What is JCT 21.2.1 insurance, and who needs it?

Tokio Marine HCC’s Julian Goodall considers the snappily-named clause developed to iron out liability issues in construction. Imagine drinking your relaxing, morning coffee and then suddenly noticing that cracks are starting to appear in your living room wall that you share with your neighbour. You remember that the family next door is having building work carried out on their property, which is the likely cause of the intensifying cracks. So, what happens next? Damage like this should be straightforward to sort out. If the neighbour’s builder was negligent, their own Public Liability insurance should cover the cost. The problems arise when it’s not possible to prove that the contractor was negligent, and the employer has a liability that is not insured - as in the court case Gold v Patman & Fotheringham Ltd 1958.

Spotlight

Coversure Insurance

When Mark Coverdale opened the first Coversure office in Huntingdon back in 1986, his philosophy was simple, to use the most up to date technology available in order to provide the local community with a friendly, face-to-face, insurance broking service utilising competitively priced insurance products. In order to make the Coversure service available in as many areas as possible, Mark decided to issue franchise licences to experienced insurance professionals who shared his vision and desire to succeed.

OTHER ARTICLES
Insurance Technology

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

Article | July 19, 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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Insurance Technology

Rising to the challenge of core insurance transformation

Article | July 13, 2022

There is no doubt that we are living in an era in which insurers have been called to transform their business offerings, infrastructure and operations. Successful transformation translates into new revenue opportunities, stronger customer relationships and sustained brand relevance. However, this need to evolve cannot be addressed through superficial changes. Leading insurers are transforming their core offerings to completely reimagine their role in the insurance landscape. As the nominations and winners for the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Core Insurance Transformation award show, leading insurers are starting their core transformation at the top, and applying it to every touchpoint of the business. Nine pioneering nominees The nine nominees in the core insurance transformation category lead core insurance transformation in various innovations across their value chain. The nominations were: AXA for A.Iconic Claims Discovery for AI Quote RBC for their conversational AI Platform, driven by Personal Insights for Life Insurance Application Generali for their fund transaction through blockchain innovation FWD for the AI-Everywhere Smart Insurance Framework China Life Insurance for an intelligent value evaluation system for salesforce Multiasistencia for MACARENA, an innovative AI voicebot that provides100% automated First Notice of Loss in home insurance claims Humania for their ground-breaking income insurance for accident and disability claims Mapfre for Verbatims, a cognitive behavioural model that integrates live customer feedback As can be seen, by the nominees above, AI is a leading technology in core insurance transformation. In fact, every innovation used technology in fresh, structured ways to create a lasting impact on their business. Let’s look closer at the winners, and what their innovations say about how to lead core insurance transformation in 2021. Gold: Discovery Discovery are transforming the way brokers and clients engage with them through the introduction of their AI Quote service. Users are able to upload a PDF or pictures of competitor insurance and investment documents via phone or computer, and receive an equivalent Discovery quote in seconds. The entire journey can be completed in under a minute. Brokers can take the quotes to their clients and where a client has completed the direct journey, they will be called by a sales agent to discuss the specifics of the quote and close the sale. Romek Sadowski, Discovery Life’s Head of Technical Marketing says, “Ultimately, AI-powered optical character recognition (OCR) technology has been able to equip us with a seamless journey for clients, advisers and employees of the business as a whole. For clients, benefits include receiving a comparable quote in less than a minute and an improved understanding of Discovery’s products relative to the market. For advisers, key benefits include more accurate and consistent competitor comparisons, as well as a reduction in sales and quoting frictions. By automating the process of extracting data from policy documents and then converting it into comparable Discovery Life benefits, our advisers are able to spend less time on manual work and more time assisting our clients. AI Quote has also created opportunities for Discovery Life to incorporate digital tools into many of our existing processes and create a single, seamless, digital journey for advisers and clients alike. Additional innovations, such as Virtual Underwriting which allows clients to undergo underwriting from anywhere they choose, have been developed and are being refined in order to make this goal for a seamless digital journey a reality.” This is an important innovation in the South African insurance and investment landscape, which is highly developed and innovative, and characterised by frequent product updates and enhancements. While products are fine-tuned to meet customer needs, it’s difficult for brokers to keep track of various products in the market and how they compare from one competitor to another. Clients are also not in the position to understand how exactly their financial products compare against competitors. “The South African insurance industry is a complex environment with a vast array of sophisticated products. Financial advisers are faced with numerous competitors each with multiple products and options, resulting in countless different quoting combinations. By automating the comparison process, AI Quote simplifies the new business experience for both advisers and clients, increasing conversion rates and improving stakeholder satisfaction. AI Quote ensures that clients who have existing policies with our competitors are quoted comparable Discovery benefits and gives advisers confidence that they are providing clients with the best possible advice when comparing policies.” By removing sales frictions and automatically carrying out comparisons, Discovery’s AI Quote aims to enhance the company’s exposure to potential clients, attract brokers to sell Discovery products, improve the accuracy of replacements and promote Discovery’s brand as a market-leading innovator. With an efficient client- and broker-centric platform, Discovery has taken quoting to the next level. The potential for AI, however, is just beginning to be untapped. Romek concludes, “The insurance landscape is evolving, and we have seen an influx in microinsurance providers, direct-to-customer insurers and niche players in the market. When it comes to life insurance, clients are faced with a dauntingly large number of options – and that number is increasing. Within such complexity, manual processing of data in order to generate benefit comparisons is simply inefficient. A key benefit of AI is that it can complement or replace manual processes and allows for a far more streamlined user experience. Outside of the new business process, AI has displayed immense success in other areas such as customer service, underwriting and claims. Chatbots are now commonly used by insurers around the world to assist clients and answer their questions. Car insurance has been fundamentally changed through advancements in telematics. Big data is more readily available and, with the help of AI, can be utilised to make faster and more accurate pricing and underwriting decisions.” Silver: Generali Generali conducted a deep transformation in the way they transact with their counterparts and custodians through the use of blockchain technology. Generali France currently processes 250 thousand orders on funds (to cover unit-linked policies) per year through classical schemes via custodians. The aim is to generate a direct link with asset managers for trading shares of funds without using the costly transfer agent of custodians. With this transformation in mind, Generali France invested in a startup called Iznes, developing a trading platform on funds based on blockchain technology. With this as a foundation, Generali has begun to connect its IT and operations to the innovative platform. The innovation can serve all middle and back offices of investment departments and asset management companies. It crunches transaction costs and creates a direct link between the buy-side and the sell-side. The total cost of Generali Unit-linked orders is expected to drop by half, supposing that 50% of counterparts join the platform. Bronze: FWD Led by their customers’ needs and vision to change the way people feel about insurance, FWD Group Data developed a ‘Smart Insurance Framework’ which sees the business embarking on a ‘AI-everywhere’ approach. The platform has transformed the entire insurance journey for both their customers and employees with the use of advanced technologies and AI power. To create a simpler and smoother insurance experience for customers, FWD created a modern data architecture framework that improves operation efficiency internally and convenience externally. The Group Office Data Platform (GODP) streamlines and integrates all data into a single platform that is smart, secured and scalable. This platform allows business users to harness data, insights and run analytics across all our markets, to help support a spectrum of initiatives in FWD with data. The clever use of data allows FWD to evolve and predict customer responses more accurately, develop a better understanding of customer needs and behaviour, and in turn serve them better. As the nominees and winners show, the insurance industry is embracing technology to pre-empt, analyze and streamline customer, broker and employee experiences. We would love to hear how you are transforming your core insurance operations. Submit your core insurance innovation to the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards for 2022.

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Insurance Technology

Cybersecurity Material for Private Companies

Article | July 14, 2022

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

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Insurance Technology

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

Coversure Insurance

When Mark Coverdale opened the first Coversure office in Huntingdon back in 1986, his philosophy was simple, to use the most up to date technology available in order to provide the local community with a friendly, face-to-face, insurance broking service utilising competitively priced insurance products. In order to make the Coversure service available in as many areas as possible, Mark decided to issue franchise licences to experienced insurance professionals who shared his vision and desire to succeed.

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Risk Management

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

Nearmap | December 07, 2023

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

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Core Insurance

NAIC Members Approve Model Bulletin on Use of AI by Insurers

NAIC | December 06, 2023

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

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Insurance Technology

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

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC | December 05, 2023

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

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Risk Management

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

Nearmap | December 07, 2023

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

Read More

Core Insurance

NAIC Members Approve Model Bulletin on Use of AI by Insurers

NAIC | December 06, 2023

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

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Insurance Technology

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

Integrity Marketing Group, LLC | December 05, 2023

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

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