Top 10 Mistakes That Many First Time Homebuyers Make

Purchasing your first home can be scary and confusing as well as exciting. There are dozens of decisions to be made and if you are not careful you may make a mistake that you will have to live with for years.  If you are in the market for your first home, or have been in your current home for decades and just need a quick refresher, we have you covered. Here are 10 mistakes that many first time homebuyers make and how to avoid them: Not Applying For a Mortgage First: Always talk to a mortgage lender before you start shopping for a home. This will give you a leg up on your competition. This is especially true in tight markets where houses go quickly. In addition to showing a seller that you are serious and ready to buy, getting pre-approved for your mortgage will give you a realistic budget so you know exactly how much home you can actually afford. Not Shopping Your Mortgage: While it may be easy to use your bank for your mortgage, not shopping around can be a huge mistake. Interest rates and fees can vary dramatically between lenders so it is a good idea to shop around when getting a mortgage.

Spotlight

Darwin Clayton (UK) Ltd

Darwin Clayton is one of the longest established Independent Insurance Brokers in the UK, and has a reputation for delivering innovative products, quality service and competitive premiums.

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Insurance Technology

Artificial Intelligence Meets the Insurance Industry

Article | July 15, 2022

Through machine learning and deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI) can meet industry expectations. As artificial intelligence becomes more deeply embedded in the insurance industry, industry leaders must position themselves to respond to the changing business landscape. Every day,various factors contribute to the industry's changing landscape. AI is becoming more assertive in insurance, particularly in cost savings, customer service and experience, product innovations, and marketing initiatives. With this understanding, market leaders can develop appropriate revenue-generating strategies, embrace new AI horizons and implement them to develop the perspective required to succeed in the futuristic insurance industry. AI-related Action for Better Forecasting Among insurance executives who have already invested in AI, many new businesses are reaping significant benefits. They have gained the advantages of using AI to improve the customer experience (CX). According to a Deloitte study, approximately 65% believe AI assists in decision-making. Furthermore, according to PwC specialists working with insurers on AI initiatives, businesses are increasingly using AI to: Customize products and services for consumers and other businesses Establish a loyalty framework and upsell among customers Automate more data from social media and other sources for better forecasting Automate more aspects of claim processing Improve fraud detection methods Beginwith customer segmentation to target As a result of these findings, AI investments will benefit insurance companies more than ever before. How Insurers Can Accelerate AI The following points can help insurance businesses accelerate AI and achieve faster ROI. Centralize Business Functionalities Deploying AI into the process aids in the automation of resources, the alignment of tasks, the use of analytics to nurture data, the improvement of governance, and the scaling of solutions. Focus On Data AI in insurance aids in collectingand combining relevant data from consumers and future customers. AI-assisted data collection is faster and more accurate at the appropriate time. In this manner, marketers can plan for future marketing campaigns that will increase engagement and bring in more money. Reduced Risks AI is the most effective at reducing business risks. Also, AI works best for insurers to minimize risks such as data breaches, fraud detection, correct cost segmentation, and budgeting hazards. Some Insights into AI Investment: A Key Decision to Make! As technology continues to empower the insurance sector, let's take a look at how other insurance companies are investing in AI so that you may make the vital decision to incorporate AI into your organization as soon as possible. 65% of businesses found better ways to establisha customer experience base with the help of AI post-2020 49% of businesses have improved their internal decision-making process after adopting AI 56% of businesses were able to reinvent their products and services through AI 47% of businesses operated their business functions more efficiently with AI and increased productivity. 45% of insurance businesses saved substantial costs using AI algorithms 35% ofinsurance businesses have successfully reduced risks associated with their businesses after the deployment of AI. 53% of insurance companies have seen a significant revenue increase by incorporating AI into their processes. These figures are based on a Deloitte’s research study conducted by insurance industry specialists worldwide. Some Possible AI Risks for Businesses Every technology helps businesses gain benefits, but technology installation has to be done correctly to avoid consequences. As a result, insurance companies must exercise caution when implementing AI in their business processes. The possibility of faulty AI implementation could lead to: New cyber hazards New privacy threats Workforce shortages New legal liabilities and reputational risks Customer distrust More complex business modules The lack of AI abilitiesismore challenging, which can affect the entire business sphere, especially the functions that are associated with AI.

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Insurance Technology

5 Things Contractors Can Do About Insurance During Covid-19

Article | July 13, 2022

With the major impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, contractors appreciate the need for insurance coverage even more. You may be safely covered by Force Majeure and pandemic clauses in your policies. However, you may still be wondering how to deal with the associated costs related to the COVID-19 outbreak risks. In this article, let’s look at some of the steps you can take to handle your insurance position during the pandemic.

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Claims

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

Article | July 15, 2022

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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Core Insurance

Advancement of Technology in the Insurance Industry

Article | February 12, 2021

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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Spotlight

Darwin Clayton (UK) Ltd

Darwin Clayton is one of the longest established Independent Insurance Brokers in the UK, and has a reputation for delivering innovative products, quality service and competitive premiums.

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Life Insurance

Norwegian Insurer Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring Goes Live with Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

Sapiens International Corporation, a leading global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, and the leading Norwegian insurance company Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) today announced that GPF has gone live with Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions and Sapiens Cloud Services for their individual savings. GPF is the first Nordic customer to go-live with CoreSuite, which will expand the insurer's digital capabilities and boost its leading market position. Designed to enable greater automation and operational efficiency, Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions provides GPF with an optimised, Norwegian-tailored platform with real-time access to centrally managed data. As a single, unified system on the cloud, CoreSuite provides a cost-efficient, cloud-based IT infrastructure to streamline workflows, accelerate digital transformation and improve customer engagement. The CoreSuite solution is maintained and updated continuously by Sapiens in accordance with the latest technological and regulatory requirements. "Sapiens has now completed the initial phase of our core transformation project to CoreSuite and provided valuable support throughout the journey," said Torstein Ingebretsen, CEO of GPF. A strong core and strategy are essential to GPF's growth in Norway's rapidly changing pensions market." "We are proud to have achieved this important milestone in the Nordics with a regional leader like GPF," added Roni Al-Dor, Sapiens President and CEO. "We will continue to support GPF's journey to drive innovation and set the standard for best-in-class customer service with our transformative, future-oriented, cloud-based IT infrastructure." Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions is a software solution for end-to-end core operations and processes. An award-winning policy administration system, it supports individual and group products across life, health, wealth & retirement. Sapiens Cloud Services supports business growth with a holistic offering of value-added cloud services that provides all operations and application management services under one roof. About Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gjensidige Forsikring. GPF mainly offers defined contribution, investment products, pension plans and risk products for groups and individuals in the Norwegian market. About Sapiens Sapiens International Corporation empowers the financial sector, with a focus on insurance, to transform and become digital, innovative and agile. With more than 40 years of industry expertise, Sapiens' cloud-based SaaS insurance platform offers pre-integrated, low-code capabilities across core, data, and digital domains to accelerate our customers' digital transformation. Serving over 600 customers in more than 30 countries, Sapiens offers insurers across property and casualty, workers' compensation, and life insurance markets the most comprehensive set of solutions, from core to complementary, including Reinsurance, Financial & Compliance, Data & Analytics, Digital, and Decision Management.

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Life Insurance

illumifin Acquires AmeriLife's Administrative Partners of America

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

illumifin, a leading third-party insurance administration and technology provider, today announced it has acquired Administrative Partners of America (APA), the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) of AmeriLife, a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities, and retirement planning solutions. As one of the largest independent marketing organizations (IMO) in the U.S., AmeriLife and APA administer approximately 230,000 policies that generate $3.1 billion of premiums in life insurance, annuities and Medicare Supplement products annually. APA employs nearly 200 associates in Clearwater, Florida, and Salt Lake City, Utah, all of whom will transition to illumifin as part of the sale. Peter Goldstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of illumifin, commented, "This is our second life and annuities acquisition that complements our existing TPA business and further transforms illumifin. We are constantly identifying new opportunities that will enhance our value proposition and make us a key strategic partner to our clients. AmeriLife has a solid platform with key client overlap that strengthens our relationships and opens the door for significant expansion opportunities. We are very excited to build a partnership with AmeriLife to help support their future growth efforts." Scott R. Perry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AmeriLife, added, "illumifin is a great home for our TPA operations, and APA's customers will benefit greatly from access to a broad set of capabilities and scalable services across all lines of business. We're equally as excited to begin a new era of partnership with illumifin, and – together with our carrier partners – introduce new products to market, fuel our collective growth, and continue transforming our industry for years to come." illumifin was formed by Abry Partners, a leading Boston-based private equity firm, and Hoplon Capital, an asset manager focused on digital transformation and disruption. About illumifin illumifin provides third party administration and technology services to individual and group insurers. The company, launched in 2021, blends insurance industry knowledge, technology leadership and operational execution to prepare insurers for the digital future. illumifin is a diverse, passionate and empowered team of insurance specialists committed to the growth and success of its customers. With illumifin, there's a brighter future. About AmeriLife AmeriLfe's strength is its mission: to provide insurance and retirement solutions to help people live longer, healthier lives. In doing so, AmeriLife has become recognized as a leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities, and retirement planning solutions to enhance the lives of pre-retirees and retirees across the United States. For more than 50 years, AmeriLife has partnered with top insurance carriers to provide value and quality to customers served through a distribution network of over 300,000 insurance agents and advisors and 120 marketing organizations and insurance agency locations nationwide. About Abry Partners Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since its founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $90 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5 billion of capital across its active funds. About Hoplon Capital Hoplon pursues proprietary investments focused on the digital economy that are disruptive in their respective end markets including insurance, financial services, IT and consulting services, healthcare, digital infrastructure and media industries.

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Core Insurance

Inszone Insurance Bolsters Missouri Presence with DeVoy Insurance Group Acquisition

Business Wire | October 10, 2023

Inszone Insurance Services, a rapidly growing national provider of commercial, personal, and benefits insurance, announced the acquisition of DeVoy Insurance Group, a well-established insurance agency deeply rooted in the community of Brookfield, Missouri. DeVoy Insurance Group is run by Blake DeVoy, whose family has a storied history in the insurance industry dating back to the early 20th century, DeVoy Insurance Group has been a trusted name in Brookfield. The DeVoy family's dedication to serving their community has spanned generations, epitomizing their commitment to excellence. In 1910, Blake DeVoy's great-grandfather embarked on his journey by establishing the first insurance agency in Brookfield, later selling the original DeVoy & Co. to another local agency. In 1982, Blake DeVoy's father cofounded an agency, a strategic decision that laid the foundation for the family's continued legacy in the insurance business. Blake DeVoy himself entered the insurance industry in 2002 at the age of 19, building upon his early experiences working in his father's office. His diverse background, which includes roles as an underwriter and claims representative, equipped him with a unique perspective and skill set to navigate the complexities of insurance, making him a valuable resource for clients and strong leader for his team. "We're delighted to integrate the DeVoy Insurance Group into the Inszone Insurance umbrella," remarked Chris Walters, CEO of Inszone Insurance Services. "Their impressive legacy and enduring dedication to their local community mirrors our own commitment. This step enhances our position in Brookfield and expands our influence throughout the state, highlighting our unwavering promise to offer the best service to our valued clients." When asked about his decision to merge with Inszone Insurance, DeVoy pointed out the ever-evolving insurance landscape and business environment. He continued, “I recognized the changing demands of the insurance climate and wanted to ensure that my clients received the highest level of service." Clients of DeVoy Group can expect to receive the same exceptional service they are used to, now bolstered by the added resources available through the Inszone brand. Inszone Insurance is expected to announce several significant acquisitions in the upcoming months as part of its ongoing efforts to expand its footprint on a national scale. About Inszone Insurance Services 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 44 locations across California, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Utah, the company is looking to expand further throughout the United States.

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Life Insurance

Norwegian Insurer Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring Goes Live with Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

Sapiens International Corporation, a leading global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, and the leading Norwegian insurance company Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) today announced that GPF has gone live with Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions and Sapiens Cloud Services for their individual savings. GPF is the first Nordic customer to go-live with CoreSuite, which will expand the insurer's digital capabilities and boost its leading market position. Designed to enable greater automation and operational efficiency, Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions provides GPF with an optimised, Norwegian-tailored platform with real-time access to centrally managed data. As a single, unified system on the cloud, CoreSuite provides a cost-efficient, cloud-based IT infrastructure to streamline workflows, accelerate digital transformation and improve customer engagement. The CoreSuite solution is maintained and updated continuously by Sapiens in accordance with the latest technological and regulatory requirements. "Sapiens has now completed the initial phase of our core transformation project to CoreSuite and provided valuable support throughout the journey," said Torstein Ingebretsen, CEO of GPF. A strong core and strategy are essential to GPF's growth in Norway's rapidly changing pensions market." "We are proud to have achieved this important milestone in the Nordics with a regional leader like GPF," added Roni Al-Dor, Sapiens President and CEO. "We will continue to support GPF's journey to drive innovation and set the standard for best-in-class customer service with our transformative, future-oriented, cloud-based IT infrastructure." Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions is a software solution for end-to-end core operations and processes. An award-winning policy administration system, it supports individual and group products across life, health, wealth & retirement. Sapiens Cloud Services supports business growth with a holistic offering of value-added cloud services that provides all operations and application management services under one roof. About Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gjensidige Forsikring. GPF mainly offers defined contribution, investment products, pension plans and risk products for groups and individuals in the Norwegian market. About Sapiens Sapiens International Corporation empowers the financial sector, with a focus on insurance, to transform and become digital, innovative and agile. With more than 40 years of industry expertise, Sapiens' cloud-based SaaS insurance platform offers pre-integrated, low-code capabilities across core, data, and digital domains to accelerate our customers' digital transformation. Serving over 600 customers in more than 30 countries, Sapiens offers insurers across property and casualty, workers' compensation, and life insurance markets the most comprehensive set of solutions, from core to complementary, including Reinsurance, Financial & Compliance, Data & Analytics, Digital, and Decision Management.

Read More

Life Insurance

illumifin Acquires AmeriLife's Administrative Partners of America

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

illumifin, a leading third-party insurance administration and technology provider, today announced it has acquired Administrative Partners of America (APA), the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) of AmeriLife, a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities, and retirement planning solutions. As one of the largest independent marketing organizations (IMO) in the U.S., AmeriLife and APA administer approximately 230,000 policies that generate $3.1 billion of premiums in life insurance, annuities and Medicare Supplement products annually. APA employs nearly 200 associates in Clearwater, Florida, and Salt Lake City, Utah, all of whom will transition to illumifin as part of the sale. Peter Goldstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of illumifin, commented, "This is our second life and annuities acquisition that complements our existing TPA business and further transforms illumifin. We are constantly identifying new opportunities that will enhance our value proposition and make us a key strategic partner to our clients. AmeriLife has a solid platform with key client overlap that strengthens our relationships and opens the door for significant expansion opportunities. We are very excited to build a partnership with AmeriLife to help support their future growth efforts." Scott R. Perry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AmeriLife, added, "illumifin is a great home for our TPA operations, and APA's customers will benefit greatly from access to a broad set of capabilities and scalable services across all lines of business. We're equally as excited to begin a new era of partnership with illumifin, and – together with our carrier partners – introduce new products to market, fuel our collective growth, and continue transforming our industry for years to come." illumifin was formed by Abry Partners, a leading Boston-based private equity firm, and Hoplon Capital, an asset manager focused on digital transformation and disruption. About illumifin illumifin provides third party administration and technology services to individual and group insurers. The company, launched in 2021, blends insurance industry knowledge, technology leadership and operational execution to prepare insurers for the digital future. illumifin is a diverse, passionate and empowered team of insurance specialists committed to the growth and success of its customers. With illumifin, there's a brighter future. About AmeriLife AmeriLfe's strength is its mission: to provide insurance and retirement solutions to help people live longer, healthier lives. In doing so, AmeriLife has become recognized as a leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities, and retirement planning solutions to enhance the lives of pre-retirees and retirees across the United States. For more than 50 years, AmeriLife has partnered with top insurance carriers to provide value and quality to customers served through a distribution network of over 300,000 insurance agents and advisors and 120 marketing organizations and insurance agency locations nationwide. About Abry Partners Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since its founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $90 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5 billion of capital across its active funds. About Hoplon Capital Hoplon pursues proprietary investments focused on the digital economy that are disruptive in their respective end markets including insurance, financial services, IT and consulting services, healthcare, digital infrastructure and media industries.

Read More

Core Insurance

Inszone Insurance Bolsters Missouri Presence with DeVoy Insurance Group Acquisition

Business Wire | October 10, 2023

Inszone Insurance Services, a rapidly growing national provider of commercial, personal, and benefits insurance, announced the acquisition of DeVoy Insurance Group, a well-established insurance agency deeply rooted in the community of Brookfield, Missouri. DeVoy Insurance Group is run by Blake DeVoy, whose family has a storied history in the insurance industry dating back to the early 20th century, DeVoy Insurance Group has been a trusted name in Brookfield. The DeVoy family's dedication to serving their community has spanned generations, epitomizing their commitment to excellence. In 1910, Blake DeVoy's great-grandfather embarked on his journey by establishing the first insurance agency in Brookfield, later selling the original DeVoy & Co. to another local agency. In 1982, Blake DeVoy's father cofounded an agency, a strategic decision that laid the foundation for the family's continued legacy in the insurance business. Blake DeVoy himself entered the insurance industry in 2002 at the age of 19, building upon his early experiences working in his father's office. His diverse background, which includes roles as an underwriter and claims representative, equipped him with a unique perspective and skill set to navigate the complexities of insurance, making him a valuable resource for clients and strong leader for his team. "We're delighted to integrate the DeVoy Insurance Group into the Inszone Insurance umbrella," remarked Chris Walters, CEO of Inszone Insurance Services. "Their impressive legacy and enduring dedication to their local community mirrors our own commitment. This step enhances our position in Brookfield and expands our influence throughout the state, highlighting our unwavering promise to offer the best service to our valued clients." When asked about his decision to merge with Inszone Insurance, DeVoy pointed out the ever-evolving insurance landscape and business environment. He continued, “I recognized the changing demands of the insurance climate and wanted to ensure that my clients received the highest level of service." Clients of DeVoy Group can expect to receive the same exceptional service they are used to, now bolstered by the added resources available through the Inszone brand. Inszone Insurance is expected to announce several significant acquisitions in the upcoming months as part of its ongoing efforts to expand its footprint on a national scale. About Inszone Insurance Services 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 44 locations across California, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Utah, the company is looking to expand further throughout the United States.

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