This warning comes from a recent survey conducted among US agents and UK brokers.
The study, titled “Becoming the Preferred Provider: What Insurance Producers Want from Insurers, 2023,” published by Socotra, a leading provider of next-generation core platforms for modern insurers, reveals valuable insights into the preferences of agents and brokers when selecting insurance providers. The report focuses on the need for insurers to prioritize offering an enhanced user experience (UX) for both producers and their customers. Specifically, insurers who adopt more advanced technology platforms, offering greater convenience, transparency, and the ability to quote, bind, and deliver policies online, will gain a significant competitive advantage.
Commissioned by Socotra and carried out by Global Surveyz Research, a global research firm, the survey involved 100 senior-level employees from US and UK insurance agents, independent agents, and insurance brokers. All respondents worked with tier two to five insurance carriers with Direct Written Premiums of up to $5 billion.
“Remarkably consistent findings emerged from the survey, with 100% of the agents and brokers affirming the importance of the ability to quote, bind, and deliver policies online. Respondents also prioritised online premium payments and claims filing, indicating that these features are now prerequisites for carriers aiming to attract and retain top producers,” said Dan Woods, Founder and CEO of Socotra.
The report highlights the technologies considered most crucial by agents, including a user-friendly agent portal (54%), a user-friendly customer portal (50%), and the capability for digital claims processing (42%). These statistics reveal evolving customer expectations, emphasizing the need for insurance carriers to invest in UX to meet the demands of agents and policyholders. Failure to do so puts carriers at risk of falling behind competitors and potentially losing valuable customers. Consequently, it is vital for carriers to provide a seamless digital experience through user-friendly portals and efficient claims processing, ensuring long-term success in the industry.
“Socotra recognises the significance of a connected ecosystem that offers data and services from leading industry providers,” stated Mike Benayoun, Director of Partnerships at Socotra. “Our partner network is committed to assisting carriers in delivering increased value to end users, be it agents, brokers, or policyholders.”
Agencies and brokers play a crucial role as distribution channels for insurers, accounting for approximately 62% of all Property and Casualty business in the US and around 67% in the UK. Consequently, it is vital for carriers to comprehend and respond to their expectations.
The report also reveals that being the first to introduce new products and features is a significant consideration for 30% of agents when selecting carriers. This figure rises for agents working with five or more carriers.
In conclusion, the report’s key finding underscores the importance for carriers to prioritise customer satisfaction and experience over cost considerations. Forward-thinking insurers who proactively enhance both agent and customer experiences will gain a competitive advantage as preferred carriers. It is recommended that carriers evaluate the benefits of employing a versatile and modern platform to automate operations and expedite the introduction of new products, thereby fostering robust partnerships with agents through their offerings and services.
For further information, download the full report.