The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Some of the oldest companies in the United States are insurance companies. PropertyCasualty360.com recently profiled a number of these historical insurance companies, some dating back to the mid-eighteenth century. Insurance has always been an important part of property ownership and the basic function of insurance hasn’t changed much- it serves to replace property in the case of a loss. Benjamin Franklin’s The Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Co. provided these services in 1752 just as Geiko, Aflac and Progressive insurance do today.But how it is done has changed drastically, and technology has played a major role in the evolution of the insurance industry. Benjamin Franklin didn’t have a computer database or the Internet to help asses the replacement cost of a home or its contents. The insured couldn’t make electronic payments or track the claims process online- it’s hard to imagine how anything got done!

Although many of us think of the insurance industry as “laggards” in term of adopting new technologies, we see that changing, especially in the past few years. The industry as a whole is hungry for and embracing new technologies and approaches that improve the efficiency and transparency of the insurance claims process. Auto insurance has already seen great strides in innovation, and now we’re experiencing a similar transformation in Property & Casualty lines.

Technology is helping us get there faster, better and more profitably, but it’s refreshing to see that the mission for today’s insurance carriers is no different than what Ben Franklin set out to do when he started his company under the principle that “every man might help another without any disservice to himself.”

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