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The Connected Business of Insurance: Technology for Driving Growth in the Digital Age

February 02, 2017

by Michael Howe

Technology continues to transform the insurance landscape, connecting all stakeholders across the insurance lifecycle. The future of our industry will be defined by the connected business of insurance, with complete connectivity between the agency, insurer and insured.

The connected business of insurance enables digital agencies and insurers to create higher-value business transactions and deliver superior customer experiences throughout the entire insurance lifecycle. Truly digital agencies operate more efficiently, make more informed business decisions, build better insurer relationships, improve customer service and accelerate growth and profitability across all lines of business in the new digital era.

The connected business of insurance is comprised of three key components:

  • The connected agency: Has a complete view of clients and prospects for each person in an agency to access and act upon – regardless of role, time or location.
  • The connected insured: Expects consistent and personalized service across all channels and touchpoints – anytime, anywhere.
  • The connected insurer: Connects to a network that allows agencies to work directly with insurers to access markets and ensure accurate, timely and comprehensive customer service.

Here is the technology needed to achieve the connected business of insurance and the benefits agencies can realize:

  1. The connected agency: One system for the entire business
    Connected agencies build their businesses on a single management system to gain a comprehensive view of customers and prospects across all lines of business. A single agency management system also provides essential capabilities for every stakeholder in the agency to better manage customer relationships, sales opportunities, market appetite search, financial accounting, and policy and benefits administration across all lines of business, reducing time spent on multiple, disparate systems.

    Connected agencies utilize mobile capabilities integrated with their agency management systems. Agency staff can access and manage client, prospect, and overall business information anytime, anywhere via a smartphone or tablet device. On-demand access to client and prospect information enables users to conduct more business outside the agency and deliver better service to clients with a single, up-to-date view of client and business information.

    Data analytics applications also enable connected agencies to make quicker, more informed business decisions through analysis of their books of business, employee operations and insurer relationships. Graphical displays enable agencies to identify potential new markets, the most profitable client and insurer relationships and opportunities to improve employee productivity.

    With easy access to critical information anytime and from any location, every stakeholder at a connected agency is able to:

    • Capitalize on new business and service opportunities
    • Standardize operations and automate workflows
    • Provide better customer service with mobile access to information
    • Make data-driven decisions through enhanced reporting
  2. The connected insured: Omnichannel customer service
    Insureds today expect anytime, anywhere service. Connected agencies service insureds through innovative technologies such as a branded mobile application and a self-service client portal. A mobile app puts insurance information at a client’s fingertips, ensuring agency’s advice – and brand – are always available. Online customer portals provide an additional digital channel for 24/7 access to insurance information, online bill pay and self-service quoting.

    Information is updated in real time, so clients always have access to up-to-date policy information, claims filing and processing, premium payments and insurance documents. An omnichannel customer service model enables agencies to increase client satisfaction, build client loyalty and deliver a more competitive business proposition.

  3. The connected insurer: A single network for market access and service
    Insurer connectivity is critical to automating the distribution and servicing of insurance products between agents and insurer partners. A single network to insurer markets is essential to gain easy market access – and automated servicing of policies drives efficient interactions across the insurance lifecycle.

    The connected insurer enables agencies to quickly search market appetite for commercial risks, as well as review data-driven industry insights to better understand expected renewal rate changes. Insurer connectivity also enables agencies to automate the exchange of policy-related information with insurer partners, saving significant employee time by reducing manual administrative tasks.

    By developing relationships with the best insurers, agencies gain greater access to markets to provide customers superior product choice and timely servicing throughout the insurance lifecycle.

At the pace and direction the industry is headed, more agencies are embracing digital technology to realize the benefits of the connected business of insurance. The most successful agencies will meet the ever-changing expectations of the connected insured and capitalize on the new market opportunities of the connected insurer through digital connectivity.

Download the eBook, “Connecting the Business of Insurance: Reshape your business through digital technology,” to learn how you can grow and thrive in the connected world.

Michael Howe, Applied SystemsMichael Howe, senior vice president of product management, Applied Systems, is responsible for the strategic direction of the Applied product portfolio. Howe joined Applied in 2013 with more than 20 years of experience in enterprise software. He formerly served as senior vice president of marketing and product management at Aptean, a global provider of industry-focused enterprise software. Prior to Aptean, Howe held senior executive management positions at SAP and other leading software companies.

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