Business Resilience & Continuity – Legacy Protection for the Protectors

Protection for the protectors

The harsh realities of work from home are catching up to everyone as the whole world relies on it more and more. People are getting grumpier, businesses are getting beaten and battered, and most are failing to hold their own and ensure continuity.

Insurance agencies are no different. If you failed to embrace the cloud or foresee the impacts of COVID-19 on the insurance sector, chances are that you are having some trouble right now.

Here, we’ll discuss how you can poise your business to become more resilient and ensure the business secession planning you had in place remains valid once things come back to normal.

Supporting Remote Work 

We’ve discussed this several times in our past blogs, as much of a shock working from home was for the insurance sector, making sure you have the right systems to accommodate employees and clients from a distance is one of the most important things you need to focus on right now.

A report by KPMG (TH & Co.) suggests that insurance agencies put in just 2-3 weeks instead of 2-3 years to upgrade their systems – and those that did it beforehand are poised as the next market leaders now.

Hiring & Retirements – During & Post-COVID

The medium-term future holds a huge shift in workforce. Not only are employees bound to get frustrated and resign, but clients’ needs are also going to change. When hiring new staff or letting some go, make sure you keep new requirements in mind.

Update your job descriptions, ask employees to be realistic about their performances and what you’re expecting, reevaluate your agency’s directions as an agency, and consider the immediate and longer-term future. Your main concern here should be staffing the right individuals for your clients.

Encouraging Word of Mouth 

If your clients are in recession, chances are that you’re going to be in the same boat too, struggling for a way out to improve your and their investment portfolio and stay afloat. When that happens, it’s time to be compassionate and flexible.

Digital marketing has changed quite a bit because of the coronavirus as business flock towards it left and right. One surefire way of helping you stand out of the crowd is to make sure people remember you for your service and let others know of what you’re offering.

Word of mouth is the best form of marketing and clients who are spreading the word about you are perhaps your biggest assets.

A Business Resilience Plan

And finally, developing a resilience and a business succession plan. To do so, you need to consider the following aspects:

  • Do you have the right tools for the market’s shifting demand?
  • Are you future-proof? Is there anything that could render you outdated? If so, what’s stopping you from getting those updates?
  • Are you primed for remote work?
  • Is your workload manageable or is it overwhelming?
  • How can you ensure maximum availability and training of these tools?
  • Do you have the right tools to help you support workers as well as clients?
  • Do you have a rainy-day fund or a rainy-day plan?
  • Do you have an insurance plan, should the day come when you need to wind up?

If you find yourself answering negatively to any of these questions, you might be in trouble in the near future. Going online is perhaps one of the best things you can do for your clients – and even for the workers. At Legacy Armour, we can help you manage your clients and ensure their peace of mind, starting today.

Any tool you need, we’ve got your back – from legacy planning storage all the way to customer and their family facilitation. Get in touch today to learn how!

Cryptocurrency Insurance Coverage – Can I Rely on My Insurance Provider to Protect Me?

Litecoin, Bitcoin, and Ethereum

Cryptocurrency and bitcoin security has always been a fickle thing in terms of insurance. With more than 7% of Americans owning cryptocurrency, the demand for this relatively secure asset is still on the rise. As the global interest in cryptocurrency increases, governments are also looking at the asset closely now.

Kimmelman v. Wayne Insurance Group is a prime example of what we just discussed.

The asset has also found its way into many a financial and legacy planning discussions as people continue to consider it a viable option for their investment portfolio.

However, the question remains; can you rely on your insurance agents to protect you or your family in case of unexpected loss of cryptocurrency?

Answer to this lies in the case we mentioned above. To put it simply, it depends on whether your cryptocurrency is held in the capacity of property or money.

Bitcoin Security From Insurance Agencies

In the case above, Kimmelman sought coverage for his bitcoin portfolio that amounted to roughly $16,000, which was recently stolen.

The insurer’s policy claimed that they cover “personal property owned or used by an insured anywhere in the world.”Furthermore, the liability would be limited to $200 on money, bank notes, gold, silver, value cards and more according to the same document.

Insurance agent’s investigators concluded that the bitcoin was money, and therefore a compensation of only $200 was sanctioned.

Soon after, the two found themselves in court, one claiming that it was money and the other simply claiming compensation. The Ohio state court determined that the insurer would make the insured whole since virtual currency was not considered money, but property.

This was solely based on IRS Notice 2014-21 which treated cryptocurrency as property for tax purposes, not money. From then onwards, any unexpected loss on ‘virtual currency’ – including bitcoin – is considered to be a loss of property.

Cryptocurrency Finding Its Way Into Legacy Planning

The rise of virtual currency began in 2015 and gradually found its way to where it is now, the peak point being in 2017. Although the currency’s value keeps fluctuating every now and then, people who purchased the currency back when it was cheap have gained immensely from it.

So, it’s natural for them to want to pass it on to their loved ones after their death. We have had many clients who are including cryptocurrency in legacy planning with a prime focus on bitcoin security.

Armour Legacy offers you a safe place to get a will made and store information about how to access your assets after you’ve passed on. Our vaults are secure and flexible, meaning you can give access to people you trust, be it family, your health executives, financial advisors and more.

The idea is to make sure your family doesn’t have to go through any sort of hassle after you pass on and get what you want them to have seamlessly! Let us help you understand how this works in more detail. Write to us and we’ll call you right back!

Recession-Proofing Your Insurance Agency – Legacy Protection for the Protectors

Photo of a DOW J index in a bearish economy

With the COVID-19 pandemic not seeming to end anytime soon and its effects seeming to have an impact even long after the economy restarts, recession seems to be a shiny sword of uncertainty hanging on everyone’s head. From a simple family-man all the way to insurance agencies, legacy protection and recession-proofing is something that can set you on the right track.

Here, we shall discuss how insurance agencies can safeguard themselves from a recession in the economy, whether it’s coming or not. Better safe than sorry, right?

Recession-Proofing Insurance Agencies – A Financial Advisor’s View

Diversify Your Investment Portfolio – Preparing for the Worst & Making Good Better

What do insurance companies do very well? What would you say that you as an insurance agent have that no one else can beat you at?

Analyzing risk and taking preemptive action.

And that is exactly what comes into play when investing; analyzing the stock market for risks and taking action accordingly. Or the company as a whole could also invest and earn dividends. The key idea here is to broaden your line-up and not put all your eggs in one basket. And that means not relying on yourself completely as well.

Look at Your Cash Flow Under a Microscope

As an insurance agency, just pick up your cashflow statement, or even the income statement for that matter, and you’ll see the myriad of expenses you make as a company. Some of those expenses you might not even understand unless you’re an accountant.

We’re not asking that you start studying up on them; just that you know where they originate from and make financial scenarios for such expenses. These might be running expenses, but you should have a plan for how you’ll reduce them if recession hits; or is about to.

The most recent example of this was how insurance agencies had to take their businesses online due to the lockdowns. You can also make contingencies for what you’ll do in case you have to tackle numerous claims at once, closing up shop for a while, or more.

Ideal Clients & Their Road Through the Recession

Keeping tabs on your revenue stream and making sure they stay afloat is one of the most important steps you can take when recession-proofing your insurance agency. Easiest and most lucrative way of doing so is by differentiating between regular clients, high-paying clients and riskier clients.

Here is a table to help you understand this point better:

Client TypePriority
High-paying, less-claiming clientsAverage
High-paying, high-claiming clientsHigh
Low-paying, high-claiming clientsLow
Low-paying, low-claiming clientsVery low

Remember, this chart is only for emergencies, not during the normal course of business.

Spreading the Word Without Marketing Expenditure

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool; not just because it’s free or brings you new customers ready to convert, but also because it pushes you to give the best possible service to every client. This way, you not only reduce inefficiencies in your workflow, but also generate a new revenue stream for yourself that remains strong long after other avenues have failed; such as when in recession.

Getting ready for what’s next might be more challenging than it may seem; even for the most veteran insurance agents out there. If you’re looking to protect your legacy, either by formulating a well-thought-out legacy plan or by recession-proofing your insurance agency, Legacy Armour can help you take the right steps at the right time. Contact us today via call or mail to learn more. 

Coronavirus & Estate Uncertainty – Effects on Legacy Planning & Impending Future Prospects

Future prospects of the industry

There has been a 143% week-on-week increase in the number of wills since the lockdown started, a figure that is predicted to go up to 220% soon. Before 2019, people believed that legacy planning and creating a will was only for the rich; but that trend is changing. It is now understood that anyone wanting to secure their assets and protect their family needs to have a will.

The lockdowns have resulted in heavy reliance on the internet, taking even estate planning online; something for which presence of all parties was crucial. These impacts might seem to be short-lived, or perhaps until the COVID-19 lockdowns remain, but there are chances that they might also stick around, impacting the future of the insurance industry altogether.

From financial planning to business succession and legacy planning, everything might find itself online.

Potential Future Impacts on Legacy Planning

Insurance companies that already had online systems in place faced a certain setback when they upgraded their systems, since the transition took a little while not only to get implemented but also to get used to.

However, this small setback at the time was well worth it, as those who had optimized their online infrastructure fared much better once the lockdowns began, reaping the rewards of a less-competed market. To add fuel to the fire, the market wasn’t just less-competed,but also more demanding than ever!

At the start, the market saw almost a 40% increase in demand immediately. As insurance companies took on more and more clients, the demand only increased. Financial advisors played a major role in this as well, as they asked clients with a diverse investment portfolio to create wills.

This was followed by the drops in share prices, even of shares belonging to market leaders. Case in point; Vermillion Energy Inc. (NYSE:VET).

Legacy Planning And Force Majeure – How Insurance Claims Are Being Treated During COVID-19

Force majeure means “superior force,” and is a major part of many a contract. It includes a set of events that are out of either party’s control, such as war, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, epidemics, or restraints set forth my governing authorities that may result in a claimable loss.

In the case of COVID-19, force majeure is applicable wherever government restrictions (the lockdowns) are preventing, restricting or delaying performance of any clause included within the will.

However, if the clause isn’t included in the will itself, force majeure isn’t applicable. You should advise your clients about any force majeure clauses before letting them sign a contract.

It is important to note that most insurance companies are including the clause within their contracts because of the COVID-19 situation.

The Change in Estate Planning: Helping Clients Protect Their Family & Businesses

legacy planning, insurance, financial planning, protect family, business succession planning, insurance agent, financial advisor, investment portfolio

It is no secret that people yearn to make lives for their children and spouses easier after they’re gone. While wills are a great way of doing that, clients are shifting towards trusts as well now, seeing as how it can be the perfect way to support them financially.

A trust is like a gift from the person who passed away to those they left behind, as it takes effect immediately. It is in an intended beneficiary’s name, reducing the amount of paperwork and procedures that one needs to go through.

Furthermore, trusts can also reduce the estate tax implications and isn’t subject to challenges in probate courts as wills are, further reducing the hassle for whomever the trust is founded. Recommending a trust to your clients can go a long way towards furthering their legacy planning ventures.

However, trusts and wills are entirely different things; so make sure you have the requisite knowledge before recommending it.

As the insurance industry goes into a ‘digital’ state, there is a certain uncertainty revolving the matter of estates. Existing clients are getting antsier and new ones are also equally troubled. We recommend using online tools for now, as there are chances (because of the reduced operating costs they offer) that they are going to stick around even after the lockdown.

Legacy Armour offers a tool for insurance agents to make the most out of this online shift in the industry, offering a streamlined way of handling clients and their real estate planning. Get in touch today to learn more!

How COVID-19 Affects My Legacy Planning – Should I Revisit My Will?

Making an informed decision about your will

The COVID-19 pandemic has had deep impacts on every element of our daily lives – our insurance policies and legacy planning being no exception. Many people, be it businessmen or families, have been forced to consider ‘what ifs’ that were previously a non-issue.

As estate planning sees a surge in interest rates, words like family protection and business succession planning are being thrown around judiciously by financial advisors and insurance agents. But a question arises; is this just people being people or are these concerns actually well-founded? Should I really revisit my will?

Here, we shall explain the effects of COVID-19 on legacy planning and try to present the situation as is to help you make an informed decision.

Should I Revisit My Legacy Planning – Getting Down to Brass Tacks

A straightforward answer is “yes.” However, it’s slightly more complicated than just saying that.

Insurance companies across the globe are looking for governments and regulatory bodies for aid in these trying times, but haven’t imposed any extra costs or expenses to your estate or its planning yet. However, the “all-online” structure that the pandemic is promoting might mean that it would be smart to update your will, even if you have a solid will in place.

This might include taking it online. There are chances that the SOPs set in place during the lockdown might stick around even after the pandemic is over.

Effects of COVID-19 on Wills

As of the time of writing this, the standard rules of insurance claims in the case of someone passing away will be applicable. If you don’t have a will, an administrator will be assigned to your estate and who it is passed on to, including business succession.

However, having a will that reflects your wishes will mean that, although the process might be slightly slower, it will be the same. Since face-to-face interactions are very limited, liquidating the estate might be more hectic than normal.

It is important to note here that while nothing in terms of wills has changed, the overall value of the assets you have left for your family’s protection might not be the same. This is especially true if you wish to transfer shares to your children or spouse.

This presents an ‘unfairness’ issue, that while some might inherit more, others might end up getting less. One would think that this problem would go away once the COVID-19 situation has reverted. However, several companies are facing bankruptcy right now or are about to, which would end up rendering those shares or even your whole investment portfolio useless.

Challenges Presented by COVID-19 When It Comes to Preparing New Wills

Since the presence of lawyers, insurance agents and you yourself (depending on the situation) is necessary for the preparation of a will, the social distancing aspect has halted this process almost completely.

While governments have been called upon for a remediation of this issue, the problem is that allowing either party to not be present during the signing of the will may present a significant risk of fraud. Yet, this has resulted in the Executive Order 2020-14.

This legislation dictates that documents such as Wills, Powers of Attorney and Appointments of Enduring Guardian can be witnessed and notarized online until the pandemic ensues. Following are some requirements to keep in mind:

  • The audio-video connection must not be interrupted at any time. Both parties must be able to properly see, hear and communicate.
  • The call should be recorded and saved for up to 3 years after it takes place.
  • Signatory must state and agree to the name of the document being signed on the call.
  • Each page signed or initialed must be presented clearly on the video so as to be legible.
  • The signing act must be captured on video.
  • A legible copy signed document in its entirety should be sent to witness(es) no later than one day after signing.

The notarization should include at least:

  • Signature of the notary, their seal, title, commission and expiry.
  • Any information required by law in regards to the date and place of the notarization process.
  • Conform to the Notary Public Act of the state.
  • There must be a clear indication of the fact that the signing and acknowledgement was done remotely.

Legacy Armour in Times of COVID-19

As a rough timeline comes into view about when all of this will be over (year-end or early 2021, based on the progress of COVID-19 vaccine), the curve is starting to rise. This means that the insurance sector as a whole has a while before it recovers from the state this pandemic has put it in.

However, Legacy Armour continues to operate online and offers quick, easy solutions to your legacy and estate planning worries. From online meetings to signing and will delivery, everything is done in a manner so as to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Furthermore, with Legacy Armour’s vaults and planning templates, your will is not only more secure and thorough but also more accessible to your family to provide you with peace of mind when it comes to family protection or business succession planning. For assistance or more on the subject, we recommend you get in touch today via call or email!

The Efficiency of Remote Insurance Agents During COVID-19 Lockdown

Remote insurance agents

The COVID-19 situation has taken everyone by surprise; from the healthcare highly pressurized medical industry to the oil and gas industry, and everything in between. With everything that’s going on, it is no wonder that the insurance sector has also seen its share of uncertainties and problems.

Regarded as a non-essential service, the lockdown that ensued after coronavirus posed numerous challenges for insurance providers across the globe as they struggled to maintain operational capacity. Until March, 2020, most insurance providers only relied on working on-site, not remote.

As agents started working from home, there were numerous challenges individuals faced, but the industry as a whole somewhat prospered[Mac191] .

Shifting to Work From Home

Digitization of the Insurance Sector

Insurers only spoke over the phone and focused on face-to-face meetings to sell plans and investigate. However, as more than 90% staff across the globe is working from home, the initial feedback wasn’t so great – especially in the insurance sector. Most agents found digitization difficult at the start, but the idea is now working well.

With hardware devices such as laptops and mobile devices being provided by companies themselves along with remote connectivity systems and of course, extensive video conferencing facilities, the industry has seen a long-awaited digitization revolution.

In many ways, this lockdown has been in the favor of many companies who couldn’t spare the time to undergo drastic reforms and perhaps disrupt operations. Thanks to the reduced activity and low competition during the initial phases, the systems have been put in place in just 2-3 weeks, where it would have taken 2-3 years.

Digitized Means Optimized

The companies that underwent the same digitization process before the COVID-19 outbreak forced their hand, fared much better thanks to their advanced digital underwriting, claims and administrative processes, especially in the first month.

Where other companies struggled to set their work from home systems, these companies reaped the rewards. There was a 40% increase in online insurance sales over the first month alone – most of them being life insurance policies.

Fraud Risk Stacking Up

COVID-19 has been a backdoor for many insurance scammers, reaching out to customers over the phone and selling them fake insurance policies, among other insurance frauds.

Some examples include travel claims, where customers who got their tickets canceled fabricated an illness, specially the novel coronavirus, to secure compensation from their insurer. Fake insurers have also told travelers who travelled anywhere starting January, suggesting that they are entitled to a settlement by the travel company or agent for endangering their lives.

This risk has increased threefold due to the remote activity of the insurance sector as a whole.

Distribution Channel Disruptions

Insurers’ interactions with their brokers, investigation agents, and other intermediaries have also suffered because of the pandemic. Brokers usually lack a widespread IT infrastructure and are thus prone to administrative problems.

For example, call centers all over the UK and US are having difficulty operating due to short staff. Customers have complained about long waiting periods and sometimes their calls don’t get forwarded to Customer Service Representatives. This has made getting support or Certificates of Insurance issued very difficult.

Claim Resolution Amidst Social Distancing

All the above-mentioned issues come together to become the beast that is social distancing for insurance agents. This has made getting claim resolutions rather difficult as that is relying mostly on digital technologies, such as photo evidence and estimating tools.

There are many precise tools out there but they aren’t available to the normal citizen, which means the photos, most of the times, offer only limited insights, unable to capture the requisite details.

With so much going on for the insurance sector, only those companies fared well who had already digitized their complete supply chain. Although others have adopted to the situation, they aren’t performing at full capacity, thus are bound to face losses.

Employees working from home, on the other hand, are facing long working hours at homes due to the distractions and the lack of a working environment. A task that would normally take an hour is taking more than two, meaning that work is more taxing now than ever.


 [Mac191]Link to “Understanding the Impact on Insurance Sector of COVID-19 & the Lockdown”

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 & the Lockdown on the Insurance Sector

COVID-19 Impacts on Insurance Sector

Apart from the healthcare industry, one of the core sectors that have amplified their importance during the harsh times brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic is the insurance sector. It has proven itself as a core player in the development and resilience of the economy throughout the US.

With lockdown restrictions implemented all over the country starting from April 9th, insurers have been forced to work remotely[Mac191] . This has forced digitization for some who weren’t necessarily looking forward to it, while others have taken this as an opportunity to innovate systems.

All interactions with consumers have now moved to digital channels, thus having significant impacts on behavior of both, insurers and the insured. This shift has raised many questions, one of the major ones being that could COVID-19 actually be the “catalyst” the sector needed towards the long-term betterment of the system? Or is this just a mere “opportunity”?

And are the impacts short term or long term?

Here, we shall discuss some of the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance sector and how it impacts the quality of life of families involved.

Understanding the Impact on the Insurance Sector of COVID-19 & the Lockdown

Premium Reduction

Insurance companies across the United States have started offering discounts for existing and new customers to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus. Some companies have also started offering partial refunds as the situation becomes direr.

While all this sounds very appealing to customers and their quality of life, it is not a quick-fix scheme. Insurance providers will have difficulty justifying these refunds and discounts once things start to settle – especially if there are claims for even 60% of the people who took those discounts.

Usage-Based Insurance (UBI)

COVID-19 has brought to life one of the time-old problems people have with the insurance sector:

“How will insurance companies ensure that rates given to me are fair?”

By February, or even the start of March, no one was certain that there would even be a lockdown. This is an extreme measure and nothing like our day-to-day asset security or driving hazards. This presents a threat for insurance providers as to how they’ll be able to tackle the increased risk level and what impact it will have in customers’ premiums.

This question has led to the whole insurance sector leaning towards the usage-based insurance (UBI) model. Taking motor vehicle insurance as an example, the insurance package in this model depend on:

  • How much the car is driven (Pay As You Drive (PAYD))
  • Your driving behavior (Pay How You Drive (PHYD))

Increased Demand for Protection

After the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak (2003), countries (such as Hong Kong) saw a sharp increase in the number of providers as the demand for business protection increased, and a similar trend is expected post COVID-19.

In fact, the situation develops and despite the virus being out there, economies ‘reopening’ have resulted in a rise in demand for life insurance (an increase of 30%). Online portals and digitization have played an important role in this increase.

Value of New Business (VNB) Pressure

Looking at history, during SARS outbreak, existing policyholders surrendered their unit-linked insurance policy (ULIP), leading to a positive medium-term change in product mix. According to Avinash Sing, a senior analyst,

“Insurance sector would see short-term pressure on VNB due to sluggish business growth post Covid-19. However, overall margin would be broadly stable as high margin protection continues to outgrow savings.”

Conclusion

When looking at the insurance sector under the COVID-19 situation from a bird’s-eye view, a few impacts are evident:

  • Life insurers will see growth in policy sales (short term)
  • New business will see a negative hit
  • COVID-19 has ushered an era of digitization; welcomed by some and thrust unto others
  • Demand for pure protection product will lead to more uncertainties

All that said and done, neither party (the providers nor the families) get the better end of the deal due to COVID-19. Some aspects are in favor of providers while some are in favor of families. At the end of the day, it’s all about perseverance for both parties – and with the wheels of economy starting to slowly turn, there is no telling what uncertainties may rise for the insurance sector and quality of life for families.

If you’d like to learn more on the topic, don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or call today. Or if you have something to add, let us know down in the comments!


 [Mac191]Link to “The Efficiency of Remote Insurance Agents During COVID-19 Lockdown”

Types of Insurance Fraud and How to Look Out for Them

Types of Insurance Scams

Insurance fraud is one of the leading causes of financial instability and stress for families all over the United States. According to the FBI, insurance scams end up costing somewhere between $400 to $700 per annum to the average American family on insurance premiums.

This might not seem alarming, but the figure stacks up. To give perspective to that, consider that after the hurricane Katrina, $80 billion were provided by the government to mitigate damages. Out of this, $6 billion were lost to insurance fraud within 3 months.

“When it comes to insurance fraud prevention, you have to jump into the mind of a conman – beat them at their own game.”

There are numerous types of insurance frauds and here, we’ll go over some of the more common ones and how families can adopt insurance fraud prevention techniques to shield themselves from them.

Types of Insurance Fraud

As mentioned above, insurance scams can take many shapes, forms and names. However, when you look at it from a bird’s eye view, they all fall into four broad categories:

  • People scamming insurance agents for personal gain
  • Insurance agents scamming families
  • People setting up elaborate schemes to make money off someone else’s insurance
  • Selling insurance without a license and refusing payments when demanded

Here are some examples of insurance scams to show you how they can fall into these four categories:

  • Identity theft
  • Employee-agent fraud
  • False claims
  • Misrepresentation of amount payable by agent
  • Faked death
  • Insurance company fraud

Looking Out for & Preventing Insurance Fraud for Families

If you’d like to read up on some very shameful insurance fraud scams, the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame is a very useful resource, as it can help you prepare for if you ever become victim to something like this.

Here are some examples to consider

  • Identity theft, where identities of addicts were stolen to claim over $175 million in health insurance claim.  
  • A parent continued collecting disability checks after her son died. She had faked the disease as well.
  • A salon owner burned his salon down and claimed $40,000 as insurance. The fire resulted in the deaths of two firefighters.

False Claims

This is one of the most common insurance frauds and can range from car accidents, faked deaths, staged circumstances to much more. Insurance scammers usually attack families by jumping in front of their cars, attempting to claim damages.

People might hit your car with theirs as well, perhaps by break-testing in the middle of the road or driving straight into you with a ‘staged’ witness.

One surefire way to prevent this insurance fraud is to install a dashcam in your car.

As for slip and fall claims, you might have to install cameras on your property. Just make sure you are taking the necessary precautions if doing any construction at your place.

Inflated Claims

With the frequency of natural disasters increasing by the decade, so is the frequency of inflated claims. Take the Katrina example mention above, for instance.

Inflated claims are also particularly popular if someone gets injured because of perhaps the angle of your window (sun shining into their eyes), an animal in your lawn, or even an accident where you actually are at fault.

Here, insurance scammers demand for a sum much higher than what is owed. You can avoid this by remaining vigilant and performing due diligence in regards to the damage incurred.

Insurance Company Fraud

This goes without saying, insurance fraud isn’t exclusive to individuals but is also committed by agents or agencies. These include:

  • Premium diversion
  • Fee churning
  • Underwriting, etc.

To prevent insurance fraud by agents or agencies, it is a good idea to check the licensure and reviews (if available) of the insurance provider before signing up with them. Trustworthy insurance providers are hard to come by and it might take some effort to find them, but once you do, you can rest assured that you’ll be treated right.

Legacy Armour is one such trustworthy insurance provider who doesn’t just offer you and your family good premiums, but also looks out for insurance fraud on your behalf! So get in touch today to learn more about our processes and how we can help you identify and prevent insurance fraud.

Steps Towards Preventing Insurance Fraud

Fraud Prevention Steps

In 2016, there were more than 1,800 fraudulent insurance claims which put strain on insurance fraud investigators’ already strenuous job. According to a report by the State of Insurance Fraud Technology, this figure increased exponentially from 2016 to 2018.

Unfortunately, it takes a long time for an insurance fraud to be proven in court, which is why there’s a saying;

“Insurance fraud is like a disease, and as with any disease prevention is better than cure.”

Here, we will highlight some steps insurance agents can take to prevent insurance fraud, not only against yourselves but against your clients as well.

Preventing Insurance Fraud

1.    Formulate A Fraud-Detection Framework & Strategy

The idea behind fraud-detection strategies should be to make a foundational framework out of it which can be implemented company-wide. It could either take the form of an automated software that uses institutional knowledge towards identifying which claims are real or not and manage workflow accordingly. It could also include a full social networking analysis of involved parties.

It’s up to human insurers or insurance fraud investigators to conduct relevant research accordingly, which might include;

  • Scoring engines
  • Third-party data
  • Criminal history, and other tools.

The three steps of insurance fraud investigation should always be followed; i.e., recognition, identification, and investigation of suspicious claims.

2.    Know the Likelihood of Insurance Fraud

If you have a limited budget, it is important to know when to dispatch fraud prevention agents and where to focus them. One way of doing that is by conducting area-specific research involving the suspicion and likelihood of fraud. Identify whether criminal or cultural fraud is more common in a certain area and take actions accordingly.

It is important to keep an eye on unclaimed insurance benefits, too, since that’s what identity thieves usually go after. Data analytics can help in this case. Use the ‘suspicion score’ to your advantage here.

By implementing an automated framework and combining it with data analytics, all that remains in terms of fraud prevention is making sure your insurance fraud investigators are on their toes.

3.    Reviewing Claims

Any insurance company, be it small or big, must always know which claims to target, at what time, and with what tools. Fortunately, this step can also be automated by implementing predictive modeling and advanced analytics into the mix of your framework.

Or you could continue working on it manually if you’re short on budget but have sufficient manpower.

As you review claims and continue to rescore claims, analyze and revise (if need be) the Suspicion Scores. This will help you prevent fraud by highlighting patterns that you would ordinarily miss.

4.    Adopting A Layered Approach & Revising

There’s a reason why you read the term “due diligence” over and over again when on the road to become an insurance agent. Due diligence must also be done when taking steps towards fraud prevention.

No one tool is enough to tackle the ever-changing world of insurance fraud, therefore different and ‘newer’ fraud-detection tools should be created and implemented into your framework from time to time.

This is known as adopting a layered approach – should a fraudster get past one layer, the other shall detect it, allowing you to take preventive measures. These tools must be reviewed and revised as new laws and guidance principles are implemented.

With all that said and done, one of the most important steps insurance companies can take to prevent fraud is be vigilant, be smart, and always be ready. Disaster doesn’t ask before striking, so you shouldn’t wait for it.

If you need any clarification or further help in regards to fraud prevention, we recommend you get in touch with us via call or email. We’re always eager to help!

Things to Consider When Choosing an Insurtech Technology

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The entry of insurance technology in the insurance value chain has come with a lot of benefits for all stakeholders involved. For insurance companies, embracing insurtech is the right way to satisfy the expectations of their clients. If you haven’t integrated digital tools in your business, here’s your time to do so. In this article, we’ll have a quick look at the things that you must consider when choosing  insurtech technology for your business.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Insurtech Technology

1. Human Capital

Implementing digital tools to grow your business seems like an easy task, but it, too, comes with a lot of challenges. Also, your employees who have the habit of doing things the traditional way will also have a hard time making use of digital tools. Keeping this in mind, it is crucial that you invest in human intellectual capital. This means that you should hire people who are tech wizards and who can help you implement the newly bought tools in a better manner.

2. AI

AI in insurance companies has been revolutionary and has made almost every step a lot more efficient. When you are choosing insurtech technology to grow your business and help people carry out their legacy planning in a better way, you should go with the tool that uses AI and machine learning to provide specialized functions.

3. Blockchains

The reason for your transition to digitization may relate to the cost of operating your business. The blockchain technology will help insurers handle payments securely. It also ensures that all of the information shared with the insurance company is fraud-protected and is easy to verify. The feature will also benefit reinsurers who wouldn’t have to go through lengthy processes to verify their insurance history, etc. The time and cost saved through the technology will help you get other things done.

4. Cybersecurity

When embracing technology, insurance companies should be mindful of the challenges that come with them. Since people will be sharing a lot of confidential information over the internet, it is the prime responsibility of the insurance companies to take steps to ensure data security.

5. Using the Mobile Channel

The number of mobile users has been increasing at a fast pace. Many people have stopped using desktop computers and now use their mobile phones to access the internet and other applications. When you consider using digital tools to grow your business, make sure that whatever platform you create is easily accessible through a mobile phone. This will help you reach more customers.

The Final Word

The importance of insurance companies cannot be denied. Given the volatile economic situation in the country, it is crucial that every person thinks about securing their assets. It is also the responsibility of insurance companies to offer premium functions and tools to clients that help them secure their assets in a better and effective way. The digital revolution means that companies should be paying attention to choosing insurtech technology to support their business growth. This article will help companies identify the factors that they have to look into when they are transitioning.