Q&A: How will technology affect the role of insurance brokers?
By John Sarich (@SarichJohn) Vice President of Strategy, VUE Software Here’s a response featured in ‘LifeHealthPro Incubator Blog’ that I gave to a question posed by Sean McCormick, a sales consultant with Unum.
Meeting the Challenge
Technology already is rapidly changing the way that brokers and advisors work on winning new business, retaining clients, and delivering innovative products and services to the marketplace. I like to cite Gartner’s “Nexus of Forces” as to how technology is shaping the way business is done and will be done in the very near future. The Nexus of Forces “is the convergence of mobile, social, cloud, and information that drive new business scenarios.” What this means to your business is that technology is going to be key to how insurance is transacted by brokers and advisors. And it is also key to what carriers will grow and which ones will find tough sledding. In short, technology will be the deciding factor for both carrier and agent.
Consider the broker or advisor that is looking at working with a particular carrier. If that carrier is using outmoded technology, snail mail, faxes, and other obsolete technologies why would an agent want to work with that carrier? Insurance is a service business and if the carrier is not delivering service to the agent and the insured then that carrier will likely not be growing, will not be bringing innovative products to market, and will be hard pressed to retain the best agents and advisors.
Another consideration is the partnership that must exist between the insurance company and its agents. If a company is highly responsive to its agents, it should have a robust portal that enables the broker or advisor to access key information such as commissions, underwriting queues, policy service issues, as well as licensing and other administrative issues. The technology that is deployed to make the agent successful will also make the carrier successful as well. In short, technology will be a market differentiator for both the carrier and broker.