Close to 200 Fort McMurray wildfire claims still await settlement

Insurance Business Magazine | November 26, 2019

If you thought issues over wildfire insurance in California were complex, spare a thought for our neighbors north of the border. Although more than three years have passed since the infamous Fort McMurray wildfires, nearly 200 residential claims related to the incident are still awaiting settlement. A representative for Alberta’s Treasury Board and Finance department told CBC News in an email statement that it has been tracking insurance settlements related to the wildfire event, which occurred in May 2016, claiming that a “vast majority” of the claims have been resolved. The representative said that all of the 14,441 automobile insurance claims have been settled. But of the 25,498 residential claims related to the wildfire, 190 remain unresolved.

Spotlight

Life insurance is a tool that provides protection and financial security to people in cases of unexpected death or injury, allowing their families to carry on their way of living and reduce the burden on government social welfare initiatives. Despite its near-universal applicability as a risk management tool, there still remains a great deal of confusion, and even skepticism, regarding life insurance. The complexity of the life insurance decision, negative perception of the application process, and even consumers’ preferences for avoiding the topic of their deaths, all contribute to them not initiating or completing the life insurance journey.


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ANNUITIES

New Life Insurance Focused Podcast Series Aims to Unpack Digital Transformation

Equisoft | March 31, 2022

Equisoft, a leading global digital solutions provider to the insurance and financial industry, proudly announced today the launch of a new podcast series for life insurance executives entitled "Life Accelerated". Hosted by esteemed insurance observer and commentator Anthony O'Donnell and presented in partnership with Insurance Innovation Reporter (IIR), this podcast series will tackle the insurance industry's unique challenges and how technology and modernization can deliver solutions. Each episode will feature trends in innovation, C-suite insights into transformation and best practices taken from actual insurer experiences. There's a race on to transform, and those who fall behind are standing to lose their ability to compete—or to be in the game at all, It's a critical and urgent conversation, so we'll be interviewing technology and business executives about their own transformation journeys: how they're going, what our interviewees' companies are investing in, what kind of capabilities they're developing and what kind of timeline they're facing." Anthony O'Donnell, Executive Editor at IIR. Featuring life insurance executives from leading companies such as Ameritas, MassMutual, Mutual of Omaha, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, and many more, each 30-45 minutes episode will be addressing the specific needs and challenges of insurers when it comes to understanding and adopting technology, and how they can use it to support their business growth. Our goal is to create a learning platform that life insurance executives can access whenever and wherever they want to see what their peers are doing, where the industry is going and go home with some solid takeaways, We're proud and excited to bring another innovative initiative that shows our commitment to pushing the industry forward and to helping all stakeholders accelerate their growth." Jean Sabbagh, Marketing VP at Equisoft. The Life Accelerated Podcast Series will be presented on a bi-weekly schedule starting April 13, 2022, and will be broadcasted on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google and Apple Podcast. The first episode will feature Richard Wiedenbeck, CTO of Ameritas. All listeners are welcome to sign up at equisoft.com/lifeaccelerated to be timely notified as new episodes become available. About Equisoft Founded in 1994, Equisoft is a global provider of advanced insurance and investment digital solutions. Recognized as a valued partner by over 220 of the world's leading financial institutions in 16 countries, Equisoft offers a complete ecosystem of solutions, from innovative front-end applications to extensive back-office services and unique data migration expertise. The firm's flagship products include a SaaS policy administration solution, CRM, financial needs analysis, financial planning, asset allocation, fund and portfolio analysis, quotes and illustrations, electronic application, agency management systems, as well as customer, agent and broker portals. Equisoft is also Oracle's largest and most experienced partner for the OIPA platform. With its business-driven approach, deep industry knowledge, innovative technology, and expert teams based in Canada, USA, UK, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, India and Australia, Equisoft helps its clients tackle any challenge in this era of digital disruption.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Relation Insurance Services, Inc. Acquires the Assets of Woller-Anger & Company, LLC.

Relation Insurance | April 05, 2022

Relation Insurance Services, Inc. (“Relation”), one of the largest and fastest-growing national insurance agencies, announced today it acquired the assets of Wisconsin-based Woller-Anger & Company, LLC (“Woller-Anger”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Woller-Anger & Company, LLC (“Woller-Anger”) is a full-service retail insurance agency, and offers commercial lines, personal lines, and life & health coverages for clients across a diverse range of industries. Woller-Anger is headquartered in Elm Grove, WI and will join Relation’s Great Lakes Region. Erv Woller and Bob Anger will continue to lead Woller-Anger under Relation. We are excited to welcome Erv, Bob, and the entire Woller-Anger team to Relation and are looking forward to growing our Midwest footprint with them.” Tim Hall, Executive Vice President and Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for Relation. About Relation Insurance Services, Inc. Relation Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage that offers superior risk-management and benefits-consulting services through its family of brands across the United States. It is ranked by Insurance Journal within the top 35 largest agencies in the country by revenue and has approximately 1,200 employees across more than 125 locations nationwide. Relation is a privately held corporation backed by Aquiline Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New York and London investing in businesses globally across financial services and technology.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

HUB INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES NONPROFIT SPECIALTY PRACTICE

HUB International | May 16, 2022

Hub International Limited (HUB), a leading global insurance brokerage and financial services firm, announced today the launch of its Nonprofit Specialty practice, HUB's 10th Specialty in five years. The formation of the practice formalizes HUB's capabilities in serving the unique risk management, insurance and human capital needs of associations, arts and cultural entities, foundations, public advocacy, religious and other charitable organizations. HUB has a long-proven track record of successfully assisting nonprofit organizations and creating a new Nonprofit Specialty practice formalizes our work in this area, Nonprofits face unique operational, financial, and governance challenges, and our specialized brokers will help them flourish by offering proactive consultation and advice to protect against all aspects of their risk." Marc Cohen, CEO and President of HUB International. HUB's nonprofit insurance veteran Scott Konrad will lead the new specialty practice. He will be responsible for galvanizing HUB's decades of nonprofit client experience, industry relationships and sector engagement to develop innovative risk management, insurance and human capital products and solutions. Konrad is a nationally recognized author and speaker on nonprofit risk management themes with direct experience as a servant leader of nonprofit civic, religious and professional organizations, including the Nonprofit Risk Management Center's Corporate Advisory Council. According to Independent Sector, nonprofits make up 10% of the American workforce, the third largest in the U.S., behind retail and manufacturing. In Canada, there are more than 170,000 charitable and nonprofit organizations, and over 85,000 of these are registered charities recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency. According to Statistics Canada, nonprofits represent nearly 13% of all jobs in Canada. Nonprofits face increasing pressure to demonstrate operational efficiency and prudent stewardship, which means maximizing value at every turn -- in reducing risk, safeguarding their assets, and taking care of their people, We understand the charitable sector's challenges, needs, and temperament, and use our skills and resources to tackle issues such as board protection, talent recruitment and retention, volunteer risk management, and more. By lightening the burden for busy nonprofit leaders so they can focus on mission, we're an effective catalyst for the greater good." Konrad. Having a dedicated practice supports our effort to build out more specialized products, expand carrier relationships and provide industry specific integrated P&C, employee benefits and retirement solutions for our customers, This is a unique sector of the economy with unique needs, and we are excited to provide specific services to fuel its success." Chris Treanor, HUB President of Programs & Specialties. About HUB International Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hub International Limited is a leading full-service global insurance broker and financial services firm providing risk management, insurance, employee benefits, retirement and wealth management products and services. With more than 14,000 employees in offices located throughout North America, Hub's vast network of specialists brings clarity to a changing world with tailored solutions and unrelenting advocacy, so clients are ready for tomorrow.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Insurtech Startup Honeycomb Raises $15.4MM in Series A Round, Led by Ibex Investors

Honeycomb | January 21, 2022

Honeycomb announced that it has raised $15.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Ibex Investors. The fast-growing digital insurance provider has developed the first technology stack for multi-family properties that dramatically streamlines the arduous, time-consuming process faced by landlords and condo owners associations seeking insurance. Moreover, Honeycomb's proprietary AI-driven technology also is the first to enable the delivery of bespoke, "right-priced" insurance coverages – instantly. The U.S. and Israel-based company, which only began writing U.S. policies in June of 2021, now operates in four states -- Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio – with plans this year to launch in ten more states covering 60% of the country. Honeycomb expects to insure more than $1B of real estate assets by the end of Q1 2022. "Commercial lines insurance and specifically insurance for multi-family properties is ripe for disruption given the sheer complexity entailed in underwriting this class of risk, its manual processing legacy, and the absence of a leader in the market, At Honeycomb, we have succeeded in converting the institutional knowledge of our team of industry veterans into algorithms that parse deep, first-party, location-specific data to more accurately evaluate risk. As a result, we can perform more robust underwriting quicker and at a lower cost structure than previously possible," -Honeycomb's co-founder and CEO Itai Ben-Zaken. SiriusPoint Ltd, a global insurer and reinsurer, and Honeycomb's own lead underwriting capacity provider, will also participate in this funding round as a new investor alongside lead investor Ibex Investors, and existing investors Phoenix Insurance, Distributed Ventures (FKA NFP Ventures), IT-Farm, and Sure Ventures, all of which have increased their stakes. With this new round, Honeycomb has to date raised $19 million. "Honeycomb is poised to change the game of real estate insurance, Their platform uniquely leverages both first and third-party data to disaggregate risk in ways that are totally different from the rest of the industry. Honeycomb is growing at a rapid pace since its launch, and we believe they will become the dominant platform in this market," -Gal Gitter, partner at Ibex Investors. In a market segment estimated to be worth $26 billion in the U.S. alone, Honeycomb is the first multi-family property insurance provider to innovate simultaneously on 3 distinct fronts: (1) Streamlining the customer and broker experience; (2) Leveraging unique proprietary underwriting technology that accurately "right-prices" every individual risk and provides discounts no other provider gives, and; (3) Offering bespoke insurance coverage that adapts to ever-changing client needs. For example, Honeycomb allows for customized policies that hadn't existed within the segment's traditional "one-size-fits-all" approach. These include insuring properties with Airbnb rentals while offering enhanced Ordinance and Law coverage, distinct Business Income and Extra Expense coverages, and a right-sized approach to deductibles in risk-prone areas. Multi-family property owners, condo and homeowners associations that follow Honeycomb's guidelines and mitigation requests continue to get deeper discounts as time goes by. This model is a win-win because it encourages positive self-selection. Customers who take great care of their properties will receive prices with which other insurance providers can't compete. The company sells its policies directly via its own platform and through a hand-picked and growing group of best-in-class insurance brokers who enjoy distinct advantages. With Honeycomb, they can provide as many as 30 bindable quotes per hour, and in real time – a vast improvement over a process that historically took weeks with multiple "touches" and follow-ups to produce a single quote. This translates to greater profitability for brokers, and accounts for the extraordinary interest the company is now receiving from the brokerage community. About Honeycomb Honeycomb is a reinsurance-backed MGA providing simple, fair, and affordable multi-family property insurance through its end-to-end digital platform. With offices in Denver, San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Honeycomb leverages proprietary user-generated data, advanced AI, and computer-vision to automate the normally arduous and costly underwriting process. Honeycomb significantly improves the customer experience and provides tailored coverage at a competitive price point and at improved profit margins through its real-time rate/quote/bind offering and its data-driven "right-pricing" advantage.

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Spotlight

Life insurance is a tool that provides protection and financial security to people in cases of unexpected death or injury, allowing their families to carry on their way of living and reduce the burden on government social welfare initiatives. Despite its near-universal applicability as a risk management tool, there still remains a great deal of confusion, and even skepticism, regarding life insurance. The complexity of the life insurance decision, negative perception of the application process, and even consumers’ preferences for avoiding the topic of their deaths, all contribute to them not initiating or completing the life insurance journey.

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