How 1 See It-2019 & Forward.

AuthorDeapo, Jamie
Position[ON THE LEVEL]

Our business is changing. Unless you have been living under a rock you know that already. Change in and of itself is not good or bad. Instead, good or bad is determined by the results of that change.

Insurance consumers want speed and simplicity in purchasing and handling their insurance needs. They also want to do business when it is convenient for them, using whatever method of communication they choose. They search for information to better understand insurance protection, to be informed and, to be smart consumers of the product. The new tech -based competitors are meeting these consumer's demands.

These new competitors are gaining traction because they have been able to offer consumers the speed and convenience they want. They use technology to eliminate human staff, replacing them with tutorials and artificial intelligence applications. Those changes mean cost savings from quoting and selecting coverage to the paying of claims. The savings developed from these changes have allowed them to reduce the cost of coverage.

It would appear these new competitors have revolutionized the industry and are the companies of the future. If we were selling a simple product without serious financial implications, that might be true, however, insurance protection doesn't meet that definition.

Insurance is a complicated purchase based on legal contracts where minor changes in wording can impact whether coverage applies or not. The average consumer doesn't have the knowledge or experience necessary to fully understand insurance coverage and how it works. Understanding and selecting insurance protection is a very personal and HUMAN process best handled between the consumer and a trusted, experienced and knowledgeable licensed agent. There's a reason states require agents to have a certain level of training, test and pass to get a license and meet future continuing education requirements.

So far independent agent companies have not moved to use available technology and streamline the process between the agent and company. Nothing agents do will fix the problem unless carriers immediately move to improve the process for placing client's coverage. To be competitive, the process needs to take seconds not minutes or hours. It needs to provide agents with a seamless, integrated platform between the agency and the carriers they represent. That platform should prefill public information and provide for instantaneous pricing for all contracted carriers. Customer...

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