Insurance has historically been a traditional industry, driven by personal relationships — and paper. While not the earliest adopters of technology, we’re making significant progress in this area. According to industry statistics, some 90 percent of agencies use an AMS. Chances are you’re reaping the benefits of your AMS system (Vertafore, Applied 24, other) to streamline your operations even as you read this.
Welcome to the digital age of InsurTech!
While you’re working smarter due to technology within your agency, what about your clients? What role does technology play in their lives? Quite frankly, they’re way ahead of us in the tech adoption department. Consumers today are not only demanding, but getting, service on-demand digitally, from a variety of sources.
Insurance offerings may not change much over time. But you’re selling them to modern consumers. They want immediate results, they want personalization, they want ease of use. In today’s digital world, convenience is king. Just look at the industries that have sprung up — and exploded — around the concept of convenience.
A prime example is food delivery. Thanks to apps like Grubhub, Doordash and Postmates, the term “take-out” now means ordering from your favorite restaurant and having the food delivered right to your door — for an extra fee.
Convenience can be defined in several ways: time, accessibility, usability, design. Different consumers have their own definition, and it’s important a product or service caters to all their needs. It’s not just about the rate they pay, but the level of support, customer care, the ease of use of the company’s services. If consumers aren’t 100% satisfied with every aspect of the transaction — and every interaction with the vendor — they have plenty of other options that offer the same service.
This is the standard technology has set for service delivery in the digital age.
Your clients are mobile
With the growth of digital, consumers are conducting more business via their mobile devices. Some 40% of online transactions are happening via mobile.* A busy business owner orders supplies, books travel and even pays the company’s credit card bill with a few clicks of a button. Their business is not confined to “business hours,” because their phone/tablet allows them to multitask out in the field, or pay business bills from their home, hotel room or truck. It’s anything but business as usual.
Bridging the convenience gap
In response, many agents and brokers have made their websites responsive and even offer some type of convenient app. And that’s a good start. However, your client can easily spend 90 percent of their time on their phone. Agents and brokers need to put themselves in their client shoes and identify the disruptions that are causing the most pain because odds are there is a service or product currently available that would address the problem. Take for example the payment processing, consumers prefer to pay via digitally, however historically accepting credit cards and ACH payments were either to costly or there was just to much red tape to get started. But with a company like ePayPolicy they provide an easy and secure solution that allows agencies and brokers to start collecting payments within 24 hours after signing up.
Where to start with InsurTech?
With so many InsurTech providers in the marketplace it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The best place to start is internally. Working with your team and creating an action plan around your clients needs will set a solid foundation moving forward. Then as your attending tradeshows, sitting through product demos, and speaking with your peers you’ll be able to select solutions that address your current and future needs.