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ITA Pro Weekly, December 17,2020

Cut-and-paste addicts, “transformational” telematics, latest insurtech investments, and more

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Hot off the presses!

When it comes to state filings, too many insurers – afraid of regulators -- adopt a copy-and-paste mentality, writes HazardHub CEO Bob Frady in this week’s Eye of the Storm blog. Even when a company adds some AI on top of old, outmoded thoughts, it’s an incremental advance at best. There’s definitely a better way, he writes.

“When we ask prospective customers why they do that, they either say (1) ‘it’s easier’ or (2) ‘filing is hard work.’ What’s confusing to us is that most of the regulators we’ve spoken to are truly curious about new technology and new approaches to solving insurance issues. Of course, they want things to be fair and are cautious of ‘black box’ methods, as they have to balance the rapid advancement in technology and risk assessment with maintaining a robust insurance market in their state.”


From omnichannel to digital transformation to AI, the InsurTalk podcast from Guidewire brings you expert insights from people who have driven innovation and turned possibilities into realities. Check out the first few episodes, featuring leaders from Aviva Italy, Economical Insurance, WSIB, and Farmers Insurance.


Nino Tarantino is CEO – Americas of IMS. a global provider of connected car solutions, services, and analytics to insurers. Before IMS, Tarantino launched Octo Telematics in North America, and was named Influencer of the Year at the 2018 TU Automotive Detroit and won best telematics service in 2017. In this week’s Electronic Chat, he shares his perspective on the latest telematics tools and how insurers can benefit from them:

“A better ability to handle data has been transformational, in my opinion. As a society, with more data, we are infinitely better equipped to make better decisions. That’s true in our approach to the market and to our ability to help our clients create more engagement through the use of intelligent technologies. The more data we collect, the more intelligence we can share among different players in any given ecosystem. Think, for example, about smart cities with connected cars, a managed repair network that includes repair shops, maintenance, roadside assistance, emergency services and more. More transparency in the process keeps users more engaged along the way.”


In recent insurtech investment news, Next Insurance acquired Juniper Labs, a provider of alternative open data and underwriting technology focused on small businesses. The move enables both companies to continue developing enhanced machine-learning capabilities and tools to strengthen the omni-channel customer experience. This is Next Insurance's first acquisition and follows the close of its $250 million Series D financing round at a $2 billion valuation.


In other news, Dallas-based Dallas Venture Capital (DVC), a VC firm focused on early-stage firms specializing in cloud infrastructure, AI/ML, mobile, XR and other emerging technologies, invested $3.5 million in PLNAR, an AI/AR enabled Insurtech company that is transforming home interior insurance claims for insurance carriers through touchless and virtual inspection.


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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.


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