Every business is now a digital business and insurers who master technology trends will gain an edge over their competition. This week and next, I’ll delve deeper into the trends pointing the agency channel towards a digital future and I’ll look at how insurers can respond.
All signs point towards a digital future
As with most industries, business as usual is no longer viable in insurance. Two major movements are upping the ante: online shoppers and intense competition from direct writers. The facts speak for themselves. JD Power research reveals:
- Fifty-four percent of auto insurance shoppers report getting their quote online.
- Consumers use, or are considering using, social media to perform research on insurance products (21 percent).
- Only a handful of insurers control the online auto insurance market—GEICO and Progressive account for over 50 percent of all online quotes.
Agents are still relevant, but their roles are changing
Interestingly, many shoppers who conduct research online will ultimately buy insurance from a human—either a local agent or a contact center associate. This supports Accenture’s research that finds rather than replacing one channel with another, insurance consumers are diversifying and using more channels to meet their needs.
With all signs pointing to digital, insurers and agents unwilling, or unable, to integrate and engage technology will quickly lose relevance and growth opportunities. What can they do to reach high performance? Rather than replicating the approach of direct writers, agents and insurers will need to exploit digital technologies, and they’ll need to do it strategically.
Join me next week when I discuss the actions agents and insurers can take to thrive in a digital world. To learn more in the meantime, download : Empowering Agents to Employ Digital as a Competitive Weapon (PDF; opens in a new window).