By Jeff Purdy, Senior Vice President, International Operations, Applied Systems —
For years, we’ve been talking about the digital age of insurance. Well now that it’s here, what opportunities have been delivered to brokers adopting digital technology?
As we consider the opportunities offered by the digital age of insurance, it helps to first define what it means to be a Digital Brokerage. At Applied, a Digital Broker’s business is defined by three core characteristics:
- Digital automation within a business to streamline operations and drive efficiency;
- Digital connectivity to policyholders to drive an enhanced customer experience;
- Digital connectivity to insurers to drive efficiency and strengthen relationships.
Deploying enhanced technology to achieve success in each of these areas drives business value in five ways:
Applied’s Annual Digital Brokerage survey cites an average of 156% higher revenue per employee than non-digital brokers. Digital brokerages leverage a single management system to gain visibility across an entire book of business, delivering integrated capabilities to manage P&C, Benefits and sales in a single application.
Integrated and open architecture provides essential capabilities for each stakeholder within a brokerage to have the right information and products available to sell and serve customers. By utilizing a single management system that was designed for the user experience and with integrated capabilities, digital brokerages drive superior business growth.
In the case of the independent insurance brokerage, digital technology enables the business to increase efficiency through automation and connectivity to policyholders and insurers. In fact, according to a PwC survey report, 78% of respondents said access to the technology they like to use, such as mobile, makes them more effective at work.
Digital brokers deliver greater efficiency because technology automates the majority of the manual, time-consuming tasks required to run the business, such as establishing workflows, servicing customers, connecting to insurers, prospecting new business and analyzing operations.
Consumers today are in the driving seat in terms of whom they do business with and how they expect to be served. Businesses must focus on those demands and provide an enhanced customer experience. According to a survey by Deloitte, organizations that prioritize customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors.
By offering multiple ways for consumers to interact with the business – whether it be in person, phone, online or mobile – digital brokerages create happier customers, which ultimately drives business returns through enhanced retention and growth from new business.
The role of the independent insurance broker is to provide advice to customers. While having access to insurance options via the internet, studies show that consumers still go to brokers for expert advice. In fact, a J.D. Power insurance shopping study found that while 74% of consumers shop for insurance online, only 25% actually buy their policies online.
Leveraging integrated tools within their management systems, digital brokerages can automatically find the best markets, as well as identify and highlight policy differences for new business and renewals, making them better risk advisors to both personal and commercial lines customers.
Customer trust is vital for all businesses, but absolutely essential in the world of insurance. A recent industry survey of small business owners indicated that trustworthiness was the most important factor in the selection of their insurance broker. Technology such as the cloud provides enhanced security, operations recovery and anytime, anywhere access during any disruptive event.
The ability for a business to seamlessly connect its employees with its insurers and customers is the future of our industry. It’s the path to value for your business and your customers. Becoming a true Digital Brokerage provides your organization more time to focus on advice, selling and being there for your customers anytime, anywhere.
About The Author
Jeffrey D. Purdy, Senior Vice President of International Operations, is responsible for the strategic direction of Applied’s International operations. Purdy began his career in the company’s Canadian operations in 1989 and has held various executive positions in Canada and the USA prior to taking on responsibility for International operations. He has led Applied’s global expansion and entry into the United Kingdom and Ireland markets. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
About Applied Systems
Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and the innovation leader, Applied is the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied’s people and products enable millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most. For more information, please visit appliedsystems.com.