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.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how quickly the relationship between insurance carriers and independent agents is changing. (And, no, the irony of insurance and speed in the same concept is not lost on me.) New technologies and buying trends as well as changing market pressures are all playing a role. The result is more agents stepping onto the digital technology path every day, and carriers and technologists needing to provide them with experiences that live up to their growing expectations.
Colleen Anne WellsThe Growth of Comparative Rating in Small Commercial: A Phase or the New Personal Lines?
What a great time I had in San Antonio the week before last at NetVU—catching up with old friends and meeting new agents and carriers.
As always, I was busy capturing as much Insight as possible from independent agents about their working relationships with carrier partners. And, as always, they were free with their opinions, feedback and advice. My findings from this trip will be added to our ever-growing volume of Agent Insight, the most recent example of which is our new eBook, A P&C Carrier Guide to Boosting Agent Loyalty.
Caleen AlexandersonAgent Insight pays a visit to NetVU16