Jeff Purdy senior vice-president, International Operations, Applied Systems, on how to stay abreast of change in the insurance industry

Technology, consumer demand, new competition, and changing market dynamics are revolutionising the insurance industry. The increased pace of innovation and change has challenged traditional insurance practices and created a new age of insurance defined by greater connectivity and automation.

Technology and innovation are creating unprecedented opportunity to generate greater operational efficiencies and drive growth through new products, services and customer experience. 

Brokers that fully commit to digital, including using a foundational broker management system, operating in the cloud, extending self-service to customers and staff through technology like mobile apps, and connecting with their insurer partners directly from their management system, experience 158% higher revenue per employee. These are compelling proofs that investing in technology – smartly and with the right partner – is worth the money and the effort.

When evaluating technology, there are three key areas to keep in mind to ensure products and services deliver value:

The Digital Broker: practical innovation to help you run your business smartly with digital connectivity, automation, and expanded products.

The Digital Ecosystem: the need for closer and more valuable partnerships between insurers and their distribution partners, so that both realise even greater value from the other.

The Digital Future: technology is changing rapidly, and in the years to come we will see widespread adoption of technology that will radically alter the insurance landscape. How can your technology provider help you be ready to adopt and gain value from these?

The Digital Broker

There are three core characteristics of the digital broker that work together cohesively to support a business’s digital growth strategy, each providing the core capabilities needed to operate more efficiently, make more informed business decisions, build better insurer relationships, improve customer service, and accelerate growth and profitability across all lines of business. These three characteristics are:

• Digital connectivity to policyholders to improve customer experience;

• Digital automation within a brokerage to drive efficiency; 

• And digital connectivity to insurers to drive intelligent interaction.

By becoming a digital broker, your technology comes together to enable greater efficiency and value through automated workflows, integrated customer communications, and advanced insurer connectivity at each stage of the insurance lifecycle.

Now let’s focus on how digitally transforming enables you to better exist in the digital ecosystem.

The Digital Ecosystem

The insurance ecosystem is shifting. New players are entering and existing players are making new moves. Due to pressure on traditional routes to market and the direct-to-consumer businesses starting to consume more simple personal and commercial lines, the relationship between insurers and broker partners is more important than ever.

To drive insurer connectivity, you must leverage technology to connect to insurers. These core technologies include a foundational management system with online integrated etrading. By automating data exchange between you and your insurers, you gain broader access to insurer products, faster access to policy and claims information, enabling a higher level of customer service to policyholders.

Furthermore, digital technology enables you to re-imagine the customer experience to create more connectivity with policyholders. Offering multiple ways for consumers to interact with the business – whether in person, by phone, online or mobile – regardless of the type of policy or cover, can create happier customers, helping to drive business returns through enhanced retention and new business growth. A single view of your policyholder will differentiate your business and enable a more streamlined customer experience.

The Digital Future

The pace of innovation is fast and getting faster, and deciding how and when you should adopt new things can feel overwhelming. It is your technology provider’s role to make this complexity simpler, enabling you to adopt the technologies that will revolutionise the way you manage your business.

Whether it’s implementing a foundational management system, adopting customer self-service portals and mobile apps, or using etrading to digitally connect with insurers, opportunities abound for brokers that are ready to digitally transform. Moreover, the digital future holds exciting opportunities to remake the insurance industry into a better, more valuable ecosystem for us all.

For those not yet on the path of digital transformation, the time to start is now. In doing so, you enhance your ability to meet the needs of today’s consumers and lay a foundation for future success in the digital revolution of insurance.