Looking ahead: The future of digital for insurance brokers
Melanie Muise, COO, Navacord and Susan Scott, CTO, Navacord recently co-wrote a series of articles on the state of digital, both in our industry and at Navacord, the importance of prioritizing a digital strategy and the opportunities it presents. The misperception of our industry’s ability to adapt to the modern world may remain, but things are changing. Brokerages are making strides, though there’s definitely room for improvement when it comes to investing in, and leveraging, digital innovation. Smaller brokers in particular must consider the cost-value benefit and look for partnerships that can offer a digital ecosystem to support their growth in a fast-changing digital landscape.
As this year comes to a close and we reflect on the state of digital in our industry, and where we can improve, the top three takeaways are:
‘Going digital’ has changed and will continue to change. Looking forward, brokers need to better meet the quickly growing demand for digital solutions across different types of clients, many of whom demand real-time access to digital tools that help them manage their insurance needs. Beyond simply quoting or binding online, digital is now about harnessing an entire ecosystem that touches everything from compliance and regulatory to employees, financial and more. It’s about mining data and insights to quickly influence results in real-time, and implementing new technologies to broaden recruitment pools and talent pipelines. More than an investment in technology, it’s an investment in strong, strategic partnerships and deep relationships with your IT supply chain.
Harnessing the full value of a digital ecosystem is critical. Strengthening our businesses requires an overarching digital strategy that sustains the core value of what we do. This means leveraging technology and new capabilities as a way to improve customer and employee interactions through deeper, advice-based relationships supported by a digital offering that meets client demands in a seamless experience. It requires integrated platforms and tools that allow employees to make better-informed decisions faster, so they can focus on more high-value activities. For example, leveraging bots to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, using various integration technologies with third parties for fulfillment.
Leverage data to fuel growth. Brokers’ digital strategy should leverage data to deliver insights that drive competitive market, client, and product advantages. Using AI to parse and interpret large amounts of internal and third-party performance and behavioral data can deepen our understanding of the opportunity, which is more important than ever when offering solutions. By automating operations, brokers can create capacity to act on these insights and shorten turnaround times, offering tailored products that are easy to access, and maximizing aggregate client data to provide smoother and more accurate outcomes.
Looking ahead, digitization of our industry and bringing it into the modern age is critical. This isn’t easy but it’s necessary to increase efficiency, ensure growth, scale, and succession. The race to digitize is on and customers have already moved ahead as their needs and expectations continue to evolve. What’s clear is that the cost of doing nothing – or not enough – will far outweigh the benefits of digitization. To survive and thrive in the modern world means to invest in digital roadmaps, and to do it efficiently, with a steady pace.