Three Ways Insurance Companies Need To Rethink The Role Of Agents

Founder and CEO of SmartFinancial.com: on a mission to make the insurance buying process more efficient.

It used to be that if you asked someone who they’re insured with, they’d give you their insurance agent’s name. Billions of dollars in advertising later, people now name their carrier and barely remember the agent that signed them on. Meanwhile, the brick and mortar agencies are waning in importance, and companies like Nationwide are moving to a virtual workforce model. In my role as a CEO overseeing an insurance-technology platform, I’ve observed one thing that remains the same despite all the confusing shifts over the past few decades: Insurance agents are still the primary sales channel for insurers.

Even though carriers can communicate directly with consumers at a lower cost, insurance agents who bring profitable business to carriers are a valued and integral part of the insurance distribution chain. Here’s how future

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Tomlinson: Government insurance for hurricanes and floods going broke

Real estate is the most valuable asset most people will ever possess, and insuring against natural disasters like floods and storms is common sense.

Or so you might think. Two government-mandated programs are in financial straits, with critics asking if they should exist at all.

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is still kicking the financial can down the road to avoid raising rates because coastal property owners do not want to pay their fair share. Meanwhile, San Antonio-area homeowners are allowing their federal flood insurance to lapse as memories of past floods fade.

When disaster strikes—and we know it will—taxpayers will be left picking up the tab for others’ foolish decisions.

TOMLINSON’S TAKE: Unscrupulous developers will strike back against flood measures

The windstorm association, a quasi-government entity known as TWIA (TWEE-ah), provides coverage to more than 190,000 properties in 15 coastal counties that no private company will insure. That includes

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Your health insurance might be on the chopping block

Too bad there is not another presidential debate this week. The moderator would be able to ask the most important question of our time: When it comes to a comprehensive health insurance program, which is better: ObamaCare or what the Trump administration has proposed to replace it with? 

It’s a trick question, because to date, after four years of promising a better health insurance plan, there is no Trump administration plan.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as ObamaCare, which passed in 2010, extended coverage to millions of uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid. Thirty-nine states have since elected to expand eligibility. For others not covered by their employer’s plan, new health insurance exchanges were created to allow individuals to buy health insurance.

Additionally, the ACA set federal standards for health insurers that offer plans to individuals, small groups as well as employer-sponsored health benefit plans.  For the first time,

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Premiums Cost 10 Times More)

Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, many Hollywood companies still can’t head back into production on film and TV projects because of one major roadblock: Insurers have made no moves to incorporate pandemic coverage into policies, leaving big studios to self-insure and smaller production companies to seek pricey alternatives — or gamble on shooting without any coverage at all. Productions that bought policies before March are largely safe, as multiple insiders tell TheWrap that most policies procured before the pandemic shutdown did not have COVID-19 or infectious disease exclusions, and cast insurance and civil authority policies cover expenses incurred due to the coronavirus. However, any policy written since March now has a “platter of exclusions” as insurers seek to mitigate potential losses, according to Brian Kingman, managing director at Gallagher Entertainment, who helps find coverage for Hollywood’s stars. Plus, no major insurance carriers will offer COVID-related coverage moving forward. “In

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Bitcoin Is An ‘Insurance Policy’ Against The Fed, Warns Former Facebook Exec

The U.S. dollar has been under pressure this year, taking a big hit as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on America’s economy.

In the run up to next month’s U.S. presidential election, investors are scrambling to understand how a win for either incumbent Donald Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden will move the dollar and currency markets.

However, former Facebook
FB
executive-turned venture capitalist, Chamath Palihapitiya, has warned neither Biden nor Trump will help U.S. dollar—but holding bitcoin is an “insurance policy” that helps him to “sleep soundly at night.”

MORE FROM FORBESForget Jack Dorsey And Square-Is This The Real Reason Bitcoin Has Suddenly Soared?

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Insiders sound off on Florida insurance cost hikes

As home insurance prices are poised to increase sharply, the South Florida Sun Sentinel asked leading insurance experts to provide their views of the disintegrating state of the market. Here’s what they had to say. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Locke Burt, president and CEO, Security First Insurance Co.

Insurance cost drivers are well known and have been reported before — bad weather, increased reinsurance costs, shady contractors, aggressive plaintiffs bar with a favorable legal environment, water losses, fraud. What’s different is the trends seem to be accelerating and the Legislature has not done anything meaningful to change the trajectory of increased costs which, under Florida law, must be passed on to consumers in the required annual rate filings.

The private sector is shrinking and raising rates as fast as they can because the losses are not sustainable and the providers of additional investment capital simply do

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Root Insurance, a US-based insurtech, has filed for an IPO

  •  Root Insurance is targeting a $6 billion valuation in an upcoming IPO.
  • It’ll likely succeed thanks to its improving loss ratio and the increasing demand for usage-based auto insurance.
  • Insider Intelligence publishes hundreds of insights, charts, and forecasts on the Fintech industry with the Fintech Briefing. You can learn more about subscribing here.

The US-based insurtech has filed for an IPO, per TechCrunch. Root has raised a total of $523 million in funding to date and is valued at $3.7 billion, though it’s targeting a $6 billion IPO valuation. The full-stack insurtech sells auto, renters, and homeowners insurance, and is currently available in 29 states.

the global usage based insurance market

Root Insurance is targeting a $6 billion valuation in an upcoming IPO.

Business Insider Intelligence


Root is disrupting the $266 billion auto insurance industry through its use of IoT and AI, and has expanded its coverage to break into other markets. The insurtech collects users’

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Gov. Newsom signs insurance bill providing quicker payments for wildfire losses

Wildfire victims who lose their home and possessions will be able to recoup money for their expenses faster, thanks to legislation that makes property insurance benefits easier to collect.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 872 into law Thursday, providing a suite of insurance protections and streamlined claims processing to better respond to the recovery challenges residents face right after a disaster.

The law won’t take effect until next year. It got Newsom’s endorsement as Sonoma and Napa counties and numerous California communities confront property losses during two months of widespread fires that have burned 4 million acres statewide this year.

Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, who co-authored the legislation, viewed it as part of the growing movement to address home insurance hurdles for disaster survivors after consecutive years of destructive wildfires in the North Bay, he said.

“None of these bills are a silver bullet, but all of them put

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Health insurance options expand on MNsure

A new health insurer in southeast Minnesota plus more competition in dozens of southern and western counties means more options and a shot at lower premiums for many buying coverage on the state’s MNsure exchange.

MNsure announced Friday that consumers in 80 counties next year will see three or more health insurance companies competing on the government-run exchange. This year, only 31 counties in Minnesota are seeing that much competition in the market for individual market coverage.

Average premium increases from returning carriers will range from 1 to 4%, the state Commerce Department said Friday. Monthly costs will vary by geography and could look very different if consumers shop around for a different health plan.

“The actual rate change that a consumer will experience in 2021 can vary depending on factors such as specific plan, geographic rating area and age,” Commerce said in a statement.

A 40-year-old in Rochester who

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The Best Insurance Companies In Every State 2020

When the Coronavirus pandemic forced millions of Americans to work from home to curtail the spread of the virus, cars sat idle in garages and the U.S. economy ground to a halt. There was one silver lining: Traffic and traffic-related accidents plunged.

San Antonio, Texas-based USAA Insurance, America’s fifth largest property-casualty insurer, used the sudden change in driving patterns and accident logs as a cue to return money to its policyholders. In 2020, USAA has returned over $1 billion to its policyholders through “auto insurance dividends,” which are helping to keep

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