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Technology makes headway in insurance industry

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NEW YORK — 2015 may be remembered as the first year technology issues dominated the insurance industry discourse, according to an experts panel at the Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum in New York.

Change is coming quickly, panel members said Tuesday.

“Relative to what I've seen in the past, my view is the pace of change is unprecedented,” said Hemant Shah, co-founder and CEO of Risk Management Solutions Inc., San Francisco.

Data volumes also are growing, they said.

“The amounts of information and data that are being used, collected, stored and transferred are growing exponentially,” said Adam Hamm, Bismarck, North Dakota-based commissioner of the North Dakota Insurance Department and chairman of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' cyber security task force.

Technology also is changing the way business is done.

“Technology creates an entirely new distribution channel,” said Charles Chamness, president and CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies in Indianapolis.

Personal lines of insurance, however, may be the most immediate beneficiary of technology.

“The technology impact in personal lines is far more profound than in commercial lines,” said Mike Pritula, director and senior leader for the global insurance practice of McKinsey & Co. in New York.