Consumer behavior is changing, technology is advancing, and new emerging business models are disrupting the insurance industry. Given this, what does the future hold for the broker model? This question was recently addressed in a Reuters Events Webinar: Insurance in the Digital Age – The Future of Agents and Brokers. You can check out a recording of the webinar yourself, but here are some key highlights and takeaways.
New Business Models Are Emerging
Peter Primdahl, Vice President, Emerging Business Models at The Co-operators, says, “We’re dealing in a changing business landscape.”
We’re seeing big changes in how people live, work, and move. That said, it is no surprise that these changes are also driving a shift within the insurance marketplace where carriers are looking for innovative solutions and technology to meet new customer needs.
The Digital Revolution Is Speeding Up
The digital transformation in insurance has been happening for a while now, but it’s starting to accelerate.
The direct-to-consumer sales model isn’t exactly new, and it’s been part of the insurance landscape for quite some time. Recent developments in technology and the online DIY culture have given the model a boost, making it a more important model.
Then COVID-19 happened. Suddenly, people needed to be able to handle transactions remotely. At the same time, the pandemic prompted people to start thinking about their insurance coverage. As a result, the shift to digital has increased rapidly in the insurance sector.
The Consumer Experience Is Essential
What does it take to succeed in insurance digitization and direct-to-consumer sales? It’s not just about technology.
Mark Hardy, Vice President, Direct Life & Health at TD Insurance, discusses how important it is to “absolutely focus on the customer experience.” Insurance professionals deal with insurance every day, but the average person does not. As a result, consumers need a simple, easy process. They also need education and information.
Insurance Professionals Are Still Needed
Amid rapid digitization, some insurance professionals might wonder whether they’ll still have a place in the future of insurance. Given that clients will always seek out advice and education, they will.
Anna Foat, Director, Global Digital Transformation Office at Sun Life Financial, says the question to ask when looking at the next stage for advisors is “how can we start helping them reduce the administrivia and eliminate paperwork that perhaps is unnecessary and get them back to doing what they’re excellent at, which is helping clients identify solutions to the problems they have.”
Can You Keep Up?
Change is happening, whether you want it or not, and it’s happening fast. Insurers that can’t keep up will certainly face a plethora of competitive pressures from those carriers who can adapt, evolve, and embrace change.
How You Can Reduce Administrivia
Thomas Jefferson once said, “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Insurers have now reached that crossroad. Perhaps it’s time to break free of the DIY imperative that has long been the status quo. Ecosystems are the way of the future and that includes having a go-to insurance BPO provider.