The five new modes of distribution we have identified will help carriers increase their customer engagement, better differentiate themselves from competitors and improve operating efficiencies.

Soaring volumes of online consumer information, and a growing willingness among customers to share their personal data with service providers, offer insurers a great opportunity to disrupt traditional markets and build lucrative new businesses.

By harnessing digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things, connected sensors and data analytics, and tapping into the rising tide of consumer data, carriers can transform themselves into “everyday insurers.” This new form of insurance provider will deliver highly personalized and consistently relevant digital services to its customers. And it will deliver them through very appealing user experiences.

There’s little doubt that insurance customers are already hankering for such digital services. Our Global Distribution & Marketing Consumer Survey, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, found that 57 percent of insurance customers are willing to share more information with their providers in return for further benefits. The survey also revealed growing enthusiasm among consumers for digital experiences. About 74 percent of respondents, for example, were willing to receive computer-generated advice about the type of insurance they should buy.

What’s more, consumers are increasingly receptive to new approaches to insurance. Peer-to-peer insurance, for instance, is particularly attractive. Around 55 percent of respondents were willing to consider it for life insurance, 38 percent for auto cover and 32 percent for household insurance.

To capitalize on this yearning for personalized digital experiences, insurers need to refine their distribution models.  We’ve identified five new modes of distribution that carriers can employ to increase their customer engagement, better differentiate themselves from competitors and improve operating efficiencies. Insurance providers can combine any number of these distribution models to become their customers’ “everyday insurer”.

Virtual insurance advisor: Personalized advice and insights, delivered from web, mobile and voice platforms, can be offered to customers, as well as distribution partners, to help them make informed decisions related to insurance.

Everyday risk coach: Connected insurance systems, coupled with big data technology, provide carriers with the opportunity to help their customers improve their personal and financial wellness through better risk management and healthier lifestyles.

Plug-and-pay insurer: Alliances with key strategic partners will enable insurers to embed their offerings into the digital experiences delivered by service providers such as car manufacturers, retailers and media companies.

Ecosystem orchestrator: Through strong relationships with ecosystem partners, insurers can gain insight into customers’ needs and preferences and provide them with an array of integrated services that span many industries.

Peer-to-peer network operator: Insurers can reduce costs and extend their reach by distributing their products to pools of customers, linked by specific affinities, who are attracted to value propositions that are mutually beneficial.

In my next blog post I’ll discuss why many insurers should tailor their distribution channels to meet the needs of a new type of digital consumer – the Nomad. Until then, have a look at this link. I think you’ll find it very helpful.

The voice of the consumer shapes insurance distribution.

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