations of customers, insurers are seeking digital innovation and transformation that not only meet the requirements but also reduces their costs. So, here are a few that are set to engulf the entire industry for the better. These tech trends will help both insurers and customers to achieve what matters the most efficiently. Artificial intelligence For Process Improvement AI tends to disrupt the insurance industry more than any other technology. The main advantages that insurers can claim with AI include reduced claim costs, identifying insurance fraud, and mining voice data for improved customer service. The more an insurer will understand and use this technology, the better they will survive the competition. Customers usually look for a personalized experience when it comes to buying something especially as crucial as insurance. Artificial Intelligence provides the ability to create a personalized experience for a vast amount of users based on the data collected. It also enables fast data access and rapid reporting by removing the human element from the process. Blockchain for Secured Records With the amount of security required in the insurance records and claims, blockchain seems to be the most powerful technology for the upcoming revolution. The thriving technology behind the cryptocurrency has become the center of attention for insurance enterprises. Blockchain having the capability to encrypt all the data can decrease the number of fraudulent transactions, loss of data, and scams. IoT For Protecting Investment IoT (Internet of Things) is a technology trend that can be used to connect different objects to the internet. Be it a car, smartwatch, or a refrigerator. For insurance companies, it can be the most awaited blessing as IoT can help in detecting any problem before the actual damage take place. With the help of this technology, insurers can alert the customers in advance about the problems they might face through vehicle tracking, biometrics, and weather sensing. All of this makes it a win-win situation for both consumers and insurers. Automation For Ease of Verification Automation along with machine learning will drive better efficiency in the insurance sector. Having the intelligent system as support, insurers are exploring the more complex processes that can be automated. Some of which entails verification and approval of claims, customized interactions with customers, acquiring insights of the customers, property assessments, and detection of fraud. Adopt New Tech To Succeed As the competitors of insurance companies are moving ahead, more organizations need to adopt these emerging technologies. Moreover, techs like blockchain and automation are ready to provide more efficient processes. On the other hand, AI and IoT will help in offering personalized experiences while lowering the cost. Besides, a company or insurer can also hire developers to develop their system or application that can provide all the customization and security needed in the processing.

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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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Insurance Technology

Security Think Up: It’s Time to Give a Thought About Cyber Insurance

Article | July 7, 2022

The rise in remote work during and after the pandemic has increased cyber vulnerabilities significantly. Cyber insurance protects your company from the financial consequences of cyber threats or data breaches involving computer systems and data. Credit card numbers, social security numbers, account numbers, health records, and driver's license numbers are examples of sensitive customer information. According to a recent SBA survey, 88% of small business owners believe they are vulnerable to a cyberattack. If your company is a victim of cybercrime, the cost of recovery can be prohibitively expensive, including specialized repairs and legal fees. One of the most difficult challenges is quantifying cyber risk. Although approaches and frameworks like NIST CSF, CIS 20, NCSC Cyber Essentials, and ISO 270001 aid in the development of cyber security capabilities, they do not provide the tools to quantify risk. As a result, leaders frequently overestimate their cyber maturity while underestimating cyber insurance premiums. Potential Cyberattack Types are: Breach of data: A breach occurs when critical information, such as personal financial information, is stolen. Cyber-attacks on computers:Your computer system is hacked and compromised in this type of cyberattack. Extortion via the internet:During an extortion threat to your company's computer system, thieves may demand ransom payments. To address these issues, a variety of approaches can be used, ranging from zero-trust models to multi-factor authentication (MFA) and end-point detection and response (EDR) (EDR and XDR). Protective monitoring, encryption applied to the most critical aspects of your network, and patch management processes can also provide insurers with the assurance they require. There are options for both small and large amounts of cyber liability coverage. A small cyber liability insurance policy could be added to the policy of a business owner. A larger cyber liability policy with higher limits would necessitate its own policy. Furthermore, they provide a real-time view of compliance through a risk-based approach that is consolidated, consistent, and aggregated across the entire organization. Workflow automation can help the IRM system become more efficient. By consolidating your risk management processes, you can ensure that controls continue to deliver on their objectives and demonstrate compliance with policies, standards, and regulations while having a lower impact on your day-to-day operational demands. All of this will make it easier to meet cyber insurers' requirements and give organizations confidence that their policy will protect them when they need it.

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Spotlight

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group

An independent, specialist financial services group, we’re a commercial business with a charitable purpose. We grant a significant proportion of our profits to our charitable owner, which invests them independently into communities. We also have our own charitable giving programme. Since 2014 we have given £50m to good causes and our new target is to give a further £100m.

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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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