Michael de Waal, Author at Insurance Thought Leadership




Michael de Waal

Michael de Waal

Mike de Waal is president and founder of Global IQX (www.globaliqx.com), a leading software provider of web-based sales and service solutions to employee benefits insurers. He has deep experience in both software development and business management skills.

Early in his career, he worked as a computer programmer and then went on to become a financial planner and a benefits consultant before becoming a tech entrepreneur.

Recent Articles by Michael de Waal

Building Your Digital Sales Arsenal

With more business being conducted online than ever, carriers, brokers and agents are discovering new strategies and tactics to better reach their customers. Traditional distribution methods are becoming less viable as insurance buyers have greater visibility into alternatives, expect personalized digital experiences, and can compare policies online with a few clicks.  It’s an opportunity for […]

Designing a Digital Insurance Ecosystem

Insurance carriers that invest in open ecosystems and best-in-class components will experience improved customer satisfaction, lower costs and leapfrog the competition. In 2020, the insurance industry experienced several years of digital transformation in a few months. The days of monolithic legacy systems, built and maintained in-house for decades, are coming to an end as the […]

Time to Streamline Group Benefits Quotes

Many insurers still have systems that grind away for ages before they cough up group benefits quotes. Brokers and underwriters insist on predictable, fast responses, and they are even more important today, with more people working from home because of the pandemic, straining networks. If an insurer can’t streamline its process, clients will soon start getting […]

How to Train Remote Workers as Teams

With COVID-19 disrupting business, most employees in the insurance and insurtech industries have been forced to work from home. We are on week 12 of having most of our employees working remotely.  Working from home has its challenges on the best of days. Now throw in your partner working beside you and perhaps add some […]

IoT Combined With AI? A Revolution

Data is the foundation of insurance, and two emerging technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT, and artificial intelligence (AI), are making that foundation more useful than ever. IoT allows internet-connected devices to send and receive real-time data. Insurers are increasingly using IoT data to streamline operations, improve customer engagement, offer discounts for and encourage healthy […]

3 Big Challenges on the Way to Nirvana

We hear almost daily how insurtech is disrupting the once-staid insurance industry. The main ingredients are big data, artificial intelligence, social media, chatbots, the Internet of Things and wearables. The industry is responding to changing markets, technology, legislation and new insurance regulation. I believe insurtech is more collaborative than disruptive. There are many ways insurance […]

5 Ways Cloud Helps With SME Insurance

In the past decade, a number of organizations have adopted cloud technology. As reported by Forbes in 2018, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. The benefits of the cloud become especially valuable for SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) without the infrastructure to support their own systems, let alone the staff to dedicate […]

How to Foster a Startup Culture

Incorporating team building as part of your corporate culture may seem like an obvious step in strengthening your business overall, but it is often neglected. In fast-paced, high-energy environments such as the insurance and insurtech industries, investing in your employees through professional development and team-building activities can go a long way in promoting success. In […]

4 Ways to Boost Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity threats faced by insurance companies are growing and evolving at an alarming rate. This has been spurred by many factors, including the internet of things (IoT). While the IoT presents opportunities for insurers, it also exposes security gaps. The severity and frequency of cyber-attacks are likely to increase. Insurers must commit to protecting sensitive […]

Opportunities in Wearables, FitBits

Wearables and fitness-tracking technology have witnessed rapid growth in recent times. International Data Corp. reports that one in every five people in the U.S owns a wearable fitness device. It also estimates that annual shipments will exceed 250 million devices by 2021. Given the ability of technology to provide critical data, the wearables revolution continues […]

The 5 Top Trends in AI and RPA

Insurance companies are only beginning to harness the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA). AI refers to computer systems that can mimic human capabilities by learning and solving problems. RPA is an emerging form of business process automation technology based on using software robots or AI “workers.” Here is a look […]

8 Key Insurtech Trends for 2019

The industry used to be a tech laggard. No more. Though there’s still much work to be done, most insurers are now better-positioned to capitalize on their investment in technology. Here are eight key tech trends that continue to shape the industry: Greater stress on cybersecurity An Ernst & Young security survey revealed that 59% […]

Cognitive Computing: Taming Big Data

In the complex, diverse insurance industry, it can be hard to reconcile theory and practice. Adapting to new processes, systems, and strategies is always challenging. However, with the arrival of new opportunities, cultural transformation will go more smoothly. Insurance companies that are considering how to plug into the insurtech landscape should understand the various models […]

Digital Survival Tools for Agents

Whether the majority of your business is online or in-office, it is crucial for you to have the right tools to help you capitalize on the insurance market and get ahead of the competition in a changing landscape. It does not matter what type of insurance you are selling, whether it’s employee benefits, life insurance, […]

4 Ways Connectivity Is Revolutionary

The Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to support more than 20 billion devices by 2020, according to Gartner. This is a market that covers 60% of consumers worldwide, creating huge opportunities for industries to connect and engage with their customers. Connecting with consumers hasn’t always been easy. Contact typically took place at points of […]

How to Improve Productivity With Fun

It’s about 1:00 pm on a Friday as I step back into the office to the sound of foosball. Laughter is coming from the lunch room. Instructions to the latest board game are being explained, and friendly competitions are reignited. In the quest for success, as in life, it is important to stop and enjoy […]

5 Technologies That Boost Engagement

Life, group and voluntary benefits insurance is one of the most competitive verticals in the financial services industry. Strong relationships with customers are crucial to competitive advantage. Engaging customers is a proven way of enhancing relationships. Unfortunately, the insurance industry has one of the lowest rates of customer engagement. Too often, the only contact with […]

5 Key Effects From AI and Data Science

In the digital era of innovative products and services, insurtech technologies are bringing great opportunities to the insurance sector and accelerating the industry’s transformation. Advances in AI and data science are leading insurers toward the effective use of machine learning, data modeling and predictive analytics to improve back-end processes and streamlining and automation of the […]

Blockchain: the Next Big Wave?

Blockchain is poised to change the future of insurance by creating new insurance products, services and business models, as well as promoting new ways of improving control, measuring and pricing risk. It stands to enhance client engagement, while reducing costs, improving efficiency and ultimately expanding insurability. One example of how blockchain can be applied to […]

Linking Innovation With Strategy

Self-driving cars insured by the manufacturer. Smart homes that warn of perils in real time. Predictive analytics and automated underwriting and renewals. Wearables that measure your daily activity. Drone, sensor and video technology that help insureds avoid losses. What do innovations like these mean for conventional insurance? They may herald an organizational shift away from […]

Strategies to Master Massively Big Data

Telemetry, IoT, wearables, AI, chatbots and drones are tools that help group insurers better engage with customers and improve business processes. There is one thing that all of these technologies have in common: data. Personal data to be precise. Exactly how insurers will mine, manage and utilize the massive amounts of data now available from […]

5 Challenges When Innovating With AI

Artificial intelligence is booming in insurance. In a recent report, Celent identified AI use cases around the globe and across the insurance value chain. Uses include customer engagement (USAA’s Nina); product optimization (Celina Insurance Group, Protektr); marketing and sales (Usecover, Insurify, Optimal Global Health, Ping An); underwriting (ZestFinance, SynerScope, Intellect SEEC, Swiss Re); claims (Tractable, […]

Robots and AI—It’s Just the Beginning

You’ve probably had regular help from a virtual assistant by phone or online, assisting you with basic tasks such as directing your call or giving you your bank balance. Helpful, right? The companies that employ the virtual assistants think so, too, and are applying these AI/robotic processes to more and more of their everyday business […]

How to Respond to Industry Disruption

Automating risk management, rating, quoting and renewals, integrating massive disparate legacy systems and redefining age-old business models – essentially all at once – is no small task. But it offers progressive insurers great opportunities to vault past the competition It seems as if almost overnight emerging insurance technologies have flooded the market under the rubric […]

How to Support the Agent of the Future

New-business sales and servicing has received increased attention from insurance carriers in recent years, and with good reason. Insurers that provide tools and resources that make it easier for agents and brokers to quote and retain clients have a better chance of return business. A key way to accomplish this is through agent/broker portals and […]

2017 Priorities for Innovation, Automation

At the dawn of another year, it’s always helpful to reflect back and examine the last 12 months. What happened that surprised us? What were we proud of? And what lessons did we learn? In 2016 our entire industry went from one that was slow to adopt emerging technologies to one that is well on […]

4 Ways to Manage Remote Workers

Very few entrepreneurs can go from idea to success without a team of people supporting their projects. Besides hiring people in-house for human resources, marketing, production and service jobs, they may need to hire virtual employees and contractors to fill these positions. Either way, they need to create and foster a team-based environment to create […]

6 Tricks and Tools for Securing Your Data

Technology is something of a double-edged sword for insurance brokers. It provides us with the perfect tools to offer accurate field underwriting, efficient claims and policy processing, thorough record-keeping and faster issuing of policies. But that’s just one side of the story. On the other side—the darker, far uglier underside—technology has opened us up to […]

5 Things Sailing Taught Me

Most entrepreneurs don’t just want to be entrepreneurs—they have to be entrepreneurs.   As a driven entrepreneur in the insurance industry, you will encounter both challenges and rewards far beyond that of the average employee. Navigating these ups and downs can be as challenging as steering a ship through a storm on the high seas, […]

Teamwork Lessons From Navy SEALs

Navy SEALS are the ultimate team. Through precision teamwork, they accomplish almost-impossible feats, such as safely hunting down Osama bin Laden at night in a foreign country. While each SEAL is a formidable fighting machine, it’s the team that does amazing things. Working in the insurance industry isn’t hazardous to life and limb, but it’s also […]

Underwriters Need Some Power Tools

I predict that in the brief time you spend reading this article you will get several social media and email notifications. You will receive at least one text message and possibly one or more voicemails. At some point later today, you will log in to at least one news website, content aggregator or feed reader […]

4 Technology Trends to Watch for

We enjoy many technological devices that used to be pure science fiction — mobile phones, video chat, Bluetooth speakers, touchscreen tablets,  driverless cars and so on. So what’s next? Here are four of the coming insurance technology trends: More online tools to attract millennials. Millennials are the new Holy Grail group of customers for insurers […]

How to Choose the Right CRM Package

Perhaps the most important thing an insurer can do to keep clients and brokers happy is to implement the right kind of customer relationship management system and process. CRM lets the insurer anticipate needs and communicate effectively. The most obvious benefits of a good CRM system are: Accessible client information, with the ability to view […]

Tech Innovation Is No Longer Optional

Today, about 80% of people will read at least one email on their smartphone or tablet. Ten years ago, that number would have been roughly zero. And most people are also using their smartphones and tablets to shop online, navigate in their cars and even get insurance quotes. Have you ever considered the changes technology has […]

Simplifying Enrollment for Optional Products

Financial education is crucial when it comes to helping employees understand the roles that optional products such as disability, critical illness and accident insurance play in protecting their financial futures, but education isn’t enough. Making it easy for employees to sign up is equally crucial, to increase enrollment. Insurers can increase the opt-in for optional […]

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