Insurance-Canada.ca announces highlights of its 2018 Insurance Technology Conference

Source: Insurance-Canada.ca

For its 16thAnnual Technology Conference (ICTC 2018) Insurance-Canada.ca is focusing on the opportunities and challenges provided by new technology in use by Canadian insurers and brokers.

Artificial Intelligence is becoming a reality for Canadian insurance. Since the origin of electronic computing, “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) has been a goal for programmers and fodder for science fiction. These two groups are now coming together as reality emerges. AI and its counterparts – machine learning and advanced analytics – are coming into play in insurance companies and larger brokerages. Early implementations are demonstrating the use of AI in claims settlements, providing more accurate insurance product pricing and allowing customers ease of access to a variety of coverages.

From the buyers’ perspective, insurers and brokers are finding that Customer Experience is a critical success factor for attracting consumers while utilizing advanced technologies. Kanetix Ltd will discuss some of the challenges for customer-facing insurance providers as they optimize the customer experience, and techniques – including AI – to better address human behaviours.

Other sessions at ICTC 2018 will cover a larger landscape.  Experts from the analyst, insurer and technology supplier communities are preparing sessions focused on Blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things) and Digital insurance technologies. These include:

  • New risks and developing insurance products
  • De-risking strategies through climate adaptation
  • The impact of autonomous vehicles on the automotive insurance product
  • Customer experience technologies on the business of insurance.

Taking a user’s angle on the insurance industry and its technologies, David Coletto, CEO at Abacus Data, will provide the keynote address. Based on more than seven years of research, Coletto’s presentation will describe the context around all the technologies, and will offer a Canadian perspective on generational change (Millennials and Gen Z) and the disruptive forces at work in both consumer and insurance markets.

The 2018 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference, entitled Insurance Vectors in Play, will be held on February 27-28, 2018 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.  Details on the location, agenda, and registration can be found here. (www.insurance-canada.ca/ictc)

Manulife’s new CEO says insurance industry still in dark ages

BNN 

TORONTO – Incoming Manulife (MFC.TO 1.55%) chief executive Roy Gori said on Thursday the insurance industry is “still in the dark ages” and needs to transform its technologies to adapt to changing consumer behaviors.

Speaking at the Scotiabank Financials Summit, Gori, who is taking over as CEO next month, said the vast majority of Manulife’s technology budget is spent on maintaining existing systems rather than investing in new technologies.

“We need to transform our business to be much more of a technology-driven company,” he said. “We need to become a much more customer-orientated organization and quite frankly the entire industry does. In many ways, if I’m absolutely honest, our industry is still in the dark ages.”

Gori, who will replace Chief Executive Donald Guloien, said customers are looking to be able to buy insurance products instantly rather than be bogged down with paperwork.

“If you apply for an insurance product you’ll get a 16-page application form with 120 questions more often that not. It’s still very paper-based, very manual and, as a result, our industry net promoter scores are really very poor,” he said.

Gori said embracing new technology was key to changing processes.

“Customers engage today on their phones with other organizations in a seamless, transparent and very efficient way,” he said. “That’s not how they work with the insurance industry, so we need to transform our technology footprint.”

Solving clearance conundrums for errors and omissions insurance a major, but little known, job in film and TV

Someone on the set of the TV series “Fargo” liked the pop of colour a vintage clown game gave to an ominous scene in a dank, cluttered basement, so they moved it forward in the shot.

The problem? After the scene was filmed for the second season, the studio wasn’t sure it could show the garish carnival game without being sued _ even though it’s there for less than 10 seconds.

“Several high-level MGM executives spent weeks on that clown game,” producer Kim Todd recalled during a recent visit to a Calgary sound stage where Season 3 was being filmed.

Countless hours go into making sure anything featured in a TV show or movie _ whether it’s a character’s name, a brand-name product or a work of art _ won’t get the studio into legal trouble. Outside businesses are hired for what’s known in the industry as clearance _ scouring scenes for any potential pitfalls and flagging them in reports for studios.

It took some detective work, but the “Fargo” clearance team eventually tracked down the maker of the clown game in Montreal and got the permission it needed.

Hunting down the rights owners of tacky garage-sale tchotchkes for the show’s second season, set in the 1970s, was a huge undertaking. Ditto cheap figurines manufactured by the millions in China.

“Bad art is a character in ‘Fargo’ _ it just is,” said Todd.

Frustrating as it is, she said she understands where the clearance folks are coming from.

“It’s this plodding thing and I have to be very respectful of people who do it because they’re working for the studios who don’t want to get sued.”

Characters have also caused headaches on occasion. Ray Stussy _ one of two brothers played by Ewan McGregor in the show’s third season _ came up as a potential problem after the name had already appeared in the show’s promotional material.

It turned out that the real Ray Stussy the clearance team found is an African American man in his 70s _ different enough from the one on the show to quell any potential concerns over using his likeness.

Jim Erickson, a retired set decorator who won an Oscar for his work on the 2012 film “Lincoln,” said clearance concerns were a huge headache at times during his 40-year career.

When he first started out, it wasn’t so much of a problem. But then in the ’90s, studios appeared to get increasingly nervous about litigation.

Working with the clearance team to track down permission for items used on set became such a big job that he had to eventually hire someone full-time just for that.

“So the legal department was starting to dictate what we could or couldn’t put on sets and that was really, really disturbing,” Erickson said from his home on B.C.’s Salt Spring Island.

“I was in fights all the time and I would just always lose.”

Clearance is required for studios to get errors and omissions insurance _ similar to malpractice insurance in the medical field _ for their productions, said Amy Lennie, president of The Rights Company.

The Toronto-based firm does intellectual property rights research and clearance for films, television shows, web series and video games around the world.

“They need to cross all the t’s and dot all their i’s to make sure that things are done properly and any potential lawsuits out there are not going to happen,” she said, adding most in the industry understand how important it is.

“Everybody’s a professional and they’re reasonable people. It’s common sense.”

Ideally, all clearance quandaries are tied up before shooting even begins, said Chad Mathis, a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer and founder of The Clearance Lab.

Slip-ups can be fixed in post-production, but it’s expensive.

Mathis said clearance tends to trip up those new to the business who might not even think about it until after they have a distribution deal.

“It kills a lot of projects, failure to pay attention to these matters,” said Mathis.

“It’s easy to get wrapped up in the creative _ and you should. But you can’t leave out the rest, or you won’t be around for long.”

 

The ILScorp offices will be closed Monday, May 22, 2017, to mark the Victoria Day holiday.

The ILScorp offices will be closed Monday, May 22, 2017, to mark the Victoria Day holiday.

Long weekends are an excellent break from the craziness of work. Unfortunately, they can often slip away quite quickly, somehow leaving you with more to do than before the weekend started and no idea of where your time went. So how can you make the most of your long weekend?

First, get your CE done. Does it sound lame? You bet. Will you be glad you did it? Yes. Get online and get to work. You know you’re going to be completely slammed at the end of  May, that’s just how things work.

So a least get a head start this weekend, spend a few hours completing your CE requirements, instead of fruitlessly trying to find time at the end of the month when you’re stressed out. With ILScorp accredited continuing education courses, you have unlimited access anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection. You can complete your CE on the patio, at the beach or wherever the long weekend takes you. True, not many people like looming continuing education deadlines, or studying/working on the weekend, but nearly everyone likes the bragging rights of when they’re DONE. Just focus on how much better things will feel afterwards.

The best part? Completing your CE online with ILScorp is fast and easy. You’ll have time to do all the long weekend fun stuff, and you won’t have to feel guilty or stressed.

ILScorp and ILSTV wish you a productive, safe and fun May long weekend. Your weekly dose of insurance news returns to your inbox on May 24.

Please note our offices will be closed Monday MAY 22.

You can still purchase or renew your ILS CE Subscription online and access your courses anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection.

 

Five Pitfalls Of Cybersecurity Insurance: Lessons From The United States

Five Pitfalls Of Cybersecurity Insurance: Lessons From The United States

Article by Ruth Promislow and Ethan Schiff

Given the increasing threat of cyberattacks and the corresponding costs, businesses are increasingly considering cybersecurity insurance. But insurance is only as effective as the scope of the coverage. Though Canadian courts have not yet interpreted insurance policies in the cybersecurity context, American cases highlight five noteworthy pitfalls.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Insured Did Not Comply with Underlying Obligations

Just as health coverage may be contingent upon the insured maintaining a healthy lifestyle, cybersecurity insurance may be contingent upon the insured meeting certain technical standards. In Columbia Casualty Co v Cottage Health System, the insurer denied coverage and alleged that the insured failed to comply with required “procedures and risk controls”, which imposed an obligation to “follow minimum required practices”.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Incorrect Party Was Injured

In P.F. Chang’s v Federal Insurance Co, the insured (P.F. Chang’s) made a claim on its insurance due to a data breach resulting in stolen records belonging to its customers. P.F. Chang’s did not suffer an injury. The court concluded that the relevant insurance policy did not cover P.F. Chang’s because the policy required that the claimant suffer an injury. The policy at issue was marketed as “a flexible insurance solution designed by cyber risk experts to address the full breadth of risks associated with doing business in today’s technology-dependent world.”

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Incorrect Party Caused the Injury

In Zurich American Insurance Co v Sony Corp of America et al,1 Sony made a claim on its insurance for defence and indemnification due to losses resulting from a data breach by criminal hackers. The policy provided coverage for “oral or written publication in any manner of the material that violates a person’s right of privacy.” The court held, however, that the policy only provided coverage if Sony published the material itself. Since the hackers published the material, Zurich had no obligation to indemnify Sony.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Cyber Activity Was Merely Incidental

Cybersecurity insurance may only provide coverage if the loss clearly results from cyber activity. In Apache Corp v Great American Insurance Company, the insured became the victim of fraud after an employee wrongfully determined that a known vendor’s telephone and email request to transfer money was authentic. The request turned out to be fraudulent and the insured reimbursed the vendor. The insured made a claim based on its insurance which covered for “loss of, and loss from damage to, money, securities and other property resulting directly from the use of any computer to fraudulently cause a transfer…”. The court held that the circumstances were not covered because the computer use was not the direct result of the loss, but rather was “merely incidental”.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Litigation Was Outside the Scope of Covered Claims

Insurance may provide coverage for certain claims to the exclusion of others. In Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v Federal Recovery Services Inc, the insured made a claim based on costs incurred for litigation resulting from a tort claim for intentional misuse of its data storage activities. The insurer denied the claim because the policy only provided coverage if the loss was caused by “any error, omission or negligent act.” The court held that the lawsuit against the insured for “knowledge, willfulness, and malice” was outside the scope of the coverage.

Conclusion

The United States case law highlights the importance of understanding your company’s risks and vulnerabilities in order to define the precise scope of cybersecurity insurance required. A risk and vulnerability assessment is a critical component to establishing an overall cybersecurity plan that will mitigate risk and corresponding damages.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

How Great-West Life became an insurance titan

Excerpted article was written By Darren Bernhardt, CBC News

Great-West Life’s roots date back to 1891, when the company was founded in Winnipeg and a man named Jeffrey Hall Brock had a dream that many called impossible.

At the time, there were 40 insurance companies in Canada and 31 of those were foreign-owned. None of the nine Canadian ones were based in Western Canada, according to George Siamandas, a Winnipeg historian who runs The Winnipeg Time Machine blogsite.

Brock was a local insurance agent who promoted the idea of a Winnipeg-based insurance company, thinking a local company would be more sensitive to the needs of westerners, Siamandas wrote.

Brock was scoffed at and told that his dream would not fly, that it was impossible. But he persevered and the company was incorporated on Aug. 28, 1891, and had leading citizens like hardware magnate James Ashdown on its board. Brock’s goal was to take in $1 million worth of premiums in the first year, Siamandas wrote.

At the board’s first annual meeting, he reported they sold $2.7 million.

The company’s first death claim was in 1893 for $1,000, and in 1912 two policyholders who died on the Titanic were covered.

By 1896, the company served clients across Canada and in 1906 it opened its first office in the U.S. in Fargo, N.D. The next year, it was the largest insurance company in Canada and had 100 employees in Winnipeg and 600 agents across the country.

In 1911, the company built its head office in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, on the corner of Rorie Street and Lombard Avenue.

In 1942, GWL became the first Canadian company to enter the accident and health insurance business.

In 1960, the company moved to a new building on Osborne Street — constructed on the site of the old Osborne Stadium — across from the legislative building, and in 1983 it expanded into another new building at Broadway and Osborne.

Still headquartered on Osborne and a publicly-traded company, Great-West Lifeco (GWL) is now one of North America’s largest financial holding companies.

Indirectly controlled by Montreal billionaire Paul Desmarais, through his stake in the Power Corporation of Canada — a Canadian holding company — GWL now serves more than 13 million people across Canada, offering insurance as well as investment, savings and retirement income plans and annuities.

In 1997, it took over the then-123-year-old London Life and in 2003, GWL acquired another one of the country’s oldest insurance companies, paying $7.3 billion CDN for the then-156-year-old Canada Life Financial.

The company’s network includes The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company, Canada Life Financial, Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co., Irish Life, and Putnam Investments.

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