How insurance brokers can stand out in a competitive marketplace

Insurance Business America | April 15, 2019

The insurance market today is being hit with challenges on all sides, as insurance coverages are commoditized, insurtechs disrupt the supply chain, and competition drives down pricing. That means there’s more pressure on retail brokers to build a resilient book of business and ensure that their value in the supply chain holds steady. At the upcoming Leadership Exchange Summit Chicago, one expert will shed light on the strategies brokers can use to remain a valuable part of the insurance transaction. “Some of the things that they can do is [implementing] innovative technology, whether that’s a way to deliver the product to their client, whether that’s automating applications, or figuring out a way to [improve] the ease of doing business,” said Tracy Bernard (pictured), SVP of strategy and program development at Tangram Insurance Services, and a speaker at the Leadership Exchange Summit Chicago on June 06. She added that building specialty expertise is likewise important in this challenging marketplace.


Insurers today are faced with many challenges such as competitive pressures, IT systems that are aging, and inefficient business processes that make it harder to achieve profitable growth. Among the processes that carriers can focus on, the rating is arguably the most critical and can have the most visible effects. Rating impacts revenue is fundamental to new product offerings and is the cornerstone of carriers’ competitive differentiation.

Other News

InsurTech Carrot Enters Exclusive Partnership with Naver

Carrot | May 19, 2022

Carrot ("Carrot" or the "Company"), a digital insurance platform of South Korea, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an Exclusive Promotion and Distribution Agreement with platform giant Naver Financial Corp. (Naver), whereby Carrot has been appointed to exclusively supply shipment return insurance for the merchants of Naver's online shopping platform (Smart Store). Smart Store is the nation's largest ecommerce marketplace in terms of transaction volume as of current. Compensating for the cost of return shipping and handling of goods, the proposed insurance is a non-traditional product designed to meet the needs of the marketplace sellers, as well as the shoppers. Sellers who purchase the cover are expected to boost their revenue through added marketing advantage, as the online shoppers are provided with extra layer of peace of mind in case they want to return or exchange the purchased items. Likewise, resounding success has been recorded from the pilot test co-conducted by two parties for the duration of four months during the second half of previous year, affirming that Carrot's business model works. Thousands of vendors who implemented the coverage reported 15% jump in sales volume while achieving 31% growth in revenue on average. In addition to the users' overwhelmingly positive responses, a surge in demand for the insurance to cover more shopping categories has been observed. We are excited to be working alongside with Naver, We share Naver's vision of innovating on behalf of clients, and the launch of this service is one way how we address customers' pressing needs. We are distinctively positioned to develop and deliver digital insurance solution to Naver that will broaden access to small online business owners and help them grow and protect their businesses. We look forward to continually introduce series of platform integrated solutions through our long-lasting partnership." Speaking of the recent partnership announcement, Paul Jung CEO of Carrot. Carrot anticipates that the concept of integration of insurance services into e-commerce transaction will expand to other "ecosystem partners". 11th Street, the 2nd largest shopping and open-market platform of Korea has started distributing Carrot's shipping return cover since 2020 and has plan to promote for wider adoption by the vendors to bolster their profitability, according to the firm. Not to mention that Amazon last year has inked exclusive partnership with 11th Street to enter the lucrative Korean e-commerce market. About Carrot General Insurance Corp. Based in Seoul Korea the company was established through a JV partnership with some of the big-name investors, including Hanwha, SK Telecom, Hyundai Motor Group, Altos Ventures, and Stic Investments. Being the nation's first fully-licensed 100% digital insurance carrier, Carrot has been disrupting the market with innovative products and has outpaced its global peers in terms of the speed of acquiring customers to its usage-based insurance program. The company's successful footprint owes itself to strong customer value propositions, including easy and accessible insurance, transparent premiums, AI automated accident registration and prompt dispatch of help services all made possible via proprietary technology. The company is also pursuing business in Pay-As-How-You-Drive auto insurance, which assesses the premiums as per customer's driving patterns and behavior through sensor data analytics. In line with the company's open innovation strategy, Carrot has 100+ national & international partnerships, including South Korean government unit that oversees national highways and traffic controls.

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HealthSmart® Launches DFW SmartCare™ Health Plan

HealthSmart | May 20, 2022

HealthSmart, one of the nation's largest third party administrators of health plans for employers and plan sponsors, announced the launch of DFW SmartCare™, a comprehensive level-funded health plan that offers market leading discounts to DFW-area small to mid-sized employers. The plan offers significant savings and protection for plan sponsors and features access to the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance (BSWQA), inclusive of Catalyst Health Network (CHN). BSWQA is a clinically integrated network of hospitals, facilities, and doctors that members can access through Employers Health Network (EHN). DFW SmartCare delivers a transparent, all-inclusive model that offers predictable costs through a level-funded plan with no additional risk for employers and significantly lower premiums than mainstream fully-insured programs. The program also offers financial security with stop loss coverage to protect plans from catastrophic claims. In addition to a comprehensive health benefits plan, DFW SmartCare boasts a superior member experience through its Concierge Advisor Team who works to guide members and help them navigate their healthcare journey every step of the way. This new health plan designed especially for the DFW Metroplex is a perfect example of how HealthSmart approaches our organizational mission of reducing costs for plan sponsors and delivering premium healthcare solutions to our members, This program demonstrates an innovative approach to help plan sponsors in North Texas control their health benefit costs by providing deeply discounted access to the BSWQA clinically integrated network through EHN.This is big news for DFW small and medium employer groups and DFW SmartCare is truly a game-changer for our broker community in terms of providing quality healthcare options with deep discounts." Craig Julien, CEO for HealthSmart. Plan sponsors typically must work with several players to build their health plans, By bringing together experts in the areas of most concern to small and mid-sized plan sponsors, we have created a one-stop solution that offers a top-quality, focused provider network, critical stop loss coverage, and comprehensive third-party administration services, relieving area health plan sponsors of the burden of shopping for these services individually." Omar Haedo, president of Elan Insurance Group About HealthSmart HealthSmart is one of the largest third party administrators in the country and the premier provider of innovative, customizable and scalable healthcare solutions for employers, brokers and payers. We partner with plan sponsors to provide key services needed to reduce healthcare costs and manage members with dignity and respect. HealthSmart is the one-stop source for health plan needs, including health plan benefit administration, pharmacy benefit management, care management and wellness programs and provider networks.

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Bubble Launches Online Embedded Insurance for Housing Industry in the Wake of $1.75M in Funding

Next by Pacific Life | January 14, 2022

Bubble, the company that has made getting tailored home and life insurance an instantaneous online process, today launched its turnkey Insurance-in-a-Box offering on the heels of $1.75M in pre-seed funding anchored by The House Fund with participation from Tuesday Capital, Correlation Ventures, and North Coast Ventures. With Bubble, real estate and mortgage companies are able to embed digital homeowner's and life insurance seamlessly into real estate transactions. This enables people buying a home or refinancing a mortgage to easily – often in just a few minutes online – protect their homes as well as their families' futures at the same time as making a home/loan purchase. Bubble's Embedded Insurance-in-a-Box offering includes widgets, APIs, white-labeled or co-branded consumer sites and referral URLs that real estate companies can use to embed accurate home and life insurance quotes into home and loan purchase flows. Combining data from home and mortgage transactions with its own extensive database and proprietary analytics, Bubble delivers custom-tailored quotes in real-time. Through Bubble's online portal, customers can further personalize their coverage, maximize discounts, complete their applications, and have their policies approved and issued in a matter of minutes. Bubble integrates directly with top-rated insurance companies to match customers with customized policies instantly online. Its AI-guided recommendation engine, Bubble LifePal, currently finds the products with optimal coverage from Stillwater for homeowner's insurance along with SBLI and Pacific Life for term life, and integrations with other insurers are forthcoming. Customers are presented with transparent, personalized insurance packages, and often are able to get underwriting decisions and have their policies issued, all online in minutes. "We are excited to offer our range of home insurance products on Bubble's all-digital platform, Bubble's intuitive online flows demystify the process while giving users the flexibility to customize coverages to their needs. Together with Bubble, we're making insurance buying as easy as pie." -Stillwater VP of Inside Sales and Sales Systems, Alisa Ruenprapan. Recognizing that home ownership is a key catalyst to life insurance purchase, Bubble pairs two unique term life products especially suited for younger home buyers: Next by Pacific Life & SBLI's Simplified Issue Term Life. "With Next Term Life, you don't have to anticipate the future and buy more life insurance than you need, You start with the coverage you need today and can increase or decrease at key life events, such as buying a house, without additional underwriting. It's an innovative product that lets you 'lock in' your health rating, typically when you're young and healthy. Bubble's online platform that integrates life insurance at this key milestone is the perfect entry point for Next Term Life." -Joe Kordovi, AVP of Innovations at Pacific Life. The other term life product by SBLI offers a completely fluid-less (i.e., no medical test) underwriting process and provides instant online decisions in minutes, a perfect complement for busy home buyers that already have their hands full. "SBLI is very happy to work with Bubble and offer a unique and simplified issue digital term insurance solution to Bubble customers through this valuable partnership. This strategic collaboration supports SBLI's continued commitment to build diversification in both our product and digital distribution areas," said Denis Clifford, SVP of Sales & Distribution at SBLI. "Bubble streamlines the natural flow of life events: starting a family, buying a home, insuring it, and insuring everyone living there, Millennials especially stand to reap the benefits of bundling life and home insurance while they're young and healthy. They can lock in a great rate for the next several decades. Our mission is to make it as simple and straightforward as possible for them to do that." -Bubble Co-founder & CEO Avi Gupta. Bubble's digital Insurance-in-a-Box helps real estate companies minimize friction and speed transactions by enabling customers to quickly get insurance when they're buying a home. Lenders and loan servicers also mitigate the risk of default with term life policies covering borrowers. These companies in the housing ecosystem can even monetize insurance by sharing commission splits or referral fees with Bubble under certain circumstances. Dan Zettler, partner at Barnstable Mortgage Group, noted: "As mortgage brokers for nearly 20 years, partnering with Bubble allows us to leapfrog our offerings into the digital world with a completely online experience for personalized home and life insurance. Taking the pain and hassle out of insurance purchases is a no-brainer!" About Bubble Bubble's mission is to help homeowners protect their homes, loved ones and everything under their roof with the right insurance coverages, at the right time for the right price. By embedding online insurance into the path of a home or mortgage purchase, Bubble's sophisticated AI algorithms combine data from the real estate transaction with its own extensive library, to streamline the process of buying insurance, from an online quote to application to instant approval. About Next by Pacific Life Next by Pacific Life was created to provide a better, seamless digital experience for the modern customer. Offering an innovative insurance product built for customer engagement, Next by Pacific Life easily integrates with key digital distribution partners like Bubble. About SBLI (The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts) For over 115 years, SBLI (The Savings Bank Mutual Life Insurance Company of Massachusetts) has specialized in providing hassle-free, affordable life insurance. Whether it be term life, whole life or a plan that combines the two, they offer dependable protection, at a fair price.

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Assurely Enters Relationship with Relm Insurance Ltd.

Assurely | February 14, 2022

Assurely of Bermuda, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Assurely, announced an expansion of the group’s TigerMark™ Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance program (TigerMark), in collaboration with the Bermuda-based ‘A (Exceptional) rated’ Relm Insurance Ltd. This new Managing General Agent (MGA) relationship continues TigerMark's momentum over recent years and underscores Assurely’s commitment to offer protection to private companies raising capital via online platforms and portals through Reg A, Reg CF, and Reg506(c) offerings. The relationship with Relm further illustrates a commitment to the marketplace, doubling the capacity available through the TigerMark D&O insurance program, and offering higher limits to those companies raising capital. The addition to TigerMark through Relm also provides more comprehensive and traditional D&O insurance coverage options to protect against exposures beyond the capital raise. Expansion of TigerMark comes at a crucial time when global crowdfunding has grown from $8.61 billion to $113.52 billion between 2020 and 2021, resulting in the need for higher limits and the broadened appetite of companies and projects. Assurely’s relationship with Relm, combined with its earlier announced relationship with Great American Insurance Group, evidences the strong marketplace support provided to TigerMark. The added capacity and expanded coverage from Relm Insurance Ltd. allows Assurely to strengthen its support of stakeholders and continuously support the crowdfunding industry’s contribution to the nation’s future economic growth. "The crowdfunding industry is experiencing rapid growth that is generating an acute requirement for protection against the increased risks for startups and projects. By expanding through our agreement with Relm, TigerMark’s strengthened capability fully supports the arising risks these companies face, making the industry and its stakeholders safer, Here at Assurely, we are excited to provide the only D&O insurance that properly meets the needs of stakeholders within an industry that is shaping how individuals invest and how companies begin." -Ty Sagalow, chief insurance officer and co-founder of Assurely. “We are excited to support the protection TigerMark provides and to be a part of the positive impact it has across the crowdfunding industry, This program will allow businesses to raise tech-enabled capital for the first time so they can grow and scale, opening up huge opportunities and new business platforms. This aligns with Relm’s mission to energize emerging risk businesses to execute on their strategy and grow.” -Joe Ziolkowski, CEO of Relm Insurance Ltd. About Assurely World Trade Labs, Inc. d/b/a Assurely creates and distributes insurance products for changing industries and innovative companies. Created by prominent insurance leaders, Assurely’s accomplished team and technology are adept at building, providing, and executing precise, cost-effective insurance coverage for businesses and marketplaces, small and large. About Assurely of Bermuda World Trade Labs of Bermuda dba Assurely of Bermuda is an insurance agency licensed and regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. World Trade Labs of Bermuda is a wholly-owned subsidiary of World Trade Labs, Inc. About Relm Insurance Ltd. Domiciled in Bermuda, Relm Insurance Ltd. (Relm) is a global insurer that provides unique insurance solutions for new and emerging business sectors with a focus on the crypto /blockchain and cannabis industries. Relm is the world’s leading insurance provider to the crypto sector and is currently the only insurer globally to hold Bermuda’s IIGB License which enables the business to accept premiums and pay claims in cryptocurrency. Relm has been awarded an ‘A Exceptional’ Financial Stability Rating (FSR) by Demotech. Relm is owned by Deltec International Group and was founded by CEO Joe Ziolkowski.

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Insurers today are faced with many challenges such as competitive pressures, IT systems that are aging, and inefficient business processes that make it harder to achieve profitable growth. Among the processes that carriers can focus on, the rating is arguably the most critical and can have the most visible effects. Rating impacts revenue is fundamental to new product offerings and is the cornerstone of carriers’ competitive differentiation.