As is often said here at SMA, the Personal Products segment leads the insurance industry and often introduces new innovations, especially in the distribution area. Over the next five years, insurers focused on personal insurance will likely continue to lead the sales revolution through new technologies and channel strategies. Where insurers are currently investing to support their distributors, they are either building strong ties with agents/brokers etc. or de-emphasizing some of their channel partners, which may be the future of the channel. Setting the stage for partnerships.
SMA’s new research report, “Distribution Technologies for Personal Lines: Carrier Plans for 2023 and Beyond,” provides executives with an assessment of the current state of digital capabilities offered to distribution partners and the challenges and barriers to deploying new capabilities. details the survey results. , and carriers plan to bring new digital sales and service capabilities to market.
An analysis of the telcos’ largest investments in digital sales technology for personal insurance reveals two key themes. Seven out of ten insurers recognize prepopulating data as one of their biggest investments for sales. This allows more reliable information to be gathered for quoting and also minimizes back-and-forth between underwriters and agents. E-signature capabilities, the second highest investment area, also improve efficiency by streamlining binding and policy issuance processes. In contrast, the study also revealed areas where insurers invested the least. In the area of digital sales capabilities, insurers are least focused on suggestion tools, with only 6% of insurers currently prioritizing them.
Among investments in digital services, research shows that self-service capabilities are a key priority list for insurers. Most insurers say they are investing in service portals for agents, and more than half are also investing in features such as online billing and payment capabilities. On the other hand, none of the insurers suggested investing in mobile apps for agents.
In markets such as personal insurance, where customers and agents expect on-demand services, it is critical that insurers continue to invest in digital services and maintain an agile technology roadmap. Understanding stakeholder needs and allocating investments accordingly to enhance digital capabilities will not only improve the experience for agents and policyholders’ customers, but also improve internal efficiency.
For more information on personal line distribution technology strategies and investments, please refer to our recent research report, “Personal Line Distribution Technology: Career Plans for 2023 and Beyond.” This report is part of SMA’s research series based on research and interviews with insurers, agents, brokers, MGAs, and other distribution channels, and includes insights from ReSource Pro’s extensive distribution client base. For more information on this new research and distribution advisory service, please contact the authors.
This blog post is reprinted with permission from SMA.