Looking at the entire insurance industry, it’s evident that it’s quite behind the times in the technological revolution. The sheer size of the industry, as well as the number of different hierarchies and levels of communication, are the main factors as to why the industry is overdue for technological innovation — it is multi-level, all the way from clients up to the insurance markets themselves. With technological advancement being inevitable, the insurance industry has a distinct advantage that comes with letting other industries pave the way; we get to learn from others’ mistakes in order to implement a smooth rollout and reduce losses.
Over the next few years, we can expect to see brokers investing in dedicated IT people or developers to begin optimising their processes. A high level of understanding and insight will mean faster and safer progression of revolutionary technological solutions.
WHAT CUSTOMERS EXPECT
Customers expect an efficient and effortless interaction with brokers, and if they’re not given the appropriate tools to do so, chances are they’ll give up and look somewhere else. Something as simple as too many clicks or pages to navigate could see you losing prospective customers to your competitors.
Technology is ever-changing, so anything older than a few years will appear dated and out of touch. Keeping your website current and relevant is necessary, as this is often your first point of contact with a prospective customer. Making a powerful first impression plays an essential role in converting leads into paying customers.
In such a competitive industry, a smooth end-to-end process for your customers is crucial. Guiding your customers through a user-friendly process is paramount when it comes to gaining a competitive edge.
AUTOMATE WHERE POSSIBLE
Automation serves to provide increased productivity, quality control and more efficient use of resources. Automation in the insurance industry could be anything from a very specific task such as automatically emailing or following up a client, to complex tasks such as generating documents or communicating with public insurance endpoints to receive quotes based on information entered by your client.
Human error is removed when automation is used, but adopting and relying on tech is not done as a way to replace people in their jobs — it’s done to allow people to process a much greater volume than they otherwise could in the same timeframe.
Adopting new technology is an investment that may not yield immediate results. The goal is to optimise and improve your operating procedures over the long-term. Without continued innovation, you will eventually reach a ceiling regarding how much processing your brokerage can handle.
Cloud-based solutions are fast becoming the norm when it comes to technology. Put simply, your software and data are kept on servers hosted on the internet instead of your personal computers and network. This means you can remotely access your programs from any location that allows an internet connection. Most modern solutions are mobile-friendly, so you don’t even need to be sat at a desk to operate them. These solutions tend to be much more cost-effective in the long run and are far easier to adapt to change. As having a high-speed internet connection increasingly becomes an expected way of life, the barriers that used to prevent the adoption of technology have been negated.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will soon be used by underwriters, allowing you to connect to them behind the scenes to receive a quote in real-time based on information entered by your client, without being hampered by the underwriters’ methods or timelines. Armed with several different quotes to choose from, you will become an aggregator, providing various options to your client without having done any work. This is where it will be essential to consider an in-house developer or IT team if your brokerage is big enough — while up-front costs can be high, the time and effort saved in the future will undoubtedly be worth the expense of increasing efficiency. While APIs will be groundbreaking for brokers, it requires underwriters to first take the leap.
A technological leap in the insurance industry is necessary and imminent. It will require an investment, but it’s one that will be sure to pay off. Replacing monotonous and time-consuming tasks with technology that allows automation and streamlined processes will remove errors and increase efficiency, so your productivity can increase exponentially. Your customers are looking for the best experience for the least effort — listen to their feedback, because your competitors will be.
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