blankCorporate Insight recently attended the 2018 Property Insurance Report National Conference at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California. Every year, host Brian Sullivan of Risk Information invites industry leaders and key decision makers to offer their takes on the latest industry trends and home-related products and services. Over two days, a diverse lineup of speakers highlighted a variety of topics, including home warranty products, crowdsourced customer reviews, online price comparison, artificial intelligence, payment interfaces and even textile restoration. The conference culminates with Mr. Sullivan’s much-anticipated 20 Trends presentation, in which he reflects on the ideas discussed over the preceding days and makes predictions for the upcoming year.

Here are three takeaways from the conference:

  1. Cyber insurance represents untapped area of growth

Jonathan Laux of Aon and Paul Mang of Guidewire demystified cyber risk as it is understood today, with the caveat that there is much we do not comprehend due to the inherent human factor in cybercrime that is absent from other underwriting verticals. Notably, they highlighted that the five-year projected cost of cybercrime is between $2 trillion and $6 trillion and that the cyber insurance premium market is projected to reach $20 billion by 2025. Mr. Sullivan later expanded on their presentation and added that insurers who do not currently have a team performing research in this space are already too far behind.

  1. Water shutoff devices will have biggest impact on smart home market

Flo, Roost, AquaTrip, Notion, Water Hero and LeakBot were just some of the players in the water loss space mentioned by speakers. Water shutoff technology works but faces major adoption hurdles; many consumers often fail to install free devices, let alone purchase a device so they can receive a discount. That said, these devices can help alleviate billions of dollars in losses. Right now, the paths of least resistance in this space seem to be a simple discount for customers who opt to install a shut-off device and an emphasis on installing these devices in all newly constructed homes.

  1. Insurers are taking more control of home repairs

After a loss, consumers expect a repaired home and not just a check delivered to their mailbox. Mr. Sullivan noted that every insurer needs to be fully engaged in solving problems and addressing pain points in the repair process. He added that insurers who fail to accept consumer expectations and hope a third party will solve the problem are courting trouble. Brian Siemsen of Claim Central Consolidated and Werner Kruck of Security First Insurance presented a potential solution: a digitally connected supply that facilitates seamless and highly visible communication and accountability for the customer, claims examiner and other involved parties.