Within the next three years, insurers expect brokers to be effectively using digital and social media for marketing, prospecting and lead qualification. But there’s still a lot of work to be done, with less than 10% of the membership of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) active on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Carriers’ business and operating models are being disrupted by a multitude of forces, prompting Accenture to conduct a poll of more than 400 senior executives at large and medium-sized life, P&C (both personal lines and small commercial) and multiline carriers in 20 countries.
Insurers on average expect 31% of P&C Personal Lines sales to be concluded digitally from start to finish in three years time; also 24% of Commercial and 26% of Life sales.
A total of 53% of carriers expect to use aggregators under sub-brands in three years’ time, while 72% are planning to form new distribution partnerships in the near future, or have already done so.
But brokers have to be proactive to avoid disruption. Statistics from the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) report that 11% of Ontario brokers don’t have a company website, and only 44% of websites are optimized for mobile devices.
In Manotiba, 36% of brokers don’t have a website and 70% of those that do, don’t cater to mobile users. British Colombia is making the most headway on mobile and 88% of brokers there do have a website.
Commenting on the transition to digital, IBAO president Doug Heaman said: “If you’re unsure how to grow or where to start, look at what your peers are doing, ask about their plans for growth and reach out to the association for guidance. There are a lot of successful digital brokerages in Ontario, and success leaves clues.”