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Insurtech takes center stage as RIMS returns to Boston

Posted On: Apr. 28, 2019 7:04 PM CST

RIMS returns to Boston

The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference in Boston will cover a broad range of key topics, including cyber risk and diversity and inclusion in the insurance and risk management sector, but the industry’s insurtech wave will receive megabytes of attention.

That’s according to RIMS President Gloria Brosius, who called the latest wave of technology in insurance one of the biggest things to hit the industry in her 30-year career.

“Technology is changing our profession,” said Ms. Brosius, who works out of Loveland, Colorado, as the director of risk management and insurance for Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution Inc. “Every year there is something new in the risk profession. There’s always something new in insurance. (Insurtech) is really taking the industry by storm, and in recent history this is the biggest thing out there.”

RIMS, which is holding its annual conference in Boston for the third time following previous conferences in the city in 1990 and 2010, will feature its first-ever Insurtech Competition, described by organizers as a “Shark Tank”-style showdown in which startups will demonstrate their risk-focused technology solutions before a panel of risk professionals, on Wednesday. The competition will highlight technological advancements in artificial intelligence, the “internet of things,” mobile applications and other insurtech solutions that allow organizations to gather and analyze better data, search for trends and root causes of risks, and improve functions, according to organizers.

Cyber risk will also be at the forefront with a record nine sessions offered at this year’s conference — several of which were added in recent weeks to keep up with demand, said Ms. Brosius. “That’s an ever-evolving exposure that we all have. I don’t think any company is immune to cyber exposures.”

Diversity and inclusion is another major focus, as last year’s events were “standing room only,” said Ms. Brosius.

Monday’s panel discussion on leveraging diversity and inclusion efforts to uncover talent, growth and profit opportunities will feature risk and insurance leaders discussing current efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and help change the underrepresentation of minorities in the industry. A session on taking diversity and inclusion to the next level on Tuesday will update attendees on RIMS’ efforts to increase diversity and inclusiveness both within the organization and the industry at large.

Erin Meyer, a business consultant who offers managers advice on navigating cultural differences in the global marketplace, will deliver Monday morning’s opening keynote, “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business,” while tennis champion Billie Jean King will deliver the closing keynote on Wednesday.

RIMS will also honor Luke Figora, who was named its 2019 Risk Manager of the Year, during Monday’s general session, as well as David Stills, who was inducted into the 2019 Risk Management Honor Roll, during Monday’s lunch event.

Meanwhile, attendees can expect additional opportunities for mini-information sessions, giving time-challenged risk professionals greater options, said Ms. Brosius.

“Another thing that RIMS is doing really well is understanding how busy people are at RIMS,” she said. “If people have an extra 30 minutes, there’s a variety of formats that they can customize to fit their schedule through the conference.”