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10 Insurance Tech Predictions for 2017

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Take-up of telematics in the U.S. plateaued this year, but SMA expects that to change in 2017 for two reasons. On the personal side, the technology itself is well understood, and a variety of good solutions and providers are available in the marketplace. More insurers are now considering moving beyond pricing to include offerings related to accident avoidance, claims, theft deterrence, fraud detection, and more, the company says. On the commercial side, insurers are realizing an untapped opportunity with small fleets, SMA notes.


Debenhams shares hit by insurance fears

BBC News

Shares in Debenhams have fallen again in a rocky day for its shares. The Sunday Times said the retailer was facing "a cash crunch" because some credit insurers had tightened their terms for Debenhams suppliers. Suppliers use credit insurance to cover them from the risk of not being paid but Debenhams said that its balance sheet and cash position were "healthy". The retailer, which is in the midst of a turnaround plan designed to cut costs and boost sales, said its relationship with credit insurers was "constructive" and all were continuing to provide cover to its suppliers. One major insurer, Euler Hermes, is understood to have reduced the amount of credit insurance it will provide.


Japan's Dai-ichi Life Insurance gets green light to set up shop in Myanmar

The Japan Times

YANGON - Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. has become one of five foreign insurers to obtain initial approval to enter the Myanmar market via a wholly owned subsidiary. The Japanese insurer is expected to set up a subsidiary to start operations in the Southeast Asian country. Dai-ichi Life won in-principle approval along with Hong Kong-based AIA Co., Bermuda-registered Chubb Tempest Reinsurance Ltd., Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. of Canada and Prudential Hong Kong Ltd., according to the Ministry of Planning and Finance's Financial Regulatory Department. Myanmar announced in January the opening of its insurance sector to foreign firms and released terms and processes to give license approval. In addition to the five foreign companies, the Myanmar government is expected to grant licenses to five other Japanese insurers by mid-May to operate via joint ventures in which their shareholdings are limited to up to 35 percent, according to the regulatory body.


Sales of cyberattack insurance tripled in 2016, top insurers say

The Japan Times

Three major nonlife insurance companies saw sales of cyberattack policies more than triple to over 1,000 clients combined in fiscal 2016. The Japan Network Security Association said the cyberattack insurance market is expected to grow to ¥15.6 billion in the year ending next March. Nonlife insurers saw interest swell after a ransomware attack struck companies in at least 150 countries in mid-May, the Tokyo-based association said. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., which in February 2015 became the first Japanese insurer to launch a financial product for cyberattacks, saw new policyholders leap around threefold in the year ended in March. The company provides consulting services for those worried about malware infections and provides cost estimates for potential cyberattacks.


Insurers are backing fossil fuel companies and then charging you for climate change risks

Los Angeles Times

Californians can take a small measure of solace from knowing that, as in many other climate battles, their state is in the lead in pressuring insurance companies to change their fossil fuel ways. Two years ago, Insurance Commissioner Jones required that large insurers doing business in California disclose their investments in oil, gas and coal, becoming the nation's first insurance regulator to make such a demand. In response, one governor and 12 attorneys general, from such fossil-fuel producing states as Oklahoma and Texas, wrote a letter to Jones denouncing his move as "misleading, alarmist, and fiscally irresponsible" and threatening to sue. Since then, hundreds of insurance companies have provided the information -- now posted on the Department of Insurance website -- and no lawsuits have been filed.