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Barry Rabkin

Barry Rabkin

Barry Rabkin is a technology-focused insurance industry analyst. His research focuses on areas where current and emerging technology affects insurance commerce, markets, customers and channels.

He has been involved with the insurance industry for more than 35 years. He has delivered presentations about technology’s impact on the insurance industry to insurers and technology firms and at trade conferences. He has been published in several insurance trade press publications. Before rejoining his own company in April 2014, he was a principal analyst at Ovum, where he was responsible for leading the global insurance research stream. Before that, Rabkin was responsible for leading the global insurance advisory team at Financial Insights, an IDC company. His analyst experience also includes launching the insurance research strategic advisory service at the META Group in the late 1990s and developing thought-leadership research at Advisen.

Before becoming an insurance technology analyst, Rabkin was a management consultant with Arthur D. Little, IBM Global Services and BearingPoint. His insurance industry experience includes working in marketing or marketing research departments of Aetna Life & Casualty, John Hancock Financial Services and the Hartford.

Rabkin earned a M.Sc. in applied mathematics from New Mexico State University and a double B.Sc. in mathematics and English from Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Recent Articles by Barry Rabkin

Should Insurers Use Amazon Model?

I’ve seen many insurance trade press articles or social media posts asking why insurers aren’t using either an Amazon or Netflix business model. The articles or posts mention that Amazon and Netflix are massively successful, are driven by a strong customer focus, have operations throughout the globe and, equally importantly, conduct commerce using web-based mobile […]

How Coronavirus Is Cutting Connections

“Pathogen outbreaks are an emergent property of global 21st century society,” Dr. Richard Hatchett, executive director, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Feb. 13, 2020 As a society, we are obviously becoming increasingly more connected. Most of the time, we don’t realize the fragility caused by our interdependence. We take our connections among and […]

Business Models, Moats and Startups

It is impossible to discuss business models without considering moats. The word “moat” is used to describe a firm’s (actually, a firm’s business model’s) competitive advantage. Both startups and incumbents need a defensible moat.  It is terribly au courant to discuss moats, specifically for startups (and even more for insurance startups), as if the essence […]

Technology Cannot Replace Brokers

Amid all the investment activity in the insurance industry, I distinguish two types of startups by using a very straightforward – and I believe a black-and-white, legal – perspective: If a firm must comply with insurance regulations then it is an insurance firm, and not a technology firm, regardless of what technology it uses to get and […]

Realistic Expectations for Insurance in 2020

Visualize a meter that ranges from No Change (1) to Total Transformation (10). I expect the actual changes to the 2020 Insurance Industry meter to register somewhere between 1 and 2. Thinking about insurance industry trends for the next year was always a fun exercise whether I was at the META Group, Financial Insights (IDC) […]

Will IoT Upend Insurance? [Hint: NO!]

So many gurus and their ilk are looking for, hoping for, any technology or group of technologies to “disrupt” or otherwise upend the insurance industry. One of the latest hopes for transforming the insurance industry is IoT: the Internet of Things. Unlike mobility, social media, cloud computing, big data and associated data science-driven analytics, or […]

Should Incumbents Ally With Startups?

Incumbent insurers have taken decades, and, in many instances, hundreds of years building a business and creating a book of business (almost entirely through the hard work of agents, brokers and MGAs). Why should they share their customer information with startup insurers (regardless of how or why the startup insurer is using technology)? Potentially invest […]

Insuring a ‘Slice’ of the On-Demand Economy

In our emerging on-demand economy, Blue Ocean strategy will abound for P&C and life and annuity (L&A) In this post, I will focus on the Blue Ocean strategies that are needed in the P&C insurance industry. The essence of Blue Ocean strategy, as discussed in W. Chan Kim’s and Renee Mauborgne’s 2005 book Blue Ocean […]

Technology Companies to Watch in 2016

Here is a baker’s dozen (plus one) of technology firms that I find exciting or interesting and feel are companies to watch. Some, like Guidewire and Salesforce, I have followed and written about for many years. Others are technology firms I have recently written about (e.g. Clari). Some technology firms are public, and others are […]

How to Juggle the Present and Future

Unlike companies in quite a few other industries, insurers have a book of business of clients who potentially expect to conduct business in a different (and “older”) manner than new prospects might. Life insurers have to provide service to clients for three, four, five or more decades. P&C insurers selling long-tail coverage also have to […]

How to Find Mobility Solutions (Part 2)

Before continuing from the “How to Find Mobility Solutions (Part 1)” post, I want to repeat my bias: I think that until insurers, and insurance agencies/brokers, can operate entirely using apps on smart device they can’t really call themselves “mobile-next.” Potential insurance mobility solutions Focus on enabling producers to use a smart device that has […]

How to Find Mobility Solutions (Part 1)

Please consider this post to be a sort of noodlin’ around the ways insurers could apply mobility solutions. I do have a bias: I think that until insurers, and insurance agencies/brokers, can operate entirely using apps on smart devices they can’t really call themselves “mobile-next.” To find potential insurance mobility solutions, focus on the customer […]

Sorry, but There Is No Magic Bullet

I was reading an article recently in an insurance technology magazine and was somewhat startled to see that an insurance executive said he was looking to customer house-holding (i.e., ability to pull together all of the insurer’s customers living at the same address) to enable more sales. I agree that house-holding is important to increased […]

Head for the Hills! Google and Amazon Are Coming! (Or Not)

Really ? We have all seen the articles that breathlessly announce that Google, Amazon and others are going to become insurers. And somewhere in the next sentence or within the same paragraph, the writers exclaim that insurers must change their ways because doom is nigh. Really? More detail, please I’d like to see more appreciation, […]

What Apple-IBM Means for Insurers

News and comments about the recently announced Apple and IBM partnership is flooding the mediasphere. As it should. But for me, this partnership will only succeed if both firms have come together to perceive and support the corporation as a consumer writ large. That means enabling corporations to compete in a mobile-first, customer-driven mediasphere. There are so many technology capabilities […]

Unified Communications and Collaboration are Increasingly Important for Insurers

Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) capabilities are becoming increasingly important for insurers and companies in other industries in the rapidly emerging digital marketplace. To determine how enterprises around the globe are using or planning to use UCC, Ovum interviewed over 1,320 enterprise ICT decision-makers in 18 countries in 4Q12 and 1Q13. Ovum's report The Future […]

Location, Location, Location – It Matters in Insurance, Too

Location plays a critical role in the insurance industry. The issue of place is central to business acquisition, channel management, underwriting, and claim adjudication, to name a few insurance business functions. However, most insurers are challenged by how to find, access, and use the requisite geographic information to improve decision-making, operations, and customer service. Fortunately, […]

US Insurers Must Contend With Federal Overseers

Since 1851, when the first state insurance regulator was established, the US insurance industry has had to comply only with the laws of a regulatory system that is state-based. However, that changed when the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) passed into law on July 21, 2010. The Dodd-Frank Act, […]

Insurers Should Deploy Predictive Analytics Across The Enterprise

Ovum Publishes Report On Creating An Insurance Predictive Analytics Portfolio If the past four years are a reliable guide, the insurance industry will face complexity and even chaos in the coming months and years. Insurers need to be concerned about a future which could promise “black swan” events (those that are unpredictable, infrequent, and have […]

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