By equipping their agents and brokers with advanced digital tools and services, insurers can build effective networks of advisors that provide customers with personalized and trusted advice and guidance.

The rapid spread of digital technology is heightening competition throughout the insurance industry. Insurers, more than ever, need to strengthen and differentiate their relationships with their customers. Building greater trust and loyalty is vital.

Critical to cementing closer ties with customers are well-trained, well-motivated, and suitably-equipped insurance advisors. By supporting their agents and brokers with powerful digital tools and services, insurers can build effective networks of advisors that provide customers with relevant and trusted information and guidance. Such networks will considerably strengthen insurers’ new digital sales and distribution channels. They’re able to provide personal as well as personalized service and deepen relations with key customers.

Our research shows that insurance customers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable as well as much more demanding. Around 90 percent of the US life insurance advisors we canvassed confirmed that their customers are more knowledgeable about their insurance and wealth management requirements. Nearly 66 percent report that their customers want to be more involved in decisions affecting their insurance and wealth management. It’s clear that advisors will need to provide customers with more than just information about insurance. The ability to deliver strategic guidance, which encompasses wealth management, retirement planning and risk management, will be essential. This will provide insurers with substantial opportunities for cross-selling a broad range of products and services.

Many advisors already recognize the importance of using digital tools to satisfy customers and gain an advantage over competitors. However, some insurers are slow to provide their advisors with what they require. The advisors we canvassed identified four key capabilities often requested by their customers but frequently not available from their companies:

• Financial planning tools for activities such as portfolio monitoring, asset accumulation or goals-based investing.

• Portfolio management facilities for monitoring asset allocation and accounts.

• Personal financial applications for budgeting and expense management.

• Scenario analysis and testing products for applications such as retirement planning.

To strengthen their ties with customers it is important for insurers to provide their advisors with a wide range of advanced digital tools. They’re increasingly in demand not only by advisors but also among the customers they serve.

Furthermore, these digital tools are most effective when advisors use them to address a broad range of customer requirements. Such a holistic approach allows advisors to determine, for example, a customer’s best investment options as well as the most appropriate insurance cover.

Our research shows that advisors who adopt a holistic approach to serving their customers tend to have the highest amount of assets under management. We found that demand for advice is greatest within the mass market and mass affluent sectors while interest in insurance products grows as customers’ wealth increases.

For further information about the insurance advisor of the future take a look at these links. I think you’ll find them helpful.

The broker of the future: Winning in a disruptive environment

Digital Insurance: Voice of the advisor

Technology Vision for Insurance 2017

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