That was the message of the final session of DIG IN 2022, “Rethinking the Agent/Broker Experience – Bring Back the Agents.” Presented by Kelly Kage, CIO of Surety at Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Heather Cavallaro, VP at Travelers, the leaders discussed insurers can further improve processes for agents and brokers and, ultimately, enhance the customer’s experience.
“How does technology play a role in making us successful here? It’s not just the systems, but it has to be a critical partnership between the technology teams and the experts in the agent and broker space supporting the field there,” Kage explained. “The relationships are number one – you can’t automate the relationships. You can’t build that into a system.”
Technology and analytics, the speakers noted, should be used to supplement relationships between agents and their work, as well as agents and their clients. Through a number of internal studies conducted by Travelers, married with external data, the company found a series of opportunities for improving the agents’ experience. Experience-driven data is critical for this development, and Travelers found that digitalization does ultimately simplify and expedite agent and broker processes.
Cavallaro added that carriers also have internal unstructured data, found in sources such as emails, which can serve as beneficial input. Though it may be challenging, Cavallaro said carriers should consider using this data to “try to streamline some operational processes that can get to the underwriting and proposal processes faster, and really improve that turnaround time to get back to your agents to serve their clients better. This is where automation and artificial intelligence really come into play to speed that process up.”
To further supplement these relationships, Kage and Cavallaro believe that agents should receive ongoing training in their careers and become better equipped with vast data information and industry knowledge – a theme echoed throughout the DIG IN conference.
“You really have to think about how you can supplement that relationship, how you can add value to the agents to make their lives easier, help them get business done faster and help that relationship,” Kage added. “You also want agents to be experts in their field. You want the customers to come to them because they have the answers.” The speakers further emphasized that continued learning and education can only benefit the agents, as well as the carriers.
The speakers concluded that carriers must not forget about their agents and brokers, as they are essential to the company’s overall success. “The key takeaway is that agents and brokers are critical to the success of the carriers, and making sure we have the right relationships there, how we go about streamlining the process and having technology support that,” Kage stated.
Source: Digital Insurance