By Anthony O'Donnell Senior Editor
Everyone I've spoken to agrees: this year's ACORD/LOMA Insurance Systems Forum is the most vibrant in years. One friend who began working within the insurance systems world right after the dot-com bust expressed just how much the show has improved: "The first one I went to wasn't a show, it was a wake," she quipped. But this year's event, she agreed, was the best since then, and had the feel of what these things can really be.Why is this the case? Since the dark days my friend referred to, insurance spending has gradually been rising. This year, according to a recent Forrester report, insurance budgets are expected to rise 7 percent, compared with about 5 percent in the previous year. And if insurers are spending, the vendors are likely to be more numerous and positive, the attendees are likely to be more interested them, and the tone of the whole event is likely to be more lively and pleasant. And so it is.
My friend might have thought that the way this event turned out would have been too much to expect, but a news item released at the conference included something really hard to believe. The "Man Bites Dog" element appeared in a press release from IBM that reported on a survey revealing consumers' loyalty to their insurance agents. Interesting, though hardly staggering, was the news that only 15 percent of respondents said they would consider dropping their agent to save $150 annually by buying insurance online. However, what was stunning was the finding that, "44 percent of consumers said their insurance provider is innovative as compared to other industries."
Somebody pinch me.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio