Canadian Underwriter

Why brokerages need to step up their digital insights

October 18, 2022   by Alyssa DiSabatino

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Only 38% of insurance brokerages are using their management systems to produce data analytics solutions for their employees, clients and stakeholders, finds Applied System’s ‘Digital Agency Annual Report.’

That’s concerning, considering 99% of brokerages have a management system, which suggests a large majority (62%) of agencies are underusing their systems’ abilities to produce useful data and insights, the survey of 603 independent agencies in the U.S. and Canada found. 

“Data analytics solutions act as an agency’s data scientist and help visualize raw data into actionable insights using interactive dashboards. They provide real-time data analysis on employee productivity, client relationships, market share and revenue, and carrier relationships empowering you to easily track and analyze valuable metrics that matter most to your agency,” the report stated.  

However, brokerages are doing better at producing data analytics than they have in the past. There was a 27% increase year-over-year in the adoption of data analytics solutions, jumping to 38% in 2022 from 30% in 2021, the survey said.  

Overall, Applied’s survey found just over half (51%) of agencies have a digital strategy. Of those, 65% developed strategies that only focused on one to two years; 32% of agencies created strategies looking out three-to-five years; and 3% of agencies on six-to-10 years. 

However, agencies without a strategy may miss out on improved customer retention and acquisition, increased employee productivity and satisfaction, and time and money savings, Applied found.  

“In a system that provides an online experience like popular apps and online services, your employees can more easily access account and policy details, complete a quote, process a claim, and more. Fewer clicks and streamlined workflows mean more productivity,” the report read.  

Automation, including back-office accounting and front-office sales, may also save time and reduce operating costs. “By using value insights across the entire book of business, agents can make better-informed business decisions,” said the report

That said, 33% of agencies use a marketing automation application, the highest adopters being agencies with annual revenue of less than $1.25 million (35%). 

Further, the report found 20% of agencies use standalone CRM and/or sales automation applications. Of those, agencies with larger revenues are the highest adopters.  

Revenues of $10 million to $25 million show a 25% adoption rate, followed by agencies with revenues of $2.5 million to $4.99 million (22%), and agencies with revenue of less than $1.25 million (19%). 

Agencies with revenue of less than $1.25 million annually are also the highest adopters of technology that allows staff to interact with their management systems outside of the office via mobile devices. However, 62% of agencies overall use employee mobile applications.  

By servicing accounts on the go, agencies may be able to increase new business and renewals, Applied found.  

“A mobile app for employees can receive payments on outstanding bill invoices to reduce receivables. As an added bonus, agents can start an application on-site while the team in the office begins the quoting process in real-time.”  


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