How Agents Can Tap the Gig Economy

Processes within every agency can be adapted to the gig economy, saving money and allowing access to experienced personnel at the same time.

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As the on-demand workforce continues to grow -- reaching 55 million freelancers in the U.S. in 2016 -- insurers are tapping into the so-called gig economy. It's only logical that agents should follow suit. There are processes within every agency that can be adapted to the gig economy, where the agent can save money and have access to experienced personnel at the same time. Claims Processing There are millions of gig workers across North America ready to be assigned to conduct a variety of tasks of relevance to insurance carriers. These include asset verifications, property inspections, document retrievals, salvage verification, taking photos of damaged vehicles, meeting with customers and so much more. My experience as CEO of WeGoLook, one such provider of the above services, shows me how leveraging gig workers can reduce overhead, improve efficiency due to mobile innovation and speed claims processes. Workload Surge Support Many insurance carriers require agents to provide pictures of risks such as homes, autos and commercial properties with an application. All carriers also require photos of these risks when writing new business immediately following the lifting of a weather-related moratorium. Using workers contracted through experienced gig economy field services providers enables the agency to leverage experienced professionals at a moment’s notice. Literally the swipe of a smartphone or click of a dashboard button! See also: Gig Economy: Newest Tool for Insurance   Customer Service Every agency owner recognizes that a substantial portion of resources goes to providing services that do not generate a premium. Typically, these tasks include driver changes, address and contact information changes and taking payments over the phone. Because these tasks to do not involve insurance transactions, discussing coverage and offering advice, they can in most cases be handled by a non-licensed representative. Having an on-demand gig service standing by to accept these calls and conduct the necessary will save you money. And we aren't just talking about phone calls. All web service requests can also be directed to a mailbox monitored by a gig worker. It's Time to Embrace the Gig More people are working in the gig economy, many more are using it, and insurance providers and agencies can leverage it for cost savings and claims efficiencies. Simple as that. No doubt, seasoned agency owners and managers may push back from embracing the gig economy and understanding how on-demand workers can streamline agency processes. Seasoned agents have tried and true methods they use for writing business and that's completely understandable. But when there's a way of doing something better and cheaper, it's best to at least test the waters. Remember that in this new digital economy, innovation is paramount.

Robin Roberson

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Robin Roberson

Robin Roberson is the managing director of North America for Claim Central, a pioneer in claims fulfillment technology with an open two-sided ecosystem. As previous CEO and co-founder of WeGoLook, she grew the business to over 45,000 global independent contractors.

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