If you’re one of our loyal readers and a fan of our insurance news roundups, you’ve probably been waiting for this one.
In these roundup articles, I’ve waged a war on Thanksgiving, raged against the stress of the holiday season and even ripped apart the folks that predict the weather for us. So…what will I say about the “Hallmarkiest” of the “Hallmark Holidays,” Valentine’s Day?
I’m surprisingly apathetic to it. Maybe apathetic isn’t completely accurate. I’m somewhat divided about it.
Yes, I feel it’s ridiculous to have a holiday dedicated into guilting couples into spending their life savings on egregiously marked-up champagne, steaks, oysters, jewelry, roses and chocolates in a ridiculous attempt to show their affection for each other. I think we can all agree on that.
Also, while we’re at it, I think we can all agree that forced romantic gestures are ultimately meaningless and shallow. I mean…aren’t spontaneous romantic gestures that aren’t required by some holiday inherently more expressive of one’s romantic feelings for another person?
Isn’t it better to be doing something romantic and heartfelt because you want to, not because society is telling you that it’s required because it’s an arbitrarily selected day of the year?
All that said…Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love. And you know what? We need more of that in the world right now.
Public discourse has grown pretty toxic lately. It seems like everyone is at odds about everything. Don’t believe me…just look at your Facebook page. I’m willing to bet that it’s filled with squabbles, intense debates, name-calling and other general ugliness. It seems like civilized discussion is gone, division is rampant and anger pervasive.
So…let’s run with Valentine’s Day this year. Let’s go all out and embrace it…embrace love and chocolate, and puppies and everything else that comes with it…because I think we all need a little LOVE right now.
Here are this week’s top insurance news articles that I’ve (poorly) attempted to somehow tie into Valentine’s Day. Why? Because I love you…
“Life changing” technology is a “win-win” for insurers and insureds
If there’s one universal symbol of love, it’s the heart. There’s a reason why heart-shaped boxes are the preferred containers for Valentine’s Day chocolates…and it’s not just because boxes shaped like other organs would be weird or inappropriate.
Our hearts may not have anything to do with love, biologically, but it’s the symbol we’ve chosen and have run with for some reason.
Aside from their symbolic significance, the heart is clearly one of our most important organs. And, heart disease and heart attack rank among some of the top reasons why we lose our loved ones. Finding a way to battle those things could keep those loved ones around faster. And finding ways to battle those problems before they become major issues could be very good for both insurers and the insured.
One of the exciting new technologies that people are buying for their convenience and connectivity – smart watches – may actually and inadvertently play a role in this. According to this article in Insurance Business, smartwatches with heart rate monitors are actually identifying heart issues before they become major problems, and helping people get (often more affordable) preventative care before they’re hospitalized with life-threatening issues.
These same devices can also help insurance companies get a better risk profile of their customers – helping them more accurately and effectively price their plans – which could be a win-win for everyone.
Longer life and cheaper insurance? I love it!
PartnerRe and Farmers Edge team up to advance global agriculture by offering real-time field data coupled with customized insurance products
In my rant at the top of this article, I mentioned a few over-priced things that have become rather synonymous with Valentine’s Day. Things like chocolate, flowers, wine/champagne, steaks and fancy dinners out. What’s something that all of these things have in common?
They wouldn’t exist without our friendly neighborhood farmers!
(I told you this Valentine’s Day tie-in was a stretch…but I’m really, really trying!)
Until petri-dish-grown meat is both prevalent and somehow socially accepted, steaks will have to come from ranchers. Until silk roses are as romantic as real ones, we need farmers dedicated to floriculture (it’s a thing…look it up!) to grow the pretty, good-smelling ones. And unless you’re happy drinking pruno, we need vineyards to grow the grapes that will ultimately be fermented into delicious, delicious wine and champagne.
But life as a farmer can be pretty hard. It’s one of the few industries where slight changes in temperature or weather could significantly impact an entire year’s worth of work and revenue. An early frost or a drought – things farmers can’t really control – can cripple crops and subsequently spell disaster.
But, there are new technologies coming onto the market that can help these stalwart farmers better identify problems before they become crop killers and take proactive, preventative measures to help save their business. And a new partnership between a provider of these technologies and an insurance company could help to increase the adoption of both of their solutions across the agriculture industry.
PartnerRe, a leading global reinsurance company, and Farmers Edge, a leader in decision agriculture, are joining forces to bring customized insurance products and new agricultural technologies to farmers. According to Wade Barnes, president and CEO of Farmers Edge, “Through this partnership, Farmers Edge is making digital agronomy a reality and empowering farmers all over the globe with data-driven insights so they can maximize crop yields, make better decisions and secure tailor made insurance solutions that make sense for their market.”
If, “maximizing crop yields,” means I’ll have to pay less for some of the aforementioned awesome things we discussed…then I love this partnership!