High street brokers the next insurtech targets

Insurance Business America | April 11, 2019

When you say the word ‘insurtech’, what probably comes to mind is a hip start-up in a converted warehouse, full of tech wizzes wearing t-shirts and trainers. Or perhaps people in suits in one of the many London office towers, working out new solutions to insurance problems. Either way, for many people the world of insurtech seems a far cry from your everyday high street broker who is working with clients in the same way they have for many years. But that’s not necessarily the case. As some companies have discovered, it’s the smaller brokerages that are most interested in new technology and new ways of helping clients. That fact was a hot topic of discussion at a recent breakfast event hosted by Insurtech UK, an alliance of more than 50 insurtech start-ups and partners. Insurtech UK came to life after conversations between founders of insurtech companies, who believed there needed to be a bigger voice for the industry.

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In a simpler time, this patchwork was passable. But change is coming. New regulations will bring greater complexity to the accounting process for insurers, which will make semi-manual, legacy processes look like a house of cards and raise doubts about the validity of the final numbers on the P&L sheet. That looming change, of course, is IFRS 17, the new International Financial Reporting Standard issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in May 2017. It defines how accounting will be done by insurers in the more than 100 countries that adopted IFRS. IFRS 17 will replace IFRS 4 Phase II, which isn’t a comprehensive international standard but rather a structure for grandfathering in the use of countries’ national standards

Spotlight

In a simpler time, this patchwork was passable. But change is coming. New regulations will bring greater complexity to the accounting process for insurers, which will make semi-manual, legacy processes look like a house of cards and raise doubts about the validity of the final numbers on the P&L sheet. That looming change, of course, is IFRS 17, the new International Financial Reporting Standard issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in May 2017. It defines how accounting will be done by insurers in the more than 100 countries that adopted IFRS. IFRS 17 will replace IFRS 4 Phase II, which isn’t a comprehensive international standard but rather a structure for grandfathering in the use of countries’ national standards

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CORE INSURANCE

Zurich Resilience Solutions adds DEI service for customers

Zurich | January 07, 2022

Zurich Resilience Solutions ("ZRS") in North America today announced it is launching a groundbreaking offering called the Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion ("DEI") Service in collaboration with Inclusion Score, a leading organization that advised on a new global diversity and inclusion standard issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in May 2021. Developed at the request of customers and brokers, Zurich's service will help businesses strategically assess DEI in their organization and work toward the ISO standard and their unique DEI goals. With today's announcement, Zurich becomes one of the first insurance providers to offer a DEI assessment and consulting service. Using the new ISO standard as a benchmark, ZRS will work with customers to incorporate DEI into every layer of their organizations, including in governance, human resources, product delivery and supply chain. The collaboration with Inclusion Score uniquely positions ZRS to help companies take meaningful, measurable action to enhance equity, fairness and accessibility in their organizations. "Insufficient attention to diversity and inclusion has become a business risk that can have a direct impact both on an organization's financial performance and its workforce, Recoveries in discrimination lawsuits are at all-time highs, and shareholder derivative lawsuits based on D&I are growing. Corporations need guidance when it comes to assessing and enhancing their DEI practices and policies, training their teams to address concerns and insuring themselves from business risks." -Thomas Fioretti, Head of Zurich Resilience Solutions in North America. Zurich's DEI service is designed to be customizable to a wide range of industries and organizations of all sizes, helping them comply with the new global standard 30415 from the ISO and providing guidance on D&I principles, practices and methods to enable and support equity, fairness and accessibility for people of all backgrounds in the workplace. ZRS' program features a multi-tiered approach aimed at ensuring holistic analysis and long-term success. It includes: Assessment and reporting: Measuring where organizations are succeeding in DEI as well as falling short, ZRS will offer customers a Capability Maturity Model Integration Score that assesses their organization's DEI maturity along with an improvement roadmap focused on critical areas of need in their business. Consulting: Once the roadmap is set, ZRS Risk Engineers will work with customers to customize recommendations for their unique business challenges and provide ongoing consultation to ensure measures are implemented in accordance with benchmarks. Services and training: With the infrastructure in place, ZRS will assist customers in communicating DEI principles throughout all levels of the organization and follow up with appropriate training to ensure objectives are understood and put into action. Taking Zurich's Risk Engineering services to the next level, Zurich Insurance Group created ZRS last year as a global business unit to enable the expansion of holistic, innovative solutions in a rapidly changing risk landscape. ZRS provides specialized insights and tools above and beyond insurance to help businesses address and build resilience to evolving risks. "Businesses of all sizes are increasingly being asked not only about their DEI beliefs but also to demonstrate their practices and progress as a prerequisite for winning new and renewal business from customers, for securing insurance protection and for recruiting and retaining top talent, Our new solution will help companies fortify and measure their DEI practices and integrate the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion through their entire organization." -Julia Oltmanns, Director of DEI Services for Zurich Resilience Solutions. ZRS' relationship with Inclusion Score will give customers access to some of the world's leading experts on diversity, equity and inclusion and increase the scope of solutions ZRS is able to provide. About Zurich Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With approximately 55,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property, casualty and life insurance products and services in more than 215 countries and territories. Zurich's customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX.

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Lockton Rolls Out CyberCube’s Broking Manager

Business Wire | October 12, 2020

Lockton, the world’s largest independent broker, is rolling out CyberCube’s Broking Manager, the cyber risks analytics platform for insurance intermediaries. Established in 1966, Lockton has over 60,000 clients globally and is the world’s eighth-largest insurance brokerage. The business has over 100 offices in over 125 countries. CyberCube has designed and tailored Broking Manager specifically to the needs of the insurance broking community. It offers a streamlined approach to generating financial exposure impact that helps clients make informed decisions on coverages and limits. Broking Manager will allow Lockton’s teams to quantify the sources and financial impact of cyber risk exposure and educate clients accordingly. The platform also produces reports that can be used to educate prospects and clients on potential sources of loss, recent and relevant cyber events, and peer-to-peer benchmarking.

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ANNUITIES

MetLife and Vision Benefits of America Collaborate with Howell Benefit Services, Inc.

WEBSURANCE | December 02, 2021

Howell Benefit Services, Inc. (HBS), and Howell Benefit Technologies LLC (dba RATECentric) have released WEBSURANCE, a fully insured health and welfare benefits trust featuring top ranked group insurance companies for carriers, producers, and employers. In conjunction with the Trust, a paperless, digital WEBSURANCE platform was also launched enabling carriers and producers to offer employers superior level benefit plans, competitive pricing, and extended rate guarantees. HBS is pleased to announce MetLife and Vision Benefits of America (VBA) as the first multi-year Trust participants offering group dental and vision benefits, respectively, to employers nationwide with products and plan designs typically found in the enterprise market. We continue to enhance our online presence utilizing our digital technology by adding these two market leading insurance carriers, We've had exceptional success for over 25 years building and managing digital websites and have been a pioneer in API integration for several top ranked group carriers. Our technology has enabled the carriers we serve to measure and demonstrate the efficiencies and profitability of outsourcing online quoting, case submission, premium billing, sales activity, license tracking and commission payment in a single application. - Roger Howell, President of HBS. Our real time quoting platform's success, which has been online nationwide since 2013 and now serving two of the top five national group insurance carriers, illustrates how our team has combined deep-rooted benefits knowledge, four decades of TPA experience, and integrating it with our proprietary and commercially successful digital platform technology." Howell has provided customized, multi-carrier and premium billing technology, producer appointment and license tracking as well as commission payment technology for carriers and producers since 2000. "By utilizing WEBSURANCE's digital solution we are able to streamline our offerings for customers and provide them with access to competitive benefit plan options, instant rates and case submission, pricing and backroom support as a result of our collaboration with Howell." - Cynthia Smith, SVP of Regional Business at MetLife VBA's Vice President, Matt Cuomo stated, "The WEBSURANCE Trust is the perfect vessel for us to showcase our national vision plan benefit portfolio. The quoting, case submission and plan administration features offered by WEBSURANCE are unprecedented, based on our experience." The WEBSURANCE Benefits Trust will be offering additional online group and voluntary benefit plans in 2022, further reducing quoting and administrative expenses while, at the same time, increasing closing ratios for carriers and producers. About WEBSURANCE The WEBSURANCE Benefits Trust is a fully insured, national group insurance trust that covers hundreds of employer groups, with the capacity and scalability to offer a variety of carriers' product lines. Eligible group insurance products include health, dental, vision, life, disability, voluntary life, disability, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and accident. WEBSURANCE is administered by Howell Benefit Services, Inc. (Howell), located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Howell is a nationally recognized, online, Third Party Administrator (TPA) in business since 1982.

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