Insurance in the Digital World

The digital economy is here, and no industry will be left out. Property-casualty insurance is complex - both in terms of the products themselves and the ways they are sold. And while this complexity creates natural barriers to change, customers expect to be able to buy insurance, file claims, and make changes with the click of a button, just like they can do with their banking and buying other goods and services. Within the industry, there has been progress. In fact, there are pockets of excellence, agents that are making the most of digital technologies today. But, as a whole, the insurance industry still has a long way to go, the survey reveals.

For insurance agents, who are often the last mile to the insured, the imperative to embrace digital technologies is real.

The Insurance Digital Transformation Survey - in which more than 4,000 agents participated - shows that there are significant, and immediate, opportunities for agents to embrace technology to make a difference in their businesses.

Ready for Insurance Anywhere, Anytime

Today's consumers, conditioned by an environment in which you can get anything, anywhere, anytime, expect 24x7 access. Why should insurance be any different?

 
  • Overall 43% of agents are operating 24x7, and they are using staff, or automation, or a combination of both. But consider the flip side; more than half of agents do not have 24x7 access in any form and are missing an opportunity to both serve existing customers, and engage new prospects.
  • 91% of agents say their clients are not asking for a client portal. But just because clients are not asking for it doesn't mean they don't want it. Agents that take the view that no news is good news risk being left behind.
  • Overall 23% of agents have a client portal today, and another 19% are investigating what it will take. Policy and billing information, quoting and rating are the top applications for those with portals. But there's a bigger opportunity for the nearly half of agents who don't have a portal and over 50% of agents who don't have mobile apps to consider adding them as part of their digital strategies.
 

43%

of agents operate 24/7

23%

have client portals

21%

have a mobile app

 

Finding, Winning & Keeping Customers

Digital technology plays a crucial role in enhancing agent's ability to strengthen relationships with existing customers and to attract prospects. And, in an increasingly digital world, that process often begins online.

  • Agencies are active on social media, including Facebook (78%) and LinkedIn (68%), but surprisingly only 16% of agents are using chat/instant messaging to communicate with customers and prospects. This is a relatively inexpensive technology, and easy to implement so the low percentage is surprising.
  • Overall, 10% of agents say they're getting 50+ leads a month from the web, including social media - a small number, but encouraging to note that there is payoff for those who are investing in building their online presence. And just over one-half of the agents surveyed are satisfied with their current solutions to manage their pipelines.
  • Agents are still using relatively traditional methods to communicate with their customers, with 98% using phone and 96% using email regularly. Interestingly, 47% of agents say they're using text to communicate with customers.
  • Filing a claim is a defining moment in the client-agent relationship. Overall 81% of the agents surveyed provide claims information to customers, and 22% enable clients to report losses through their client portals or mobile apps.
 
 

8%

of agents say their web sites are excellent

54%

offer e-signature to their clients

73%

of agents can not quote auto and home from their sites

 

The Agility Factor - Automation is Key

There are significant opportunities for agents to gain greater efficiencies with proven technologies, including claims, rating and quoting, and commission processing.

 
  • 60% of agents are very comfortable keeping their data in the cloud.
  • Disjointed workflows are the norm for at least some agents. For example, 40% of agents quoting personal lines start on individual carrier portals. 16% are able to begin in their agency management systems, and 44% start in comparative raters.
  • For commercial lines quoting, over half of agents start their workflow on carrier portals with only 6% bridging to the carrier portals.
  • 45% of agents are using their agency management system claims modules, yet 55% do not.
 

60%

are not using claims download

40%

say consistent workflow is the biggest automation challenge

 
Agents don’t need to be convinced of the importance of having a digital strategy - 70% say they have a proactive strategy to implement new technology to improve business. The challenge is what specific steps they should take to become digital.