How advances in technology impact
personal lines coverage.
Have a plan in place when your business undergoes a
It shouldn't be news to anyone that technological
advancements are shaping the world around us. But because new technology
change the way we live, work and play, independent agents need to keep up
Here are a three ways technological trends are impacting
personal lines coverage:
Cyber threats: From instant application
approvals to auto-renewals, the use of technology is changing the insurance
industry. With this changing environment come additional risks and new
coverages, such as cyber or data breach coverage.
Your clients use technology to make their lives easier, but
it also puts them at greater risk of a cyberattack. Victims may find that
they downloaded a document that contained ransomware that disabled their
computer system, while others may unknowingly find themselves sent to a
phishing website. Damages from these types of attacks can cost thousands of
dollars. Are your clients covered for such perils?
Also, in the event of a cyberattack, do your customers have
adequate coverage and limits? Personal cyber coverage is becoming more
common. But as it grows in popularity, it is also becoming common for cyber
coverage to be excluded from standard homeowners policy and only available
by endorsement or a standalone policy. Do the standard homeowners policies
you write provide cyber coverage? If not, did you offer it?
Teleworking: Another technological trends is
telecommuting, which has become the
standard operating mode for at least 50% of the U.S. population, according
to Forbes. However, traditional homeowners policies contain broad
exclusions for home business pursuits.
Coverage for personal liability arising
out of business pursuits is typically excluded, which prompts the question:
Is your customer covered for business performed at home? Agencies should
determine whether they have clients who telework or run businesses from
home and offer endorsements to existing homeowners and renters policies to
cover these pursuits.
The Gig Economy: There are more than 1 million
rideshare drivers working for companies like Uber and Lyft in the U.S.
Meanwhile, HomeAway offers 2 million global home listings and Airbnb offers
500,000 in the U.S. alone. Other examples of the gig economy include ad hoc
food delivery, package delivery and manual laborers.
Do you know whether your clients are participating in the
gig economy? If so, are they covered for property damage, personal
liability, injuries requiring health care and loss of income? Agents should
start asking these questions before a claim comes in.
Recognizing and reacting to these
trends will prepare you to satisfy your duties as a 21st-century
personal lines agent or broker. Importantly, staying ahead of the curve
when it comes to technology leads to better agency achievement, and higher
client satisfaction and retention.
Donna Asta is a vice president,
claims expert with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and teleworks out of the
office in Overland Park, Kansas. Insurance products underwritten by
Westport Insurance Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas, a member of Swiss
This article is intended to be used for general informational
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