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It’s Not Where We Work; It’s How
When the pandemic ends, will insurance agency owners and employees en masse return to the office? Some will. Some won’t, says Michael Howe, Applied’s EVP of product management. Regardless, he says, the “inalienable” piece is the agent and the client relationship. “The core offering of an agent is not going away. We need to make sure agents have the tools they need to maintain and add value to those relationships.” With the shock of Covid came an opportunity for agents to evolve and build a stronger business using technology for sales and service, Michael says. A “silver lining” in remote work is that more agents see the value of day-to-day, cloud-based tools. “It’s less important whether they’re sitting in an office,” he says. “It’s about how they run their firm.” Listen as Michael provides an outlook for evolving insurance technology based on consumer preferences.
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EP. 2: Forget the Stars, Insurers are Shooting for the Cloud
Recent research shows that more insurers are taking advantage of cloud technology for data storage and managing business functions.
According to a 2018 report from Novarica called Cloud Adoption in Insurance: Trends and Issues, more than 70% of insurers reported using at least some Cloud technology, with about 10% of insurers running most of their infrastructure on the Cloud.
When something is in the Cloud, it means it’s stored on internet servers instead of a computer’s hard drive. The Cloud acts in part as a data center using software as a service, or SaaS, programs not only for data storage but also to host applications that streamline and run business functions.
However, tech innovation doesn’t come without challenges. As the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many insurers to accelerate their efforts toward digital transformation and Cloud migration, protecting sensitive data stored in the Cloud has been a growing concern.
In this episode, Ron Bennatan, chief technology officer of the database security platform jSonar, based in Boston, discusses why insurers should take advantage of the Cloud and where the real risk from Cloud migration lies.
“Most of the risk lies in human error,” he says. “A lot of us in the security industry talk a lot about attacks and breaches, etcetera, but most bad things happen because of mistakes. And mistakes happen more when there’s something new.”
Later in the episode, Jacey Kaps, partner at RumbergerKirk in Miami, discusses how data privacy concerns among insurers, regarding not only Cloud adoption but also increased use of technology overall, are changing the cyber insurance litigation landscape. He also explains how COVID-19 has amplified the need to protect sensitive data with many employees working from home and offers his tips on how insurers can keep their data safe.
“Human error is at the top of the list,” he says. “These attacks, the vectors that are used to engage in them, nothing has really changed here. But what has changed here is a rapid deployment for some organizations of a remote workforce, and with that, the necessity to engage in training to thwart these types of attacks. That is one very important piece that just cannot be ignored – the need to continue to train.”
Tune in to see what else Ron and Jacey have to say and be sure to check beck twice a month for new episodes every other Wednesday. Thanks for listening.
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EP. 14: What an Election Green Wave in Five States Means for the Industry, Insurers
Elections Part II
Nov. 3 came and went, and while there’s some still contentious feelings around who won the Presidential race and neither a blue nor red wave ebbed, voters did enthusiastically greenlight cannabis. Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota are now states where cannabis is either legal for medicinal or adult use. We asked a pair of experts what this means for cannabis and for insurance professionals.
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Covid Ups the Ante for Artificial Intelligence
Meet Henriette Fleischmann, a rising insurtech star. She’s COO of Hosta Labs, which uses artificial intelligence to automate the detection of conditions, risks, materials and replacement values to make residential property underwriting faster, safer and more reliable. AI works best, she says, with repetitive tasks following a pattern. Insurance professionals still will cover more sophisticated property assessments – the “outliers.” Listen as Henriette outlines a start-up navigating growth in a pandemic. “I have a heavily loaded scheduled with Zoom Mania, as I call it. It’s back-to-back meetings for everyone.” On the one side she can attend more virtual events without travel time; the downside is the lack of human connection and one-and-one relationships. On balance, Covid has helped the AI market “quite a bit,” Henriette observes. “Carriers are literally forced into touchless and digitized solutions. You can’t just sit it out. It’s not clear when it’s going to end.”
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EP. 13: How Election Results Could Greenlight Federal Cannabis Legalization
Nov. 3 is the big day, and while the big story for voters is the choice between diametrically opposed presidential candidates, the scent of cannabis legalization has quietly wafted over ballots across the nation. Voters in five states will get to decide whether to legalize, and with a dozen contentious seats up for grabs in the U.S. Senate, what will the results do for efforts to decriminalize the plant and create safe banking and insurance for the budding industry? We asked a man in the middle of it all for a rundown and what the elections mean for cannabis.
The post EP. 13: How Election Results Could Greenlight Federal Cannabis Legalization appeared first on Insurance Journal TV.
EP. 1: Insurance’s Digital Transformation in the COVID-19 Era
“Insurance is a technology industry now.”
That’s according to Todd Lukens, chief information security officer at Nationwide.
“You think about the entire workflow of how insurance works, everything from creating a quote to binding to utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning and our claims processes and our fraud processes, it’s a technology industry,” he adds.
In the first episode of Insurance Journal’s bi-monthly Insuring Cyber Podcast, Lukens speaks with host Elizabeth Blosfield about what Nationwide is learning from its transition to a hybrid operating model with 98% of its workforce being remote – a move the company announced in April as the coronavirus pandemic was ramping up.
Also in this episode, Pete Arterburn, digital transformation lead at Aon Affinity, discusses how the insurance industry is being pushed to embrace tech with COVID-19 at its heels. He explains what this means for a relationship-driven industry in terms of connecting with its customer base and attracting top talent.
“I think ultimately we’re going to start to see tectonic shift,” he says. “You’re going to start to see a number of agencies maximize that technology capability to really move to that virtual environment…I really do think that will continue to be the new norm.”
Thanks for listening. Check back twice a month for new episodes of the Insuring Cyber Podcast every other Wednesday.
The post EP. 1: Insurance’s Digital Transformation in the COVID-19 Era appeared first on Insurance Journal TV.
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