Insurance Industry Hiring & Other Best Insurance News

This Week in Analytics: News

Insurance Industry Disrupters Face Obstacles, Insurance Industry Hiring, Reaching Millennial Customers, Extracting Data to Improve Underwriting, Insurance Innovations, Insurance Websites Not All Harmful, Insurance IT Projects, Cost of Homeowners Insurance Claims Increase

Google to Face Same Obstacles Selling Insurance Online, Says Overstock’s Byrne

“Those now running comparison insurance shopping websites believe that they could be helped if Google enters into the business because the giant search engine could draw more attention to buying insurance online.

However, they also believe Google would face the same obstacles they have been dealing with in getting shoppers to move beyond getting a quote and actually complete the buying process online. They say the challenge in online selling is not about search, which is Google’s strength, but about closing the deal.

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne says Google’s rumored partnership with auto insurance comparison site comparenow.com, if it happens, would be a disruptor to the insurance industry and possibly a boon to his business.

At the same time, Byrne acknowledges that his e-tailer’s foray into insurance has not been as successful as hoped, at least not yet.” Read the full article now…

 

INN: 66% of Insurers Plan to Add Staff

“Two-thirds of insurance companies intend to increase staff in 2015, according to the ‘Semi-Annual U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study,’ conducted by recruiting firm The Jacobson Group and industry benchmarking firm Ward Group. That is an increase of eight points since the July 2014 survey and the highest rate since 2009, when the survey began.

The unemployment rate for the insurance industry now stands at 2.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, continuing the recent trend of low industry unemployment.

Insurers find recruiting for most positions to be difficult, according to survey participants. “We are seeing a market stabilization and increased confidence in the industry,” said Gregory Jacobson, co-CEO of Jacobson. ‘The result is a leveling-off of staffing and revenue forecasts.'” Read the full article now…

 

IBA: Infographic: How to Reach Millennial Consumers

“This year, so-called millennials are projected to become the largest generation in the workplace. And while conventional wisdom suggests this demographic has no interest in working face-to-face with a professional to satisfy their insurance needs, results of a new survey from software developer Applied Systems advise otherwise.

The agency software developer asked 1,000 consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 about their shopping and purchasing decisions on basic property/casualty insurance policies, including auto and homeowners’ insurance.

More than 90% of respondents carried auto insurance, and of those who had a policy, 35% completed their purchase online. What may come as a surprise to some agents, however, is the fact that another 37% reported buying auto insurance in person.” Read the full article now…

 

PC360: How to Extract Data to Price Better, Expand Markets and Improve Underwriting

“Insurance companies of all types and sizes generate data each minute, hour and day. Everyone—including executives, departmental decision makers, underwriters, claims adjusters and call center workers—hopes to learn things from collected data that can help them make better decisions, take smarter actions and operate more efficiently.

But the real challenge begins when companies begin extracting meaningful insights from this explosion of data. Determining how to take advantage of all this data to price better, expand markets and improve underwriting risk and handing claims. Fortunately, the science of extracting insight from data is constantly evolving. Regardless of how much data you have, one of the best ways to discern important relationships is through data visualization.

Data visualization, where information is presented in a pictorial or graphical format, is helping insurance professionals see things that were not obvious to them before. Insurance companies analyze historical data—which includes information from policy administration solutions, underwriting applications and billing systems—to forecast and predict future losses.” Read the full article now…

 

INN: Insurers: Let’s Be the Best

“Some of you may know from my appearances at industry conferences and events, or from my previous writing, that I have a major pet peeve: I don’t like when insurance companies are hectored by people inside or outside of the industry about how they aren’t innovative.

When I began covering insurance technology nearly five years ago, that refrain was common. And as an impressionable young reporter, I took it as the truth. But over the past few years, I’ve found that view to be outdated and, frankly, needlessly insulting. Many insurers are leading the way in gleaning real results from emerging technology disciplines, including big data, analytics, mobile technology, and telematics.

Insurance has always been a data-intensive business, and as long as insurers can lasso all the data within their systems, they are uniquely positioned to leverage advanced analytics in a big way. In this issue, we take a deep dive into the topic of data management. As Lenny Liebmann finds in our cover story, major insurers including Allstate and XL Group are making real progress in establishing a culture of data stewardship that allows all business units to take advantage of big data’s ability to provide an unprecedented amount of insight into policyholders.” Read the full article now…

 

INN: Not All Insurance Websites Are Harmful to Agents

“When consumers make an insurance purchase decision, there are often many questions: coverages, coverage levels, deductibles, which company to buy from and how best to make the purchase. It can take anywhere between just minutes to several hours to compare prices, talk with family and friends about options and weigh the pros and cons of different coverage levels. The process is arduous, but there’s help.

With the rise in online comparison sites and tools, buying car insurance is becoming more transparent and easier to navigate. Anyone with internet access may now go to a website, type in their information, receive a rate and purchase a plan without having to speak to anyone. While the future of buying car insurance may be moving online for some, this does not mean the imminent, or even long-term demise, of the local insurance agent.  They can, do and should still play a very important role in the process, due to the perceived and actual complexity of the product and the personal touch that many consumers desire.” Read the full article now…

 

INN: How IT Projects Become ‘Groundhog Day’ for Insurers

“Insurance industry IT executives, undertaking projects to modernize core systems, improve customer engagement or adapt to the Internet of Things can feel a little like they are in the movie Groundhog Day: They find themselves doing the same things over and over without seeing any real transformation.

In the movie, Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a weatherman assigned to cover the traditional Groundhog Day celebrations in Punxsawtawney, Pa. Phil dreads the occasion and vows he’ll soon move on to bigger and better things.

But things don’t go quite as planned. After lackadaisically covering the rodent’s encounter with his shadow, a snowstorm strands Phil in town. But when he awakens the next day, he discovers it’s once again Feb. 2, forcing him to repeat the events of the prior day.

Phil realizes he is stuck alone in a time loop and tries to break out. These include some wild and crazy behaviors, including some highly imaginative attempts to end the day by ending his life. But none of it succeeds: Each new day begins exactly as it did the day before.

Does this not remind you a little of the insurance industry’s IT projects, which go round and round, never seeming to fulfill the business needs and challenges that sparked them?” Read the full article now…

 

PC360: Cost of Homeowners Insurance Claims Increases at 2x Rate of Inflation

“With inflation low for the last 17 years, you would expect the cost of homeowners insurance claims to remain low as well. According to a new report from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), however, the cost of those claims has been increasing at twice the rate of inflation. The study, Trends in Homeowners Insurance Claims, 2015 Edition, found that the average claim payment per insured home across the U.S. rose from $229 in 1197 to $625 in 2011, then fell to $442 in 2013. This was an increase at an average annualized rate of 5% since 1997 while inflation averaged approximately 2.4% during the same period.

As used in the report, an insured home is defined as a house, apartment or condominium, and the term “countrywide” refers to the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia.” Read the full article now…

photo credit: hiring via photopin (license)