About Matthew Josefowicz

Matthew Josefowicz is the President and CEO of Novarica. He is an expert on insurance and financial services technology, with two decades of experience advising CIOs on IT strategy and solutions. He has written more than 100 reports on insurance technology issues and is the lead moderator of the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council. Prior to launching Novarica in 2007, he founded and led the global insurance group at analyst firm Celent and worked at D. E. Shaw & Co., LP. He holds a BA magna cum laude in Classics from Brown University. He can be reached directly at mj@novarica.com.

Is OEM the Real Usage-Based Insurance?

CB Insights recently published a nice summary of alliances between automakers and insurers that provide insurance as part of the lease. Some insurers have also partnered with startups pushing a differentiated car ownership model, like Carma and FAIR. These offerings have the potential to nibble away at the personal auto market from two different directions.…

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Amazon Enters Insurance… for Itself

There’s been plenty of speculation lately about whether Amazon would enter the insurance market. Would they be a distributor, bringing their legendary customer-obsession to creating an optimized buying experience? Would they disrupt the pharma benefits business with their supply-chain brilliance? Well, it turns out what they have in mind first is disrupting the health insurance…

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Customer Experience, Innovation, and Analytics at Novarica’s Hartford Regional Roundtable

More than 20 insurer IT leaders and staff members joined us last week in Hartford for our latest Regional Roundtable. These meetings are designed to offer networking opportunities for insurers as well as a chance to discuss common challenges and solutions. Among the major themes of the conversation were: Customer experience is about more than…

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Emerging Technology Deployment is Still Rare, But Poised for Growth

A new survey of over 100 insurer CIOs finds that while there is an active interest in a wide range of tools and technologies that fall under the “emerging” label, there is still considerable diversity in both deployment rates and active plans for pilot programs. Deployment of this emerging technology is still rare, with adoption…

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Online/Mobile Claims: Disappointing Results or Promising Indicators?

JD Powers’ latest report on US Auto Claims Satisfaction confirms that 9-12% of auto claims begin online through a phone or computer, a finding that many articles about the study frame as a disappointing adoption rate given the amount invested in these capabilities. Of course, while mobile apps have gotten a lot of press, the…

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Digital and Insurance for Small Business

There have been a flurry of stories recently about the role of digital in small business, from MetLife’s new IBM/Majesco initiative to digitize benefits for small businesses, to digital distributor CoverWallet’s last funding round, which including existing investor Two Sigma, the folks behind Attune (see our earlier post, “Never mind the start-ups, here’s the Quants”).…

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Insurer IT Priorities Evolving Faster than Budgets

The overall average IT spending levels and patterns for next year are basically consistent with previous years, but the pressures and priorities of insurer CIOs are evolving. Security issues are moving to the fore, and the need for innovation, digital, and analytics are consuming a larger portion of transformation budgets. Historical norms still govern budgets,…

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Commercializing Risk Management

The recent news that Arrity (Allstate’s telematics spin-out) has signed its first external customer is an encouraging piece of news for insurers that are thinking about new ways to monetize their risk management knowledge and capabilities beyond just selling loss-reimbursement (AKA insurance policies). It’s important to note, though, that Allstate created a completely separate operating…

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Software Bites Back

Six weeks ago we noted Data’s Growing Appetite for Software, when Verisk purchased Sequel. Last week, software bit back as Guidewire purchased Cyence, a data science and machine learning startup focused on helping insurers quantify new risks such as cyber. Just as we cautioned data services providers not to underestimate the challenges of selling software,…

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Workers’ Comp For Dessert?

Two new Digital Distributors of workers’ compensation insurance made news recently. Leading Colorado WC insurer Pinnacol announced the pending launch of Cake, a direct writer of WC for small business which claims to offer bindable quotes with as few as 12 underwriting questions. Meanwhile, Pie Insurance, founded by the former head of Esurance and backed…

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Underwriting Undergoing Change

Carrier Management highlighted a recent study by consultant and introvert advocate Susan Cain that listed insurance underwriter as a career suggestion for introverts. While this may have been true in the past when an underwriter’s job primarily consisted of being able to “sit for long stretches and objectively investigate candidates and make proper determinations for…

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Reinsurance: It’s not just for risk management anymore

SwissRe has announced that they’re taking a new approach to expand the life insurance business in the US – using analytics to enable a simplified buying experience that makes purchasing life insurance less onerous. This is a good example of the value chain reshuffling that is being enabled by technology developments. In the old days,…

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Equifax Breach Underlines Need for All Insurers to Have Real CISOs with Real Resources

It appears that the Equifax breach was completely preventable, since it leveraged a known vulnerability where the patch had been available for more than two months prior to the breach. Many are shaking their heads smugly, but those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. How many insurers can say that they are 100% up to…

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Cyber-Liability in the Aftermath of Equifax Breach

PC360 reports on the potential effects of the Equifax breach on the cyber-liability market, with various industry sources anticipating that this massive breach will raise the visibility of this important product. We assume risk managers have been calling their brokers all week – hopefully they are talking to their CISOs as well! For insurers who…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Self-Service and Reporting Key for Finance/Operations

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. While most insurers think about data and digital capabilities primarily in outward facing roles and most recent core…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Streamlined Communications and Predictive Fraud Scoring Important in Claims

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. Applying digital capabilities to claims means streamlining communications across the value chain from claimants and adjusters to third-party…

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Data’s Growing Appetite for Software

Software may be eating the world, but is data eating software? Verisk recently announced the acquisition of Sequel, a London Market software provider, and earlier this month, CoreLogic announced their acquisition of Myriad Development, which puts them in the underwriting systems game. While there are many advantages to uniting software and external data services, data…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Electronic Bill Presentment/Payment and Analytics are Billing Goals

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. Digital billing capabilities are related to electronic communications and payments through the use of current and emerging channels…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Digital and Analytics Emphasis in Customer Engagement

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. Customer engagement is a major focus area for insurers’ digital strategies. These cover engaging with customers via web,…

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Reinsurer Investment in InsureTech

According to a recent Bloomberg article, major reinsurers’ extensive investment in InsureTech is part of a strategy to diversify and open new channels to accumulate risk. While the prospect of investment returns are part of the attraction, some reinsurers are viewing InsureTech investments (especially in what we call Creative Carriers and Digital Distributors) as an…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Predictive Scoring and Going Paperless Important in Underwriting

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. While many insurers think of digital primarily in terms of external communications, streamlining underwriter workflows and improving internal…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Distribution is the Focus of Most Digital Strategies

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. Distribution has been the focus of most insurers’ digital strategies, and there are many digital distribution capabilities that…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Customer Profiling/Modeling in Marketing

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. With the exception of direct personal lines writers, few insurers have really advanced digital marketing capabilities – most…

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Mass Cyber-Security Losses: Revisiting Cyber-Risk Products

Bloomberg reports that the costs of the WannaCry and Petya cyber attacks are climbing into the hundreds of millions of dollars, especially in Europe. Unfortunately for the companies affected, many are apparently underinsured to cyber-risk, so it is somewhat unlikely that this will have catastrophe-level effects on the insurance industry. Nonetheless, only 8% of insurers…

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The Rise of Domestic IT Outsourcing

The New York Times reported on the growth of domestic IT outsourcing with a profile on a company that specializes in digital and app development. It’s no surprise to insurers that as the price differential between onshore and offshore engineers has gone from 10x to 2x, the management overhead of offshoring is starting to eat…

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Novarica New Normal 100: Streamlining/Optimizing Product Development

We recently published the Novarica New Normal 100, for P/C and L/A, which covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities for insurers across eight functional areas: product development, marketing, distribution, underwriting, customer engagement, billing, claims, and finance/operations. Most insurers don’t think of digital as having a big impact on product development, but streamlining the development…

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The “New Normal” for P/C and L/A Insurers

We recently published our second annual Novarica New Normal 100 capabilities benchmark reports for insurers, presenting data from over 80 insurers in property/casualty and life/annuity editions. I’ll be discussing this report during a webinar on September 6th. Please pre-register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8727743365593985793 to join me. The report covers 100 digital, data, and core capabilities across product…

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Accounting for Cyber-Catastrophes: Potential Cyber-Attack Damages Now Rival Hurricanes

According to a new report from Lloyd’s reported in Carrier Management, potential cyber-attack damages now rival hurricanes. While cyber has been a low risk line for many insurers due to per-incident damages caps, the potential for a “cyber-catastrophe” – perhaps resulting from a Day Zero vulnerability that hits massive numbers of insureds simultaneously – is…

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6th Annual Novarica Council Awards for Real Business Impact

We recently published our sixth annual best practices case study compendium, which contains more than 30 detailed examples of recent IT initiatives that delivered real, positive business impact at insurance carriers. Case studies were divided into four categories: core, data and analytics, digital, and IT practices and infrastructure. Eight cases were selected as winners of…

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KPCB State of the Internet: More Mobile, More EHR, Better Design

Mary Meeker’s annual State of the Internet report was released this week. While this year’s focuses mostly on media and emerging markets (China and India), there are a few important facts for US insurers: The average US adult now spends three hours a day on their smartphone (p9). Insurers who don’t yet have a strategy…

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DeepMind and AIG Remind Everyone That Cyborgs are Still Better than Robots

Another AI milestone was achieved recently as Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo program beat the world’s human Go champion two games in a row in Hong Kong. But this is the money quote from Demis Hassabis, co-founder of Deepmind: Mr. Hassabis has said that top amateur Go players, with the help of AlphaGo, can generally manage to…

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Insurer CIOs Strategize to Position Companies for the Future at Annual Council Meeting

More than 70 insurer CIOs and their teams gathered at the 10th annual meeting of the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council, held in Providence, RI, on April 24-25. The Council Meeting provides the CIOs with the chance to discuss key opportunities, challenges, and other topics of note with their peers, Novarica experts, and guest speakers.…

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Selfie-Underwriting Is An Intriguing Idea, But There Are Easier Paths To STP

The recent announcement by Lapetus, which claims it can use selfies to “analyze body mass index, gender, and even physiological age to determine underwriting risk,” certainly has some interesting potential as a tool for life underwriting. But there are many hurdles to adoption, including proving accuracy of needed underwriting requirements and regulatory acceptance. The excitement…

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Insurer CIOs Face Evolution of Industry, Threats, and Opportunities

Artificial intelligence, disaggregation of value, and the ability of IT to create business value were some of the main topics of discussion among insurer CIOs on the first day of the 10th Annual Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council meeting. More than 70 CIOs and IT leaders from more than 50 US insurers joined industry experts…

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Robots vs. Humans: Customer Service in the Age of AI

Long on excitement about the potential of new “Artificial Intelligence” applications like Natural Language Processing and short on imagination, many financial services firms and the high-tech providers that serve them have turned to the Call Center as the first application of AI. This is deeply misguided on many levels. Computers are great at pulling together…

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The Sound of Young Agents

Carrier Management’s recent survey of Young Agents found frustration with the lack of technology tools that makes it harder to compete with insuretech’s and direct writers. While it may be hard to get disruption-obsessed Valley VCs to invest in agent-facing tech tools, insurers should listen carefully to what the agents of the future want –…

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USAA Pilots EHR-Based Underwriting for Life Insurance

USAA has announced that they are leveraging EHRs from Kaiser Permanente and the VA to underwrite new life insurance policies without requesting analog medical files. While the first step seems to be about ease of access to information and customer convenience, this paves the way for straight-through processing in life underwriting. By starting with Kaiser…

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TrumpCare and the Voluntary Benefits Market

Whether Congress is able to pass TrumpCare this month or not, the continued uncertainty makes the for-profit healthcare marketplace increasingly unstable. Health insurers are opposed to a system that would repeal individual mandates but maintain the restriction on barring insureds based on pre-existing conditions. Large health insurers are likely to continue their push into the…

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Sapiens acquires StoneRiver

Sapiens announced this morning that it is acquiring StoneRiver. As we wrote last June, there are three major trends driving M&A in insurance enterprise software these days: verticalization, suites, and portfolios. This acquisition is the first recent example of one portfolio player merging with another, in this case an emerging porfolio player acquiring a more…

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Cyborgs Are Better Than Robots

The news that prominent robo-adviser Betterment is adding human advisers to offer additional services to clients isn’t terribly surprising. But although robo-advising may not be sufficient to scale a large company on its own, it has become an important service offering in its industry very quickly. Traditional players like Schwab and Vanguard offer their customers…

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Aon May Benefit From Pivot Back to Core Market

Yahoo News reports that Aon is in talks to sell its employee benefits outsourcing group. Aon bought Hewitt for $4.9 billion in mid-2010, when large brokers were under pressure to diversify into non-commission businesses after the financial crisis. Some interpret this as a signal that Aon wants to focus more on insurance and risk management…

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Instant Lemonade Impressive for Flavor more than Ingredients

Lemonade got some great press this week with their instant claims payment for a small property loss on a renters policy. While Lemonade is spinning this a miracle of AI, it’s really more a miracle of intelligently-designed processes. Many insurers do rules-based, auto-adjudication for small property losses, but few have the ability to translate those…

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Fed’s Action on Interest Rates Doesn’t Do Much to Change Yield Outlook for 2017

The recent action by the Fed to raise interest rates may have been pre-discounted by the equity markets, but the Open Market Committee’s change of posture signaling more aggressive raises in 2017 got the markets excited this week. But while this movement may be directionally encouraging for insurers, it’s a long climb back to the…

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Results, Regs, and Rates

Well, a few things certainly look different this morning. Here’s some quick thoughts for insurance technology strategists in light of the coming Republican administration and congressional majority. 1. Stop worrying about the DOL. A Republican administration is likely to reverse the pending DOL regs requiring investment product salespeople to act as customer fiduciaries. While this…

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That Cool Refreshing Drink…

Lemonade shared its first 48 hours’ results earlier this month (15% visitor-to-buyer rate for renters insurance in NYC), and Business Insider offered a nice profile of the company, founders, and its fundraising process. Whether or not it is successful in grabbing significant marketshare, it is remarkable for two things that insurers should carefully consider: 1.…

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Never mind the start-ups, here’s the Quants

While the insurers have been nervously watching Sand Hill Road and the billions of dollars pouring into the InsurTech start-ups that are taking aim at the industry’s weaknesses in customer experience, a potentially more ominous development is taking place a little closer to home: the Quants are coming, and they’re targeting the industry’s ability to…

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Your Software Vendor to Be Acquired)

Another day, another suite vendor buys another small independent component vendor. This time, Guidewire bought FirstBest Systems. The Age of Suites is certainly upon us, and the suite vendors are taking their cue from Pokemon Go. Gotta catch’em all! As we wrote in June, there are three major trends driving M&A in insurance enterprise software…

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Case Study Highlight: Enabling One-Day Health Claims Payments at Aflac

As we approach the announcement of the Novarica Impact Awards in the fall, we will be highlighting one Impact Award nominee each week on our blog. The Novarica Impact Awards are voted on by over 300 members of the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council, making them the only purely peer-reviewed awards program in insurance technology.…

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Three Trends in Insurance Software M&A: Verticalization, Suites, Portfolios

Greetings from IASA! Being here at the largest tradeshow for insurance enterprise software vendors is a nice backdrop to discuss this morning’s announcement that Insurity is acquiring Tropics, and the third major trend in insurance software M&A that this latest acquisition highlights. We’ve written before about verticalization and the importance of suites. Today’s announcement is…

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Common Characteristics of Successful IT Initiatives

Our fifth annual Novarica Impact Awards are underway, which recognize impactful IT initiatives executed by insurer CIOs and their teams. More than 30 initiatives qualified for this year’s Impact Awards across data, digital, core systems, and IT best practices. Case study subjects include AIG, CSAA, Everest, Great American, GuideOne, Homesite, Merchants, NORCAL, AFLAC, MetLife, Prudential,…

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Reading KPCB’s Annual Internet Trends Report

As always, the KPCB Annual Internet Trends Report, published yesterday by Mary Meeker and her team makes for some fascinating reading. Insurers may want to pay particularly close attention to the following sections: Pages 61 and following, on how retailers like Amazon and others have used their massive data collection capabilities to launch private labelled…

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Novarica Council Gathers Insurer CIOs to Address The First Year of the Future

Nearly 70 IT leaders from more than 50 insurers gathered last week at the 9th Annual Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Meeting to participate in panels and workshop sessions with their peers, get insights from Novarica’s senior team, and attend keynote sessions from outside experts on operational transparency and cyber-security. The First Year of the…

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Operational Transparency, Agile, and Perceived Value

Our guest keynote speaker at the recent Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Meeting was professor Ryan Buell of Harvard Business School, who presented some of his recent research on operational transparency and its impact on customer service. Transparency Changes Perceptions The main finding of Dr. Buell’s research is that service providers perform better when they…

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Insurance Enterprise Software Reverticalizes

This week’s announcement of Accenture’s spin-off of Duck Creek Technologies to a joint venture with a private equity firm underscores a trend we’ve seen in the insurance enterprise software and services market — increased verticalization. When we first started tracking M&A in this space nearly a decade ago, we focused significant attention on the tech…

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Talking to the Board, Talking to Millennials (and How the Two are Related)

As insurers increasingly become tech companies that sell insurance, ensuring that the highest levels of management understand that technology is a source of competitive advantage rather than a risk should be on every CIO’s list of priorities for 2016. Our annual Quick IT Benchmarks report provides Insurer CIOs with data on the state of IT…

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Policy Admin, Corporate Governance, and Disrupted Distribution

Policy administration system replacement and evaluation activity is at an all-time high across the industry. Across both life/annuity and property/casualty, policy administration systems vendors are offering suites that include not just traditional policy and rating functions, but billing, claims, portals, documents, and business intelligence capabilities. Yesterday, we published our 2016 Novarica Market Navigator on P/C…

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Google learns selling insurance on commission is hard; industry rejoices prematurely

According the the WSJ and Insurance Journal, Google will announce today that it is suspending Google Compare for all financial services including insurance. It turns out, selling insurance for commissions through comparison sites is much harder than it seems. This was obvious to anyone who read InsWeb’s 10Ks from 15 years ago. Comparing rates doesn’t…

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One start-up’s stumble does not signal an end of disruption

The insurance industry enjoyed another collective moment of schadenfreude yesterday when Zenefits’ CEO resigned after the company was found to have bungled agent licensing. But here’s something that appeared in no headline: Zenefits bungles licensing; insurer customers go back to preferring inefficent processes and bad buyer experiences. Just because Zenefits stumbled doesn’t mean they will…

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These are not the droids you’re looking for…

According to FinTech marketers, the “robots” are coming. Robo-Advisors will help clients optimize their investments, and Robotic Automation will remove cost from cumbersome back-end processes. But we’re not talking about C-3PO working in a call center. Robo-Advisors means improved analytics, better customer self-service, and automated rebalancing of portfolios to align with pre-set customer goals or…

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Insurance Tech Trends 2016: SaaS & Mobile Go Mainstream, Big Data Tech Grows (for “Medium Data” challenges)

We recently published our 3rd annual look at “Hot Topics” in insurance IT: social, mobile, analytics, cloud, big data, and digital. I’ll be presenting this study in a webinar next week on January 20th. You can pre-register here to attend. These six areas share two main characteristics: They enable potentially disruptive changes in one of…

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2015 Year in Review

The Year the Future Arrived At the spring meeting of our Research Council of insurer CIOs, we predicted that 2015 would be “The Year the Future Arrived” in insurance. New entrants, new expectations, and customer-centric innovation are starting to change the game for the industry. All of this is creating new challenges for insurance IT…

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The future has arrived for insurance, but have insurers arrived in the future?

The good news from the recent PCI Tech Conference is that futurists like Vivek Wadhwa give the insurance industry at least three to five years before it is disrupted beyond recognition by data, analytics, the internet of things, self-driving cars, 3D printing, hyper-aggressive technology companies, and essentially free energy. The bad news is, many large…

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Novarica Impact Awards Summit Recap

Our recent Novarica Impact Awards Summit provided a forum for IT leaders to present and discuss their nominated case studies with a broad group of Novarica council members and clients. The projects presented ranged from Philadelphia Insurance’s adoption of a legal bill review solution that delivered a multimillion dollar payback to MetLife’s successful transformation of…

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9 Advanced Capabilities Life/Annuity/Benefits Insurers Plan to Implement in 2015

With the rapid changes in technology-enabled capabilities, just keeping tabs on what has become “table stakes” or the “new normal” for Life/Annuity/Benefits insurers has become a full-time job. Last month Novarica released its Benchmarking the “New Normal”: 50 Advanced Capabilities for Life/Annuity/Benefits Insurers” report, which includes a list of 50 advanced capabilities across nine functional…

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2015 Novarica Impact Awards Summit

Novarica’s Impact Awards are the only pure peer-recognition honor for insurer CIOs. Each year, a panel of CIO members (no consultants, no vendors, no analysts) select from dozens of case studies submitted by their peers that highlight IT initiatives that had a real business impact. This year’s Impact Awards Summit taking place August 13th at…

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Predictions of Insurance Future from 2011 are Materializing…

In January 2011, I wrote a post on this blog highlighting three glimpses of the future of insurance. The three issues I called out were: Underwriting without questions, as illustrated by the Aviva/Deloitte pilot project featured in the WSJ in November 2010 Agents optional, based on general trends, with the specific example of the NAIC…

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Novarica Research Update: M&A and Insurer Accelerators and VC Funds

With investor money flooding the insurance technology sector and tech company M&A activity at a fever pitch, Novarica has published two new reports: “Insurance Software M&A Update 2015 Q2” and “Insurer Accelerators and VC Funds: Buying Innovation”. With the recent acquisitions of Agile Technologies and Cover-All by Majesco, Oceanwide by Insurity, and CCC Information Services…

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Is 2015 is the year the future arrives for insurance and technology?

Last week, we held our 8th annual Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council Meeting (see here for Council info, agenda, and press release). This week, we’ll be blogging about some of the discussions and presentations. One of the general themes of the Council meeting was the acceleration of the rate of change in technology and the…

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New IT Benchmark Research Highlights Areas of Concern and Provides Insights on Spending and Budgeting Decisions

External benchmarking data is an important tool for insurer CIOs in both self-assessment and communication with senior business management. Benchmarking data can provide critical support for spending and budgeting decisions, as well as highlight potential areas of concern. Novarica’s new Quick IT Benchmarks for Insurers is based on 69 responses from the Novarica Insurance Technology…

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Wearables and Gamification in Life Insurance Goes Mainstream?

John Hancock’s new life insurance program that gives discount points for behavioral modification was covered in this morning’s New York Times. The article was titled “Giving Out Private Data for Discount in Insurance,” which gives an idea of the initial media reaction. If these types of product offerings are going to catch on, insurers will…

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Insurance Industry Remembers that Investment Dollars Buy Access to Innovation

Everything old is new again. Like the E-Venture Investment Groups of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, a new crop of investment activity is springing up in the insurance industry, with the hope of giving the industry a preview of tomorrow’s capabilities and approaches. This includes single company initiatives like AXA Strategic Ventures and American…

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Ten Statistics About Social Media, Mobile, Analytics, Big Data, Cloud and Digital Technologies in Insurance for 2015

It can be hard for Property & Casualty and Life/Annuity insurers to sort the hype from reality when it comes to areas like social media, mobile, analytics, big data, cloud, and digital capabilities. Recently, Novarica released its “Hot Topics” report which is designed to show adoption rates and provide insurance carriers with insights on six…

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The future just keeps getting closer…

In case you were wondering when the great disrupters in Silicon Valley would turn their attention to the insurance industry, wonder no longer, and read this post on the Andreesen Horowitz site from 1/22/15. How about an insurance company that empowers you to make smart lifestyle decisions? Examples: the car insurance company that routes you…

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The Future is Here, it’s Just Not Evenly Distributed

The WSJ today reports that Google has secured insurance agent licenses in 26 states and deepened its relationship with CoverHound. Yesterday, Accenture released a study of independent agents showing disintermediation by online distribution was their number one fear. On Tuesday, January 13th at 2 p.m. (EST) we’ll be presenting a webinar on Hot Topics for…

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NYT: Insurance Fails to Meet Evolving Needs, Tech Transformation Means Embracing Failure

I came across two interesting articles in the NYT recently that I wanted to share with our Council members and clients, since they nicely illustrate some of the themes of change and adaptability that have been some prominent in our recent discussions. The first, The Insurance Market Mystifies an AirBnB Host describes the challenges that…

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Novarica Webinar: Change, Legacy, and Disparity

If you missed yesterday’s webinar on Change, Legacy, and Disparity in Insurance Technology, you view the replay here. Novarica clients can also download the presentation slides. The webinar examines the themes of change, legacy, and disparity in the way insurers are reacting to rapid evolutions in the technology landscape. It includes a high-level summary of…

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The Experience is the Product

I had a chance to present on customer experience in insurance recently at the Insurance Performance Association. It was an interesting event featuring several engaging speakers from outside the industry as well as business leaders and consultants from within. My presentation focused on the role of technology in supporting customer experience, especially in a technology-transformed…

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Novarica Impact Awards 2015

Today we announced the nominating committee for the 2015 Novarica Research Council Impact Awards. This will be our 4th annual celebration of case studies of effective technology initiatives by insurers, as recognized by a peer jury of hundreds of insurer CIO members of the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council. An average of 40 case studies…

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Program Business Growth Outstrips Overall Commercial Market Growth

Interesting article in PropertyCasualty360 today about how Program Business has now grown to $30B and is experiencing faster growth than the overall commercial lines market. Hmmm…maybe there’s something to this idea of aligning products, market segments, and distribution strategies after all. Novarica Quick Quote – Product, Market, and Channel Alignment from novarica

Strategic Alignment for Insurers

As part of my presentation this week to the annual PCI Technology Conference on Technology Trends in Insurance: Change, Legacy, and Disparity, I discussed the need to align product, segment, channel, and process/technology in insurance. Although some insurers have been discussing this need for a long time, changes in the data environment and information technology…

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Small commercial insurance moves online…because it’s too low margin to do offline?

There was an interesting article today on PC360 about the state of small business online. The article echoed many of the themes and issues we raised in our report last summer, Direct Online Small Commercial Insurance. The article had some interesting quotes from direct players like Insureon and Hiscox, both of which were featured in…

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Systems of Engagement, Core, and Analytics are Major Topics at IASA

Our team is just back from the annual IASA conference, which provided the opportunity to meet with dozens of CIOs and solution providers over a couple of days. In general, insurers and vendors appear to have been investing heavily in technology over the last year or so, with carriers launching major initiatives in core systems…

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Turning Insurance Outside-In

Across the great formal presentations, panel discussions, and roundtables at our 7th Annual Council Meeting this week, one theme kept jumping out for me: the need for insurance to become more demand-led in market, operational, and technology strategies. As an industry, we have a tendency to view the world from the inside out. We need…

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Commercial/Specialty Underwriting Automation: Cui Bono?

Good article recently in I&T on Commercial Insurers and Underwriting Automation., covering some recent studies by various industry analysts. Here’s a quote: Complex risks are still much more hand underwriting and will be for the foreseeable future,” says Matt Josefowicz, managing director at Novarica. “It’s all about empowering those underwriters with more communications tools and…

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More than 25% of insurers increasing IT outsourcing in 2014, but some heavy users scaling back

Our latest CIO survey report on IT Outsourcing shows that while more than a quarter of insurers are increasing their use of outsourcing in either application development and maintenance, specialized IT skills, and IT Infrastructure, some heavy users of ADM outsourcing are planning to scale back in 2014. Over the past decade, there has been…

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Analytics in 2013…or e-Business in 1997?

A new technology capability has emerged. It has the potential to transform core business processes significantly, but it requires business leaders to re-evaluate current practices in order to take advantage of the new world. While media, board members, and vendors push for immediate adoption and quickly incorporate the buzzwords into their vocabulary, actual changes in…

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2014 Insurance IT Budgets and Projects: More of the Same, Plus Increased Activity in Mobile and Big Data

We’ve just published our fifth annual study of insurer CIOs’ budget and project plans for the coming year. The good news is that more insurers are increasing their IT budgets slightly, although with IT spending ratios are still within historical norms, which indicates budgets are tracking projected growth rather than being dramatically expanded. We’re also…

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CIO Insurance Summit Highlights Transformation Efforts and Challenges

Lots of good discussions this week at the CIO Insurance Summit in Atlanta. More than 50 CIOs joined members of the Novarica team and others for an intense two days of workshop discussions, panels, and informal networking and learning. Discussion topics ranged from industry and technology trends to management and leadership best practices. Each day…

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