AI Dominates Discussions At Major Industry Conferences

AI Dominates Discussions At Major Industry Conferences

By Ken Leibow - 4 December 2023

Originally posted by: Broker World


I typically attend 15 to 20 industry conferences annually, spanning two main sectors: Insurance and Technology. The stretch from October to early November this year was a grueling conference schedule. My journey began in Tampa, FL, at the Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA) fall conference and business showcase. From there, I traveled to Portland, ME, for the International DI Society (IDIS) Annual Conference, followed by the LIMRA Annual Conference in National Harbor, MD.


During this time, there were other overlapping industry events that I couldn’t attend. However, as October transitioned into November, I was committed to participating in both Insuretech Connect (ITC) in Las Vegas and the NAILBA/Finseca Conference in Florida. To manage this I had team members present at both locations and I personally attended portions of each conference, taking a redeye flight from Las Vegas to Florida to make it possible.


A striking commonality across these conferences was the focus on AI technology. Whether it was a major topic in a session, a highlighted feature of an exhibitor’s platform, or a subject touched upon by nearly every speaker and panelist, AI’s presence was unmistakably pervasive and central to the discussions at these events.


LIDMA Business Showcase
I have attended LIDMA conferences since the time I worked at Genworth going back to 2011. It’s been one of my favorite conferences because of the format, locations, and the attendees. At the LIDMA conference this year, several pivotal sessions highlighted the role of AI in the industry. These included:


  1. The Future of Marketing: Harnessing AI and Digital Strategies in Life Insurance—This session focused on integrating AI with digital marketing tactics specifically tailored for the life insurance sector.
  2. Navigating AI Regulation and Risk Management: Essential Updates and Strategies—This discussion centered on the latest developments in AI regulation, addressing how these changes impact businesses. It also covered strategies for mitigating risks related to regulation, litigation, and reputation.
  3. The Evolution of Automated Underwriting: A Look from Past to Future—This session provided an insightful journey through the history, current state, and future prospects of automated underwriting in the industry which included AI.


LIMRA Annual Conference
The LIMRA Annual Conference saw an impressive gathering of industry leaders, offering excellent opportunities for networking, and featured 22 sessions encompassing all the critical topics in the life and annuity sector. Notably, seven of these sessions at the conference were specifically centered around Artificial Intelligence. Below are four of the seven AI sessions that had some very game changing information:


The Modernization Journey—Investigating Technology Investments for a Competitive Edge:
LIMRA and EY recently partnered to explore technology investments and future priorities of life insurance companies aiming to achieve competitive advantages. Join this session to gain valuable insights into the modernization journey of life and annuity carriers. We will explore the key challenges and complexities faced by these carriers in areas such as product development, marketing, sales tools and illustrations, underwriting, and claims. Furthermore, we will explore their current and future technology investments including advanced analytics, digital customer experience, core legacy systems, blockchain, and AI—and how they can provide a competitive edge.


Step Into The Future Harnessing the Potential of AI:
Experience the excitement surrounding Generative AI and ChatGPT in reshaping the industry landscape. Explore the rapid growth and limitless potential of these ever-evolving technologies, while tackling the challenges of legacy infrastructure. Hear from a panel of experts with diverse perspectives on navigating this intersection of innovation and practicality. Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge on this extraordinary topic and stay ahead of the curve.


A Canadian Perspective—Driving Growth in a Changing World:
As our industry continues to evolve, consumer expectations and economic conditions are shaping how business leaders are making key business decisions to fuel growth. Join us for an in-depth panel discussion of industry leaders and executives to learn about how technology, innovation, regulation, and other factors are impacting and reshaping the marketplace.


A Human Industry in an AI World:
The world is on the precipice of an AI revolution, a seminal technology moment the likes of which we have never experienced. AI brings with it the limitless possibilities to fundamentally reshape our industry across the entire value chain. Are we equipped to mitigate the risks? Are we able to capitalize on the opportunities? How can machines actually help us focus on the Human Factor within our industry? Join us as we delve into the role of artificial intelligence to learn more about the associated risks and opportunities that will shape the industry’s future.


(IDIS) International DI Society Annual Conference
The one conference that did not center its topics on AI was the IDIS conference. Instead, it offered a variety of sessions with different focuses. Key highlights included: Claims Stories: This session brought together experts to share insightful narratives and experiences related to disability insurance claims. Expert Insights on DI Sales: This presentation provided valuable strategies and tips from seasoned professionals in the field of disability insurance sales. The Current Landscape of the Disability Insurance Industry: A comprehensive presentation that offered an array of compelling statistics and insights into the state of the disability insurance sector. Motivational Speaking: The conference featured an inspiring motivational speaker, adding a dynamic and uplifting element to the event. The Magic of Behavioral Finance by Theron Schaub: This session stood out as particularly engaging. It uniquely combined entertainment—with actual magic and hypnosis—and practical applications of behavioral finance in business, making it a memorable and informative experience for attendees. Yes, this event was much more insurance focused than technology.


NAILBA Annual Conference
NAILBA/Finseca is one of the year-end industry conferences everyone looks forward to including me. It was a great event again this year. At the NAILBA Annual Conference, a notable breakout session titled Generative AI: What it is and what it means for the insurance industry was presented by Roy Goodart, VP of Product Management at iPipeline. This session delved into the intricacies of generative AI and its implications for the insurance sector.


Additionally, the conference featured a prominent panel discussion on the main stage, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Life Insurance: The practical, the problematic, and the potential. This panel brought together a formidable group of industry leaders, moderated by James Wong, EVP of Partners Advantage. The panelists included Mark Holweger, president and CEO of Legal and General America; Michelle Dauphinais, VP, Head of Distribution at John Hancock Insurance Company; Harsh Singla, CTO of Integrity Marketing Group; Amanda Soho, CTO of Proformex; and Chris Orestis, president of Retirement Genius. They explored various facets of AI in life insurance, from practical applications to potential challenges and future possibilities.


The influence of AI was also evident among the technology exhibitors at the conference. Many showcased how AI is integrated into their platforms, demonstrating its growing significance in the industry. My company, InsurTech Express, was also present with a booth at NAILBA. We engaged in discussions about insurtech solutions incorporating AI for life insurance, highlighting our commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the sector. I felt it to be necessary to highlight how AI was a key component in some software solutions because it’s the hot topic of the moment.


Insuretech Connect (ITC)
The largest global insurtech conference of over 9,000 attendees gather every year in Las Vegas. This conference is very for heavy P&C insurance. The day before the conference there are kick-off summits that focus on life insurance: Sureify’s Life Insurance & Annuity Ecosystem Summit and Equisoft’s Life Insurance Lab. Yes, AI was discussed at these kick-off summits.


ITC had a Masterclass: A Deeper Dive into Generative AI for Insurance. Some of the key sessions were focused on AI, like: Preparing for the Data Evolution: Organizational Readiness to Maximize Analytics and AI Investments. Data and analytics offers great opportunities for insurance, but most insurers are still building out a foundation that’s needed to optimize these investments. This is challenging in light of economic pressures, talent shortages, new hype around emerging technologies such as Generative AI, and difficulty in measuring business impact. The fireside chat discussed trends and opportunities around the use of analytics and AI in the industry. These contributors were Mano Mannoochahr, chief Data and Analytics Officer at Travelers, and Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, vice president and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner.


Embedded Insurance of the Future: Turning Lessons Learned into New Innovations presented by Milliman was another AI session at ITC. What will embedded insurance look like over the next two decades? With huge technological advancements from Generative AI and LLMs to self-driving vehicles and smart cities—front-end insurance quoting and underwriting have been automated, further enabling the sale of embedded products and services across industries. The session demonstrated how we can apply lessons from the past to innovations of the future, with personalized pre-fill data, tech, and AI to seamlessly provide insurance.


Considering the hundreds of tech exhibitors at ITC, it’s no surprise that a significant number showcased AI technology integrated into their insurtech solutions. The reality is that AI is now a ubiquitous topic, discussed in contexts ranging from personal to business realms, far beyond just the insurance industry. It’s becoming increasingly clear that AI is set to revolutionize the world as we know it. Yes, this last paragraph was rewritten by ChatGPT…

Ken Leibow is founder and CEO of InsurTech Express. He brings more than 36 years of insurance industry experience with an extensive background in insurance technology for distribution and back office systems.


Prior to founding InsurTech Express, Leibow worked for Genworth Financial, Mutual of Omaha, and as vice president of operations at Diversified Underwriters Services, Inc. As COO of Integrated Insurance Technologies, he built the largest life insurance data exchange hub in the industry, processing over one million policies per year and $30 billion of annuities (now owned by Oracle, Inc.). Some of the key initiatives he implemented include innovation in quoting and illustration tools, CRM’s, agency management systems, eApp platforms and ePolicy Delivery for long term care, life insurance and annuities.


Leibow is a leader for industry technology standards, working with ACORD, LDTC, LIDMA, NAILBA, LIMRA, LOMA and IRI. In 2019, he was appointed to sit on the ACLI Innovation Committee. He is on the ACORD Life & Annuity Program Advisory Council and won the ACORD Leadership Award in 2022 and ACORD Community 50th Anniversary Award in 2020. He is a past winner of the NAILBA Chairman’s Award and NAILBA’s ID20 Award. In 2022, he was the winner of the LIDMA Innovation Award.


Leibow can be reached by telephone at 402-740-7356. Email:

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