Ease of doing business. It’s a tune the industry has been humming for more than a decade. Even as digital technologies and sensibilities carve steady paths across P&C workflows, the song remains the same. No matter who the customer is, where they are, or what their task is, a fast, easy intuitive experience is good business.
Cilsy Harris VP of Business Delivery
As Cilsy Harris, VP of Business Delivery at The Hanover Insurance Group notes, technology introduction, early adoption and critical mass acceptance (and expectation!) is a process. “Years ago, comparative raters represented a small portion of the new business quoting activity for independent agents. At the time, there was a clear separation between real-time rating and carrier site quoting. Many carriers built bolt-on RTR platforms However, where we stand today is quite different. Comparative raters are an integral part of the independent agent workflow. It is their natural way of doing business. Now, nearly all account managers will start with some sort of comparative rater and then bridge to the carrier of their choice to complete the new business transaction.”
The Hanover saw the need to respond to their customers’ needs with a technology change. Cilsy told us, ” Our selection of AgencyPortal was significantly impacted by the AgencyConnect Integration Kit. For us, the single definition of product rules and the ease of creating a ‘headless’ transaction in the portal from RTR (Real Time Rating) was key. Rather than maintaining a real-time rating platform and a separate agency portal, the single platform solution ensures consistency, quality, and greatly improves speed to market.”
Our carrier customers are continually scrutinizing their customers’ preferences, habits and workflows and developing ways to simplify the experiences. Though the nature of the solutions changes, it is technology—thoughtfully and creatively applied—that remains the most valuable asset they have for aligning their own goals with the ways in which their customers want to do business.
Colleen Anne WellsCustomer Experience: Same song. Different time.
Hollywood factoid: In Back To The Future III, 20 yet-to-be-launched technologies that are current-day realities lit up the silver screen. At least six of them are actively influencing how P&C insurance is conducted today. How many can you name?
For those of us riveted to the big screen (and a very young Michael J. Fox) more than 25 years ago, it doesn’t seem possible that the impossible is here—and it’s changing our industry at DeLorean speed. Just a few years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine P&C carriers considering cloud computing. Yet, in 2015, 58% of all insurance core systems purchases were intended for deployment either in a hosted environment or the cloud.*
The battle for today’s insurance customer is won at the point of engagement. Where and when that engagement takes place is dictated largely by the customers themselves—agents, consumers and policyholders alike. The carrier that knows its customers best and gives them exactly what they expect at precisely the right time wins.
Tune in to the latest episode of Not Your Grandpa’s P&C to learn what carriers and agents need to do together to continue to win and keep customers. And find out what six technologies Marty McFly and Doc Brown foresaw that are staples in today’s insurance.
*Insurers’ Core Systems Buying Trends, Strategy Meets Action (SMA), June 2016
Each month, our new podcast, Not Your Grandpa’s P&C, digs into a topic that our carrier customers and their distribution partners are grappling with. This month, it’s the Digital Agency.
Starting close to home, our own Colleen Wells and Caleen Alexanderson report back on some interesting findings from the agent frontline after joining an Agencyport customer (importantly, a Senior Technologist, not a Marketing Rep) on the road to learn firsthand about what makes his agents tick. Back in the studio, the conversation turns to the broader subject of the emerging Digital Agency. What is it? Is it a single thing? How should carriers be thinking about the evolution.
P&C insurance is at a profound turning point—one that its founding fathers surely couldn’t have imagined. It’s a landscape laden with challenges, brimming with opportunities, and changing directly beneath our feet. Even those of us in the business have a hard time staying ahead of all of it. This incredible evolution is the key driver behind our decision to launch a podcast. Not Your Grandpa’s P&C will take a monthly look at different perspectives on the shifting intersection of insurance carriers’ goals and visions and those of their agents, consumers and policyholders—and ways that technology and fresh thinking are changing all of it.
Quality customer service throughout the buying chain is key to customer retention and loyalty. Policyholders expect it from their agents, and if they don’t get it, they’ll find a different agency to work with. Worse yet, they’ll go with a direct online provider, (which is a whole other blog). The same goes for agents and their carriers. If a carrier does not offer the tools agents need to keep their agency management system (AMS) up to date with their policyholders’ information, agents will place business with an insurer that does.
Louisa RogersAgents and Carriers Must Collaborate on Download
Yesterday morning I had the honor of participating as a panelist in a webinar hosted by ACORD about cultivating ACORD implementation talent within an organization. In addition to ACORD leadership, the panel consisted of Jim Rogers from The Hartford, Suzanne Brazeal from Ebix Consulting (a solution provider to Life Insurance carriers), Enrico Alessandri from Swiss RE, and myself. We were all chosen because of the respective accomplishments of our organizations in the ACORD and ACE communities.
As many of you know, Agencyport has always been strongly committed to promoting ACORD adoption. (Check out our blog history on the topic.) That commitment starts at home with Agencyport University’s (APU) education and certification of our own team (18 in-house ACEs to date and going strong), and extends out to the greater insurance community through our partnership with ACORD.
I had the pleasure of attending Celent’s 2016 Innovation and Insight Day on Wednesday at the historic Museum of American Finance on Wall Street. The sold-out event gathered Banking and Insurance executives from more than 30 countries to learn from each other and from an impressive group of speakers how to consider and prepare for the future of their industries. Not surprisingly, Digital ruled the day.
It’s a Monday morning in late September. You roll out of bed, open your curtains, and are met by the warm fall sun dancing off of yacht-filled Newport harbor. After a hearty New England breakfast, you spend the day at the spectacular Newport Marriott with dozens of industry peers exchanging experiences, challenges, concerns, opportunities and solutions. And after a traditional Lobster dinner, you hit the dance floor with the always lively Agencyport team.
Louisa RogersImagine … You + Agencyport + Newport, Rhode Island
That “time is money” is hardly a new concept, but the axiom is increasingly true around the sale and servicing of P&C insurance. As agents work with increasingly impatient consumers and policyholders, the speed with which carriers respond to agents’ needs becomes a key differentiator. If carriers think of their agent portals as sales and servicing tools—for themselves and their agents—it becomes clear why sluggish response times from carriers are a major agent aggravator.