Flying Cars and Jetpacks: Talk About Your Specialty Lines

Flying Cars and Jetpacks: Talk About Your Specialty Lines

By Robert Regis Hyle, PropertyCasualty360.com
November 14, 2011

Flying CarChange is coming and at a pace that is, “quite dramatic,” according to Sudhakar Ram, chairman and managing director of Mastek. “And customer needs are changing as well.”

If you are to believe Novarica’s Chad Hersh (And why wouldn’t you?) over the next 18 months we could see flying cars and personal jetpacks on the market and as he told those in attendance at the MajescoMastek user conference last week, “Carriers need to be flexible and agile in their ability to insure new risks.”

People tend to think of flying cars and jetpacks as science fiction, but both products are currently being developed and could be on the market as early as 2013, according to Hersh.

“Some company is going to have to figure out a way to underwrite coverage for such an item,” says Hersh. “Sometimes we can’t imagine the things we’ll need to insure.”

Most insurers face more mundane changes in their business, but whether it is a personal lines product or a specialty line it is imperative that insurers have the flexibility needed to create new coverages at the point such products reach the market.

Those who wait until after the products have reached the market to contemplate underwriting such risks are usually doomed to picking up the scraps left by the market leaders.

Such thinking can be disruptive to the business staff within an insurance office and that’s fine, according to Celent’s Craig Weber, who followed Hersh at the MajescoMastek conference with a discussion of Celent’s latest theme: Disruptive Technologies.

Too many companies fear rocking the boat rather than embracing change, explains Weber. With technology advancing each day, carriers soon will have little choice but to follow the path of “creative disruption.”

Much of the talk among the conference attendees was on mobile technology and social media—issues that were either stagnant or unheard of by the masses five years ago. Technology has changed the way we communicate with each other and the tools that we use to communicate. The adoption rates for both social media and mobile technology are growing at a pace that can no longer be ignored.

Will there be flying cars in our driveways five years from now? Probably not mine, but who knows about your neighbors.

Hersh puts it best when he says, “If [flying cars] are already real, think of what we haven’t even imagined yet.”

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