NAMIC President & CEO Chuck Chamness comments on the major disruptors affecting the insurance industry, during the 2018 Joint Industry Forum.  While he notes technology is a considerable disruptor, he suggests public policy and the political environment within Washington and the State capitals may be the biggest factor affecting insurers.  He sees the populist movement creating difficulty for an industry that seeks to create certainty, and needs rules to follow.

Political Risk has reached the top of the minds of industry executives, according to recent surveys. The industry recognizes the need for effective representation in the political process, and that is where National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) works. Companies like NAMIC occupy the space between insurance companies and the government and regulators. Many of NAMIC’s mutual company members (65%) are over 100 years old, so NAMIC talks about legacy issues and “presenting your business in a certain way.”  But things are changing. Challenges facing today’s mutual company executives include new risks, and new ways to identify and measure risk. Mr. Chamness believes companies must be nimble and thoughtful, and have staff that can assemble the information needed to make good decisions.

Mr. Chamness acknowledges the challenged faces by companies dealing with new technologies, including the cost. However, he sees tremendous opportunities arising as well. Being able to underwrite and rate risk in a more refined way using data points that were once nearly impossible to collect, is now possible. He sees many companies going through operating system conversions to replace or enhance legacy systems.  It many cases, a company’s future is at stake. Getting it right, on time and on  budget, are at least two times budget, is critical. Mr. Chamness also mentions that much of the insurtech investment coming into the sector today is developing tools companies can use to enhance their business, rather than disrupting the entire industry.

Mr. Chamness also discusses the role of NAMIC given the U.S. State-based regulatory system. While perhaps imperfect, it works well and is what the industry is accustom to. NAMIC works to educate law makers so that changes to legislation and regulation do not disrupt our industry.

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