CANBY, Ore., July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Oregon-based agency management system and insurtech provider HawkSoft has taken steps in recent months to help independent agencies in the struggle for clarification on who truly owns their client data—the agency, or the systems storing their data.
In recent years, multiple stakeholders touching agency data—including the agency, carriers, the management system, and other tech providers—have muddied the waters in terms of who ultimately owns client data. Many of the largest management systems and technology providers are being acquired or given investment capital by private equity and big data companies, who acquire and sell the aggregated data collected by agencies. Agencies often find themselves at a loss to know whether signing an agreement with a technology partner means they're also surrendering ownership of one of their most valuable assets: client data.
"HawkSoft's stance has always been that the agency management system should act as the custodian, not the owner, of agency data," says Rushang Shah, VP of Marketing at HawkSoft. "We've made our stance crystal clear in HawkSoft's Terms and Conditions that the agency maintains complete ownership of their data and that HawkSoft will never share or sell that data without their consent."
HawkSoft recently teamed up with Ron Berg at Big I's Agents Council for Technology (ACT) to put together a panel webinar that explored the subject with representatives from the major stakeholders: Mike Stansbury of Elite Insurance Solutions, Delin Shen of Cincinnati Insurance, and Rushang Shah of HawkSoft. The group discussed the obstacles in managing data between these stakeholders, as well as ways in which all parties can work together for the benefit of the insured. "ACT leapt at the chance to produce this valuable webinar with HawkSoft" says Berg. "Gaining deep insights from each of the stakeholders highlights not only their individual concerns on data ownership, but even more the shared stake we all have in guardianship of crucial customer data." The recording of the webinar is available here.
HawkSoft has also created a white paper on the subject of data ownership. This resource provides important questions that agencies should ask technology partners about their policies around data ownership before signing an agreement, as well as additional resources like sample contract language, legal precedent on data ownership, a data autonomy checklist, and a resource list of related articles. Download the white paper here.
"We're only scratching the surface of data ownership and stewardship," Shah says. "This conversation will only become more vital as the P&C insurance industry becomes more open in terms of sharing data between systems through vehicles like API integrations."