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The Connected Business of Insurance

The Latest Trends in Digital Distribution and Automated Servicing

August 23, 2018

by Thad Bauer

From new industries to new economies, technology is changing the way we live and work. To learn more about how technology has influenced the insurance industry, IVANS recently conducted its annual survey to better understand agency-insurer connectivity and digital collaboration across the industry. Gathering responses from agents, MGAs and insurers about the demand for and adoption of key digital technologies, the survey results provide a roadmap for success in the digital age of insurance.

More than 1,900 independent agencies, MGAs and insurers across the U.S. participated in the 4th Annual IVANS Agency-Insurer Connectivity Survey. Results indicate that the time is right for insurers and agencies to digitally collaborate on business opportunities to drive mutual growth and profitability. Agents and insurers alike want increased connectivity and more digital collaboration so they can provide the right products for their customers and deliver quick service.

While both agencies and insurers recognize the importance of leveraging digital technology to better connect with agency partners, there is still a gap between expressed interest in digital collaboration to the implementation of the tools required to facilitate greater digital distribution and servicing. Read on to discover the survey’s key takeaways and learn how you can better prepare your business for success in the digital world.

Key Trends in Digital Distribution


of agencies said they have lost business because they cannot find or access a market that will quote the risk.

While aspects of insurance are becoming more digital, the process of finding markets and marketing business for both agencies and insurers remains to be manual and time consuming. A majority of insurers stated continued investment in appetite guides, which is mirrored by agencies who use appetite guides as one of their top go-to resources for finding markets. Technology automates the market search process, eliminating time and cost spent managing paperwork so that agents can easily find the right market for their risk and insurers can reach new agencies and geographies quickly.


of agencies believe they would write more business with insurers if they provided real-time appetite within the agency management system.

Agencies continue to demonstrate to insurers the importance of integrated connectivity as part of their daily management system workflows, requesting quicker access to markets and product information. Insurers need to market directly to agencies via tools that integrate into agents’ daily workflows, making it easier to keep your products top of mind 24/7 and find the right agents at the right time.


of agents use comparative raters for Personal Lines quote. Yet, only 6% would prefer that method. 73% of agencies would prefer to quote Personal Lines directly from their agency management system.

Historically, insurers have focused on investing in company portals and comparative raters. Now that agencies are demanding greater connectivity with their insurer partners, it’s time to shift your focus to integrated quoting so that you improve ease of doing business with your agencies. You can ensure constant product visibility while reducing overhead costs and time spent managing insurer portals by quoting directly to agencies within their agency management system workflows.

Key Trends in Automated Servicing


of agencies surveyed said they place more business with those insurers that provide automation.

Agencies are looking to do business with insurers that understand the importance of a more connected experience. Agents need access to the most up-to-date and accurate policy-related information to provide the omnichannel service their customers expect. Leverage digital technology to eliminate paper and automate policy-related information exchange directly into partner management systems, so you can create a servicing strategy that better aligns with your agency partners’ needs.

Both agencies and insurers can save 60 minutes per employee per day when using download services.

Agency demand for increased download options continues to rise, with 66% of agencies indicating they currently receive eDocs and Messages. This type of download offers mutual benefits to insurers and agencies as it provides valuable time savings by automating information exchange and providing a secure and managed alternative to email, mail and faxes.

So what does all of this mean for insurers?

Knowing what your agents want is the first step to providing better service and ultimately growing your business. With digital technology, marketing to the right agencies doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Adopt online tools that give you exclusive insight into agencies’ books of business and download demands will enable you to more easily communicate with agencies about new business and service opportunities. Creating a digital distribution and servicing strategy will improve current and new agency relationships and ensure better service to the end insured.

For more insights on digital distribution and servicing and the current state of agency-insurer connectivity, read our report, Agency-Insurer Connectivity Survey, now.

Thad Bauer, IVANS InsuranceThad Bauer, vice president and general manager of IVANS Insurance Solutions, has had 25 years of property and casualty experience and has played a key role in furthering the adoption of ACORD standards to exchange data within the industry to improve efficiencies.  He has helped carriers and MGAs realize benefits through innovative technology and workflow implementations of real time, download, Web service connections to third parties and maximizing data within their enterprise. Prior to IVANS, Thad was president and co-founder of  NxTech, a leading provider of agency-MGA-carrier interface and data integration solutions. Prior to NxTech, he spent nine years with BWC Systems and IVANS, Inc. and has worked with more than 350 insurance carriers throughout North America.

Ramakrishna Katha

Good read on Digital Trends and automation

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