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From Stodgy to Edgy: How Tech is Transforming Insurance Industry Offerings – ReadWrite



Jason Zuccari

Benjamin Franklin is famous for the phrase, “in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” However, I always like to add one more item to that short but certain list: insurance.

Insurance has always been around, and it isn’t going anywhere soon. As with most well-established professional fields, this tends to give the insurance industry a bit of a stodgy feel at times. You can find old practices and outdated methods everywhere you turn.

Tech is Transforming Insurance Industry Offerings

Four decades of experience have taught me that if insurance avoids becoming the “sick old man” of the business world, it can’t be left to run itself. Instead, providers must approach their offerings with a growth mindset that encourages creativity and innovation. One of the best ways to do this is by identifying the necessary elements of past insurance offerings and then combining them with modern, tech-driven solutions.

This is why my firm, Hamilton Insurance Agency, has always operated on the motto “services and technology working together for a better experience.” If a modern insurance agency wants to avoid the stodgy stereotype, it must strive to provide a comprehensive insurance experience that addresses classic needs through relevant technological solutions. We are striving to do just that.

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

Tech is splashy. It’s exciting. It’s fun. But it’s worth pointing out that technology has to be more than a hook. You can’t just slap a word like “app” or “SaaS” on your offerings and call it a day. Sure, you’ll get some calls, but you won’t be able to satisfy your customers’ needs effectively.

The areas where tech is truly making a difference are where it’s bolstering existing value. In other words, tech is transformative when it complements rather than replaces the past.

Insurance providers should always take care to separate the value they offer from the dated aspects of their business.

The insurance agency needs to identify the core elements of each service, such as providing healthcare or managing risks to the clients and customers. From there, the agent has to consider how they can deliver those services in a format that fits modern consumer expectations.

A few questions worth teaching your agents to ask.

  • Are you relying on phone calls, in-person meetings, and other old-school communication channels?
  • Where is the actual delivery of the service itself slowing things down?
  • Are employers paying for packages that they aren’t using to their fullest?
  • Is each of your offerings meeting a relevant need for the average employer and employee?

If you want to bring an insurance service out of the past, you have to be willing to separate the necessary from the dated elements of your business model.

This updating process reveals to you that “part of the value” you will preserve as well as where you’ll upgrade your methods.

Using Apps to Upgrade the Past

When technology is brought up in the insurance sector, it often brings things like AI or blockchain to mind.

BeneBee is one of the best examples of old services adapted to a modern experience. The healthcare app streamlines the entire employer and employee experience.

Let the insured have easy access to their questions on mobile

Rather than having a complex, expensive policy managed from the top-down, BeneBee puts things in the hands of employees. Staff can download the app and use it to see exactly what their current benefits package offers them. This user-friendly approach enables those who are insured to answer their questions right on their mobile devices. It also lets them see what aspects of their plan they are and are not utilizing.

Offer tools, tech and software solutions

BeneBee is a powerful tool, and it’s just one of our insurance tech amalgamations, too. We also have software solutions like BeneLink Connect, which can help employers oversee and manage the entire enrollment process. In addition, our SevarusRM technology helps with risk assessment and management within an organization.

In all three of the above examples, the goal is simple: to find strategic software and technology solutions that optimize each client’s experience. In each case, the use of tech isn’t a marketing ploy or a shallow attempt to look “cutting edge.” Instead, it represents an honest and upgraded option that addresses a classic need.

Edgy 21st-century insurance experience for customers who are looking forward to the future

Your customers are looking forward to the future under your care, and you can make all of your information easily accessible and comfortable for them.

Adapt Your Tech

If insurance professionals want to remain relevant, they must embrace this adaptation of technological solutions.

Rather than seeing tech as a threat to the “right” way of doing things — insurance professionals will want to identify where technology can improve their current offerings.

Identify the tech for synergy

When you take the opportunity to make that happen — the results are synergistic and become a catalyst that can transform an agency from stodgy to edgy in the blink of an eye.

Image Credit: kampus productions; pexels; thank you!

Jason Zuccari

Jason Zuccari is Vice President of Development and External Relations at Hamilton Insurance Agency. In his role, Jason maintains client relationships, prospects potential clients and leads Hamilton Insurance Agency’s marketing and branding efforts. Jason serves on the National Investment Centers (NIC) Future Leaders Council, which maintains a highly regarded reputation for having the best and brightest in the healthcare industry. Jason has also earned a Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) designation from the Hartford School of Insurance. Jason has shared his business expertise on Bloomberg, Forbes, Mashable, NBC and CNET.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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