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Time Waits for No Insurance Company

Rob McIsaac | March 22, 2016

I had the opportunity to participate in the 2016 iPipeline Conference in Nevada and it offered carriers and solution providers a content-filled agenda that sparked good information sharing and networking. As carriers look toward the balance of the year, there certainly are a series of open challenges on the near horizon.

The Novarica presentation focused on what carriers need to do now to get ready for that future. Aging core systems, slow time to market for products, a lack of true innovation in many places, and customer service experiences that are frustrating memories of a bygone era in many other industries are part of the issue.

Aging distribution partners (the average age of an agent is now approaching 60) and internal business processes that are so complex and devoid of technical support that the training curve may exceed the expected tenure of incoming Millennial employees are also items looking to be addressed. The resulting discussion was productive and fascinating.

The implications of the proposed DOL Fiduciary Responsibility rules produced a lively discussion. Carriers recognize they will need to do something to address compliance in this arena, but most carrier plans could best be described as “fluid”. We just released an executive brief on the subject. Time is moving fast!

And, of course, given the forum, there was significant discussion about the e-App space and the implication for carriers. This continues to be an area where producer decisions on the platforms to use dictate the plans carriers need to execute, lest they give up shelf space that is critical to market share. This presses hard on IT resources and budgets. Interestingly enough, since no carriers we have talked with anticipate large budget increases to address the DOL mandate, other things will likely need to “give.”

All of which ties back to a theme we think is key for carriers now across many lines of business. 2015 was, in many ways, the year that the future arrived. 2016 is the year carriers have to start accelerating plans for what they plan to do about it. By 2020, for example, Millennials will represent half the U.S. labor force and the youngest Baby Boomer will be 56.

Time to saddle up! Time waits for no company.

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