Changes for insurance services in 2018 and beyond

51741360 - change ahead road sign isolated on blue skyThe pace of business in today’s world is a fast one, with changes happening all around us that have rippling effects on small and large businesses alike. Laws, reforms, news, and current events all contribute to the regulatory changes that you may face in the insurance services business.

As an insurance agent, agency group, insurance company, or general agent, you understand firsthand how these regulations impact your day-to-day work and the lives of the people you serve. You also understand how important it is to stay current on ever-evolving issues and regulations, in order to better protect yourself, your agency, and the customers who are trusting you with their insurance services needs.

In 2018, we’ve seen regulatory trends that have required specific attention. Some have presented significant challenges, and others have required monitoring to stay ahead of potential issues. Let’s look at three of the big insurance issues from the year.

The growth of cyber insurance

In the recent past, news of a data breach might have felt shocking. How could such a thing happen to the data that we believed was so secure? But in 2018, it’s hardly surprising anymore to hear of yet another data breach occurring, even among the big companies such as Yahoo.

Cybercrime has becoming increasingly common, and the criminals behind it are likewise becoming more skilled at hacking systems. No business is immune, which puts both companies and customers at considerable risk. By way of response to the growing problem of cybercrime, cyber insurance services have come into their own evolving market.

In the past, general liability policies excluded data breaches involving pertinent customer information, such as credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, and so on. But today, a growing number of insurance services and agents are underwriting cyber coverage in the event of a data breach.

Insurance services within the marijuana industry

More than half of the states within the U.S. have legalized the use of medical marijuana, while eight of those states, including the District of Columbia, have also permitted its recreational use.

Soon to become a major industry, and with more than 200,000 Americans employed in the marijuana industry at present, the need for insurance services will inevitably follow. Commercial insurance for employees, operations and owners, and personal liability and marijuana-related risk insurance coverage, will be among the trends to watch.

Since the close of 2017, companies and agents in California have offered insurance coverage and unique policies for marijuana businesses. This particular sect of insurance services is still new, with many opportunities ahead to invent the market. For now, federal law bans the legal use of marijuana in a reversal of an Obama-era policy that prevented interference by the federal government in states that have passed pro-marijuana laws. Only time will tell, but according to trends, this industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Managing disruptions within the insurance industry

Changes within our industry are happening daily, weekly, and monthly, and every year that passes brings a host of unexpected insurance issues to work around, work through, and work with. Technological change accounts for much of the disruption that agents experience, with customer expectations and changes to standards and regulations contributing to the stress many insurance service providers feel.

As an insurance agency or agent, you need to be able to stay focused on your core business of providing customers with insurance and staying profitable in a competitive market. How will you do this?

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