Insurer Digital Channels for Distributors Means Agent Portals (and Email)

Agent digital channel usage varies widely by use case, according to Novarica survey of 38 insurers

Boston, MA (July 25, 2016) – Efficient and effective communication with agents and brokers is central to digital strategy for most insurers. However, it is not enough to simply understand which channels agents prefer; insurers should also ask the question, “For which purpose?”

In its latest report, Agent/Broker Digital Channel Usage, research and strategic advisory firm Novarica examines distributors’ average usage rates of different channels for different purposes, across different classes of business, in order to help insurers optimize their digital strategy.

“Communication channels like social and mobile are certainly gaining momentum, but insurers also can’t ignore older methods like email,” notes Matthew Josefowicz, President and CEO of Novarica and lead author of the report. “Just like customers, agents and brokers are also omni-channel, so considering individual use cases is very important. Understanding what drives agents to use a given channel can make the difference between a digital success story and an initiative with disappointing adoption rates.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Portals are still at the center, both of insurers’ digital strategies and their communications with distributors – except for large commercial insurers.
  • Don’t forget about email! Humble old email rivals or exceeds portal usage for many purposes – especially for large commercial insurers where it’s the dominant channel. Insurers need to consider how to manage email handling, workflow, storage, and security.
  • Mobile is still about notifications, not transactions. Mobile is gaining some traction in distributor communications for personal lines and life/annuity insurers, but its more about pushing information out rather than accepting information.

About Novarica

Novarica helps more than 80 insurers make better decisions about technology projects and strategy. Its research covers trends, best practices, and vendors, leveraging relationships with more than 300 insurer CIO members of its Research Council. Novarica’s advisory services provide on-demand phone and email consultations on any topic for a fixed annual fee; its consulting services include vendor selection, benchmarking, project assurance, and IT strategy development, providing rapid, actionable insights and guidance, delivered directly by the firm’s senior team.

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SOURCE: Novarica