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Agent-Carrier Connectivity Facing Insurtech Pressure

Staff Writer | November 30, 2016

Strategy Meets Action releases a new research report: Agent-Carrier Connectivity: Personal Lines Insurers, which covers the business drivers, current state, future plans and projects, challenges, and investments that personal lines insurers are making regarding agent-carrier connectivity.

"Traditional personal lines product distribution is under full-blown assault by insurtech," says Karen Pauli, SMA Principal and author of the report. "SMA research shows that 30 percent of the approximately 600 insuretech startups being tracked are focused on disrupting and displacing conventional distribution channels—the greatest point of focus across all insuretech categories. Insurers must reframe their commitment and, more importantly, timing for improved agency connectivity to assure the viability of agents and brokers in personal lines."

Key themes of the research include:

  • The majority of insurers understand the strategic value of agent connectivity technology but struggle to maintain focus.
  • 85 percent of survey responders believe that agent connectivity technology will be a game changer by 2020, but that time frame will compress as insuretech technology changes the market place.
  • Next to conflicting needs, the top operational problem is old technology/legacy constraints. Insurers must complete modernization to assure robust, connected experiences for agents and customers.

Investing in connectivity technology for differentiation is a priority for only a little over half of the insurer respondents. The report offers an SMA Call to Action to help insurers shift to an innovation strategy to meet the challenges from the emerging competition.


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