Marketing & Distribution | Read Time: 4 Minutes

Putting a New Lens on Digital Distribution

March 18, 2020

By: IVANS Communications

“When we think about digital distribution, we have to think beyond traditional ways of looking at our agency markets and also look at the ways we transact and service business between agencies and insurers.”

Deb Smallwood

Founder & CEO
Strategy Meets Action (SMA)

Does your business already take advantage of digital distribution or plan to soon? The digital ecosystem of insurance is rapidly evolving and those businesses reluctant to implement digital practices, in place of outdated traditional methods, may fall behind the curve. Your continued success may depend on how you react as we navigate toward the future of insurance.

Key Influencers Pushing Distribution Toward Digital

Each day insurance is becoming more digital. To stay ahead of it, consider prioritizing the following:

Customer Experience
Agencies and insurers share a common goal: supporting policyholders. Both insurers and agents need to consider the customer’s insurance journey while interacting with them – from quote to bind and everything in between and after.

Insurers can directly support policyholders by reducing roadblocks in agents’ workflows and presenting them with more complete information, improving their ability to provide fast service and a great customer experience, and allowing them to spend more time servicing customers and to grow relationships to support new and existing business.

Outdated Processes
Insurance customers have already gone digital. They’re online 24/7 and assuming you’ll be there as well when they need you. Businesses must transition from manual, outdated tools and practices to digital platforms and engage with customers digitally to meet them where they live. Digital agencies, digital insurers and digital MGAs will be the first to find success in this new digital ecosystem of insurance.

Offering policyholders a better customer experience means adopting new technologies to support and enhance your existing offerings. Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, combined with new methods of interaction like chatbots, voice messaging and automated texting, will allow your business to capture new customers who rely more and more on digital tools.

Consider this fact: By 2025, IDC estimates that the data created and replicated each year will reach 163 zettabytes, or 163 trillion gigabytes. There aren’t nearly enough file cabinets to handle that amount of data. Insurance businesses are great at traditional ways of looking at data, but we need to look beyond traditional methods and beyond the static, structured data we’re used to in our agency management and core systems. To find success in the future, we’ll need to rely more on dynamic and unstructured data from external sources that tell us more about our customers and the industry.

Consider which of these four factors is your company’s top priority. Do you think your priority aligns with what your peers are most focused on? Watch The Future of Digital Distribution webinar to see where your peers stand.

The Future of Digital Distribution

One of the best ways to understand where the industry is headed is to hear from those working at the front, pushing innovation and digital technology adoption forward. Here are a few insights from industry experts representing IVANS Insurance, Attune, and EMPLOYERS.

Brian Wood headshot

IVANS – Brian Wood, Vice President of Data Products Group
“Consumer expectations for data-based insights are higher than ever, whether it’s viewing price trends to see when the best time to purchase travel accommodations is, finding the best deal on a new vehicle through comparative shopping, or choosing insurance coverage based on what others chose.

IVANS, through its data products group, is in a unique position to help agents and insurers meet the needs of consumers by providing insights not available within their four walls. With premium benchmark data, we’re increasing transparency and trust with consumers through valuable data-based insights that empower them to make the best decisions possible.

Notably, data should not replace or weaken the relationship nature of insurance for agents, but support it via digital platforms, technology and data insights. New digital tools enhanced through information can drive value to and provide a better buying experience for customers.”

Patrick Girouard headshot

Attune – Patrick Girouard, Head of Business Development
“At Attune, data is king. Personalized recommendations, powered by data insights, can provide a better insurance experience. Imagine a digital portal that is customized for your agency’s profile and historical activity – even better, imagine exposing some of this to customers to save them time along their insurance journey.

For example, log in to Amazon’s website from two different accounts and you’ll see personalized recommendations unique to each account’s order and browsing histories, and other related activities. Why shouldn’t the insurance buying experience be personalized in the same way? Portals should respond to agent behavior using data insights and provide the right product recommendations, allowing agents to spend more time servicing customers.

Data is the great equalizer. The more businesses that embrace technology and data – by capturing relevant customer feedback and valuable data – the more likely all parties will find success in the market.”

Basilios Manousogiannakis headshot

EMPLOYERS – Basilios Manousogiannakis, Client Relations Manager
“Customer experience continues to be a driver of key change and innovation in the insurance industry. As more customers interact with insurance businesses in digital spaces the volume of structured and unstructured data increases exponentially. Effectively leveraging that data to provide superior customer experience will become more important than ever. For businesses struggling to become data-driven, the pressure will only increase.

For businesses looking at customer experience, and more specifically looking at data to improve that, it’s imperative to look at what the practical applications of data will be in the organization. What should the data accomplish, how does it impact stakeholders, and how can it shape the future of the organization and the customer experience?”

Watch The Future of Digital Distribution webinar to hear more from your peers and to discover how you can win new business and provide superior customer experience using digital tools and data-driven insights.

IVANS Communications

IVANS is the insurance industry's exchange connecting insurers, MGAs, agencies and the insured. IVANS cloud-based software automates the distribution and servicing of insurance products. For more than 35 years, IVANS innovation and expertise has connected 33,000 independent insurance agencies and 430 insurer and MGA partners to enable millions of people to safeguard and protect what matters most in people's lives.