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3 Keys to Selecting the Right Platform

Customer experience (CX) consulting firm Walker predicts that, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator. To remain competitive in the consumer-driven era, EY advises insurers to provide an omni-channel environment where consumers can move seamlessly between channels.

It’s a difficult feat for insurers to accomplish given the siloed nature of their legacy systems and lack of digital readiness, but, according to Rick Huckstep, there is a way to leverage these massive core systems while gaining digital capabilities, through partnerships with insurtech digital platform providers.

Huckstep says that digital platforms allow insurers to capitalize on investments already made in technology by building the agility and responsiveness necessary for online distribution into the new digital front end. But what should insurers look for in a digital platform to ensure they can deliver the omni-channel environment consumers are demanding?

Excel With Digital Platforms

A global study of 1,000 insurance executives conducted by Insurance Nexus revealed that 59% of insurers are already relying on relationships with third-party resources to realize digital innovation goals. In PWC’s CEO survey, more than 80% of the executives responding plan to do so over the next three to five years.

That’s because digital platforms can speed the transformation of insurers and put them on the fast track toward digitally enabled, direct-to-consumer distribution. Simply offering online channels of engagement won’t necessarily ensure carrier success.

To meet consumer experience standards in today’s world, insurers should seek partnerships with digital platform providers who focus on providing the following key attributes:

Consumer-Centric Online Storefront   

Accenture surveyed more than 32,000 consumers globally and determined that as many as 50% are already purchasing online. As insurers improve the strength of their digitally enabled, direct-to-consumer channels, those numbers are sure to escalate. Executives surveyed predict that 90% of interactions will occur through digital channels within the next five years.

As consumers move from the more personal experience of researching and purchasing coverage through an agent to digital channels, the insurer’s online storefront becomes representative of their brand. Whether consumers establish a relationship with the insurer and become a loyal customer or seek out other insurers that offer a more personalized online experience, will all depend on the strength of the online store.

Big Commerce found that 78% of consumers feel more comfortable buying online when pictures that depict personal interactions are included as part of the online storefront. This highlights the need consumers have to feel connected to their insurers while still engaging in anytime, anywhere purchasing.

Digital platform providers that focus on creating a customer-centered buying experience by improving the efficiency of the quote-to-issue lifecycle demonstrate a respect for the consumer’s time and instill good will. Automated prefill capabilities, for example, take much of the burden of completing an application off the customer and put it on the insurer, demonstrating that the customer comes first in the insurer’s operations.

The ability to automatically quote multiple policy types from a single application is another way insurers can attract consumers to the online storefront and establish loyalty.

A leading insurer that sells property lines through digital channels recently offered consumers the option to receive quotes on homeowners and auto by filling out one simplified application. The insurer now consistently provides 80,000 quotes a month to online insurance consumers.

Uniting Operational Silos for Cross-Channel Consistency

The largest group of insurance customers use both online and offline channels when interacting with insurers. This is particularly true in distribution, where J.D. Power found that 74% percent of shoppers purchasing coverage start transactions online, but only 22% actually close the purchase through a consumer-facing call center.

The situation becomes complicated for insurers when you realize the fluidity required to meet consumer expectations for cross-channel engagements. Too often, the consumer is asked to restart the transaction when changing from one channel to another, damaging the customer experience.

This happens because of the disparate and distributed nature of insurers’ back-end systems. With customer information locked up in operational silos, insurers have a difficult time creating a cross-channel experience that meets customer standards.

According to Huckstep, digital platforms can solve for operational silos by using existing core systems as the system of record and building the agility and visibility necessary for omni-channel engagement into the digital front-end.

It’s easy to envision the process by breaking it down. The web front-end is consumer facing, acting as the online storefront for consumers and agents alike. Information entered into the storefront is automatically updated across all core systems, courtesy of the digital distribution platform, creating a consistent source of data that is visible from a single vantage point.

When consumers move from an online channel to the consumer-facing call center during the purchasing process, agents have complete visibility into information entered online, facilitating a seamless transition from one channel to another.

Managing the Digital Transformation

Accenture reports that as many as 51% of consumers are already purchasing online, but Aite Group has found that only 20% of auto insurers and 7% of homeowners carriers are currently selling products online. Those that aren’t online are missing out on a chance at a lot of revenue.

To grow their digital footprint, insurers will need to change the way they engage with consumers. For instance, Mintel’s study of shoppers who have property and casualty insurance revealed that a growing number (39%) feel that insurers should provide apps to make buying and managing policies easier.

Progressive has recently introduced HomeQuote Explorer, an app that simplifies the purchasing of homeowners coverage by offering consumers a simplified application and four quotes on coverage.

According to Tricia Griffith, Progressive CEO, “You fill in a couple fields, and you get a home quote from one of four companies. One of them is the Progressive home quote and then [quotes from] three other companies that we work with closely.”

The service is free and allows consumers to comparison shop coverage from a group of carriers that Progressive trusts to provide quality customer service.

Digital innovations like these have broad implications across the organization. Seasoned digital platform providers, which have undergone many successful transformations, understand the challenges. They’ve created transition plans and have the talent on hand to guide the organization and ensure results following implementation.

Fast-Tracking Omni-Channel Distribution

Accenture reveals that platform-based business models are the goal of 94%, creating ecosystems where insurers and outside digital resources join forces in synergistic relationships that promote asymmetric growth.

As insurers embrace relationships with insurtech providers on digital distribution platforms that unite back-end systems and provide a single vantage point to the information contained therein, they are able to rapidly evolve into omni-channel insurance providers, seamlessly meeting consumer needs as they move across various mediums.

For example, a top-five insurer partnered with a digital platform provider and built combined teams with shared strategies and goals to meet the insurer’s objectives and enable an initial rollout of digital capabilities within two months. Since that time, the insurer has doubled sales on a year-over-year basis. Because the platform is scalable, the insurer continues to experience growth by adding agents, products and markets with no down time or service interruptions. As consumer preferences evolve, the insurer is able to expand channels and products to ensure future profitability.

Omni-channel engagement is the way of the future for the insurance industry. How is your organization meeting the demands for change?

P&C: Back-End Systems Unite!

Property and casualty insurers understand that technology is continuously reshaping consumer expectations and exerting pressure to change the way they do business. In our research, 73% of insurers are seeing demand for digital distribution, but delivering online buying is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to meeting consumer experience standards.

The most complicated task for insurers comes in connecting the multitude of back-end systems required to run existing operations, into a connected web that facilitates the lightning fast exchange of information necessary for today’s digital age.

Standardizing the Customer Experience

When it comes to creating a consistent customer experience, insurers face new and evolving challenges. In the old world order, before consumers demanded digital engagement, customer relationship management was simpler.

“The insurance industry was once dominated by policy-centric, inside-out thinking,” wrote Mark Breading, partner at Strategy Meets Action (SMA). “Relationships were simple – a policyholder was matched with a policy and perhaps an agent/producer. Much of the executive focus and corresponding technology investment was designed to improve operational efficiencies and manage the portfolio of risks.”

To that end, insurers implemented complex technology solutions to manage customer relationships and insurance policies. CRM systems stored information related to the customer’s contact information, coverages, product information, recent transactions and account balances. With little visibility between CRM systems and policy administration systems, they did nothing to help agents when it came time to quote and issue policies.

As agents spoke with consumers about coverage such as auto, information was entered into a policy administration system related to that product. A year later, when the customer phoned the agent to get a quote on coverage for a newly purchased property, the agent could view customer data from within the CRM system related to auto insurance, including the policies already in effect, but the information wasn’t visible through the policy admin system related to homeowners coverage.

To make matters worse, data from the auto policy administration system was also inaccessible to the homeowners’ system, so agents had no way to use existing data to facilitate a faster response to the customer’s request. Instead, the agent had to gather and re-enter customer data into the policy silo to quote, bind and issue the homeowners coverage.

The problem for many insurers is that these disparate and disconnected systems still exist today, with the addition of digital channels of engagement to further complicate the matter of meeting consumer experience standards.

Digital Demands Require United Systems

According to Breading, insurers are placing a high priority on gaining digital capabilities.

“One of the key findings of our recent research on strategic initiatives for 2017 is that digital is gaining more momentum than any of the 16 initiatives we have been tracking,” Breading wrote in a recent blog. “Strategies to become a digital insurer have now reached a high penetration in the industry, with 72% of insurers now claiming that they have this initiative underway.”

See also: 3 Ways AI Improves P&C Economics  

Digital channels create another layer for insurers to address in the customer-centric movement. Lack of visibility between CRM, policy admin and agency management systems creates roadblocks and bottlenecks in the consumer experience.

Insurers will have one record on a customer as a homeowners lead, and this will live in a separate silo than a lead on the same customer seeking auto coverage. To make matters worse, these databases often disagree.

Currently, many insurers have no way of combining data across operational silos or of tying information from third-party vendors, such as credit agencies, into the real-time actionable insights necessary for digital engagement.

Agency Management Suffers Too

While 74% of consumers start an insurance buying transaction online, J.D. Power reports that 22% will move to a consumer-facing call center to finish the purchase. Consumer-facing call center agents are responsible for assisting consumers with questions generated during web-based engagements and for reaching out to consumers who start quotes online without completing the transaction, but agency management systems often provide little visibility into activity initiated through digital channels.

Agents are required to re-enter information already provided by consumers online and to move from one policy admin system to another to quote, bind and issue multiple policies. The opportunities for error increases as information is re-entered, and customer dissatisfaction rises.

Without clear insight into digital activity, agents lack information that could guide measurable follow-up, such as when a consumer abandons an application or leaves the online storefront after receiving a quote. Agent productivity suffers as well without tools to track web-based activity and prioritize leads and follow up.

According to Breading, insurers are limited by a customer view that delivers only “an awareness of the current and former products owned by the customer, the performance of those products, information related to product needs of the customer and perhaps some relationship information like the agent involved.”

To deliver streamlined interactions and facilitate engagement, as well as the instant insights required to meet consumer expectations for immediacy, insurers need a single view of the customer. Breading calls this the ultimate 360-degree view, where every employee and system has the information necessary to engage in informed interactions with the customer in real time.

Gaining a Single View of the Customer

To gain this 360-degree view of the customer, insurers need visibility across all back-end systems from a central vantage point. According to Novarica’s research, 70% of carriers are in the midst of implementing new core systems to unite these operational silos.

Rick Huckstep, industry influencer and chairman of the Digital Insurer, sees a problem with this approach. Core systems are expensive, take years to implement and are difficult to adapt to a changing environment.

“Often, by the time these large IT implementations are finished, they are already a legacy system,” Huckstep said.

Instead of investing in core systems replacements, Huckstep recommends a two-speed approach. Employing insurtech platforms, insurers can capitalize on investments made in IT legacy systems by building the agility and responsiveness necessary for online distribution into the digital front end.

“Insurtech’s core systems are like the latest generation of robotic armed patrol boats — they are agile, automated and cheaper, have a shorter cycle time to commission and are task-specific,” Huckstep said.

By breaking insurer operations into simplified layers, we can gain a better understanding for the role of Insurtech digital distribution platforms. The top layer is customer-facing. This is where agents reside as well as the online storefront offering digital engagement. On the bottom layer are the core systems that make it possible for the insurer to buy and sell policies and manage customer or agent relationships. In between, we have the digital distribution platform.

As customers enter the online storefront and provide personal information, it’s the platform capabilities that enable application prefill by pulling data from third-party resources, depositing it automatically into policy administration, agency management and CRM systems. Because the platform has a single, cross-system view, appetite is determined and quotes are provided in seconds. Platform analytics even use carrier data in conjunction with customer information to provide real-time product recommendations.

It’s a similar situation when consumers phone the call center during an online transaction. Because the platform provides a single vantage point to all customer and system information, the agent can see not only the customer data that has been entered into the policy admin system, but where the consumer is in the application process.

Agents are able to pick up exactly where the consumer left off and realize the same benefits of automation when determining policy eligibility, providing quotes and binding and issuing coverage. Transaction speed and efficiency are maximized, giving consumers a seamless cross-channel experience.

Agency management takes a step forward in the platform economy as well, flagging consumers who fail to make it through the quote-to-issue lifecycle, prioritizing work flows and supporting more frequent customer communications by tracking activity across product and operational silos.

Entering the Era of “Platformification”

Accenture says that 76% of executives see partnerships as critical to their competitive advantage. Platform-based business models are the goal of 94%, creating ecosystems where insurers and outside digital resources join forces in synergistic relationships that promote asymmetric growth.

“The ‘Platformification’ trend is about leveraging the power of platforms and APIs in open environments, to create new marketplaces and new ecosystems,” said Sebastien Meunier, insurance industry influencer.

Platformification is a growing part of insurance. As insurers embrace relationships with insurtech providers on digital distribution platforms that unite back-end systems and provide a single vantage point to the information contained therein, a more customer-centric environment is rapidly created.

A top 10 insurer that offers products direct-to-consumer through digital and agent channels recently partnered with an insurtech digital distribution platform provider. The platform united silos and allowed internal agents to quote, bind and issue home and auto products from a single application.

See also: Possibilities for AI in P&C Insurance  

Three years into the agreement, the platform was managing as many as 4,000 quotes a day, and the number of policies sold had more than tripled through agency channels. Considering the success, the insurer made the decision to start a pilot program, offering the same advantages of seamless product bundling directly to consumers in select states.

Within the first three months, the insurer recognized 50% growth in bundled business over the same quarter the prior year. The insurer could have continued the trial, but given the benefits to consumers and the bottom-line, moved quickly to a full rollout, offering the advantages to customers nationwide.

Uniting back-end systems to provide a single view of the customer is critical to revenue growth and customer retention in the digital age. How is your organization tackling the challenge of siloed operations?

Why More Don’t Go Direct-to-Consumer

According to McKinsey, the goal in establishing a sound digital strategy is to simply meet customers’ expectations.

What sounds straightforward and easy to a digitally advanced industry, such as retail, is a major undertaking for property and casualty insurers, particularly those that sell exclusively through independent or captive agent forces.

As insurers prepare to go direct-to-consumer, they face a unique set of challenges, including the question of where to start.

First, You Have to Know What the Customer Wants

Creating a direct-to-consumer strategy that meets customers’ expectations requires P&C insurers to first understand who the customer is. For them, it’s a task similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is part of an array of distributed and disparate systems, and there is no easy way to gain a single view of the customer without painstakingly assembling the picture piece by piece.

Samantha Chow, senior analyst at market research firm Aite Group, in an interview with Informationweek said that insurers have data they can’t make heads or tails of because of data integration problems and lack of data governance.

Many of the processes that incumbent insurers use to run their business still operate on legacy technology. Chow says that some top-tier carriers are running as many as 27 aging policy administration systems to support their products. To make matters worse, data across these informational silos is often inconsistent.

See also: 9 Elements for Customer Portals  

It seems that insurers have the wrong type of data, as well. According to Mark Breading, partner at Strategy Meets Action, insurers are limited by a customer view that delivers only “an awareness of the current and former products owned by the customer, the performance of those products, information related to product needs of the customer and perhaps some relationship information like the agent involved.”

In direct-to-consumer distribution, insurers need to expand their data sets, tracking consumer activity across products and channels as well as gathering information from third-party sources to gain a broader understanding of the customer, their lifestyles, purchasing preferences and buying behavior.

A single view of the customer is essential to respond to their complete coverage needs in real time and is a primary component of D2C engagement.

Setting up the Online Storefront

Amazon set up shop in 1994 as an online book and music seller, but rapidly evolved into an international retailer of just about everything.

The fact that Amazon’s sales last year topped $135 billion underscores the effectiveness of the strategy: Make it easy for customers to find and buy the things they want, when they want them.

As customers enter Amazon’s site, searching for products is fast and simple. They can easily compare pricing and then select the items that meet their needs. In many cases, purchasing is accomplished in a single click.

When insurers try to recreate this type of environment in insurance, they run up against some impressive obstacles. For one thing, rapidly quoting, binding and issuing products that our housed in separate silos requires a central point of access. Only a handful of insurers have this today.

Then there is product diversity. Consumers expect insurers to meet their coverage needs, but what happens when they can’t? The Amazon experience would dictate that the insurer offer products from other carriers to augment their own selection, similar to Amazon’s army of third-party sellers.

“It’s an idea whose time has come,” said Eric Gewirtzman, CEO, BOLT. “Insurers who position themselves to meet more of the needs of their customers, even if it means offering products from other carriers, will be recognized as customer-first organizations.”

Customers Still Need Agent Support

Our research of top carriers indicates that 77% are seeing demand for D2C engagement, but providing online access to products and services also means setting up agent support for digital channels.

A customer with a leading D2C insurer recently needed to obtain insurance for one of her vehicles in another state. Her daughter was registering the vehicle where she was attending college, but, given the significant cost advantages, the customer wanted to keep the teen-aged driver’s coverage bundled with the original policy.

Unique situations like these often require support from an agent licensed in the specific state. In this example, much of the transaction was started online. Because all information was available to the agent, digital paved the way for a faster and more efficient response to the customer.

Committing to a D2C strategy means providing agent support to field questions and issues from direct channels. For insurers that work exclusively through independent or captive agents, that means setting up or gaining access to licensed resources to support D2C channels and ensuring they have streamlined access to information customers enter online.

Despite Challenges, Now Is the Time to Move

Looking into insurer’s thoughts on the future, John Cusano of Accenture remarked on the company’s research with 563 insurance executives.

“In our survey, we found that 87% of insurance respondents agree that we have entered an era of technology advancement that is no longer marked by linear progression, but by an exponential rate of change,” Cusano says. “What’s more, 86% say that their organization must innovate at an increasingly rapid pace just to keep a competitive edge.”

See also: Why Customer Experience Is Key  

Part of that innovation is advancing toward an omni-channel strategy that includes direct-to-consumer capabilities. Eric Gewirtzman of BOLT, in an interview with McKinsey, said, “Insurance customers are already moving between various channels.” Now insurers need a strategy that fulfills the customer’s demands for direct-to-consumer purchasing.

Disruption from outside forces and continuously evolving consumer expectations is forcing the industry out of its protective shell and onto the cusp of change. Despite the challenges, the insurers who realize the greatest wins in the changing environment will be the ones who begin now to evolve into highly competitive digital institutions of the future.

Are P&C Insurers Failing Agents?

The difference from one year to the next can be astounding. Just compare surveys of independent agents from the end of 2015, with the same survey taken a year later at the end of 2016. Industry outlook improved significantly as 49% felt positive about the year 2017, compared with only 33% for 2016.

But…before we start doing the happy dance, let’s take a more in-depth look at the state of independent agents.

Not as Good as It Seems

Despite the hoorays and hoopla, we’re not uncorking the champagne just yet. There are still disconnects between independent agents and carriers over workforce efficiency. In a recent survey conducted by National Underwriters (NU) in conjunction with PIA, Flaspohler, 66% of independent agents rated ease of doing business as the number one consideration when selecting carriers.

EY sheds more light on this. Over a quarter of independent agents find the effort spent on administrative tasks to be a serious threat to growth, while 35% of agents told EY that they would stop, drop and roll for improved customer online tools, and 45% would stand on their heads for fewer forms and less paperwork. Furthermore, 60% of agents select carriers based on the quality of the tools they offer and 35% have left one carrier for another offering better options.

See also: P&C Insurers: Come Out of the Dark Ages  

Another major storm cloud on the horizon is product choice. Product choice significantly impacts the ability of agents to generate new business. In the NU study previously referenced, independent agents rated access to superior products and coverages 8 points in importance on a nine-point scale. As proof of changing consumer preferences, agents already report that demand for usage-based insurance and policies tailored to meet the needs of the sharing economy are escalating.

Putting the Numbers Together

Now that we’ve showered you with the rapid-fire numbers, let’s take a second to recap and focus on what it all means.

Agents are seeing demands for a wider selection of products, including new coverage types related to the sharing economy. As a result, nearly half see the ability to customize products to the needs of their customers as integral to their future success. Greater product choice is also a concern with 40% of agents saying they need products to fit a wider range of consumer needs.

Distribution is also a challenge. Digitally-enabled insurers are growing at 2.5 times the rate of their less- advanced peers. The difference between agents with strong digital capabilities and those still wading through complex forms and processes to quote, bind and issue products, is efficiency. Enabled with automation, digitally-empowered agents rapidly quote and issue products, meeting the needs of consumers expecting lightning fast distribution.

As a result, more than half of agents select carriers based on the tools and capabilities they offer. For instance, Progressive, an insurer recognized for embarking up the digital tree when it comes to empowering agents, was ranked number one on independent agents’ list of approved carriers.

While carriers fight aging legacy technology and costly, long new product development cycles, the world continues to spin and agents continue to award their business and loyalty to insurers capable of delivering the products they need in a seamless simplified transaction. Or, they take matters into their own hands, and find it themselves.

Doing it Their Way

Leading agencies are adopting a top-tier digital distribution platform with a tightly integrated market network of products. In doing so, they gain access to efficiency-enhancing digital tools and expanded product selection without taking on new carrier appointments.

Agents use the digital distribution solution to bundle their current carrier appointments with products from the market network. It happens seamlessly, in a single transaction and all that customers see is an agent who can offer robust product choice and then quickly and efficiently quote, bind and issue the coverage they need.

Benefits include:

  • Tightly integrated market network: Waiting for carriers to develop new products and provide appointments can leave agents holding the bag with customer satisfaction. A market network gives agents access to the products they need now, without obtaining additional carrier appointments.
  • Straight-through processing: PwC, in their recent report on the state of the P&C insurance market, proposed an interesting scenario: “…imagine a small business owner being able to enter just four pieces of information (e.g., business name, business address, and owner’s name and DOB) on a policy application and receiving a real-time business insurance quote with the option to immediately purchase and electronically receive policy documents.” Surprise, surprise, no imagination required with the right digital distribution platform, as automation prefills the application, quotes multiple product options and then binds and issues the coverage when the agent clicks the mouse. And it’s available for both personal and commercial lines.
  • Improved efficiency: Stop working on those speed typing records. With digital distribution, you won’t need them. Data entry is minimized, giving agents a shorter, more productive path to policy quoting and issuance.

See also: P&C Core Systems: Beyond the First Wave  

By selecting a digital distribution platform with a tightly integrated market network, insurers have improved agent efficiency, doubling quote volumes, converting 35% of those to sales and booking over 55,000 policies in a single year. Others who have started seamlessly bundling products from their own lineup with those from other carriers are selling 1.6 more of their own offerings, ultimately generating $70 million in premiums in under 10 months. Maybe it is time to start doing the happy dance after all.

To learn more about the power of product choice and digital prowess, download our infographic, A New Year, A New Insurance Industry.

What Incumbents Can Teach Insurtechs

If insurtech disruptors have one thing going for them, it’s their digital savvy.

They have made it as easy for consumers to research, quote and buy coverage online as it is to make a retail purchase through e-commerce channels. “It took me 60 seconds to buy a policy,” a customer of one disruptor said.

Still, insurtech disruptors have a lot to learn about the industry, and some leading incumbents could be the ones to teach them.

The Disruptor’s Downward Spiral

To understand this better, let’s follow Judy, a quintessential customer as she excitedly makes the decision to purchase insurance from a typical disruptor.

First, she enters the site. It’s sleek and beautiful, and everything is easy to locate. Within seconds, she has selected the option to get a quote for her auto insurance, has entered her information and received a price she can live with. Hooray! But wait. Where is the coverage for her home, motorcycle and pet?

She searches the site but can’t find other insurance products. She clicks the help button, but all she can do is send an email with her question. Where is the personal touch? And how will she contact someone later when she has a question about her coverage or, worse, a claim?

See also: What’s Your Game Plan for Insurtech?  

The Lessons

The first thing disruptors need to learn is that the quick, convenient online service they are peddling is only the baseline model of what consumers expect from their carriers. Comments from other customers echo Judy’s feelings about the personal touch: “They do not have a phone number, so you are stuck dealing with bots and sending messages through their app.”

Hmmmm. Sounds like someone needs an agent.

Greg Hoeg, vice president of U.S. insurance operations at J.D. Power, concurs, “While many consumers want to shop online, they often still want to talk to someone when they buy their insurance to make sure they are getting the right coverage or have questions about their policy answered.”

J.D. Power also confirms the importance of digital channels in the buying process, reporting that incumbents with leading digital capabilities also lead in premium growth. And this is where incumbents come in to teach the disruptors a thing or two.

Following a Better Example

Top digital insurers are setting the best example of how to thrive in the changing market. They have continuously improved their capabilities to meet consumer demands for online buying and product choice and have empowered agents with top-grade digital tools.

Here is what Judy’s purchasing journey looks like with a traditional insurer imbued with the right digital capabilities and product selection:

Judy enters the site and begins the application process. After providing a few bits of personal data, a smart application process begins to draw information from verified third-party sources, auto-filling her application along the way.

Throughout the process, she is asked if she would like to add other types of coverage she is eligible for, such as home, jewelry or pet insurance. She clicks “yes” and is soon provided with quotes on multiple options. She has a question about one of the offerings, so she dials the number prominently displayed at the top of the screen.

Soon, she is talking with an agent who answers her questions and, without having to gather more information, quickly and seamlessly binds and issues all of the coverage types she wants to buy, in a single transaction.

Experiences like these are not the future of insurance. The capabilities exist today, without making extensive changes to current systems. A top-five insurer is already setting the example. It now meet the needs of 95% of current and future customers contacting the agency and has doubled year-over year growth through direct and agent channels.

Insurers like these have a message for insurtech disruptors and incumbents alike. It’s time to implement digital solutions and start meeting consumer needs for channel and product choice.

See also: Insurtech Checklist: 10 Differentiators  

To learn more about outcompeting in a changing industry, download our thought leadership piece, The Changing P&C Insurance Industry: What’s It Costing You?