Ask any broker today how to grow their business, and their response will likely reference the use of new technologies to streamline brokerage operations. Brokerage competitors are already at work in the digital space. In response to consumer demand, direct writers, multi-channel insurers, and insurtechs have all invested hundreds of millions of dollars in online self-serve models.
This is now a gold standard by which the broker channel is measured. “We tend to think that to deliver good service, you have to have human beings doing it,” said Karlyn Carnahan, head of The Americas, property casualty at Celent, a financial services research firm owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. But if you are a broker, “you can do a good job of delivering personalized service without persons having to be involved, if you think about using technology very smartly.”
Brokers are not standing still. Several new digital brokerages have emerged. But many brokers still have some data housekeeping to do before they are fully ready to enter a world of self-service online sales, real-time customer interaction, and advanced analytics. And while some broker functions can be automated, others will “need to have human interaction,” said Colin Simpson, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario. What processes can brokers automate to bring more clients through the door?