According to a recent survey by IVANS, US P&C carriers are preparing to move forward with technology solutions which support market driven goals; allowing greater flexibility with underwriting and improving the customer service experience. Where the independent agents and brokers fit in is less clear.
The survey, which involved 120 US property-casualty insurance carriers, identified the top technologies being investigated or implemented. The top item was improved underwriting solutions. Forty nine percent of the respondents said that they either are implementing or planned to implement solutions to improve efficiency and grow the business. Significantly, these plans included Real-Time solutions to improve turn-around with agents, but also customer portals. Twenty five percent of carriers already have a consumer portal while 22 percent are currently implementing one, and 18 percent have plans to put one in place over the next 12 months.
To support a number of these initiatives, IVANS found that carriers were looking to move beyond legacy systems. Over forty percent of property-casualty carriers are investing in new or upgraded policy administration systems. Also, carriers are implementing technologies which will allow better analysis of data and some are implementing predictive modelling tools.
What does this all mean for independent agents and brokers? While there are some developments that are tied directly to agents (30 percent of carriers have recently invested in commercial lines download and one-quarter are either implementing this technology or will be integrating it into their workflow within the next year), carriers are moving forward with technology which will offer improved service to customers, either directly (consumer portals), or through agents (with ‘Real-Time’) transactions.
IVANS concludes: “IVANS survey findings indicate that carriers are focusing on infrastructure, innovation, predictive analytics and automating workflows to maintain growth and create market differentiation in an increasingly difficult economic and regulatory environment. The challenge will be for carriers to create a clear strategy on value creation that aligns technology with business strategy, and optimizes the benefits with a carrier’s business partners.”
IVANS provides the survey report for download.