Expanding value proposition for P&C distribution management – EY
Article Synopsis :
P&C insurance leaders know that a better digital experience for agents and brokers is essential to competitive success.
In “Beyond the agency portal – Expanding the value proposition for P&C distribution management”, EY outlines the market trends shaping the need for a more effective approach to distribution management.
Demographically speaking, a new generation of younger agents expects to engage with digital tools. Retiring agents of the baby boomer generation are being replaced with agents from Generation X, which is substantially smaller. The millennials just beginning to enter the agency workforce are not yet ready to be top producers. In this environment, digital tools and producer productivity are imperative. The first step is to gain a deeper understanding of what agents want, which requires listening more closely to the voice of the agent. Only then can insurers provide a deeper and more robust experience. A broader and more holistic view of distribution is also necessary. The opportunities for improvement are many — from intelligent, automated and value-adding processes for agent onboarding to more effective marketing programs and from compensation programs that offer the right incentives to operational models that reflect consumer and agent demand for more and better data.
At the very least, agent portals should offer the following functionality, attempting to simplify, streamline and digitise tasks handled routinely by agents:
- Reviewing sales leads and pipeline status
- Generating, updating and managing quotes
- Initiating first notification of loss
- Checking on claims status
- Reviewing commission and compensation information and statements
- Accessing the latest marketing materials and product information to share with customers and prospects
More advanced portals may also provide billing and collection data, reporting and event management capabilities, analytics and segmentation tools, and knowledge management repositories.
Though critically important, agency portals aren’t the only component of a superior agent experience. Insurers must also consider other capabilities, some of which may be delivered via the portal or via other digital tools. These include recruiting, onboarding, role definition, producer management and agent compensation.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsWhile it’s true key operations are increasingly digital and customer relationships increasingly direct, the producer of the future, in our view, will not be an algorithm.
Agent portals have recently become a hot technology with P&C carriers after years of relative neglect, as technology resources and dollars were directed to modernizing legacy platforms.
It’s not either/or. The ability to make data more widely available through agent portals can actually bolster the business case for legacy replacement. Digital agents (like digital consumers) will gravitate to carriers offering a superior agent experience and legacy systems often get in the way.
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