It can be an exciting, futuristic term. But it can also keep insurance agents up at night.
Yes, automation is a serious threat to the existing agency landscape. As it streamlines quoting and claims processes, it renders existing workflows irrelevant.
But fear not! You, the independent agent, have an advantage that automation can’t match.
In this month's Masters of Marketing webinar, I explained how you can leverage this advantage. And how doing so can help you maintain your livelihood and meet consumer needs.
I’ve included a short summary of my presentation below. To learn more, watch the recording here or review the slides below.
How We Got Here
Technology has played in increased role in insurance in recent years. Innovations such as comparative raters, insurance websites and telematics have transformed the industry.
Comparative raters have cut the time needed to gather quotes from several carriers. This has helped agents to provide more coverage options to consumers. Instant rating has also helped agents close more sales in a shorter time frame.
Insurance websites have expanded agencies expand their influence. Websites allow consumers to request a quote or start a claim at any time and from anywhere. It also provides a forum for consumers to learn more about coverage before they reach out to an agent. This can help reduce confusion within the quoting and claims processes.
Telematics have reduced variability in the rating and quoting process. This technology has helped improve real-time data reporting for consumer usage patterns. That’s led to more accurate rate estimates across the industry.
These innovations have made life easier for consumers. And they’ve made it easier for agents to do business. But the next generation of change might not be as harmonious.
Where We’re Headed
Automation is starting to invade the insurance industry.
Automation takes insurance technology to the next level. It runs entire processes on its own, with improved efficiency and convenience.
This means computer technology can run tasks without human intervention. These tasks can range from data entry to claim filing. This can reduce, or even replace, the role of the insurance agent.
Automation is a very real threat to the agency model. But the demise of Google Compare proves that automation does have its limits. Agents still have a valuable place in the industry.
How You Can Fight Back
Automation makes quoting and claims processes more efficient for consumers. But efficiency isn’t all that consumers are looking for.
Insurance coverage touches on a very sensitive aspect of consumers’ lives – their finances. Coverage can help protect a consumer’s financial stability in their time of need.
Consumers look for a personal relationship when dealing with sensitive topics like money. They crave a trusted advisor who puts their needs first.
You can be that advisor.
Provide outstanding customer service. Automated systems can't provide this service at the personal level you can. As an agent, this is your key to defend your place in the industry.
Own every opportunity you get to interact with clients or prospects. Show empathy, pay attention to detail and provide individualized advice. Build a professional relationship with consumers. Use your expertise to maintain trust.
You’ll provide consumers with what they’re looking for. You’ll ensure they keep turning to your agency for their insurance needs. And you’ll fend off the threat that automation brings.
It’s a winning situation, all the way around.
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