The economy is slowing down: what does it mean for insurance companies?

Since 2010, as countries waded out of the recession of 2008, they enjoyed economic growth. Coupled with technological innovation, the global economy really got a boost. But, mirroring Nature’s cycles, it seems it is now time to hit a plateau and slow down. In this article, we explore why the slowdown could be happening and more importantly, what it means for us in the insurance industry.

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Clark Insurance

Clark Insurance is a 100% employee-owned Insurance agency offering a full array of commercial, personal & employee benefits insurance products and value-added services.

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Insurance Technology

Unlocking the potential of deeper customer-agent-insurer relationships

Article | July 14, 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

Why Are Insurers Excited about Embedded Insurance?

Article | August 9, 2022

The traditional insurance business has been resistant to technological change for a long time. However, the industry has made significant progress over the last decade due to the implementation of the innovative InsurTech solution, which disrupted long-held market patterns. Technological changes have made insurers work intelligently through new strategies for attracting a new generation of customers. Embedded insurance is a trillion-dollar opportunity for insurers, giving them the chance to make new streams of money and lower their costs of distribution. In totality, embedded insurance is a new frontier of product innovation in insurance based on rising customer use of digital services. It presents a $3 trillion market potential in the finance industry. Narrowing the Gap that Existed Embedding digital into insurance eradicated all the gaps that existed before. Earlier, many customers felt a burden or found it unnecessary to purchase a one-off insurance policy to protect a new possession. In contrast, at present, embedded insurance products for customers are covered with protection against losses. This has given customers the ultimate peace of mind. InsureTech has provided insurers with improved data capture tools to conduct faster and more customized underwriting with applications. To reinvent insurance business models, embedded insurance as one of the InsurTech solutions has appeared efficient in filling the gaps in the insurance business. Most insurance companies proactively recognize gaps such as irrelevant data capture, inaccurate customer information, and sluggish data retrieval processes. Thus, they are attempting to incorporate their products into an embedded structure where they can engage with digitally relevant consumers at their chosen time and place. Hence, embedded business intelligence for insurance creates a win-win situation for both the consumer and the insurer in the future. Embedded Insurance Presents Opportunities Why is embedded insurance becoming popular? Because it empowers customers the most. Embedded insurance is beneficial to insurers seeking new ways to reach wider audience in one go. According to Bazaarvoice, a software technology company, 47% of consumers worldwide and 65% of US buyers now purchase online insurance products and services more frequently compared to the years from 2017 to 2020. Today, with the help of technology, most insurance companies now embed their products virtually anywhere through open APIs. So, by integrating products into a virtual platform, insurers can deliver personalized products within a suitable period, perform real-time risk assessments, gain data, and calculate accurate pricing. The insurers who gain this edge of benefit from technology need to be prepared to learn everything they can about their customers’ insights, behavior, requirements, and inclinations. Embedded Insurance: Today and Beyond Embedded insurance is a fantastic tool for insurers to enhance insurance penetration, particularly in the remote workspace model. However, to succeed with it, firms must find the correct balance between speed and efficiency of operations, detailed study of customer interests, and compliance with data. Having mentioned that, it is emerging as a new way to distribute insurance services online efficiently, solving the protection gap to expand in the future.

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Insurance Technology

Insurance Technology Trends That Will Shape the Industry in 2022

Article | July 20, 2022

The world is changing at a rapid pace, and no industry is immune to the need to evolve, upgrade, and innovate. The effects of mass digitization, artificial intelligence, machine learning, climate change, and the rise of financial-based cybercrime are all being felt in the business world. At the same time, consumer expectations have shifted dramatically, thanks in large part to companies like Netflix and Amazon, which have the technology and business models to provide the instant access to products and services that today's consumers have come to expect. When these changes are considered, it becomes clear that no industry, not even one as traditional, robust, and stable as the insurance industry, can afford to stand still. Trend 1: CARE-Based Distribution Channels Insurance companies are engaged in a "digital arms race," rushing to equip their distribution channels with digital tools to improve customer experiences. While CARE is the core experience that most insurance companies strive to provide in both distribution and sales, few achieve it consistently. Trend 2: Quicker Payouts Pay cycle time is fast becoming one of the most important differentiators between insurance companies. The winners of the future will use insurance technology to help them resolve claims quickly, at the touch of a button. To this end, companies are adopting AI-enabled tools to automate both estimation and inspection. Telematics insurance solutions are expected to provide greater levels of contextual information that will support the smoother, faster, and more comprehensive settlement of claims. Trend 3: The Rise of Usage-Based Models As the pandemic made consumers aware of the waste involved in paying for insurance on cars that sit unused in driveways, interest in usage-based insurance products skyrocketed in 2021. As the nature of work changes and many people's daily commutes become obsolete, winning insurance companies will offer products that are more in line with how their customers live today. Telematics devices will allow insurers to offer products based on how and how far users drive. Trend 4: Intelligent Automation For a long time, the insurance industry has been experimenting with automation. The first phase was robotic process automation (RPA), which was viewed as a way to speed up processes and reduce costs without requiring significant changes to the underlying applications. While this was effective at capturing low-hanging fruit—those ubiquitous repetitive steps that were an unnecessary feature of so many insurance processes—it never really attacked productivity and core functions that required automation.

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Insurance Technology

4 Aspects of Cyber Insurance that SMBs Must Know

Article | July 19, 2022

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

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Clark Insurance

Clark Insurance is a 100% employee-owned Insurance agency offering a full array of commercial, personal & employee benefits insurance products and value-added services.

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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.

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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.

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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