Recent Articles by Mark Breading
CES2017: Cool Stuff, Insurance Implications
If there was one overriding theme to CES2017, it was that emerging technology progress seems to be accelerating, with new products and uses spreading across every conceivable human endeavor. My observations from an intense four days in Las Vegas include highlights on the hot trends, examples of some very cool new products, and what it […]
A Smarter World: New Products at CES
For every object you can think of that we use in our daily lives, there is probably a smart version of it already available or in the process of development: That is one of my conclusions from CES2017. This blog will be a bit different in that it will simply provide a list and summary […]
Insurance 2030: Utopia or Dystopia?
What will the world look like in 2030? As the world becomes increasingly connected, will technology free the human race and solve the age-old problems of the world? Or will it lead to chaos and misery? Utopia or dystopia – what’s it gonna be? This may seem like just philosophical prognostication – and it is […]
Blockchain: What Role in Insurance?
Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that could fundamentally change the way business is conducted and result in the restructuring of major industries. At least, that is the view of some prognosticators. Others believe that there are important implications for the technology, but that it will not be truly disruptive. What about insurance? Will blockchain be […]
Observations From InsurTech Week
InsurTech Week 2016 hosted by the Global Insurance Accelerator in Des Moines was a great experience. It is quite interesting to see the energy, excitement, new ideas and investment in the insurance industry. Brian Hemesath and his team at the GIA have done a great job of harnessing this activity and being a positive force […]
Blending the New With the Old
The insurtech phenomenon reached new heights at the InsureTech Connect 2016 event in Las Vegas in October. More than 1,600 attendees spent two days absorbing new ideas, connecting and making followup plans to explore working together. I’ve participated in many of the insurtech and emerging tech (in insurance) events over the last couple years, but […]
Not Your Father’s Insurance Industry
If there were any doubts that the insurance industry is innovating and transforming, all doubts were dispelled at the 2016 SMA Summit. Insurer after insurer described innovative new business models, products and uses of emerging technologies. Virtual reality, drones, gamification, wearables, the IoT and other emerging technologies were all discussed – not as future possibilities […]
Will Insurtech Just Fade Away?
By now, you might be getting tired of hearing the term Insurtech. You may also be annoyed at everyone telling you about industry disruption. But there is no question that there is a high level of buzz, excitement, investment and activity in the insurtech space. The question is – does it really matter? Or is […]
The Real Story on Transportation
The progress of mankind has relied heavily on technology advancement in two key areas: transportation and communications. Communications technologies, for moving information from one place to another and presenting that information to people in new and different ways, have been instrumental to the progress of civilization. Transportation technologies, for moving people and things from one […]
Virtual Reality: A Role in Insurance?
Virtual reality seems like one of those emerging technologies with limited applicability in insurance. But as I’ve tested a few VR headsets over the past few months I have come to realize there is opportunity for insurance — though you wouldn’t know it from the typical demos. I’ve now driven a Le Mans race car (until I […]
Data and Analytics in P&C Insurance
Often, it seems like the insurance industry moves slowly when it comes to technology improvements. The way insurers manage data and leverage analytics capabilities is no exception. But steady progress is being made. SMA’s recently released research report, Data and Analytics in P&C Insurance, highlights the progress as one of the key themes. The progress […]
Geospatial Solutions: A Vital Enabler
At SMA we have long been tracking the rise of smart things and their implications for the insurance industry. A variety of emerging technologies has been rapidly advancing to make everything imaginable smart. But participating in the ESRI User Conference in San Diego this year has driven home one key point: Geospatial solutions will have […]
Telematics: Time to Move Beyond Pricing
Sometimes it is difficult to believe that vehicle telematics for usage-based insurance is 20 years old. While the likes of Norwich Union and Progressive began planning and piloting long ago, most of the real activity in the market has taken place over the last few years. SMA’s recently released research report: Telematics in P&C Insurance: […]
Will Connected World Make Us Sloths?
The possibilities of a fully connected world are unfolding before us. Technological progress has always been about making our lives easier and providing us with more options to enjoy life – to travel, be entertained, buy stuff and communicate with others. But, the connected world promises to shift progress into overdrive. Many of the smart […]
How Connected Will Connected World Be?
The idea of a fully connected world has become quite popular in the press, and it is driving much of the innovation and start-up activity these days. At SMA, we continue to articulate that there will be many different ecosystems in the connected world, such as smart homes, connected cars, smart cities, intelligent farming and […]
‘Smart’ Is Everywhere, but…
The connected world is here. Everything is “smart.” And for insurers, the implications are huge. Whatever you insure can now be connected, monitored and analyzed. People, places and things, moving or stationary, living or non-living—are all becoming smart. Think that is an exaggeration? Consider the following products announced or displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show […]
Home Is Where the (Smart) Hub Is
The smart home was all the rage at the 2016 CES (Consumer Electronics Show). The exhibit space and products devoted to smart homes was absolutely mind-boggling. Well-known products such as the Nest Thermostat, the Roost Smart Battery for smoke alarms and Amazon Echo were displayed alongside a wide variety of other products to make every […]
New Vulnerabilities in the Connected World
Many exciting TV shows and movies include hacking as standard fare – overriding security systems, changing traffic lights, causing explosions, even committing untraceable murders. Hacking makes for interesting entertainment. The frightening part? It’s all possible. The digital connections in our world are multiplying faster than we realize. It is difficult to even think of anything […]
New Themes Emerging on Role of IoT
The IoT in Insurance event just concluded in Miami with an impressive lineup of 32 speakers over two days (including yours truly). Above all, the event demonstrated that the IoT is alive and well in insurance. Insurers are exploring, strategizing, investing, piloting and putting real value propositions into the marketplace. Most, if not all, of […]
Is Verizon About to Outmaneuver Insurers?
Today, my (snail) mailbox contained a postcard from Verizon offering to turn my car into a connected car. To be more precise, the offer was to my 22-year-old daughter — neither my wife nor I got the same offer. In essence, Verizon provides a device that plugs into the OBD port, a second device that […]
Are We Finally Getting Close to a Single View of the Customer?
The concept of the single view of the customer has been around for ages. I remember some significant single-view projects of insurers from the early 1990s. Many insurers have continued to strive toward this elusive goal. Now that the customer experience is front and center in insurers’ strategies, it’s time to revisit the single view, […]
Lots of Energy Going Into Improving the Customer Experience
Over the last two years, we have witnessed executive appointments and many strategy projects related to improving the customer and agent experience. It seems like we’ve all been bombarded by banner ads, e-mail promotions, webinars and conference speeches on this topic (and I speak from personal experience, having participated in a number of these). All […]
Insurance IT Spending Continues Upward Trend
In general, the investments in technology tend to follow the state of the economy and the state of the insurance industry. However, we have noticed an interesting trend over the past five years – insurers have become increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the industry and more bullish about the role of technology. This is […]
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