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Author: Technology Helps Insurers Conduct Insurance Commerce

In the relationship between insurers and technology, the awkwardness is not knowing how to use applications.
  • Lori Chordas
  • October 2022

From Stone Tablets to Satellites: The Continual Intimate but Awkward Relationship Between the Insurance Industry and Technology

The insurance world has been slower to adapt to change, including adopting new technologies, thereby creating an awkwardly intimate relationship between the industry and technology, said technology-focused insurance industry analyst and author Barry Rabkin. However, there are various ways insurers can use technology applications to conduct insurance commerce while fighting the intimacy awkwardness dynamic to attract and retain customers, said Rabkin in his book, From Stone Tablets to Satellites: The Continual Intimate but Awkward Relationship Between the Insurance Industry and Technology.

The following is an edited transcript of an AM Best TV interview with Rabkin.

Barry Rabkin

Barry Rabkin

How did the idea for the book come about?

Being an analyst, even though I'm semi-retired, it seems to me that there has been a drumbeat and cries for insurance companies to remake themselves as technology firms or to use technology. And it finally got to a head, if you will.

The book offers a buffet of perspectives of how technology is or could be used by insurers through a variety of lenses, including carrier, customer, producer, channel management and claim management perspectives, and how they can use technology to attract and keep customers profitably.

How can insurers use technology to support customers, agents and brokers?

It's not about technology or its use. Rather, it's how insurers meet the challenges. The first challenge is identifying the methods customers want to use to conduct business with you. That may not be technology-related, but it may be technology-supported or technology-augmented.

Second is manage to the elements driving customers' choice. It could be age or knowledge of the insurance industry or technology.

What is the road ahead in the industry's quest to conduct commerce while fighting the intimacy awkwardness dynamic?

Insurers need to become more customer-focused, digital insurance firms. They also must expand their geographic and cyber locations. The world is getting more digital and we're going into the cloud, so insurers cannot neglect pushing more of their operations, including their analytical insights, into the cloud so they can partner with more people who work for the firm regardless of where they are.

Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at

AM Best Business Trilogy

AM Best details the history of AM Best, credit rating agencies and the life of Alfred M. Best.

The Company—A History of AM Best

The Industry—A History of Credit Rating Agencies

The Man—A Biography of Alfred M. Best

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