Today we spoke with Jeff McCann, CEO of Apollo, and Alexandra Spence, AVP distribution at Berkley Canada, about what the future holds for insurance distribution.
In an insurance industry facing looming transformations across the value chain, we discussed the emergence of embedded insurance and digital distribution ecosystems.
Here’s what we learnt:
Meet customers where they are. Jeff McCann says that consumer trust in the insurance industry has been severely impacted by the last year. Whilst e-commerce and consumer electronics brands have reinforced customer devotion, insurance has struggled. When insurance firms partner with household names in tech, they can lean on their credibility to build the reach of their products.
27% of our audience have seen their firm fundamentally change their distribution strategy, with a further 47% seeing significant acceleration of change in the last year.
Embedded insurance could take the pressure off insurers’ marketing teams. We have seen a trend in recent years towards insurers taking their consumer facing front-ends more seriously. But embedded insurance could change the equation – if an insurer can collaborate with a higher profile consumer platform for marketing, the insurer can redirect parts of their marketing budget towards product development.
37% believe that insurers will have to work as hard as ever before to build brand recognition, while 26% say that insurance brands will increasingly take a back seat to their partners.
Distribution partnerships can strengthen consumer protections and security. Alexandra Spence says that, although customers are becoming gradually more protective of their personal data, distribution partnerships can protect customers and insurers from fraud. Multiple checks and balances come from partnerships – for example, if an insurer partners with a lettings agent, they can double-verify customer identity with different documentation from each party.
Distribution may look very different in 10 years, but don’t expect this to happen overnight. Jeff McCann points to a striking statistic about the present realities of uptake – in his territory of Canada, just 1.3% of insurance policies are sold online. There is a long way to go for insurance transformation, with many still in the process of ditching paper for e-commerce. McCann says that embedded insurance is the future of distribution – but insurtechs have to prove the concept first.
Matt Kenyon is a content producer at Insurtech Insights.
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