Applied Systems Reveals 2021 Digital Technology Adoption Survey Results Among Canadian Insurance Brokerages

Annual independent broker survey reports adoption of digital technology on the rise year over year

Mississauga, ON (Jan. 31, 2022) – Applied Systems has announced the findings of its annual Applied Digital Brokerage Survey, providing an industry-wide benchmark for brokerages to measure their digital technology adoption and progression towards digital transformation. The 2021 Applied Digital Brokerage survey results indicate that brokerages creating and following digital strategies are increasing, along with adoption of customer service technologies and cloud as the industry pivots to new operating and servicing tactics following the pandemic.

The survey questions examined five core competencies of a digital brokerage, including management system capabilities, mobility, insurer connectivity, data analytics and cloud software. Brokerages scoring 80% or higher across all core competencies were considered to be digital brokerages, having adopted most of the key drivers of digital transformation.

Key survey findings include:

  • Digital strategies: Results indicate 66% of brokerages across all surveyed geographies have a digital strategy in place, a 7% increase year over year. Of these, 92% plan to implement their strategies within one to five years.
  • Foundational management system: With nearly a 100% adoption, brokerage management systems are one of the most used pieces of technology in the insurance industry, confirming that it is the foundation of business operations and indispensable for day-to-day operations.
  • Customer self-service: The adoption of client portals increased from 35% to 38%, with a 9% increase year over year. Twenty-nine percent of all brokerages allow their policyholders to submit their applications electronically.
  • Insurer connectivity: Personal lines remains the most widely adopted at 93%. Use of download for Billing saw the greatest year-over-year growth with adoption increasing 4%. The continued growth in insurer connectivity reinforces the increasing importance brokerages place on digital connectivity with insurer partners.
  • Analytics: 32% of brokers reported using data analytics applications. While this adoption percentage is low, the adoption rate has grown more than 100% since 2016 and continues to trend upward.
  • Cloud: Up 9% year over year, 81% of brokerages choose to host their software in the cloud, and it continues to be the top choice among brokerages for software hosting. Hosting in the cloud is more secure than ever and makes working remotely easier for independent insurance brokers.

“While the pandemic revealed that the industry hadn’t adequately adopted the technologies to enable digital customer service and remote business models, this year’s results show that more brokerages are embracing technology to meet the needs of today’s customers and brokerage staff,” said Steve Whitelaw, vice president and general manager, Canada, Applied Systems. “As the opportunities for digital transformation continue to grow, Applied is committed to working with all the key stakeholders within the insurance ecosystem to strengthen the industry with innovative technology that creates productivity, simplicity, intelligence and value.”

View the full report here.

About Survey Methodology

1,819 independent brokerages across the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland participated in the 6th Annual Applied Digital Brokerage Survey, from which the results of this report were generated. Respondents voluntarily participated in an online survey conducted in Q1 2021. The findings are based on responses to a set of questions about brokerage technology use. The responses provided the data to calculate a digital score for each brokerage taking the survey and identified baselines for technology adoption.

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

Applied Commercial Index is a trademark of Applied Systems, Inc. All data is fully anonymized when aggregating and analyzing the Applied Commercial Index.

SOURCE: Applied Systems

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