Instec Insights

Millennial Insurance

Millennials Are Ready for Insurance. Are You Ready for Them? Chris Mason, Senior Marketing Associate | Oct 30, 2020

We know that customer experience is important. More than 80% of carriers see it as the next key battleground for market dominance. But do you know what the customer experience really is? Read more

Insurance Worldwide

Think You Understand the Customer Experience? Think Again. Michael Sauber, VP, Marketing | Sep 29, 2020

We know that customer experience is important. More than 80% of carriers see it as the next key battleground for market dominance. But do you know what the customer experience really is? Read more

Insurance Worldwide

After the Pandemic: Back to a Boom Market Michael Sauber, VP, Marketing | Aug 27, 2020

In last month’s post, we introduced the concept of scenario planning as a technique that lets you model the future by making certain assumptions about critical uncertainties and then understanding their implications. Read more

Insurance Worldwide

Navigating an Uncertain World Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jul 23, 2020

2020 continues to unfold as one of the most challenging environments to navigate in recent memory. We are facing a pandemic with multiple waves, social unrest over injustice and inequality, a trade war between the two largest economies, and an unfolding presidential election. Markets are spooked as large swaths of the economy have been shut down with no end in sight. Read more

Insurance Worldwide

Never-Ending Niches, Insurance Style Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jun 25, 2020

"Never-Ending Niches” – content targeting a specific audience, supported by technology platforms that are low cost and easy to deploy. How are Never Ending Niches disrupting the insurance value chain? Read more

Insurance Worldwide

After the Pandemic: A Millennial Perspective Chris Mason, Senior Marketing Associate | Jun 02, 2020

People and industries everywhere are bracing for the impact of COVID-19 but are uncertain what the total fallout will be. Each generation will experience the pain differently, but for millennials (those born between 1982 and 1996), it will be particularly interesting. Read more

Insurance Worldwide

The Response Takes Shape Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Apr 23, 2020

As the trajectory of COVID-19 takes shape, so too do the strategic responses the insurance industry is taking. With the disease set to peak in mid to late April in most states, three clear themes are taking shape as the insurance industry deals with the aftermath of a global pandemic for the first time in modern history. Read more

MGA Policy Systems

MGA Policy Systems: The 4 Unknown Unknowns Rob Reed, VP Sales | Mar 26, 2020

More MGAs and program administrators are buying policy administration systems than ever before. But there a host of unknowns that may come as a surprise to novice buyers. This article discusses four key considerations that MGAs should factor into any system purchase. Read more

Complex Commercial Insurance Systems

4 Global Threats … 4 Insurance Opportunities: Emerging Risks by the Numbers Michael Sauber, VP, Marketing | Feb 27, 2020

Complex commercial insurance carries unique requirements, and traditional systems may not be up to the task. The old suite model won't be up to the task, so what kind of systems are best poised for success? Read more

Complex Commercial Insurance Systems

Complex Commercial: Does the System Fit? Michael Sauber, VP, Marketing | Jan 31, 2020

Complex commercial insurance carries unique requirements, and traditional systems may not be up to the task. The old suite model won't be up to the task, so what kind of systems are best poised for success? Read more

Analyzing Insurance Program Competition

Complex Commercial: Time to Wake the Sleeping Giant? Michael Sauber, VP, Marketing | Jan 06, 2020

There's a new evolving market starting to take shape that is becoming worth watching. We call it Complex Commercial insurance. More complex then programs, but still just as favorable for insurers. Read more

Analyzing Insurance Program Competition

Technology: A Competitive Weapon for Program Writers CJ Lotter, MBA, Director, Engagement Management | Nov 21, 2019

Technology can make or break a program business strategy. As we’ve covered in previous posts, distressed classes only remain distressed for so long until that market need is met. Agencies need a way to bring products to market quickly, or risk losing valuable potential business. Technology is key, but only if you choose your system wisely. Read more

Analyzing Insurance Program Competition

Analyzing the Competition: The Next Step for Program Success CJ Lotter, MBA, Director, Engagement Management | Oct 24, 2019

By now, you’ve become familiar with our series of posts on program business. We’ve covered the processes for identifying a market to target and for validating the opportunity through research. Now comes one of the most important steps, analyzing competition. Read more

Insurance Program Data Research

The Value Chain Wars Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Sep 24, 2019

Rather than disappearing from commercial insurance, MGAs have risen in prominence. In our hyper-competitive Darwinian Economy, everyone wants to move closer to the customer – and the MGAs is already there. With deep underwriting expertise in niche markets and the agent networks to serve them, MGAs have a unique and trusted relationship with their customers. Meanwhile, others further back in the chain are maneuvering to leapfrog the MGA. It’s a scenario we call The Value Chain Wars. Read more

Insurance Program Data Research

Establishing a Program Market: Sizing the Universe CJ Lotter, MBA, Director, Engagement Management | Sep 05, 2019

It takes time and diligence to carve out a new program. In this post, the third of our series, we’ll explain how to collect and analyze the data that will help you avoid the typical pitfalls and create a successful and profitable program. Read more

Insurance Technology Systems

The First Ingredients for a Successful New MGA Program CJ Lotter, MBA, Director, Engagement Management | Jul 30, 2019

The trend in insurance today is toward large volumes of policies with very little human intervention. Although the cost benefits may be attractive, this movement is leading us toward a commoditization of the industry where the only differentiator is price. Any business-minded person will tell you this is not a good position to be in. Ideally, you want to sell unique solutions that are difficult to replicate, raising the barrier to entry. Read more

Insurance Technology Systems

Creating a Successful Program is Like Baking Cake CJ Lotter, MBA, Director, Engagement Management | Jun 28, 2019

Spinning up an insurance program is a lot like baking a cake. A good cake requires the right ingredients, the right amount of time to bake, and meticulous crafting to ensure it looks and tastes great. Creating an insurance program is similar. It takes a combination of ripe market conditions, the right amount of time to grow, and the skills to execute. In this post, we introduce 10 steps to creating a successful new program. Read more

Insurance Technology Systems

AI: The Next Battleground, Part 2 Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | May 21, 2019

In Part 1, we discussed how data and artificial intelligence will be the next battleground for insurers. We covered some high-level definitions using Microsoft’s AI stack and took a deep dive into machine learning. We identified two additional components of the AI stack that make heavy use of machine learning: cognitive services and robot(ic) process automation. In this post we take a closer look at these and wrap up with some strategic thoughts about AI in general. Read more

Insurance Technology Systems

How is Buying a System Like Filing Your Taxes? Tim Slevin, Sales Coordinator | Apr 23, 2019

“Taxes” and “insurance” – two words that make people cringe when they think about them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Working with industry experts that use the proper tools and systems can make dealing with unsettling things, like taxes and insurance, a much less worrisome. Read more

Insurance Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Battleground Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Apr 03, 2019

Whatever your view of AI, you can’t ignore that fact that it’s fast becoming the next big battleground for business and government. So, if I am an insurer, how do I use it to compete in the Darwinian Economy? In this post, we’ll explain what AI is, how it applies to insurers large and small, and steps you can take to get started. Read more

Insurance Program Market Opportunities

The Insurance Bureau Paradox Michael Sauber, VP, Marketing | Mar 13, 2019

Your choice of system vendor is as important as any other strategic business decision and should not dictate your bureau adoption and compliance philosophy. If your system is a constraint, you may be sacrificing business opportunities. Read more

Insurance Program Market Opportunities

Three Carrier Approaches to MGA Policy Systems Rob Reed, VP Sales | Jan 28, 2019

Remember the old “Rock – Paper - Scissors” game? Each of these items has utility on its own, but when placed side by side, there are trade-offs. Scissors beats paper, but rock beats scissors, and of course paper covers rock. It’s the same with MGA policy systems. A carrier can provide a system to an MGA, require an MGA to acquire their own, or offer the MGA a choice. Each approach is valid but comes with a trade-off. Read more

Insurance Program Market Opportunities

New Doors Opening in the Program Market Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Nov 19, 2018

At Instec, we have witnessed some curious events in 2018. We have seen carriers invest in insuretechs and insuretechs become carriers. We have seen Tier 1 carriers shunning the so-called market leaders as they search for new systems. We have seen carriers striking creative deals with MGAs and retail brokers, and a stampede of MGAs rushing to buy systems. And we have seen retailers and wholesalers moving toward the program administrator model. What is going on here? The truth is, this is “evolution as usual” in the Darwinian Economy. Read more

Alternative Capital

Top 10 Program Business Takeaways from Target Markets Summit Rob Reed, VP Sales | Oct 31, 2018

Program insurance continues to be a bright spot in an otherwise challenging market. It’s growing at more than double the rate of the market overall and attracting traditional and new players alike. And what better place to take the pulse of the program market than at the annual gathering of this market’s signature event – the Target Markets Annual Summit. Read more

Alternative Capital

Battling the Dark Side of E&S Insurance Chris Mason and Michael Sauber, Instec Marketing Team | Oct 17, 2018

There is a lot to like about the excess and surplus (E&S) market. Direct written premium grew by 5.8% in 2017, more than double the growth of recent years. And the lack of regulation in E&S – the “freedom of rate and form” – makes it the easiest path into insurance. For some, E&S is a stepping stone to admitted insurance. For others, it is the ideal platform to launch products that address unique, emerging risks such as cyber. In 2018, the market continued to attract a host of new entrants, including alternative capital, insuretechs, and traditional insurers. Read more

Alternative Capital

Agents Care About the Customer Experience, Too Tim Slevin, Sales Coordinator | Aug 22, 2018

The customer experience has fast become a top priority for every carrier. But how many have considered the experience of their agents? With more product and service options than ever before, creating strong relationships with your customer has become paramount and the insurance industry is no different. Agents have many places where they can place business, but they will always work with the carriers that make it easiest to do business. And, believe it or not, systems play a major role. Read more

Alternative Capital

Alternative Capital and the New Normal Tom Collett, Managing Director, Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC | Jul 26, 2018

Understanding how capital, technology, and business intersect is vital to operating in the new insurance economy. Alternative capital has caused fundamental change in our market, and it would be foolish to ignore its impact. So, whether you see it as a threat or an opportunity, formulating a strategy to adapt is critical. Read more


How to Create a Fertile Space for Insurance Innovation Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jul 05, 2018

Innovators have discovered that if you splice together knowledge from different disciplines, you can create a rich and fertile space for innovation. And it doesn’t always require technology. For example, think of behavioral economics, which sits at the intersection of psychology and economics. Read more


In Pursuit of Autonomous Insurance Jason Pamplin, PhD, Product Manager | May 31, 2018

There is a feeling that with today’s technology we will finally be able to ask a few simple questions, query a few data sources, know everything we need to know, quote a compelling and profitable price, and book that business right online. How close are we? Read more


Mobile Millennials and Where to Find Them Chris Mason, Senior Marketing Associate | May 01, 2018

The upper bound of the millennial cohort is approaching its early thirties, a time when the need for insurance will become clearer. That means they should be ready to buy from you. But they will not go out of their way to start the conversation. So, how can you get your message across to them? Read more

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Why New Approaches to Counter Claims Fraud May Not Work Jason McGrath, President, KLJ Computer Solutions | Mar 22, 2018

Using big data analytics to better understand markets, opportunities and risk is fast becoming a strategic differentiator in the insurance industry. Soon data-driven AI will effect dramatic changes in operations – automating key aspects… Read more


Rise of the MGA Michael Sauber, VP, Marketing | Feb 28, 2018

In a soft market with depressed rates and intense competition, MGAs remain a singular bright spot. As carrier offerings become commoditized, MGAs provide differentiated and precisely-targeted products. It’s an approach that strikes… Read more


What is AI really and how do I start using it? Mike Fagan, VP Product Management | Jan 25, 2018

“Siri, play Warriors by Imagine Dragons.” “Alexa, re-order the 35-pound bag of Pro Plan dog food.” Read more


The Next Big Market for Insurance Chris Mason, Senior Marketing Associate | Nov 02, 2017

Soft market, increased competition, tech disruption – we’ve heard the bad news before. The good news? The next green pasture for insurers is beginning to blossom. Read more


State of Confusion Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Oct 02, 2017

The way the U.S regulates insurance today is absolutely Byzantine. You have fifty states plus D.C plus the Feds. The patchwork of rules and regulations is confusing. My systems can’t handle it. Hopefully the feds will come in and regulate this stuff and rationalize the stack. Read more


Competitive Advantage from ISO Commercial Auto Craig Harzinski, Delivery Manager | Aug 30, 2017

ISO’s decision to delay the permanent replacement of its commercial auto manual by two years has created an opportunity to stake out a competitive advantage, if insurers are prepared to act now. Read more


Still Dealing with Darwin Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jul 27, 2017

In 2005, Geoffrey Moore wrote a book called Dealing with Darwin in which he discussed how companies can use product innovation to differentiate their companies from their competitors to avoid extinction. Although written ten years ago, the concepts of the book are still relevant, though in a different way. Read more


Bugs in the System Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jul 20, 2017

Core system vendors are also struggling, as the products and services they offer are no longer what insurers need. The issue is that many of these products and services were created by a business model built in the late nineties and first decade of the 21st century. Read more


T-Shaped People Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jul 13, 2017

T-shaped people are better at cross connecting ideas from multiple domains, better at seeing the big picture than I-shaped people, and are the only ones with the flexibility and agility to survive in an economy that will see many jobs automated out of existence. Read more


A Clash of the Narratives Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jun 28, 2017

There is a lot of confusion these days, mainly due to the presence of multiple strategic narratives competing against one another. What exactly is going on in the insurance industry, and the core systems space? Read more


Why Do We Need a New Insurance Analyst? Dorene Morgan, Director, Human Resources | Jun 22, 2017

As recently as five years ago, the insurance industry was relatively unchanging. Into this industry in flux, enter The New Insurance Analyst, equally comfortable in the complex world of insurance and the fast-changing landscape of web-enabled technologies. The new insurance analyst is multi-talented, delivering a balance of three competencies: industry expertise, technology acumen, and business savvy. Read more

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Is the Underwriter an Endangered Species? Jason Pamplin, PhD, Product Manager | May 25, 2017

Every several years, there’s a wave of articles addressing the question of “whether underwriting matters.” The answer is always the same: underwriting not only matters, it is essential to any insurance company that wants to be profitable. The real question we should be asking is what role underwriters will play as automation reshapes the underwriting process. Read more


A Place for Strategic Systems Rob Reed, VP Sales | Apr 26, 2017

The once-staid insurance market is changing. New entrants and incumbents alike are accelerating the pace of innovation, and raising the level of competition. In this Darwinian Economy, insurers must move quickly, or risk being left behind. Read more


You Need to Plan for Millennials. Now. Chris Mason, Senior Marketing Associate | Feb 28, 2017

Millennials are rapidly becoming an economic driving force. Ignore this growing opportunity, and the biggest generational group in the US will ignore you. Read more

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What Can Insurance Learn from Amazon, Facebook, and Google? Charles Plath, UX Design Director | Jan 26, 2017

Much noise is being made in the insurance industry lately about paying more attention to the “customer experience”. Read more


What Lies Ahead in 2017? Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Dec 15, 2016

As Steve Jobs famously said, "you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward." While that may be true, recent market activity can provide some clues about the market’s trajectory. Read more

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Customer Communications for the Next-Gen Insurer Julie Ruffin, Marketing Manager at GhostDraft | Nov 17, 2016

It’s no secret that the insurance industry is changing. Disruption is running rampant, and competition is on the rise. The winners will be those who leverage insurtech and digital transformation to become the new leaders in an evolving industry. Read more

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The Four Pillars of Cloud Computing Mark Strelau, VP, Application Platform | Oct 27, 2016

The Cloud has become a commodity. What core attributes should every cloud platform have, and what should you be looking for next? Read more


Is Insurance Industry Disruption Missing the Point? Rob Reed, VP Sales | Sep 22, 2016

Disruption has arrived in the insurance industry, but is it pervasive throughout the insurance value chain? Read more


Three Approaches to Competing in The Darwinian Economy Mike Fagan, VP Product Management | Aug 30, 2016

The world of insurance is changing. If you expect to compete, you need to be fast, forward-thinking, and flexible. Read more

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To the Disruptors Go the Spoils Tom Caprel, Board Member | Jul 27, 2016

All across the insurance industry, fierce competition and disruptive forces are changing the look of traditional business models. Now is the time to adapt or decline. Read more


Your Next Good Idea Starts Here Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Jun 08, 2016

If there’s “nothing new under the sun”, then where do new ideas come from? Combinatorial innovation holds the key to creating new, and sometimes breakthrough, products faster and with lower cost and risk. Read more


Five Lessons from The Great Human Race Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | May 17, 2016

National Geographic’s new series offers a retrospective on how humans have adapted and survived in response to their environment and the constant change that surrounds them. The lessons learned provide a guidebook for insurance companies navigating the Darwinian Economy. Read more

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Software is Eating the World and Insurance is on the Menu Kevin Mason, EVP Solutions | Apr 19, 2016

Software-centric companies are poised to take over large swaths of the economy, and insurance is next. The warning signs are already mounting. Read more