Article | July 15, 2022
Underwriting has historically been one of the most data-intensive areas of insurance. But when it comes to looking at investments and results, data and information handling for underwriting at most carriers is still disjointed and disconnected. This is underwriting’s version of the digital divide we’ve been discussing in this series, and it leads to inefficiencies and ineffective underwriting.
The divide exists because today’s underwriting platforms have not evolved to meet the needs of a modern digital carrier. To see why, let’s take a quick look at the history of these platforms. The first generation of underwriting platforms was built to provide rating systems and core policy management needed to price and administer the underwriting of policies. The technology they run on has changed from mainframe to servers to the cloud, but the platforms themselves remain focused on managing the least information necessary to price and maintain the policy.
Article | July 19, 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.
Article | July 13, 2022
As AI becomes more deeply integrated into the industry, carriers must position themselves to respond to the changing business landscape. Insurance executives are expected to understand the factors driving this shift and how AI in insurance will impact claims, distribution, underwriting, and pricing. They can start to learn the skills and talent they need, embrace new technology in the insurance industry, and build the culture and perspective they need to be successful in the future insurance market with this grip.
While there are four types of levers that might help with productivity efforts—functional excellence, structural simplification, business transformation, and enterprise agility—insurers typically focus on the first two. Those levers are the foundation of efficient and effective operations, it isn't easy to leapfrog them. Traditional industry barriers are dissolving while technology advances and customer expectations vary dramatically. Ecosystems, which are groups of services that work together in a single integrated experience, are becoming more common across industries. Platforms that connect offerings from different industries are also becoming more common.
In an interview with Media 7, Darcy Shapiro, COO of Americas at Cover Genius, talked about the changing expectations of consumers in the insurance industry.
“Consumers expect brands to provide the same high-quality day-to-day experiences directly within the digital platforms they use most. Insurance should be no different.”
Darcy Shapiro, COO of Americas at Cover Genius
The Increasing Acceptance of Parametric Insurance
In contrast to traditional policies, which are paid based on actual loss incurrence, metric insurance has been around for a while, providing payouts when a specific event exceeds an agreed-upon threshold. Previously being used specifically for natural disaster coverage and supplied to countries and large corporations, parametric insurance is making a comeback today. Advancements in sensor technology, data analytics, and Artificial Intelligence (AI in insurance) create broader information indexes on various levels, which opens up parametric risk applications in novel ways.
A reinsurance company recently introduced a parametric water-level insurance product to shield businesses from the financial consequences of high or low river water levels. The program considers measured water levels at specific river gauges and agrees to pay a fixed amount for each day that the index remains below a predetermined threshold value. Other new-generation parametric solutions include terrorism protection for cities and airports, protection for retailers when transit strikes cut down on pedestrian traffic, and help for hotels when there are outbreaks.
The advantages of parametric insurance include faster delivery and avoiding lengthy claims investigations. Furthermore, since parametric products have less uncertainty than traditional insurance, premiums can be significantly lower. In terms of technology, parametric insurance is best suited to blockchain technology, with smart contracts that pay out automatically when certain parameters are met.
A Flood of Data from Connected Devices
Fitness bands, home assistants, smartwatches, and other smart devices are rapidly becoming a part of our daily lives. In addition, smart clothing and medical devices will soon join the fray.
Sensor-equipped equipment has long been common in industrial settings, but the number of connected consumer products is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. Existing gadgets (such as automobiles, fitness trackers, home assistants, smartphones, and smartwatches) will continue to grow. In contrast, new and expanding categories (such as clothing, eyewear, home appliances, medical devices, and shoes) will join them. According to analysts, interconnected devices will reach one trillion by 2025.
The data generated by these devices will result in a flood of new data that carriers can use to understand their customers better, resulting in new product categories, more customized pricing, and an increase in real-time service delivery.
The insurance industry can mine the data generated by these smart devices to better understand their customers’ preferences. This information can also assist insurers in developing new and more personalized product categories.
The Rise of the Insurance Ecosystem
According to McKinsey, insurance ecosystems will generate 30% of global revenue by 2025.
With an expanding array of data sources and a data-driven culture, many insurers will soon be able to plug into and exploit data from complementing firms. These agreements are evolving to involve traditional insurers as well as technology companies. For example, an insurance firm in Europe teamed up with a smart-home technology vendor to improve its home insurance. The latter's technology can detect smoke and carbon monoxide, preventing losses. In addition, a global initiative of a major reinsurance company is developing an ecosystem for InsurTech start-ups and digital distributors. Recent McKinsey research also shows that the insurance business has been having a hard time making efficiency gains for a long time.
Moreover, the operating expense disparity between the best and worst performers in P & C and life has widened over the last decade. Functional excellence, structural simplicity, business transformation, and enterprise agility are four productivity levers that insurers often focus on. Those levers are essential to efficient and productive operations. Ecosystems, which are groups of services that work together, are formed across industries and platforms that connect offerings from different sectors.
Insurers may use ecosystems to integrate their products into seamless client experiences. Ecosystems are essential in today's interconnected world, whether you want to build direct relationships with customers or work with companies that act as the customer interface.
Advancements in Cognitive Technology
Cognition is a critical component of AI in insurance. AI cognitive technologies mimic how the human brain functions. In addition, new technology may make it easier to process huge amounts of data, especially from active insurance products that are linked to specific people.
Carriers can constantly learn and adapt to the world thanks to cognitive technologies. As a result, it can enable insurance companies to introduce new product categories and engagement techniques and respond in real-time to changing underlying risks. In addition, convolutional neural networks and other deep learning technologies, which are currently used primarily for image, audio, and unstructured text processing, will be used in various applications in the future of insurance industry.
Article | December 27, 2021
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.