Berkshire Hathaway suffers insurance underwriting slump in Q4

Berkshire Hathaway | February 24, 2020

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. may have bounced back big-time in the fourth quarter of 2019 – from a US$25.4 billion net loss in the same quarter in 2018 to net earnings attributable to shareholders of US$29.2 billion this time around – but the same can’t be said about the group’s insurance underwriting result. In a release over the weekend, the multinational conglomerate reported an operating loss of US$857 million for insurance underwriting. Berkshire’s insurance investment income; railroad, utilities, and energy; and other businesses all posted operating earnings in the quarter. For the full year, the insurance underwriting operations recorded a US$325 million operating income, which is significantly lower compared to the US$1.6 billion in operating earnings enjoyed in 2018.

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Introducing the IBM Insurance Platform, an industry-leading solution that brings cloud, core and AI capabilities together. This ecosystem makes your data more actionable and opens the door to new revenue streams.

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Introducing the IBM Insurance Platform, an industry-leading solution that brings cloud, core and AI capabilities together. This ecosystem makes your data more actionable and opens the door to new revenue streams.

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CORE INSURANCE

One Inc Partners with Mastercard to Offer Real-Time Insurance Payments

One Inc | September 14, 2021

To ensure that individuals, families, and businesses have near-instant access to insurance funds in the face of emergency, One Inc, a leading digital payments network for the insurance industry, today announced plans to disburse claims through Mastercard virtual cards and Mastercard Send ®. Powered by One Inc's flagship product, ClaimsPay ®, the partnership builds on a shared vision to deliver near-instant, secure payments that deliver needed cashflow for claimants and vendors and reduce cycle time and expenses for insurers. The partnership is One Inc's latest initiative aimed at digitalizing the entire insurance payments stack with an alternative to checks. It arrives at a time when virtual card adoption is expected to accelerate to over $5 trillion in transaction value by 2025, more than triple its $1.6 trillion value in 2020, according to Juniper Research. "This partnership with Mastercard empowers insurers to offer greater peace of mind to claimants in the face of unexpected accidents or disaster," said One Inc CEO Ian Drysdale. "Together, we have the ability to transform and facilitate the delivery of funds in near real-time via Mastercard's virtual cards, providing unique benefits to our vendor network and ever-growing roster of insurance customers. It is another sign of the fast-moving digital evolution in the insurance industry." Despite managing trillions of dollars in claims payments per year, the US insurance industry still relies upon outdated payment methods like checks, which lack transparency, are ten times more expensive for insurers to manage, and take an average of six to ten days to reach claimants. Adoption of virtual cards will solve for each of these critical issues. "Mastercard is focused on improving the ways people and businesses pay and get paid, providing more choice, security and convenience," said Marie Aloisi, senior vice president, Business Development, North America, Mastercard. "Through our collaboration with One Inc and by providing virtual card solutions and near real-time payments with Mastercard Send, we're helping insurance providers digitize payments so people and businesses can receive their claim payments quickly, securely and into the financial accounts of their choice." About One Inc One Inc is modernizing the insurance industry through a unified and frictionless payment experience. Focusing only on the insurance industry, One Inc helps carriers transform their operations by reducing costs, increasing security, and optimizing customer experience. The comprehensive end-to-end digital payments platform provides expanded payment options, multi-channel digital communications, and rapid digital claim payment, even for the most complex insurance use cases. As one of the fastest growing digital payments platforms in the insurance industry, One Inc manages billions of dollars per year in premiums and claims payments.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

HawkSoft Releases HawkLink for Google Chrome to Auto-fill Policy Data

HawkSoft | March 10, 2021

HawkSoft, the Oregon-based management system and insurtech provider, has introduced a new tool to eliminate double-entry on the web: HawkLink for Google Chrome. Insurance professionals often waste valuable hours and risk E&O exposure by physically re-entering client and policy information from their management system into carrier portals or other insurance websites. As an extension for the most popular web browser in the world, HawkLink for Google Chrome enables agency staff to effortlessly auto-fill agency, client, and policy information from their HawkSoft management system into most websites compatible with the Chrome browser. HawkLink passes information from the HawkSoft management system into websites for quoting, policy servicing, digital payment processing, and premium finance. The intelligent tool adjusts as it memorizes where information is flooded to on specific insurance websites. Agents can share their field mappings back to HawkSoft to add to crowd-sourced database of mappings already available to all agencies. The first iteration of HawkLink was introduced in 2003 as a toolbar on the then-dominant Internet Explorer browser. "There was so much rich data in our management system that we wanted to make available to use on company websites," recalls Paul Hawkins, CEO and co-founder of HawkSoft, remembering the genesis of HawkLink. The original toolbar and later dedicated browser version of HawkLink have saved HawkSoft agencies thousands of hours over the years. With the browser popularity shifting from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome, the original toolbar's efficacy needed a rethinking. "We knew it was time to give HawkLink some love," said Paul Hawkins, "and this was an opportunity to re-invent HawkLink with ideas that have come up over the years but that the old toolbar could no longer support." Sean Hawkins, VP of Development and co-founder of HawkSoft, took on the challenge of redesigning HawkLink as a browser extension to Google Chrome. "Our Product and Development teams have made so much progress towards moving HawkSoft into the cloud," noted Sean, "that we could really innovate on how HawkLink works." This included making HawkLink an extension for Google Chrome, leveraging easier data accessibility through HawkSoft Cloud to increase the amount of available data, and making mapping websites a crowd-sourced and community-driven initiative. Sean explained, "crowd-sourced mappings was our Holy Grail for this version of HawkLink. With it, HawkLink for Google Chrome gets better every time a HawkSoft agency uses it to map a new website." HawkLink for Google Chrome has over 50 common and regional insurance carriers, financial services and government websites pre-mapped for auto-fill thanks to crowd-sourcing efforts by agencies and direct collaboration with the website owners. Dozens of new websites are being added every month. For HawkSoft agencies, HawkLink for Google Chrome is cutting down the time it takes to navigate and use their company websites. HawkLink can launch multiple company websites at once, a powerful time saver for agents like Kelly Endicott of Ohio. "My staff and I generally know the three or four companies we might place a new client with, which is why we haven't felt the need to invest in a comparative rater," said Kelly. "With HawkLink, I can launch those websites in one go and make it through each quote process in a matter of minutes." For agents that understand where to place a risk, she observed, "HawkLink is the fastest way to get an accurate and bindable quote from a company." HawkLink for Google Chrome is available with the latest release of HawkSoft, out now for all customers. The feature is available at no additional cost. About HawkSoft Since 1995, HawkSoft is a leader in management systems for independent insurance agencies that want effective workflows and a delightful experience for staff and policyholders. Created by independent agents, HawkSoft continues to evolve as a cutting-edge system that powers thousands of agencies. HawkSoft offers the following promise to insurance agents: your investment in HawkSoft will pay for itself in the first year.

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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Fathom Holdings Subsidiary, Encompass Lending Group, Acquires Cornerstone First Financial

Fathom Realty | February 16, 2022

Fathom Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: FTHM), a national, technology-driven, end-to-end real estate services platform integrating residential brokerage, mortgage, title, insurance, and SaaS offerings for brokerages and agents, today announced that its subsidiary, Encompass Lending Group, has acquired Washington, D.C.-based Cornerstone First Financial, a residential mortgage lender. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Cornerstone First Financial provides a full range of residential lending solutions to individuals and families, offering mortgages for home purchase, debt consolidation and refinancing, as well as home loans for veterans and first-time home buyers. An equal housing lender, Cornerstone First Financial operates in multiple key markets including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. "I'm excited to welcome Cornerstone to our Fathom family. Mark Livingstone and his team bring a unique expertise to Encompass Lending, and once implemented across many of our markets, could significantly bring more mortgage business to our loan officers, I look forward to fulfilling new lead generation strategies that benefit each of our mortgage, real estate, title and insurance businesses, and as we integrate mortgage lending deeper into our technology platform, we believe we can take this opportunity to an even greater level. When we acquired Encompass Lending in April 2021, I stated that I believed the acquisition could help us attract additional successful mortgage teams and smaller lending operations to our company. I am pleased to prove that statement true through this acquisition of Cornerstone First Financial." -Josh Harley, Fathom Holdings' founder and CEO. Recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the top mortgage professionals in Washington, D.C., and a popular radio and podcast personality, Mark Livingstone founded Cornerstone First Financial in 2001 based on ethics-driven principles and an ongoing commitment of providing value and service to clients through education and awareness. "We are thrilled to add Cornerstone First Financial to the Encompass Lending family, The acquisition enhances our lending platform and adds to our already growing footprint. We are excited to expand the Cornerstone First Financial model beyond being 'the voice' of mortgage lending in Washington, D.C. to being the voice of mortgage lending in the United States." -Sean Varin, president, Encompass Lending Group. About Fathom Holdings Inc. Fathom Holdings Inc. is a national, technology-driven, real estate services platform integrating residential brokerage, mortgage, title, insurance, and SaaS offerings to brokerages and agents by leveraging its proprietary cloud-based software, intelliAgent. The Company's brands include Fathom Realty, Dagley Insurance, Encompass Lending, intelliAgent, LiveBy, Real Results, and Verus Title.

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