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ITA Pro Weekly, July 19, 2019

Columbia Insurance Group, Aflac, and other news from the ITA

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Hot Off The Presses!

Columbia Insurance Group Partners with DataCubes to Power its Agent Portal

DataCubes, a leading decision automation platform for commercial P&C underwriting, announced that Columbia Insurance Group has selected DataCubes’ AI-enabled underwriting technology to power their agent portal. Through the partnership, Columbia will utilize DataCubes’ risk analysis and decisioning tools, d3 Risk 360™ and d3 Answers™, to uncover deep underwriting insights while increasing quote accuracy and turnaround time.

DataCubes’ d3 Underwriting platform includes a data lake that aggregates over two billion data points from a broad array of internal and external sources including government entities, public records, company websites and more. With its machine learning models, DataCubes organizes and analyzes this data and automatically answers underwriting questions based on the digital footprint of a business. This enables Columbia to substantially reduce the agent's effort to obtain a quote while maintaining its high underwriting standards. 

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Aflac Incorporated Announces Acquisition of Florida-based Argus Holdings, LLC

Aflac Incorporated announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Florida-based Argus Holdings, LLC and its subsidiary Argus Dental & Vision, Inc. (Argus), a premier benefits organization and national network dental and vision company.

"We are very excited to have Argus join the Aflac family as we move closer to fulfilling our vision of being the number one distributor of benefit solutions to the U.S. workforce," said Teresa L. White, president of Aflac U.S. "This strategic transaction is a perfect fit as we enhance our core supplemental products with the network dental and vision offerings of Argus to meet the needs of the market."

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Are Personal Lines Insurers Investing in Foundational Technologies?

The personal lines segment of the insurance industry is quite active today, with many initiatives and projects underway across the value chain. For many, the objective goes beyond incremental improvements to positioning the company for fundamental transformation. The many projects planned or in progress fall into three categories: Digital Enablement, Core Transformation, and Data/Analytics. A newly published SMA research report, "Foundational Technologies in Personal Lines Insurance," details the projects and initiatives underway in 2019 and beyond.

One of the major challenges we observe in personal lines is the struggle to balance the need to establish a modern, competitive foundation with incorporating new technologies to position for the future. Most insurers have very long lists of projects for things like enhancing portals; replacing or upgrading policy, billing, or claim systems; modernizing business intelligence solutions; and more. These are the types of projects that SMA terms “Foundational,” precisely because modern solutions in these areas are table stakes for success today. Incorporating innovative solutions from InsurTechs and incumbent tech providers that leverage machine learning, the IoT, wearables, virtual payment technologies, and more are highly desirable but difficult to build into operational plans. These advanced types of solutions are what SMA calls “Transformational Technologies” and will be the subject of an upcoming SMA research study and report.

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