Chicago — Conventional insurance news, featured online and in trade publications, may still be the go-to source for information on insurance technology, but a recent insurgence of online blogs that have the ability to aggregate this information and provide perspectives on it are popping up like weeds in a cornfield.
In the health insurance industry, the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, sponsored by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., describes its goal as offering readers a window into the world of blogs in a roundup of health policy-related blog posts.
"Blog Watch," published on Tuesdays and Fridays, tracks a wide range of blogs, providing a brief description and relevant links for highlighted posts. Posts include topics from health insurance technology to the political opinions of senators and organized labor. For example, the site includes podcasts, such as National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition’s” inclusion of current presidential candidates discussing where and how to cut healthcare spending.
The Kaiser blog lists its mission as providing timely, reliable and non-partisan information on national health issues to policymakers, the media and the general public. To advance that mission, the Foundation established kaisernetwork.org in November 2000.
According to Kaiser, Insure Blog hosts the most recent edition of Health Wonk Review, a biweekly compendium of more than two dozen health policy, infrastructure, insurance, technology and managed care bloggers. A different participant's blog hosts each issue. With roots dating back to January 2005, this blog offers the perspectives of four highly accredited authors: Bob Vineyard, CLU, Mike Feehan, William Halper, CLU, and H. G. Stern, LUTCF, CBC.
Another health insurance blog, the Insurance Insider, provides brokers with tips, insurance and financial trends news and opinion.
On the life side, blog.pinnaclelife.co.nz is the result of the efforts of Ed Saul and Steve de Jong, partners of Pinnacle Life, a New Zealand insurance company that, by all estimates, is the first site of its kind to offer direct-to-consumer instant online life insurance coverage. Designed to demystify life insurance for consumers by providing insight and advice as well as generating debate and conversation about all things to do with life insurance, the site acts as a life insurance forum.
And there are more where that blog came from. The site dir.blogflux.com/cat/insurance.html offers visitors a veritable smorgasbord of insurance blogs covering all topics and proclivities.
Although analysts have yet to track the “stickiness” of insurance blogs, one thing seems clear: the fact that the amount of online information is growing is a certain signal that the insurance community is networking, sharing information and using technology to achieve outreach.
Of course, given how blogs are rapidly infiltrating the insurance industry, now is as good a time as any to ask you, the reader, how you feel about blogs. Do you believe them to be an effective, reputable source of information? Leave us your feedback by clicking the reader comment box above.
Sources: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Pinnacle Life
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