Lingering Cloud Fear And Adaptation

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Lingering Cloud Fear and Adaptation

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Nephophobia is the fear of clouds. It’s thankfully rare: clouds are tough to avoid. The ancient Greeks were talking about storm clouds. Fear of cloud computing is a more recent development; a by-product of forced adaptation. In 2021, 94% of the internet’s workload is processed by cloud data centers. Just two years ago, this figure was 60%. How did cloud use become ubiquitous so quickly?

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A little bit of history puts the revolution in perspective. The appearance of “The Cloud” in our lexicon is recent. The earliest usage was in 1996 when a Compaq public-relations piece used “cloud computing” to describe enhanced utility of the world wide web. The men who co-authored the piece both claim to have coined the term. (One of them even attempted to copyright “cloud computing” in 1997, but to no avail.) In 2006, Google and Amazon started describing the new paradigm where users access software and files over the internet (instead of their desktop) as “cloud computing.” Right then it became the hot new buzzword.

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The marketing guys from Compaq in the ‘90s had it right. The Cloud is not new; it is what the web was designed to do since it was created in the 1960s. It’s a simple re-branding of the internet; a fitting metaphor for a changed system to where everything is accessed and stored remotely.

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Skepticism and suspicion have been mostly quelled by how rapidly the world migrated. Cloud computing is globally pervasive: 85% of businesses worldwide use cloud-based data storage. 77% of companies have an application running on a cloud-based server. It’s the new normal.

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The remaining objections to cloud computing.

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The upside is undeniable – reduced cost of operation, greater flexibility, and improved collaboration. The benefits far exceed those of older-generation physical servers. Years ago, objections to cloud migration were often related to human readiness or organizational support. Too new and unknown. Today, we are through the looking glass on such fears. The remaining objections for migrating to the cloud are mainly two: cost concerns and privacy concerns.

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Though commonly used as an objection, saving money is the most popular reason businesses migrate to the cloud: 61% of businesses say “cost” is their primary reason for adopting cloud use versus just 30% who migrate for the “additional storage.” The storage aspect saves money, too: cloud hosts charge you for the just the space you use. Think of how this contrasts with the IT specialists of yesterday purchasing equipment with tomorrow’s storage needs in mind. No more wasted storage space or hardware growing obsolete. In a recent study, 82% of businesses that migrated to cloud systems reported cost savings that covered any initial up-front migration fees within six months of the switch.

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The privacy concerns might be more about control. Knowing where the data was physically housed was of a certain comfort; moreover, we knew the guys on the IT team. They know their stuff, right?

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Not to say they didn’t, but in 2021 the three largest providers of cloud services are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each has security knowledge, intel, and experience that dwarfs almost every organization’s. It’s what they do. The proof is in the pudding: 94% of organizations report fewer security incidents after migrating to cloud-based alternatives. Less resources devoted to maintaining system security means more savings.

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MRS: cloud-based solutions for providers and 3rd party administrators.

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Management Research Services (MRS) operates their no-code insurance services platform on Microsoft Azure, a top-tier cloud solution for SaaS (software as a service) applications. Data encryption combined with Microsoft’s dedication to robust security means the sensitive data managed within our application is always secure. Using Microsoft Azure to host the MRS platform and e-App allows us to focus on what we do best: designing state-of-the-art insurance service interfaces that best serve our clients and their customers.

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Contact the staff at MRS to learn about trying a demo of our latest products. We are ready to put our cloud-based solutions to work for you. Request a demo here, or email us at: sales@mrsreps.com.

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Catholic Order of Foresters Modernizes With WELIS Ascent Illustration System

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New Platform Enables Agents to More Effectively Present Products to Consumers

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Exton, PA (April 13th, 2021) – iPipeline®–a leading provider of no code / low code cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry–today announced that Catholic Order of Foresters has selected its WELIS® Ascent illustration system to modernize how their agents present diversified insurance products to consumers seeking protection.

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The WELIS Ascent illustration system is a scalable platform, designed to help insurers sell and service customers in a multi-channel distribution environment. The award-winning software is constructed as a standard single life illustration system that can be transformed into a sophisticated multiple life / multiple plan system with a single button click. iPipeline acquired WELIS in September 2020 and is one of the largest providers of illustrations in the life insurance industry.

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“Educating consumers about what they are buying and how it is likely to perform in the future is critical to selling life insurance products. Automating the task of providing detailed illustrations to consumers not only enables agents to more effectively sell but allows them to show the differences more effectively across a range of products. Agents need to ensure that they are clearly educating consumers about products shaping their financial futures. Our platform fulfills this important need,” said Larry Berran, CEO, iPipeline. “WELIS Ascent is a feature-rich illustration platform offering flexibility and a range of features to improve sales presentations. The ability to rapidly make changes to support ongoing presentations provides speed-to-market advantages and improves consumer satisfaction. We are confident the agents at Catholic Order of Foresters will see an immediate benefit by using this new platform to educate their customers during the education and selling process.”

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“From the beginning, iPipeline’s WELIS team stood out from the competition as a group that would build a strong relationship with us and forge a joint effort for the implementation of the new illustration platform. This was critical for us as we wanted to be able to update interest rates and make rider changes on our own, as well as execute other modifications to the platform without a heavy dependence on the tech provider. We were seeking a level of self-service to address our daily needs on the fly and saw that with iPipeline’s WELIS system,” said Geno Turek, Vice President, Product Solutions, Catholic Order of Foresters. “Of equal importance was finding a highly scalable platform with a variety of presentation features to support our growth and make life easier for our agents. Ultimately, the ability to present our product portfolio more effectively is what led to the selection. Their platform allows our agents to efficiently select the best products to address specific financial needs.”

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To learn how you can implement iPipeline’s innovations to automate how your products are sold and processed, contact sales@ipipeline.com or call 1-800-758-0824, option 2.

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About Catholic Order of Foresters
Catholic Order of Foresters is a fraternal benefit life insurance society dedicated to helping members achieve financial security through life insurance while supporting the Catholic community through fraternal outreach. COF is licensed in 32 states and Washington, D.C. Our product portfolio includes Term, Whole Life, Universal Life, and Annuities. Visit us at www.catholicforester.org.

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About iPipeline
iPipeline is a leading provider of no code / low code, cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry. Through our SSG Digital, end-to-end platform, we accelerate and simplify sales, compliance, operations, and support. We provide process automation and seamless integration between every participant in our ecosystem including carriers, agents, general agencies, advisors, broker-dealers, RIAs, banks, securities/mutual fund firms, and their consumers on a global basis. Our innovative solutions include pre-sales support, new business and underwriting, policy administration, point-of-sale execution of applications, post-sale support, data analysis, reporting, user-driven configuration, consumer delivery and self-service, and agency and firm management.

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iPipeline’s platform is used by approximately 450 carriers and fund companies, 1,400 distributors and financial institutions, and their agents and licensed advisors in a cloud-based environment. With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, iPipeline has locations in Boston, Bromley (UK), Burlington (Canada), Cheltenham (UK), Dallas, Davidson, Fort Lauderdale, Huntersville, Ontario (CA), Philadelphia, Pleasanton, and Salt Lake City. Visit www.ipipeline.com.

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For iPipeline:
Lisa Shea
Marketing
lshea@ipipeline.com
484-870-6234

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the IICF Life Division. Verisk – the first founding Board Member & Sponsor

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Visit: IICF

 

 

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the IICF Life Division. This Life Division joins the foundation’s other divisions, including IICF’s Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Western U.S. Divisions as well as its UK Division. The IICF Life Division will focus exclusively on the life and wealth management segment of the insurance industry.

 

Through IICF’s shared values of helping communities and enriching lives in the cities and neighborhoods served by our insurance partners, IICF will bring to the life insurance industry its years of experience in enhancing and uniting the industry’s charitable efforts through committees, programs, volunteerism and philanthropic measurement.

 

For more than 25 years, IICF has helped focus the collective strength of the insurance industry through grant making, volunteerism and leadership. These efforts have positioned IICF as the philanthropic voice of the insurance industry. In collaboration with countless industry partners and thousands of people in communities across the United States and much of the United Kingdom for more than two decades, IICF’s impact has been manifest:

 

  • $42 million contributed in community grants to-date
  • $1.3 million raised & 2.5 million meals in 2020 provided through the COVID-19 Crisis: IICF Children’s Relief Fund
  • $750,000 awarded in grants to non-COVID IICF disaster relief campaigns
  • More than 300,000 hours of volunteer service completed for community-based nonprofits
  • 8,000 women and men convened so far for the IICF Women in Insurance Conference Series, now rebranded as the IICF Inclusion in Insurance Conference Series
  • 100,000 Book Buddies bilingual story books distributed to children in underserved communities

 

In addition, IICF has played a vital role in advocating and advancing critical issues of leadership, philanthropy, diversity and inclusion as well as innovation within the insurance industry through its events and conference series. To that end, the foundation recently introduced the IICF IDEA Council, on which more than 40 insurance companies are currently represented. By marshalling the resources, thinking and advocacy of the insurance industry to create a more inclusive future, the IICF IDEA Council is dedicated to creating a diverse talent pipeline of future insurance professionals as well as developing an engaging format to better connect diverse nonprofit communities with the insurance industry at large.

 

In short, IICF has spent a quarter of a century representing the best of the insurance industry, but not the entirety of that industry. Today, IICF further expands the scope of that representation with the creation of the IICF Life Division.

 

The formation of this new division and the formation of its first board of directors, are the first in a series of steps to advance the new division’s representation and support of the entirety of the life industry. Other initial goals we’ve established to accommodate our planned 2021 fourth quarter launch of the IICF Life Division include:

 

Outreach to the life industry to identify needs, opportunities and founding board member companies.

Identification and recruitment of life industry professionals to serve on the inaugural Life Division board of directors.

Research and selection of community-based opportunities to focus attention on and perpetuation of the new division’s efforts regarding social good.

“The formation of the new IICF Life Division is a natural next step in IICF’s expanding representation of the entire insurance industry,” noted IICF CEO Bill Ross. “The creation of IICF’s sixth division is also an opportunity to allow our partners and industry colleagues in the life space to shine a light on their philanthropic contributions to underserved communities as well as their leadership and innovation on diversity and inclusion within the profession.”

 

Additionally, IICF is also proud to recognize Verisk as both the first of the new division’s founding board member companies as well as its first supporter and sponsor.

 

Through IICF, companies and individual life professionals will have opportunities to more broadly share, as well as measure, the continued stories of their industry segment’s vast and positive philanthropy and good works. Expanded access to leadership and networking opportunities will be realized through IICF’s many events, Inclusion in Insurance Conference series and its broad network of partners who share industry best practices through and with IICF. Moreover, IICF’s reputation, experience, advocacy and action on paramount issues of diversity and inclusion will serve both as resources and professional development opportunities for those in the life segment. Finally, IICF will help marry the life segment’s talent management priorities with those of the broader insurance industry through its outreach, thought leadership and best and emerging practices convened most often through the auspices of the IICF. Additional goals and mission-driven priorities will be identified by the as-yet-to-be-constituted inaugural board of directors of the IICF Life Division.

 

With its priorities of grant making, volunteerism, leadership and measurement of the insurance industry’s philanthropic efforts, IICF will further empower the life insurance industry to enhance, promote and measure its charitable giving and volunteerism, while providing tools, leadership and guidance to this segment of the industry. Because, like all those operating in the world of insurance, organizations and individual professionals in the life space are also working to evolve and adapt to a dynamic, diverse and inclusive future. IICF is both pleased and eager to play a part in these efforts with our colleagues in the life insurance sector.

 

For more information contact:

Bill Ross, CEO bross@iicf.com or

Betsy Myatt, Vice President and Chief Program Officer emyatt@iicf.com

 

National Western Life Insurance Company (NWL®) launches Equisoft/manage, a flexible cloud-based policy administration system

Designed for quick and easy transformations, Equisoft/manage is a turnkey cloud-hosted (SaaS) solution using well-established, production-ready digital business processes to enable quick and easy transformations. (CNW Group/Equisoft)

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Fueling an aggressive digital transformation plan, NWL® launches a significant system modernization initiative together with the introduction of a new Fixed Indexed Annuity product.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 6, 2021 – Equisoft announced today the successful implementation of phase one of its cloud-based policy administration platform that will support NWL’s Life and Annuity operations across the full policy lifecycle. The new platform, along with the new NWL® ChoiceOptimizer Fixed Indexed Annuity product, went live in February.

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Subsequent phases of this large modernization initiative will further support NWL’s objective to design, refine and enhance product and policy services in a nimble, costeffective implementation environment developed to meet the diverse, changing needs of our distribution force and policyholders.

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Designed for quick and easy transformations, Equisoft/manage is a turnkey cloud-hosted (SaaS) solution using well-established, production-ready digital business processes to enable quick and easy transformations. It includes enhanced New Business and selfservice portals designed for advisers and customers, along with an industry-leading core administration capability – the Oracle Insurance Policy Administration (OIPA).

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“In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, we need to be proactive and extremely responsive to the needs of our policyholders and agents,” said Greg Owen, SVP & CIO at National Western Life. “Implementing a flexible and scalable policy administration platform with a user-friendly servicing portal was a key component in our strategy. This is the first phase of a multi-phase initiative that will transform NWL’s business into an efficient digital model. We look forward to seeing the successful completion of the entire transformation initiative.”

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Headquartered in Austin, Texas, National Western Life Insurance Company offers a broad portfolio of high-quality life insurance and annuity products, providing professional and friendly service to its policyholders and agents.

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“This first go-live marks a major milestone in NWL’s modernization journey,” said Mark DePhillips, Senior Vice President, USA at Equisoft. “Equisoft/manage provides NWL with a best-in-class administration platform that will enable them to quickly implement new products and efficiently service their agents and policyholders. We are proud to be NWL’s strategic partner in this important modernization endeavor.”

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About National Western Life

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National Western Life Group, Inc. is the parent organization of National Western Life Insurance Company, which is the parent organization of Ozark National Life Insurance Company, both stock life insurance companies in aggregate offering a broad portfolio of individual universal life, whole life and term insurance plans, as well as annuity products. As of June 30, 2020, the Company maintained consolidated total assets of $12.4 billion, consolidated stockholders’ equity of $2.2 billion, and combined life insurance inforce of $22.5 billion.

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About Equisoft

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Founded in 1994, Equisoft is a global provider of advanced insurance and investment digital solutions. Recognized as a valued partner by over 75 of the world’s leading financial institutions in 15 countries, Equisoft offers innovative front-end applications, extensive back-office services and unique data migration expertise. The firm’s flagship products include a SaaS policy administration solution, CRM, financial needs analysis, financial planning, asset allocation, fund and portfolio analysis, quotes and illustrations, electronic application, agency management systems, as well as customer, agent and broker portals. Equisoft is also Oracle’s largest and most experienced partner for the OIPA platform. With its business-driven approach, deep industry knowledge, innovative technology, and some 500 experts based in the USA, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, India and Australia, Equisoft helps its clients tackle any challenge in this era of digital disruption.

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Media resource: Jean-François Parent, PR & Communications Manager, Equisoft Jean-Francois.Parent@Equisoft.com, +1 888 989 3141, ext. 70141

The Disruptive No-Code Generation

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The Disruptive No-Code Generation

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When millennials first hit the job market fifteen years ago, much was made about the digital divide. The younger generation, aka digital natives, came with computer literacy that digital immigrants (older generations) had no experience with. It’s not surprising that the divide has grown. As Generation Z enters the workforce, related shifts in the sand help understand the rise of no-code culture and why it creates disruption and opportunity.

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Ten years ago, the number of US students taking the Computer Science AP test was roughly 20,000 students. By 2020, this figure had more than tripled; over 70,000 high school students now take the Computer Science AP Exam. At the same time, Computer Science has emerged as a popular and competitive major at universities. Growing demand, larger departments, and mainstream acceptance. “Tech geek” was once a term of derision; in 2021 it’s often a compliment.

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Even among laymen, immersion in a tech-based world means young people are accustomed to harnessing computing power across everyday activities. They have tinkered with tools. They know how to make a pivot table. Just getting through grade school required them to think in terms of inputs and outputs. Generation Z knows no world without constant connectivity, immediacy in sharing, and flexibility across platforms. In short, the 2nd-tier digital natives are here and they welcome market disruption.

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Market disruptions happen when technological advances reconfigure the economics across an industry. The classic example of market disruption is ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber: smartphone-based apps run circles around the legacy taxi system, with their human dispatchers, CB radios, and expensive fleets of vehicles. For years, rideshare market disruption dominated headlines: strikes, countries banning rideshare, taxi companies going out of business. One hundred years earlier, the same phenomenon happened between cars and horses. Livery stables were once bustling centers and hubs for travelers in every town; the stable owners felt the same way about the automobile. For them, cars were disruptive.

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No-code technology is proving to be disruptive by changing the cost-structure and time investment required for programming. No-code and low-code technologies are significantly cheaper, rely less on legacy infrastructure, and require less specialized staff to maintain systems. The end result is a less expensive option of outsourced programming: a customer-facing web-based application that is delivered in a fraction of the time.  Let’s also not forget that it saves on much time, money, and overall resources.

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Management Research Services (MRS) is a market leader in providing no-code solutions to our partners in life and annuity. Our cloud-based solution can be customized from the ground up, with an easy-to-use interface that eliminates our clients’ needs for costly or time-consuming options. We invest in finding the brightest young programming talent so that our clients can focus on the things that they do best.

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The MRS approach to customer service is that of a partner that wishes to grow with each client. We pride ourselves on rapid integration times provided with low start-up costs and minimal maintenance expenses. Our platform is cloud-hosted on Microsoft Azure and benefits our clients with an over 99% uptime. Our sophisticated rules-engine can support even the most complicated of underwriting decisions.

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They say market disruption should only be feared by those who don’t participate. Let us put our technology to work for you. Embrace generational change by contacting the MRS staff about our no-code platform. Let us set you up with a demo to see how our no-code web-based application can revolutionize your business.

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Contact the MRS staff here: https://managementresearchservices.com/contact.

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Texas-based Germania Life Insurance Company goes live with illustrate inc’s OPUS Digital Platform!

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Overland Park, KS; Toronto, ON; Brenham, TX, March 31, 2021 – Following the July 2020 announcement of Germania Life Insurance Company (GLIC) selecting illustrate inc to lead the digital transformation of their life insurance business, both parties are excited to announce that in January 2021, the system went live!

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The new OPUS platform transforms GLIC’s day-to-day processes from mainly paper-based, to a fully digital workflow including quoting, illustrations, instant report generation, eApps, eSignature, and more. Covering their entire Life Insurance product line, the platform has been fully integrated with other 3rd party systems to automate the process of collecting and processing additional information required to finalize and issue a policy.

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Germania Agents now have access to a powerful tool set to significantly streamline the sales process and enhance the overall User/Customer experience. Consequently, GLIC has already begun realizing tremendous efficiencies through exponential improvements in speed and quality.

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“The OPUS system has provided a much more streamlined and efficient process for our agents to quote and bind business through Germania Life,” Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Min Choi said. “Our team has already received positive feedback and testimonials from our agency partners as they become familiar with the new platform.”

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“A project of this magnitude required full and transparent collaboration between the Germania Life and illustrate inc teams, something that was established virtually immediately,” says Lyndon Edwards, President of illustrate inc. “There were many moving parts to consider, including the involvement and integration of numerous 3rd party partners. We are very proud to have been able to provide Germania Life with such a powerful platform to help them transform their Life Insurance business.”

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A Phase II Direct to Consumer (D2C) solution is currently in the works and includes a powerful new quoting and application workflow for a simplified application and underwriting process.

To learn more about illustrate inc’s powerful quoting, illustrations and eApp solutions, visit illustrateinc.com.

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About Germania Life Insurance Company

Organized in 1983, Germania Life Insurance Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Germania Insurance that provides life insurance products to members and policyholders. Regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance, GLIC offers affordable whole and term life policies to fit a variety of insurance needs.

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About Germania Insurance

Founded in 1896, Germania Insurance provides auto, property, and life insurance for thousands of Texans. It is the largest farm mutual insurance company in Texas and one of the top companies for independent agents. Germania has earned spot on Forbes’ 2021 America’s Best Insurance Companies in Each State list, securing a top-five ranking for both its auto and home insurance products. Germania is a proud Texas company, exclusively providing protection and insurance services for Texans for 125 years.

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About illustrate inc

Established in 1989, with offices in Toronto and Kansas City, illustrate inc builds and delivers powerful and innovative web-based POS software solutions – including quoting, illustrations, and eApps – for the North American Life Insurance industry, enabling carriers of any size to embark on, extend, or enhance their Digital Transformation.

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For additional information contact:

Anastasia Sudetic
Marketing Manager
illustrate inc
anastasia.sudetic@illustrateinc.com
416-890-8147

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Ready or Not, Here It Comes: Litigation and Enforcement Issues Under The California ‎Privacy Rights Act

Locke Lord

Locke Lord 

Originally Published February, 2021

 

The passage of the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) on November 3, 2020 will result in ‎increased litigation and enforcement actions for companies doing business in California. Indeed, ‎only months after the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) became effective, California ‎voters expanded on the CCPA’s already groundbreaking data privacy protections by passing the ‎CPRA. Now, the creation of the California Privacy Protection Agency (the “Agency”) and the ‎elimination of some of the more business-friendly provisions of the CCPA make clear that ‎companies will suffer significant and costly consequences for data breaches and privacy ‎violations in California.‎

 

The substantive provisions of the newly enacted CPRA go into effect January 1, 2023, but the ‎regulatory implications may be felt much sooner. While many businesses are still navigating the ‎emerging litigation and enforcement landscape created by the CCPA, they should also ramp up ‎efforts to comply with the CPRA in order to avoid additional liability issues down the road.‎

 

The Creation of the Agency

The CPRA amends and expands the enforcement mechanism of the CCPA through the creation ‎of the Agency, a newly formed California state government agency whose sole purpose is the ‎regulation of consumer data privacy. Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.199.10 et seq. The CPRA describes ‎the Agency as an “independent watchdog whose mission is to protect consumer privacy” to ‎‎“ensure that businesses and consumers are well‐informed about their rights and obligations” and ‎to “vigorously enforce the law against businesses that violate consumers’ privacy rights.” See ‎CPRA SEC. 2, Findings and Declarations L. The Agency will replace the California Attorney ‎General as enforcer of the CCPA no later than July 1, 2021 and will oversee enforcement of the ‎CPRA effective July 1, 2023. ‎

 

The creation of the Agency will undoubtedly result in increased attention and investigations into ‎data breaches and ‎privacy violations involving California residents. First, the sole responsibility ‎of the Agency is to investigate these ‎issues, and that hyper-focus is likely to lead to more intense ‎scrutiny. Second, the Agency is funded through the ‎Consumer Privacy Fund, which is made up ‎of fines that the Agency collects in its enforcement actions, thus creating an incentive to enforce ‎the provisions of the CPRA. ‎Consequently, businesses should expect aggressive enforcement ‎actions by the Agency.‎

 

Agency Enforcement under the CPRA

Not only does the CPRA change who is responsible for its enforcement, but it also eliminates the ‎ability to cure a violation before any action is taken. The CCPA specifically allows companies to ‎avoid an enforcement action and/or administrative fines by curing the violation within 30 days. ‎Conversely, under the CPRA, the Agency is permitted to order substantial administrative fines ‎‎(from $2,500 to $7,500 per violation) at the time that it issues a cease and desist letter, though it ‎will look to the “good faith cooperation of the business” in determining the amount if any ‎administrative fine.‎ Because this change makes it more likely that businesses will be assessed fines, it is important to ‎be in compliance. Notably, the CPRA has a “look back” provision to January 2022 for ‎enforcement purposes. Thus, to avoid costly enforcement actions in the future, companies should ‎review their procedures for compliance with the CPRA and take steps to remedy any issues as ‎soon as possible. ‎

 

Civil Liability under the CPRA

The CPRA may also result in increased litigation by California residents by expanding the narrow ‎list of personal information giving rise to a private right of action. Under the CCPA, a consumer ‎may bring an action if four elements are met: (1) the plaintiff is a consumer (defined as a ‎California resident), (2) there was unauthorized access and exfiltration, theft, or disclosure of, (3) ‎nonencrypted and nonredacted personal information, and (4) the disclosure was due to the ‎business’s alleged failure to maintain reasonable security procedures and practices. Cal. Civ. ‎Code ‎§ 1798.150(a)(1). Importantly, though, the types of personal information that were ‎misappropriated is limited to a combination of the consumer’s name (first name or initial and last ‎name) and a social security number, driver’s license number or identification card number, ‎financial account number and security/access code or password, medical information, health ‎insurance information, or biometric information. See Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.150(a)(1) (citing ‎‎“personal information” defined under ‎Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.81.5(d)(1)(A)).‎ The CPRA ‎expands this narrow list to include consumer login credentials (such as email addresses and ‎passwords). See Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.150‎. Given the number of online transactions that ‎require consumers to disclose their email addresses and passwords, this addition may result in ‎increased litigation in the event of a breach. ‎

 

Unlike enforcement actions based on compliance violations, the CPRA did not eliminate the 30 ‎day cure provision with respect to consumer claims brought under the private right of action ‎provision. This means that a business can still avoid statutory damages if it cures the violation ‎upon 30 days’ written notice from the consumer – assuming a cure is possible. See Cal. Civ. ‎Code § 1798.150‎(b). However, the CPRA clarifies that “the implementation and maintenance of ‎reasonable security and practices…following a breach does not constitute a cure of that breach.” ‎Id. Thus, a business cannot avoid civil liability under the CPRA simply by adopting reasonable ‎security standards after the fact. Further, the notice and opportunity to cure provision does not ‎apply if the consumer is just seeking actual pecuniary damages, and not statutory damages. See ‎Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.150‎(b).‎

 

Conclusion

The enactment of the CPRA further muddies the privacy waters in California as many businesses ‎are still waiting for guidance from the courts and/or the Attorney General ‎regarding enforcement ‎of the CCPA. The creation of the Agency makes increased attention and enforcement actions a ‎near certainty. Particularly in light of the one-year look back provision included in the CPRA, it ‎is important for companies to promptly begin reviewing their policies and practices for ‎compliance with both the CCPA and CPRA in order to avoid liability issues in the future.‎

The Acceleration Of E-Engagement For Life And Health Like Medicare Supplemental Insurance

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By Ken Leibow

Originally Published in Broker World Magazine April 1, 2021

 

COVID-19 has forced independent distribution into e-Engagement for life insurance and health related insurance products. Some technology vendors in the life insurance space have enhanced, configured, and marketed their solution platforms to support health products like Medicare supplemental insurance, long term care insurance, critical illness, and disability income insurance.

 

Medicare is now the fastest-growing segment of the health insurance market, with 10,000 baby boomers aging into the program every day. Medicare enrollment is expected to soar between 2021 and 2029, reaching 77 million enrollees by the end of the decade. That’s an increase of 1.5 million new enrollees each year. With that said, many have to make the decision of what plan they choose: Traditional Medicare and a supplemental insurance policy, often referred to as Medigap, which sees about 60 percent of the market share, or a Medicare Advantage Plan at about 40 percent. Regardless, open enrollment season is a busy one!

 

Digitizing Paper MedSup Insurance Applications
PaperClip Mojo is a collection of the best of technologies paired with human validation to achieve 99.9 percent accuracy at unimaginable speed. A perfect solution for the onboarding of Medicare supplement (MedSup) new business, Mojo4Medicare, the tailored version, makes the open enrollment period the same as any other day. Mojo4Medicare is designed to process unlimited Medicare application packets for a consistent turnaround time. By collapsing the cycle time, you avoid backlogs and deliver faster commission payout. Mojo4Medicare is an e-app alternative.

“There is no longer a need to increase resources, both infrastructure and labor, only to decrease those after the enrollment period,” states Suzy Tuck, vice president of sales. “With Mojo4Medicare you will enjoy the ability to maintain the processing of new business as received, increase your focus on case management without additional resources and have no adoption challenge. Staff will love it and realize that the enrollment period is like any other day!”

 

No-Code eApp for MedSup Insurance
Management Research Services (MRS) is an industry leader in developing customized digital and automation solutions for clients and partners. Recently, MRS led efforts to develop and help a New York brokerage firm struggling to collect In Good Order (IGO) applications from Medicare supplemental insurance (MedSup) clients in a timely manner. The main driver of these issues was that the current processes relied on legacy workflows and technologies that were unable to electronically ingest and automate the large number of handwritten applications they received. This resulted in the reliance of manual entry which consumed a large amount of time, energy, and resources. As issues and delays began to pile up, it became obvious that a new process would have to be developed to fit the needs of their operating systems and clients. MRS was identified as a potential solution to this problem and, upon understanding the challenges, MRS leveraged its no-code platform to quickly create a customized e-App to better automate the workflow. The MRS e-App was able to dramatically improve the workflows in the following areas:

 

  • Collection of the applications 100 percent In Good Order (IGO).
  • Substantial increases in policy processing and acceptance.
  • A better way to follow-up on missing applicant data by sending a personal URL directly to the applicant so they could easily provide the missing data needed.

 

The immediate results seen were improvement of time to issuance, an increase in the number of applications completed IGO, and the streamlining of back office operational efficiencies that saved time, energy, and resources. Additional opportunities around customized reporting dashboards and better real-time data analysis were identified as ways to better serve agents in the field.

 

One of MRS’s core business principles is that once it onboards a new client into production, the work has just begun. MRS is constantly developing new features and capabilities and since customers are always on the most updated version of the platform, these innovations are immediately available to clients. For instance, MRS has identified new integration partners that will enable compliant video communication capabilities that better enable the remote sales processes critical in times like the COVID-19 crisis. MRS will continue to innovate and lead the charge in the future of no-code platforms that advance insurance automation and support stronger sales and operational efficiencies.

 

Life AMS Supports Health Products
Agency management systems (AMS) for life insurance have been retrofitted to support health products. I spoke with Equisoft, who has the number one agency management system in Canada, “Centralize,” which is now available in the USA. In Canada health products like critical illness and disability income insurance have been processed by MGAs on Centralize. In order to get a perspective of the problems solved for life distributors processing new business and commissions for multi-lines of business, Equisoft answered a series of questions about their AMS.

 

What key challenges do distributors face today? Distributors and National Accounts are data driven businesses, but they operate in an environment that has not fully digitally transformed. They take in massive amounts of data that must be processed, analyzed and acted upon, but in many cases the workflows still involve a great many manual steps. Paper apps are still being mailed to their offices. They have to be manually entered, then sent on for processing and approval. Tasks arising from the new business intake process (like follow-ups on paramedical issues) are not automated. In many cases commission payments, claims resolution and customer service are still not as fast, seamless and user-friendly as they could be. Related to those data issues, all distributors and national accounts are seeking to attract and retain more advisors. With the advent of new distribution models, such as robo-advisors, the distributors role in policy fulfillment is lessening, decreasing the advisors’ need for that part of the traditional distributor value proposition. Instead, distributors must find new ways to add value to advisor businesses as part of an emerging new value proposition that serves the digitally transformed insurance landscape. In the new world, advisors place more value on partnerships with those organizations that can help them grow their business.

 

How are Application Processes Automated? Distributors and national accounts need to be able to process new business from advisors on a daily basis. Our advanced case management workflow speeds up the underwriting process for distributors. Equisoft/Centralize allows them to enter policy applications either manually or through a feed from the carriers. They can send those policies through to the carrier and get them approved and in- force—giving distributors the ability to push the process from beginning to end. In a nutshell, distributors who use Equisoft/Centralize find there is less manual intervention needed from the distributors to see the policy through to in-force status. Our automations and case management workflow are unparalleled, ensuring our distributors’ clients can confidently and accurately process cases all the while providing excellent service to their clients—the advisors.

 

How is the platform improving back-office efficiencies? The ease-of-use of Equisoft/Centralize is a huge benefit for distributors. Many distributors, even today, are still getting paper applications—advisors are actually mailing them in. Then the distributor has to manually enter them. Equisoft/Centralize greatly automates this process, which creates efficiencies for distributors and makes for a better advisor experience. How does Equisoft contribute to the digital transformation of the independent insurance channel? Equisoft/Centralize is a very modern, rules-based solution. It is also central to the emerging digital value proposition for distributors—enabling distributors to better partner with advisors in the success of their practice. It identifies opportunities for advisors, removes obstacles in the processing of new business, and makes sure they get paid faster. In total, it helps all industry stakeholders achieve the end goal—making their clients’ financial goals a reality.

 

How COVID-19 Forced the BGA World into e-Engagement
We are now one year past the start of COVID-19 lockdown. Our world was turned upside down as we all faced a global pandemic. Many struggled to find the right process flow and adapt to new ways of doing business. Even carriers were pushed into a “forced pilot” of e-Engagement to insure they could get underwriting information, signature requirements and policies to the customer. The changes were swift and mandatory to support the ultimate customer, the applicant/insured and their beneficiaries. With this, agencies looked to process experts whether internal in their organization or others to help with the transition. Per Stacey Paulson, director of insurance services at eNoah iSolutions, “The beauty of the BGA space is each agency has their unique culture as to what works best for them and their customer base. This serves the greater good in meeting the needs of different customers in protecting their families. The struggle was real when some were forced into an electronic application process and not having the internal resources—all while moving to a work from home environment. I’m glad we were there to help our customers through this difficult time.”

 

While it’s hard to think of much positive to come out of COVID-19, the forced adoption of e-Engagement opened mindsets of how to do business moving forward. It took away some of the fear and challenged us to think of different ways to engage with our peers and current and future customers.

 

Equisoft’s Accelerate Series provides life insurance and investment executives with the means to innovate and grow

Bringing together the largest pool of top industry leaders, experts, analysts and association executives, Equisoft’s webinar series delivers your roadmaps for digital growth!

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Philadelphia, PA, March 22 2021 – Equisoft, a leading global digital solutions provider to the financial industry, announced today the return of its acclaimed Accelerate Series of virtual thought leadership sessions. This year’s series is focused on Accelerating Innovation to Fuel Continuous Growth. Eighteen webinars will be hosted around the globe, providing insurance and investment decision-makers with actionable insights and strategies to help them turn the market narrative to their advantage.

 

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The first round of live sessions, starting March 31, will kick start the year-long series. Each month we’ll be addressing the specific needs and biggest challenges of insurance carriers, distributors, investment product manufacturers, broker-dealers and wholesalers. Equisoft’s Accelerate Series features over 50 leading industry experts, analysts, insiders and clients discussing winning strategies from companies capitalizing on growth opportunities through digital transformation. “Digital transformation is foundational to an industry responding to the concurrent impact of the pandemic, changes in customer preferences and the impact of demographic shifts which directly impact both distribution partners and consumers. Carriers are looking to drive efficiencies across the entire value chain, accelerating efforts to innovate and integrate in support of new business and post-issue servicing capabilities. Competitive positioning also is important, as transparency around cycle times and ease of doing business helps reframe relationships across the insurance ecosystem. Activities that bring strategic, tactical and operational imperatives into results-oriented focus, are therefore essential,’’ said Rob McIsaac, Executive Vice President, Research & Consulting, Novarica, one of the series’ featured speakers.

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As life insurance and investment companies are emerging from the pandemic, they’re looking for unique ways to position themselves ahead of the curve. Equisoft’s Accelerate Series bolsters the industry’s innovation and growth by leveraging research, thought leadership and success stories into actionable plans. Sessions in Q1 & Q2 will tackle Addressing Changing Market Conditions, Digital Client Engagement through the Insurance Value Chain, and How Insurers are Leveraging Data. With more to come for Q3 & Q4 including agency automation, increasing wholesaler value, data migration, IFRS 17, and more.

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Leading industry experts, executives and analysts that will be sharing their insights during the sessions include Dan McCoach, Marty Ellingsworth,Juan Mazzini (Celent), Kartik Sakthivel (LIMRA/LOMA), and many more. Along with Equisoft’s experts and industry stakeholders, they will share their experience, expertise and insights into how organizations can adapt to the evolving industry landscape, jumpstart growth in a low-interest-rate environment, or shed the legacy technical burden to realize the full potential of modern digital solutions.

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Dedicated sessions will provide exclusive research, complete with commentary detailing what players in the insurance and investment industry are doing to conquer today’s issues. The series’ launch on March 31 will be Addressing Changing Market Conditions: Carrier Solutions for Rapid Product Adaptation, where experts Rob McIsaac, from Novarica, and Equisoft’s Chief Product Officer Olivier Lafontaine will be analyzing how the Life Insurance industry can best face today’s challenges. Equisoft’s Accelerate Series is presented in collaboration with several industry partners such as Celent, Novarica, LIMRA, LOMA, KPMG, Clearview, The National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies (NAILBA), The Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC), The Organisation of Eastern & Southern Africa Insurers (OESAI), The Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) and many others.

Webinar registration:
To register or learn more about Equisoft’s complimentary webinars, please visit: Equisoft.com/Accelerate
Media resource: Jean-François Parent, PR & Communications Manager, Equisoft Jean-Francois.Parent@Equisoft.com, +1 514-608-1236
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About Equisoft

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Founded in 1994, Equisoft is a global provider of advanced insurance and investment digital solutions. Recognized as a valued partner by over 75 of the world’s leading financial institutions in 15 countries, Equisoft offers innovative front-end applications, extensive back-office services and unique data migration expertise. The firm’s flagship products include a SaaS policy administration solution, CRM, financial needs analysis, financial planning, asset allocation, fund and portfolio analysis, quotes and illustrations, electronic application, agency management systems, as well as customer, agent and broker portals. Equisoft is also Oracle’s largest and most experienced partner for the OIPA platform. With its business-driven approach, deep industry knowledge, innovative technology, and some 500 experts based in the USA, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, India and Australia, Equisoft helps its clients tackle any challenge in this era of digital disruption.

Management Research Services Announces e-App For Annuity Policies

Annuity+eApp

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Management Research Services Announces e-App For Annuity Policies

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MRS Introduces e-App for Annuity Policies

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Quicker, easier application process nets client success

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MILWAUKEE, Mar. 3, 2021 — MRS, a global leader in insurance automation and technology solutions, announced today the release of a new electronic application (E-App) system for annuity policies. The new technology will allow financial and insurance professionals to complete and submit annuity applications online, effectively improving turnaround time for processing and final delivery.

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“We’re proud to bring new MRS technology to hardworking financial and insurance professionals,” said Tim Dineen, Chief Executive Officer at MRS. “We’re dedicated to creating streamlined applications that make doing business easier while helping our clients deliver policies to their customers even quicker.”

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The annuity market is substantial and provides a significant amount of revenue for carriers. An annuity policy helps the buyer manage their income in retirement, and other than pensions, annuities are the only products that provide guaranteed lifetime income. The market size of the life insurance and annuities industry is $732.5B, measured by revenue, for 2021. The industry is trending toward a more affluent and older market as it emphasizes the use of life insurance and annuities as retirement, estate planning, and tax-preferred products.

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Given uncertainties with the pandemic and overall market conditions for insurance carriers and the end-customer, MRS has scaled its efforts to support insurance carrier’s digital transformation efforts. The new annuity E-App is an easily-configurable, no-code, cost-effective solution to sell and manage annuity policies.

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Developed for an existing client with a complex distribution matrix, where multiple signatures are collected from end-customer, IMO, law firm, POA, owner, and payor, MRS was able to deliver a solution that has helped increase sales, streamline processes, and improve overall customer experiences. Now, with an easy sign-on and integration of electronic signatures, the client can fulfill an annuity policy in a few days versus months of starts-and-stops and back-and-forth communications with the customer.

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With MRS, the primary benefits for insurers choosing to implement the Annuity E-App system include:

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● 100% in-good-order applications

● Error rate removed

● Applications processed in 15 min vs. days

● Auto-populating State Beneficiary legal clauses

● e-Signature collection up to 8 individuals

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“Our process is the same no matter the product type. Developing an annuity application was a natural extension of the robust ecosystem of E-Apps we already have in the market today,” says Steve Delonge, Customer Success Director at MRS. “With our proficiency for taking applicants from the questionnaire to the contract, MRS is well-positioned to increase offerings to more distribution channels and add more annuity E-App products that can quickly issue the annuity policy and ultimately help quicken payment of the commissions.”

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For more info on our the MRS Annuity E-App call (800)-726-3643 or email sales@mrsreps.com

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At MRS, we help clients transform change into a competitive advantage. MRS provides a high-end technology product to the life, health, and annuity insurance industries. In today’s world where “the only thing constant is change,” that original vision has been expanded to include more services and technology capabilities designed to help clients adapt quickly and in a cost-effective way. MRS has invested heavily in our technology platform to create a foundation for the next revolution in life insurance. MRS’s No-Code platform gives you all the tools needed to build a highly secure, complex application that efficiently collects voice and electronic data without writing a single line of code. The result is a vastly reduced time to market with no initial or ongoing maintenance costs making the total cost of ownership substantially lower than status quo solutions. Our platform’s ability to support powerful reflexive logic makes the MRS rules engine extremely efficient in collecting all information needed to make a point-of-sale decision. The capabilities and flexibility of our platform allow customers to use the MRS technology platform as their single solution or as a tool to support and enhance current technology solutions they already have in place. Please visit us at www.managementresearchservices.com or contact us by email at sales@mrsreps.com to learn more.