Going digital: How do insurance brokers start?

It’s a fast-paced landscape, so how can you take your first steps?

Going digital: How do insurance brokers start?

Insurance News

By Lucy Hook

By now, we already know that if you haven’t started adapting to digital technologies, you should have. But with so much information out there and a lightning-fast pace of change, where should you start?

When it comes to providing customers with a tip-top digital experience, brokers need to begin with the right support, according to Joe Sultana, managing director of broker solutions at Applied Systems.

“There’s lots of legacy in the market which makes it difficult for brokers to use mobile technology. The first thing brokers need to do is think about having a technology provider that allows them to do all of this,” Sultana told Insurance Business.

Offering customers the option to self-serve using digital methods, and embracing an overall omni-channel method, can give brokers the competitive edge in today’s world – even compared to insurtechs, the MD said.

“What we’re seeing with many of the insurtechs and start-ups, is that they are very much driven purely by tech, and don’t have the expertise and support that a broker can give a consumer,” Sultana commented.

“We allow the broker to give their consumer choice. If they want to pick up the phone, that will always be there, as will face-to-face, but if they want to use digital – whether that’s during out of hours, or because it’s their preferred method of communication – we allow that to happen. It’s about giving brokers the ability to offer a blended customer service.”

Legacy systems are often accused of holding the industry back from innovating, and brokers are no stranger to this, the MD continued.

“Brokers often feel that some of the technology they have from incumbent suppliers is just not fit for purpose, because it’s legacy. For a broker to have to do this in isolation, for example to try and build a mobile app to communicate with a legacy platform, is just beyond many of them,” Sultana said.

Legacy systems, coupled with an overwhelming technological landscape, can leave many unsure on where to begin: “Many brokers feel that some of this technology is not reachable for them, because they don’t know where to start, or where to go,” Sultana explained.

His advice to brokers is to do their research, take some advice, and talk to customers about what they would like, before deciding on a partner – ideally one that is investing heavily in new technology. Ultimately though, brokers should keep in mind that it’s “not about changing the business entirely” but embracing digital and moving forwards.

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