23 May 2018

Five Insurance Industry Developments

By: John Baker

Five Insurance Industry Developments

Do you recall when insurance was slow to change? Those days are gone. Here are five industry developments to watch.

1. Amazon poised to disrupt financial services

Bain & Co. found that more than half of U.S. respondents "are willing to buy financial services from established tech players," according to Insurance Journal. For example, young and unbanked adults may say yes to a new "checking-account-like offering" from Amazon, which is currently the "most trusted" tech player of them all.

"Once Amazon establishes a co-branded basic banking service, Bain & Co. expects the Internet giant to move steadily but surely into other financial products including ... property/casualty insurance ... and term life insurance," Insurance Journal said.

2. Top P&C insurers, going digital in new ways

State Farm has its eye on driverless cars, with patented wearable technology to keep drivers from getting distracted. Meanwhile, Progressive, with its reputation for forward-thinking on UBI, is exploring a new model for the relationship between insurer and insurtech firm. Allstate is solving challenges digitally, too. Following last year's hurricanes, it used digital tech to innovate claims response and is now seeking to extend "that transformation across the business," Digital Insurance said.

3. Insurers hiring digitally-minded execs

This year, insurers are prioritizing digital tech by putting digitally-minded people in the driver's seat. MassMutual, Allianz, AIG and others have all made hiring decisions that demonstrate a digital focus for 2018.

4. Market dynamics shifting from captive to independent agents

Nationwide currently employs a mix of exclusive and independent agents, but over the next two years, it intends to move to a strictly independent model. Agents who are currently exclusive are invited to transition to independent status.

Nationwide explained the move as part of an effort "to provide exclusive agents with more choices so they can ... be successful and maintain long-term viability," Insurance Journal said. Add to that, current "market dynamics and the desire of agents to shift from traditional exclusive agencies toward more integrated agency models make now an opportune time."

5. Industry partnerships offer modern tools for insurance sales and support

TechCanary is a cloud-based, analytics-driven provider of Salesforce CRM insurance solutions. This year, it's partnering with Bold Penguin, an insurtech firm with an online marketplace for P&C agents. Together, they're streamlining and modernizing the way sales and support is done - and they're not the only place where insurtech and industry partnerships are making waves.

We’re living and working in exciting times. The insurance business of tomorrow may look very different than it does today. For more interesting developments, download our 11 Emerging Trends report. And, if you have any doubt in your policy administration system’s ability to keep pace with rapid change, request a Silvervine Software demo or download our overview brochure to learn more about our forward-thinking alternative.

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