This year’s Joint Industry Forum (JIF) featured a panel titled “A 21st Century Workforce that Reflects the Communities We Serve,” with the speakers discussing the move to increase diversity in the insurance industry.
Moderated by Margaret Redd, Executive Director, National African-American Insurance Association (NAAIA), the panelists noted that the push to create diversity must be intentional. This, according to Craig Lapham, CEO, The Lapham Group, whose organization specializes in recruiting within the industry, becomes more difficult with the increased desire for specialists. “The generalist is not favored anymore,” Lapham said. “The question is often, ‘who do we know,’ when it should be ‘where do we go?’”
The panel agreed. Although hiring individuals who are highly familiar with the industry can mitigate short-term risk, there may be long-term risk. For the panelists, missing out on highly capable talent to other industries was in itself a concern; to lose this talent because the industry wasn’t willing to look beyond exactly-relevant credentials was myopic.
In fact, for panelist Denise Campbell, AVP, National Accounts, AIG, the insurance industry wasn’t originally part of her plans. After graduating from New York University with a major in music technology, Campbell joined AIG as an administrative assistant. Yet she invested in the company, and in turn, AIG invested in her. She admitted than when she first started rising through the ranks of the company, she would readily admit experience she didn’t have. Yet she knew she could learn. “It was important to have people that believed in me,” Campbell said. For Campbell, many of her first champions were from employee resource groups for African-Americans.
The panel also discussed the shift in age of many employees within the insurance industry. With older generations retiring, the speakers remarked that the next cohort of talented insurance professionals need to be nurtured. Randa Rawlins, Executive Vice President, Shelter Insurance, stated how important it is for millennials and Gen Z to join the insurance industry. However, she acknowledged that challenges remain.
“Millennials want tech savvy, big projects,” Rawlins posited. The panel concurred, remarking that the insurance industry is striving to create more opportunities of this kind.
“They’re also very focused on people management,” said Deborah Aldredge, Chief Administrative Officer, Shelter Insurance.
The speakers noted that although there have been measures to recruit more millennials, it’s still unclear what the future holds. Indeed, recognizing the human element of insurance will continue to be enormously important for the future of the industry and its success.
By Brent Carris, Research Analyst, Insurance Information Institute
The 2020 Joint Industry Forum began its afternoon sessions with an informative discussion on how businesses can best adapt to the tech driven customer experience. Moderated by Kathleen Bromage, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at The Hartford, panelists resoundingly agreed that the shift in customer interaction must be a company-wide initiative, not just the job of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Bromage started the conversation by addressing how focus is shifting more to the services that surround the product, adding how the role of the CMO is facing fundamental change. Panelist, Scott Steele, CMO of Church Mutual noted there is an, “overwhelming amount of information in the technology explosion, ” and CMO’s can make stronger more unified opportunities for marketing to grow.
“Start with consumer expectations and how they are changing,” said Bill Keogh, Insurtech and Fintech Advisory at Ingenium. Every role needs to understand insurance marketing, Keogh added, from the senior level to hiring the right team. Furthering this sentiment, Avril Castagnetta, Americas Insurance Marketing Transformation Leader at EY, addressed the importance of agents and brokers being better at social selling and “someone who engenders trust online”, adding that some customers are even obtaining life insurance policies through WhatsApp.
Personalization and a “0 friction future” are important for the industry to think about, per Brad Auerbach, Head of Industry, Insurance at Facebook. “Look at solutions that are already out there and how you can personalize it for your company,” said Steele. “The more you know about the consumer the more you can bring them the most relevant services, product or communication” added Auerbach, noting the importance of a focus on loyalty and retention.
Wrapping up the conversation, panelists stressed the importance of the CEO pushing and empowering teams to test and learn. “Products are changing and you want marketing to be the front of that,” concluded Keogh.
Each year Triple-I hosts a conference called the Property/Casualty Joint Industry Forum. This event, which took place on January 16 this year, assembles key figures from the business, policymaking, and media spheres to explore topics of vital interest to the property/casualty insurance industry.
During his opening remarks, Triple-I CEO Sean Kevelighan laid out many of the key issues the industry is facing: extreme weather events (wildfires can now be as costly as hurricanes), flat interest rates, populism and political risk around the world, building the workforce of the future, and the race to better engage with customers. Making disaster resilience a win/win proposition for both insurers and their customers is another vital issue.
He then sat down with CBS News’ senior foreign affairs correspondent and Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan. They discussed current events, including the impeachment of President Trump and the recently signed trade deal with China. Ms. Brennan advised news consumers to make sure that they have a trusted source: “if they are a pain to each side,” then you know they get it right.
Over the next week or so, we’ll be blogging about the fascinating conversations that took place during the conference. Upcoming posts will cover:
The Future of Insurance Marketing
JIF 2020 Crystal Ball—What Does the Future Hold for the Insurance Industry?
A 21st Century Workforce That Reflects the Communities We Serve
A Conversation with Economist Dr. Glenn Hubbard on Business and the Economy
For a full agenda click here. Check out this video for an overview of the conference. Interested in attending next year’s conference? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) publishes a list of “Judicial Hellholes” — places where ATRA says laws and court procedures are applied in an “unfair and unbalanced” way in civil cases, usually to the disadvantage of defendants.
Since the issue of social inflation has been trending in recent months, it’s no surprise that the mention of ATRA’s report in our Daily newsletter garnered an unprecedented number of clicks.
Florida — a former number one Judicial Hellhole — doesn’t even make the cut this year.
“Florida took great strides toward improving its legal climate in 2019,” ATRA says “Although there is much work to be done, the election of Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has heralded a sea change in Florida’s legal landscape, beginning with the appointment of several new Florida Supreme Court justices. This new court is deferential to legislative efforts to stop lawsuit abuse and poised to correct the course set by the prior activist court.”
DeSantis in 2019 also signed into law a measure aimed at curbing assignment of benefits (AOB) litigation in the state. AOB is a standard insurance practice and an efficient, customer-friendly way to settle claims. As a convenience, a policyholder lets a third party – say, an auto glass repair company – directly bill the insurer. In Florida, however, legislative wrinkles have spawned a state of affairs in which legal fees can dwarf actual damages paid to the policyholder – sometimes tens of thousands of dollars for a single low-damage claim.
The measure DeSantis signed puts new requirements on contractors and lets insurers offer policies with limited AOB rights, or none at all. But it excludes auto glass repairs. The number of auto glass AOB lawsuits statewide in 2013 was over 3,800; by 2017, that number had grown to more than 20,000.
This year, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas took over the top spot for 2019. It is one of the preferred jurisdictions for asbestos litigation and home to an $8 billion product liability verdict. California, New York City, Louisiana, and St. Louis all rank in the top five.
Some of the trends noted in the ATRA report include:
the trial bar’s push to use public nuisance law to shift costs associated with public crises to businesses;
lead paint and climate change litigation;
the opioid and vaping crisis; and
new rights of action against employers.
Three Illinois counties – Cook, Madison, and St. Clair – made the list. Antonio M. Romanucci, president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, called the ATRA report misleading. “The deceptively titled ‘Hellholes’ report is part of [ATRA’s] ongoing campaign to deny access to the court system that our tax dollars fund,” Romanucci told Illinois Radio Network. “ATRA’s annual publicity stunt demeans the U.S. Constitution and attacks citizens’ Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury.”
Romanucci said the number of civil lawsuits filed in Illinois has been declining since 2010 and was down 47 percent. And medical malpractice cases have dropped 32 percent since 2003.
The annual Focus on 5 survey by the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) yielded the following issues that are keeping workers comp executives up at night:
Will insurers be able to react quickly enough to preserve rate adequacy if loss costs start to rise after a sustained period of decline?
How does an aging and changing workforce affect industry drivers like claims frequency and severity, along with wage and employment levels?
What does the future hold for medical care costs, given variables like emerging healthcare technology and treatments, issues related to opioids and marijuana in the workplace, and mega-claims associated with seriously ill or injured workers?
Will the gig economy ever grow to the extent that it affects workers comp premium levels? And will insurers develop innovative products to serve that market?
How will rapidly changing workplace technology affect American jobs and the workers comp industry? Can regulation and legislation keep pace?
“It is critically important that we stay on top of the issues affecting our industry,” said Bill Donnell, NCCI president and CEO. “With a better understanding of the concerns of these leaders we can focus on key topics and provide insights that enable more informed decision making across the workers compensation system.”
On Tuesday, December 17, the House approved a package of bills that includes a seven-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) and funding for the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30, 2020.
Numerous insurance industry groups applauded the extension of TRIA. The act has been an important support in the effort to supply terrorism insurance through the private market. Since it was enacted, the percentage of companies purchasing terrorism insurance has risen to 80 percent, and the price of coverage has fallen more than 80 percent.
A repeal of Obamacare taxes, including a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, a health insurance industry fee that would have taken effect in 2020, and the 40 percent “Cadillac” excise tax on the most expensive health-insurance plans.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which features provisions that make it easier for smaller employers to join open multiple-employer plans, ease non-discrimination rules for frozen defined benefit plans, and add a safe harbor for selecting lifetime income providers in defined contribution plans.
The bill is expected to pass the Senate and be signed by President Trump before government funding expires on December 20.