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Tom Hammond

Tom Hammond

Tom Hammond is president of U.S. operations for BOLT Solutions. He is an expert on innovation and distribution trends in the property and casualty insurance industry.

Recent Articles by Tom Hammond

Lowering Costs of Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition costs are a familiar problem throughout the business world. On average, businesses spend five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer, according to Khalid Saleh at Invesp. Companies focus more attention on acquisition than retention, too: About 44% dedicate themselves to acquisition, while only 18% focus on retention. For […]

How Insurers Can Prepare for Recession

After the 2009 global economic crisis, the U.S. economy has risen to strength once again. Yet certain economic indicators — both in the U.S. and abroad — indicate that prosperous times may be ending. “The end is near for the near-decade-long burst of global economic growth. The U.S. outlook has declined, and moreover the outlook […]

Road to Success for P&C Insurers

Digital transformation initiatives have become an imperative for businesses in the modern age, but many organizations struggle to reach their objectives. Based on a survey of 200 respondents (the majority in the financial services field) conducted by IDG Research Services, more than half of organizations have been forced to pause or completely abandon digital transformation […]

Smart Home Devices: the Security Risks

Smart devices have become a popular topic in the P&C insurance world. Tools like smart thermostats, smoke detectors and water sensors offer the potential to halt property damage before it starts, protecting insurance customers from injury, property loss or both. Yet these devices come with risks. Smart devices often represent the most vulnerable point on […]

How to Win the Retention Game

In an insurance industry battling rising costs and losses, the struggle to attract and maintain customers is real. Fortunately, studies show that existing customers value good service and meaningful relationships even more than low rates. This means that, to maintain the customer relationships they already have, insurers must focus on customer experience and engagement. Here’s […]

The Challenges Ahead in 2019

P&C insurers started a new momentum in 2018. Net incomes more than doubled in the first half compared to 2017, and P&C net premiums written rose 12.7 percent. With continuing economic traction, rising interest rates and higher investment income promised for 2019, this year could follow a similar trend, according to Deloitte. To continue the […]

Blockchain: Seizing the Opportunities

Forty-six percent of insurers expect to begin using blockchain within the next two years, and 84 percent say the technology will change the way they do business, says Jim Struntz at Accenture Insurance. It’s clear that blockchain offers a number of exciting possibilities for P&C insurers, but its implementation comes with both risks and challenges. Here’s where […]

Predicting the Future of Insurtech

Insurtech came into its own in 2018. We saw insurtech startups successfully funded or acquired and established insurtech companies beginning to actually compete with legacy insurers. These insurtech trends will have a profound impact on the industry as 2019 unfolds. By 2025, insurtech will be everywhere — and many of the old habits of the […]

19 Innovators to Follow in 2019

From mobile apps to machine learning, innovation in the insurance industry is moving faster than ever. Industry innovators are exploring the new frontier of insurance through smart investments, creative problem solving and new product and service development. To stay on top of the latest wisdom in the P&C insurance industry, put these 19 insurance innovators […]

Building Trust in the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is a system in which individuals may rent their possessions or time to other individuals, often through an app or website. Although the term first appeared in the mid-2000s, New Economy Advisor April Rinne says that it didn’t become a household word until recently. Still, the sharing economy has caused radical change in a […]

How to Attract Digital Natives as Employees

The need for insurance agents will grow 10% faster than the overall job growth average between now and 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  reports. Yet hiring in the insurance industry remains precarious, with only temporary periods of stabilization, The Jacobson Group  says. As digital natives form an ever-increasing percentage of the workforce, this tech-savvy demographic will become […]

Rates in Era of New Relationship Norms

About 50% of U.S. adults are married today. While this number has stayed fairly steady over the past five years, it represents the bottom edge of a downward trend that has continued for decades, according to Kim Parker and Renee Stepler at the Pew Research Center. Marriage rates have dropped 9% from 1998, and 22% from 1960. […]

How Insurtech Helps Build Trust

The insurance industry was built on mutual trust. Insurance companies trusted their insureds to give truthful accounts of losses and the events that caused them, and insureds in turn trusted their insurance company to pay what was owed under the terms of the insurance contract. The ability to gather and parse massive amounts of data, […]

De-Siloing Data for P&C Insurers

Big data stands to transform the insurance industry in unprecedented ways, providing insights into customer behavior and risk that are unmatched in the history of the industry. Yet property and casualty insurers have significant hurdles to overcome before they can leverage big data and its associated analytical tools to its fullest extent. P&C insurers struggle […]

Keys to Loyalty for P&C Customers

In a rapidly changing industry, some P&C insurers are pulling ahead of their competitors by focusing on customer satisfaction and retention. “The insurance industry as we know it is at the edge of a new business environment,” says  Michael Costonis , head of Accenture’s global insurance practice. “Breaking away from the pack and capturing new revenue opportunities […]

Are Insurers Ready for Voice Search?

Who do property and casualty insurance customers turn to when they need help? In the past, answers have included insurance agents, customer helplines and company websites. Today, however, customers are increasingly likely to consult Alexa, Siri or Cortana. As voice assistants gain popularity in homes, in cars and on smartphones, they’re also gaining traction as […]

Where Are Driverless Cars Taking Industry?

While more than half of individuals surveyed by Pew Research express worry over the trend toward autonomous vehicles, and only 11% are very enthusiastic about a future of self-driving cars, lack of positive consumer sentiment hasn’t stopped several industries from steering into the auto pilot lane. The general sentiment of proponents, such as Tesla and […]

Will Technology Kill Auto Insurance?

The auto insurance industry has been experimenting with technology and tools that are completely changing the way we think about cars. Self-driving vehicles, ride-sharing and vehicles that include their own insurance in the sticker price are all recent innovations — innovations whose long-term effects are not yet known. With the rise of autonomous vehicles and […]

A P&C Guide for Digital Distribution

Property and casualty insurers aren’t shying away from digital distribution. “[F]our out of five insurers either have, or are planning to set up, wholly digital sales processes in which humans are involved only when customers need advice,” Accenture global insurance industry Senior Managing Director John Cusano reports. But taking digital distribution from concept to reality still poses […]

New Power Shift in P&C Insurance

P&C insurance carriers have witnessed a lot of changes in the past decade, but few have been as surprising as the shift of power currently taking place across the industry. According to Dennis Chookaszian, the former CEO and chair of CNA, carriers maintain only 40% of profits today, representing a drop of 20 to 25 […]

How to Speed Up Product Development

The traditional product development cycle in property and casualty insurance moves at a snail’s pace. Drafts, approvals, revisions, verifications of key details and other steps place months between the moment a product is envisioned and the day it becomes available to customers. As technology speeds the pace of daily life and business, the traditional product […]

What Will Operations Look Like in 2028?

In a 2011 article in Insurance and Technology, Kathy Burger enumerated several big technological changes in the insurance industry since 2001, including the rise of big data, the ubiquitous nature of cell phones and social media and an increased emphasis on data security and privacy. Seven years later, these once-big innovations are par for the course. P&C […]

How Digital Platform Smooths Operations

In a 2009 interview with Insurance Journal, Juan Andrade of The Hartford ranked “improving operational efficiency” third on a list of essential priorities for P&C insurers, below both customer retention and a systematic sales approach. This ranking made sense 10 years ago. At that time, Andrade’s top two priorities were customer connections and insurance sales, but digital […]

How to Be Agile in Today’s D2C Era

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales have shaken up multiple sectors, from retail consumables to insurance sales. While D2C sales of property and casualty insurance have the potential to improve customer satisfaction, increase upselling and boost retention, moving into the D2C space also poses challenges for insurers that have invested heavily in more traditional models. Here, we look […]

Connected Buildings and Workplace Safety

“A safe, secure environment is a comfortable, productive environment,” Joe Oliveri at Johnson Controls recently told ASMag. “With integrated, comprehensive security and fire and life safety system oversight in place, facility managers are better-equipped to minimize disruption and focus on creating what matters most: a safe, secure environment, maximum efficiency and up-time and a healthy bottom line.” […]

How to Prepare for Self-Driving Cars

For decades, privately owned, privately insured cars have been so common that few people have questioned these models of transportation and the associated risk. Property and casualty insurers deal with thousands of individual vehicle owners and drivers as a result. Insurers deal with those drivers’ mistakes, too. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) […]

What if Amazon Entered Insurance?

Amazon started life as an online bookseller, a fact that few people today remember, as the ecommerce giant has expanded into almost every vertical. The company now sells nearly every household item under the sun, and it appears that Amazon will enter the pharmacy market, as well, according to Tim Sandle at Digital Journal. Now, Amazon is […]

5 Obstacles to Automating Operations

Insurers move cautiously when embracing automation and other tech tools, and for good reason. As technology changes the insurance industry, challenges arise that appear in few other verticals. Nonetheless, business automation is set to change nearly every industry, Deloitte argues, and insurance companies can certainly benefit from the efficiencies that automation will introduce. Data collection, analysis and […]

How to Achieve Customer Ownership

A customer purchasing auto insurance lives somewhere, in a house or an apartment that needs homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. A customer seeking homeowners’ or renters’ insurance might have a vehicle or two parked out front. And how many of these individuals also run their own business ventures? Carriers have been becoming more mindful of the […]

Next for Insurtech: Product Diversity

As the sharing economy continues to evolve and the autonomous revolution emerges, consumers’ insurance needs are changing, requiring new types of coverage to ensure adequate protection against new risks. Insurers have begun partnering with insurtech players to build the digital basics, streamlining the quote-to-issue lifecycle and positioning insurers to engage with the 73% of the […]

3 Keys to Selecting the Right Platform

Customer experience (CX) consulting firm Walker predicts that, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator. To remain competitive in the consumer-driven era, EY advises insurers to provide an omni-channel environment where consumers can move seamlessly between channels. It’s a difficult feat for insurers to accomplish given the […]

P&C: Back-End Systems Unite!

Property and casualty insurers understand that technology is continuously reshaping consumer expectations and exerting pressure to change the way they do business. In our research, 73% of insurers are seeing demand for digital distribution, but delivering online buying is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to meeting consumer experience standards. The most […]

Why More Don’t Go Direct-to-Consumer

According to McKinsey, the goal in establishing a sound digital strategy is to simply meet customers’ expectations. What sounds straightforward and easy to a digitally advanced industry, such as retail, is a major undertaking for property and casualty insurers, particularly those that sell exclusively through independent or captive agent forces. As insurers prepare to go […]

Are P&C Insurers Failing Agents?

The difference from one year to the next can be astounding. Just compare surveys of independent agents from the end of 2015, with the same survey taken a year later at the end of 2016. Industry outlook improved significantly as 49% felt positive about the year 2017, compared with only 33% for 2016. But…before we start […]

What Incumbents Can Teach Insurtechs

If insurtech disruptors have one thing going for them, it’s their digital savvy. They have made it as easy for consumers to research, quote and buy coverage online as it is to make a retail purchase through e-commerce channels. “It took me 60 seconds to buy a policy,” a customer of one disruptor said. Still, […]

It’s All About the Customer Journey

According to McKinsey, customer satisfaction with your company has more to do with the end-to-end experience than individual touchpoints. This is important to understand, because we tend to evaluate business performance based on distinct metrics such as call handle times, quote starts or quote conversions. While each of those aspects of the customer experience is important, they […]

P&C Insurers: Come Out of the Dark Ages

P&C insurers spend as much as 30% of the cost of the product on distribution. That’s a hefty price to pay to get your offerings to consumers, only to have them be dissatisfied with the experience. As consumers demand more convenient options for purchasing insurance, leading P&C insurers have found a way to reduce costs and […]

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