When you talk with a venture capitalist, you expect to hear about disruption and transformation, maybe about finding a "ten-bagger" (an investment that returns 10 times the original investment). But that wasn't the message from this month's interview with Adam Chadroff of Equal Ventures. I'd summarize his take on the future of agencies and brokerages as "the same, but different."
"The same," because all the talk of disintermediation is well and truly gone. Agents and brokers turned back all the insurtech challengers that tried to sell directly to consumers. The role of agents and brokers is now valued more than at any time in recent memory.
"But different" because technology keeps improving, so agents and brokers have to, as well. They need to keep making the buying and servicing process easier for customers and need to stay focused on operating more efficiently, to keep costs down.
Some good news: In the same way that customers have learned they can be more demanding of their agents and brokers, agents and brokers can now be more demanding of their technology suppliers. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Technology offerings thus far have been mostly point solutions -- digital payment software, a chatbot, and so on -- rather than a fully integrated, next-generation platform. But the trend in almost every industry these days is for impatient customers to insist that suppliers do the integration rather than providing piece parts and wishing customers good success. And the various offerings for agencies and brokerages have now matured enough that they can, and should, start demanding that suppliers do more of the integration for them.
I'll let Adam take it from here, in the interview.
P.S. Here are the six articles I'd like to highlight this month for agents and brokers:
STRATEGIES FOR INDEPENDENT AGENTS
Strategic targeting of commercial sectors with consistent hit ratios can lead to more efficient prospecting and, ultimately, higher conversion rates.
INSURANCE IS NOT A COMMODITY
But, with carriers running so many ads focused on price, agents need to work hard to get consumers to focus on the differences between policies.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF TALENT
With those born at the peak of the Baby Boom having reached 65 years old, here are five ways to attract the next generation of agents and brokers.
APIS: THE KEY TO INSURANCE ECOSYSTEMS
Application programming interfaces offer health insurance brokers an efficient and modern way to manage data and processes.
SAY GOODBYE TO CYBER'S 'DATING PROFILE'
It's time to move past vague questions that try to determine companies' resilience to cyber attacks and move to precise, data-based ratings.
HOW MY VIEW OF CHATGPT CHANGED
The tone of articles about ChatGPT has rapidly shifted from "amazing but not always accurate or high-quality" to "this is significant progress."