InsurTech: 14 Key Terms to Know
The world of surplus signs can often be confusing. Whether you’ve come from a traditional insurance background or a different industry altogether, the amount of data you must absorb to stay compliant with all the state regulations can be overwhelming. Yet, despite its myriad of challenges, many people manage to navigate the complexities and may even get to the point where they consider themselves to be surplus lines experts.
The E&S industry, like any other, is continually evolving to make it easier to distribute affordable and customized insurance to the masses. And like most growing industries in the world today, it uses the best technology available to further its accessibility.
But, with this opportunity for growth comes a challenge for newcomers and veterans alike. Both must learn an entirely new language — the language of insurtech.
Insurtech, as many know, is an amalgamation of the words insurance + technology. Unfortunately, it’s a made-up word in that nobody can decide how to spell correctly; Do you spell it “insuretech” with an “e,” or do you omit the “e” altogether? The debate continues. This article defines some of the more commonly used insurtech (insuretech?) terms and acronyms, getting you a bit further ahead in understanding the changing world of insurance.
AMS — Agency management system. This refers to the software that organizes your agency’s book of business, making it easier to track policy details, documents, notes, and statements. Vertafore AIM and ConceptOne are both examples of AMS’s.
API — Stands for Application Programming Interface. This software allows two separate applications to talk to each other. Specifically related to insurtech, APIs facilitate the automated transfer of policy data from one system to another.
Back-End — As opposed to the “Front-End,” this is the part of the software that users cannot see or interact with. The back-end is used for administration or programming tasks.
Cloud Computing — Rather than storing programs and data locally on a computer at your location, cloud computing uses online servers to access data. This allows you to tap into your data from wherever you have an internet connection.
CRM — Stands for Customer Relationship Manager. Not limited to just insurance, CRM software organizes all your company’s client interactions, including with prospective clients. Salesforce and HubSpot are both examples of widely used CRM software.
Cyber Security — Cybersecurity refers to the steps an organization takes to keep company and client data safe. Threats from digital attacks come in many forms, so companies you work with must have strict data guidelines in place to keep you protected.
Front End — As opposed to the “Back-end” of a system, this is the part of the software users interact with. If a client were to visit your webpage, they would use the “Front-End,” while developers would use the “Back-end” to ensure the site functions correctly.
Growth Hacking — An overused term rendered almost meaningless, referring to strategies focused solely on growth and increasing market share.
Insurtech — Insurance technology
KBA — Knowledge-Based Authentication — Typically used in conjunction with MFA (defined below), KBA asks a user to answer a question only a specific user would be able to answer. Good KBA questions would be difficult for a hacker to answer.
MFA — Multi-Factor Authentication –A series of additional steps that a user must go through to confirm their identity when entering a password into a software platform. Examples of MFA are security questions, images, and KBA (as defined above)
SaaS — Software as a Service. A method of licensing software is that is becoming more the standard in the industry today. Rather than buying software and installing it on your computer, a software license is purchased, and the application is then accessed via the internet. The software itself is stored on a server hosted by the licensor, and the licensee pays a monthly or annual subscription for access.
SDK — Software Development Kit — tools provided by a software manufacturer to help software developers create integrations and tools for the platform.
SOC 2 — This document is the gold standard in the world of Cyber Security. A 3rd party evaluation is conducted on an organization to ensure that the company adheres to the highest security standards. A SOC-2 report is issued and must be periodically renewed.
As the lines between technology and insurance become increasingly blurred, it will become even more vital to understand the terms above and how they describe the evolving excess and surplus lines industry around us.
Looking for a solution to streamline the compliance, filing, and reporting of surplus lines taxes in all 50 states? Check out InsCipher Connect™, an all-in-one surplus lines management software. Want to outsource your surplus lines filing? InsCipher has you covered there, too, with a dedicated Filing Services™ team. Request a free quote today!