The Connected Business of Insurance
May 06, 2016
Every year, the BIBA Conference and Exhibition provides a forum to discuss the latest UK economic and regulatory developments and trends affecting the insurance industry. This year, the conference will focus on how brokers remain the “Go-To Place” for insurance advice, choice and expertise. As brokers embody this concept, it is important for them to consider how their “place” is evolving in today’s digital world. Advice, choice and expertise is taking new forms as the business of insurance becomes more connected and consumers become increasingly mobile.
Consider today’s consumer – mobile and engaging predominately on digital channels for both personal and professional purposes. Nearly every consumer has a smartphone or device that provides 24/7 connectivity to the Internet, email, social networks, voice calls and text messaging. A single device is creating multichannel customer service expectations at both the individual and enterprise level. In fact, 92% of UK consumers expect an organisation to offer a self-service support portal where customers can find the information they need online*.
Delivering a digital insurance customer experience has become table stakes for the next generation broker. The insurance experience of yesterday is no longer sufficient for the demands of today and expectations of tomorrow. The convergence of technology and changing consumer preferences in the insurance industry has brokerages adopting new technologies to grow and thrive during the digital transformation of the insurance industry.
Become a Digital Broker
Digital transformation reflects the transition of taking manual, paper-filled processes to digitally automated workflows powered by software and the Internet. A digital brokerage leverages modern technologies to connect its brokers, insurers, current policyholders and prospective clients. It automates business operations to transform into a paperless brokerage, saving time and money previously spent on outdated processes. As a digital brokerage, your business can seamlessly exchange information, gain informative data-driven insights and connect with customers through more channels. As more and more brokerages are embracing digital technology to automate their business operations and provide better customer service, digital brokerages have a competitive advantage to realise more business success.
Consider the Four Pillars of a Digital Brokerage
- Broker management system as the core: A single broker management system to serve as the operational foundation and efficiently manage customer relationships, policy information and financial accounting processes across the entire brokerage in one application. Your system should be able to manage every type of business from personal lines and commercial lines, and should connect all of your staff under one roof – with a single view into all of your business data.
- Effective and efficient insurer connectivity: The ability for brokers and insurers to automate communications for the purposes of obtaining quotations and managing the full lifecycle of the policy once purchased. As insurers increasingly invest in SME eTrading, your business needs to take advantage of this connectivity to provide access to more and better products for customers.
- 24/7 mobility: Mobility enables digital brokerages to provide customers anytime access to insurance information from their smartphones, as well as keep employees connected to the office while on the go. At the same time that your customers want 24/7 access to insurance information, your staff also requires mobile capabilities that empower them to effectively service customers and conduct business while away from the office. And as the next-generation of insurance professionals enter the workforce, providing the flexible and innovative workplace mobility delivers will be as critical for obtaining and retaining talent as with customers.
- The cloud: Digital brokers are moving core software applications to offsite data centres for improved performance, flexibility and security, safeguarding data and providing better customer service from anywhere. The increasing pace of business and ubiquity of the cloud provides a simple solution for brokers to ensure maximum operational efficiency while reducing time and cost spent managing hardware and software.
Bringing the Go-To Place into the Digital Age
With today’s customers expecting more and changing global market dynamics redefining the insurance industry, there is tremendous opportunity for digital technology to simplify and amplify your current processes. It can free up time for staff to focus on sales and service. Digital can expand your communication channels to clients and insurer partners. Allow digital to mobilise your staff to extend your broker advice and brand beyond the office.
As the Go-To Place, consider ways to set forth digital transformation to make your business the Go-To Digital Place – for both your staff and customers.
How do you see your “place” setting forth on a digital transformation? Comment below.
Attending BIBA? Join us Wednesday 11 May from 13.15 – 14.00 for “The Digital Broker” Fringe session for a look at the tools and services available to start or enhance your digital strategy. You can also visit us at stand C76.
Joe Sultana, Managing Director, Broker Solutions, Applied Systems UK, is responsible for broker relationships and support services for Applied Systems’ UK business. He came to Applied Systems in August 2013 following the acquisition of Insurecom Limited. He has held senior positions in both the IT and broking sectors spanning 20 years and has unique insight and understanding on how technology can be utilised to improve the industry and more specifically the broker market. Previously, Sultana joined Moorhouse as Operations Director in 2008 and led offshore and nearshore projects in Europe and Asia.
*2015 UK State of Multichannel Customer Service Report