When Seeking Coverage for Trademark Infringement Policy Exclusions Matter

In a recent case, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a coverage dispute based on unambiguous exclusions barring coverage.  Nothing dramatically unique here, but it serves as a good example of the need to read and understand the insurance policy and all of its exclusions.

Spotlight

Dickerson Insurance Services

Dickerson Insurance Services was founded more than a half century ago by Carl Dickerson. The company began with Dickerson working the multi-cultural neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California. From this one-man-operation, selling insurance door-to-door, the company has grown to include employee benefits, property and casualty and consulting services among its insurance offerings.

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Insurance Technology

Advancement of Technology in the Insurance Industry

Article | July 20, 2022

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

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Insurance Technology

Covid-19 will make cyber and digital insurance policies more relevant than ever

Article | August 9, 2022

Kennedy's Elizabeth Bardsley discusses the risks brokers need to be aware of as more and more professionals work from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As the insurance industry continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, many have begun to give thought to what lasting changes will stay with us once the crisis has passed. For example, attitudes towards flexible working are expected to permanently change as more and more professionals work from home. And in a similar vein, we are likely to see a significant impact on the popularity of cyber and digital liability policies.

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Insurance Technology

Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound?

Article | July 14, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the insurance industry overall, dramatically curtailing business activity, upending the everyday lives of employees and customers, and more. However, companies that derive a substantial portion of their business from motor insurance have enjoyed stronger bottom-line results during the pandemic than in previous years. That’s because when sudden lockdowns kept drivers at home and off the road (see exhibit), claims plunged by 60 to 80 percent almost immediately. As restrictions began to lift, claim volumes subsequently bounced back, although they remain 20 to 30 percent lower than they were before the pandemic. The corresponding drop in payouts for claims was only partially offset by the refunds on premiums that insurers paid to customers to compensate them for traveling fewer miles. Are motor claims in Europe about to rebound? As of mid-2021, motor claims volume remains suppressed—at least for the time being. For insurers, this offers a short-term window to pursue or accelerate strategic initiatives aimed at establishing claims excellence, a key driver of profitability. These initiatives include transforming claims processes to improve customer experience, building digital capabilities, leveraging advanced analytics to improve decision-making, and reducing long-standing sources of leakage. Acting now will help insurers be prepared when vaccination rates across Europe accelerate, economies reopen, and both mobility and motor claims rebound. Even as the pandemic recedes and business returns, insurers are likely to confront three persistent challenges that can be addressed—at least in part—by transforming claims management to improve profitability. Top-line pressure will continue. Pandemic-related top-line pressure will likely continue for the foreseeable future. If history serves as a guide, commercial lines, which suffered from a temporary halt in business activity in the tourism, aviation, entertainment, and local business sectors, may be slow to recover. During the 2008 financial crisis, for instance, commercial lines took significantly longer to recover than personal lines. As for personal lines today, declines in everyday commuting have altered customers’ perceptions of the value of insurance: if they drive less, they expect to pay less. As noted above, some insurers have proactively offered their customers premium paybacks for reduced car usage—a change that could endure. Digital is here to stay. Because of the pandemic, people shifted many everyday activities to remote channels and adopted new digital tools. For example, across Europe, 60 to 70 percent of consumers moved some of their shopping online, and most intend to perpetuate the new habit after the pandemic ends. This shift in customer behavior extended to engagement with insurers. In the United Kingdom, claims notifications filed via digital channels doubled during the pandemic, and insurers received 30 percent more digital inquiries than in the past. However, customers’ growing expectations for an end-to-end digital experience—with 24/7 service, instant feedback, and a user-friendly interface—still place most insurers in the position of playing catch-up. The large majority of customers still prefer to place a call rather than use digital self-service; in Europe, for example, more than 50 percent of claims are initiated when a customer contacts an agent. This preference could indicate that insurers have yet to fully digitize the claims handling process. Inflation will affect claims costs. Insurers anticipate increased pressure on claims costs from multiple sources. First, car repair shops have suffered the knock-on effects of the COVID-19-induced drop in claims volume. Many received government help, but they also responded by increasing labor rates and margins on spare parts. The claims inflation rate currently sits at 4 to 5 percent. Ongoing cost pressure means repair shops are unlikely to reinstate their pre-COVID-19 price levels without some restructuring in the sector. In one scenario, insurers could step into the role of ecosystem orchestrators, significantly consolidating repair volumes and offering strong incentives—including extending insurance services to include maintenance and offering negotiated prices for parts and labor—to repair shops to participate. Meanwhile, insurers can analyze increased volumes of claims data to continually assess the performance of repair shops and then use those insights to guide customers to the best deals. Even before the pandemic, insurers had made strides in improving the bottom line by increasing productivity and optimizing technical excellence, particularly via pricing. Now is the time to tackle claims. Claims organizations can use this period of lower claims volume to plan their strategic investments in advanced analytics transformation, to devise new digital talent strategies, and to improve their understanding of customer needs and expectations. A complete suite of analytics and updated process automation—prerequisites for accurate, end-to-end automation—constitute the backbone of the new claims and customer experience model. The tools are evolving, driving automated decision-making along the entire claims handling process: routing, triaging, liability negotiation, cost estimating, deciding to repair or write off damaged vehicles, cash settlements, and fraud detection. All these areas will increasingly use digital and analytics as opposed to manual labor, changing the entire claims operating model. Responding to customer demands for a seamless claims experience is a top priority. The pandemic has proved that customers are eager for and accepting of new digital experiences. They expect full transparency throughout the claims journey; minimal effort on their part (for example, very little engagement back and forth with the agent to get the claim resolved and receive payment); faster resolution of claims, perhaps including automated payments; and the ability to move seamlessly between the digital and physical worlds. Furthermore, insurers can work to reduce leakage and improve the bottom line. Leakage takes many forms, including replacing rather than repairing a vehicle, offering a luxury replacement vehicle rather than a car that matches the customer’s vehicle class, and incurring costs for in-person loss assessments even in obvious cases for which pictures would suffice. Tackling leakage will entail enabling efficient detection of anomalies, selecting claims for detailed review, and empowering the claims organizations to efficiently close claims that cast no doubt. Accomplishing these critical objectives will entail a shift from a scattered and often siloed approach using unintegrated digital and analytics tools to end-to-end digital- and analytics-enabled claims processes. On the front end, insurers will need to establish tools on par with the top digital services their customers use every day (for example, ride-hailing apps, social media, and digital banks). On the back end, claims organization will need to invest in a suite of analytics engines to support automated decision-making to cut costs. The opportunity starts with claims prevention—using telematics and the Internet of Things to issue safety warnings and damage prevention tips—and continues throughout the claims processing journey, from providing customers with an easy digital first notice of loss interface and improving claims cost accuracy, to digital selection of a repair shop and automated payment processing and invoice checks. This relative lull in activity also gives insurers a good time to provide teams handling claims with the training they need to learn new processes and operate new digital tools. Claims are already rebounding, so the clock is ticking for insurers. Building end-to-end digital and analytics solutions requires significant investment and will take substantial time. For claims organizations, it is critical to act now or risk missing the opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger than competitors.

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Risk Management

8 POS Software Trends for 2022: New Forecasts and What's Next

Article | July 11, 2022

Online shopping is quickly becoming the new norm in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most retailers had to migrate their businesses to the cloud in order to meet the current demands of highly tech-savvy consumers, and the use of POS software has become more important than ever. A cloud-hosted POS solution is no longer an option for small and large businesses, but rather a requirement. POS systems have provided retailers with a more efficient way to track inventory and manage sales, replacing the old cash register and traditional methods of selling. As ecommerce grows, POS solutions play an important role in increasing convenience for online customers and providing a customer-centric experience. To keep up with the latest POS system developments, there is a list of the most important POS software trends to watch for. By understanding current POS software adoption reports and key insights, you can maximize the potential of your existing POS solution or, better yet, have better ideas on financing trends by POS that can bring value to your retail business. Consumers had to reorient their purchasing toward needs like food, medicine, and other home items as the viral pandemic threatened everyone's health and safety. The US Census Bureau recently released a report that found that throughout the pandemic, retail stores providing food and beverages saw the biggest monthly growth in retail sales. To better understand how POS systems are assisting retailers in overcoming the challenges posed by the rapidly changing retail landscape, here’s a list of the most recent and important POS software trends: Cashless Transactions via Mobile POS Systems Adoption of Cloud-Hosted POS Systems Multichannel Commerce Customer Layout Programs Personalized Shopping Experience AI Integration in POS Systems Use of POS Data Analytics Simple POS Hardware Investing in modern POS systems and maximizing their rich feature sets can help your retail business go a long way, from attracting new customers to retaining a loyal customer base that can drive sales and support your long-term growth.

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Spotlight

Dickerson Insurance Services

Dickerson Insurance Services was founded more than a half century ago by Carl Dickerson. The company began with Dickerson working the multi-cultural neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California. From this one-man-operation, selling insurance door-to-door, the company has grown to include employee benefits, property and casualty and consulting services among its insurance offerings.

Related News

Valued Policy Law and Total Loss

inredisputesblog | May 21, 2019

Typically, a fire insurance policy pays a policyholder for the actual cash value or the replacement value of the property destroyed. But in 20 states, if there is a total loss, the amount the insurer must pay is equal to the value of the property at the time the insurance policy was issued. What happens if the policy covers a multi-building complex and one of the buildings is destroyed? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue. In Norwood-Redfield Apartments Limited Partnership v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., No. 18-2618 (8th Cir. May 16, 2019)(Unpublished), the appeals court affirmed a judgment in favour of the insurance company denying the policyholder’s claim to recover the full value listed on the policy of an entire complex of buildings when only one of the buildings was destroyed. The policyholder sued its insurance carrier after a fire destroyed one of the buildings out of 32 in the complex. The insurance carrier paid nearly $3 million for the loss, but the policyholder wanted the policy limits of over $31 million.

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Valued Policy Law and Total Loss

inredisputesblog | May 21, 2019

Typically, a fire insurance policy pays a policyholder for the actual cash value or the replacement value of the property destroyed. But in 20 states, if there is a total loss, the amount the insurer must pay is equal to the value of the property at the time the insurance policy was issued. What happens if the policy covers a multi-building complex and one of the buildings is destroyed? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue. In Norwood-Redfield Apartments Limited Partnership v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., No. 18-2618 (8th Cir. May 16, 2019)(Unpublished), the appeals court affirmed a judgment in favour of the insurance company denying the policyholder’s claim to recover the full value listed on the policy of an entire complex of buildings when only one of the buildings was destroyed. The policyholder sued its insurance carrier after a fire destroyed one of the buildings out of 32 in the complex. The insurance carrier paid nearly $3 million for the loss, but the policyholder wanted the policy limits of over $31 million.

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