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‘Risk Advisories’: Agents Council for Technology Tackles Changing Nature of Risk

Work Group releases first of six Risk Advisories.

ACT Logo - New.jpgALEXANDRIA, Virginia, Aug. 25, 2016—The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) ‘Changing Nature of Risk’ work group discusses drones, Peer-to-Peer and other critical trends in the first of six ‘Risk Advisories’ designed to evaluate the independent insurance agency system’s “Changing Nature of Risk: Moving from trends to critical action.”

The 'Risk Advisories' are intended to drive strategic discussions among industry leaders to help the distribution channel evolve. The advisories are short, focused overviews which define each trend, the implications to the independent insurance agency distribution, economic impacts, recommended actions and resources for more information.

While the Changing Nature of Risk work group will continue to tackle all major risk trends, the following are the first six issues, each addressed in their own ‘Risk Advisory’:

1. Telematics, in the insurance industry, refers to data about behavior that affects insurance premiums and acceptable level of risk. Telematics can be applied to tracking and diagnostics such as driver behavior, fuel management or maintenance scheduling, but it also includes GPS and navigations systems. Auto policies with premiums based on the telematics data is also referred to as usage-base insurance.  

2. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) insurance is new terminology for an old idea. Entities with commonality have been banding together to defray their financial risks for many years. Some of these approaches are known as risk retention groups, safety groups and risk pools. The major differentiator in these new efforts is the innovative use of new technologies that is improving customer service, product distribution and reducing costs.  

3. Machine Learning has the ability to impact the distribution channel by providing a new way to communicate with prospects and clients. By supplementing staff with timely, on-demand guidance, agencies, carriers, and vendors can improve service levels and better meet customer needs.  

4. Smart Homes & Buildings technology has the potential to have significant impact on underwriting, claims, and loss mitigation for property insurance in the near future. These technologies will enable the insurance industry to monitor, in real-time, the health and status of the insurance exposure (homes and buildings being one of the largest combined assets covered by insurance), as well as use analytics to identify loss potential prior to a loss.  

5. Drones continue to grow in popularity and as their useful applications increase, the exposures and insurance needs of consumers and businesses will also increase. In addition to becoming better educated on the impact drones will have on the independent agency system, it’s important to be proactive in developing products that will address personal and commercial consumer needs. 

6. The Sharing Economy is an ever-changing space with little to no regulation. Insurance carriers are struggling to create best practices and products in a timely manner, agents are unsure of what questions to ask and are opening themselves up for E&O exposures and consumers are vulnerable because they are unaware of exclusions on their policies. 

“ACT is pleased with the Changing Nature of Risk work group efforts to identify and discuss critical issues such as machine learning, drones, smart homes and how they impact the industry,” says Ron Berg, ACT executive director. “Although these technological developments and trends often present challenges, they’re also blooming with opportunities for agencies to build their business and provide better service.”

The complete ‘Risk Advisories’ on each topic are available on the ACT website.

Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) was founded in 1896 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:

The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) was established in January 1999 by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) to provide a candid, action-oriented forum to address the critical workflow and technology issues facing the independent agency system. ACT helps participants understand the perspectives of the other stakeholders in the process and provides excellent networking opportunities with the participants who are shaping the future for the industry on these issues. For more information about ACT visit

ACT members include: 
Industry associations and consultants: AAMGA, ACORD, CSIO, IIABA, Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, NAPLSO, Angela Adams Consulting Services, Red Barn Consulting; 
Technology providers: Applied Systems/IVANS, CoreLogic Insurance Solutions, Citrix Sharefile, EZLynx, HawkSoft, ITC, InsureSign, My Insurance Videos, North American Software Associates, Simply Easier Payments/EchoSage, Strategic Insurance Software, Vertafore/QQ Solutions; 
User groups: Applied Client Network, InStar Users Group, National Association of S.I.S. Partner Agents, Inc., NetVU, Nexsure User Group; 
Carriers: Allstate IA, The Berkley Companies, Central Insurance Companies, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, CNA, Columbia Insurance Group, Dryden Mutual Insurance Company, EMC Insurance Companies, Grange Insurance, The Hanover Insurance Group, The Hartford, Kemper Preferred, Liberty Mutual Insurance, The Main Street America Group, MetLife Auto & Home, Motorists Insurance Group, Nationwide Insurance, New York Central Mutual Insurance, Penn National Insurance, Progressive, Safeco Insurance, Selective Insurance Company of America, State Auto, Travelers, West Bend Mutual and Westfield Insurance.
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