Will technology really displace brokers?

Industry expert explains what brokers can do to adapt

Will technology really displace brokers?

Insurance News

By Lucy Hook

It’s a question that is often asked: how will brokers be affected by the coming technological revolution? From AI to driverless cars, the perceived technologies of the future are fast becoming technologies of today – and there’s no doubt that the entire insurance industry needs to keep up.

“Technology will be a threat if you do not adapt to it,” Ashish Nangla, senior director of insurtech & digital transformation at Synechron, told Insurance Business. “In 2018, if a company is not looking into things like predictive analytics and does not have an eye on AI, I would definitely say that technology is a threat to them,” he commented.

The key for the insurance industry, which is often accused of being slow off the mark when it comes to technological take-up, is adapting to the fast pace of change and making sure they are not left behind, the director explained.

One thing is for sure – change is inevitable, and brokers may have the most work to do.

“The latest technology trends will definitely change how the market works and how people interact with each other, as well as how things are presented in the market. There’s going to be a lot of change around customer engagement and how insurers communicate with their customers, and that might lead to disintermediation,” Nangla warned.

The role of the intermediary is likely to face the most disruption compared to insurance carriers, he went on to say.

“In my opinion there are a lot of ways in which this is going to disrupt the agent market, or at least change the way that they work and the meaning of what they’ve been doing so far,” Nangla said.

With that in mind, it’s key that brokers embrace new technologies and ways of working.

“The agents that are just doing sales, they will be disrupted for sure. But agents who are working on value-added services, and who are establishing value in the insurance chain, will be able to continue as a business,” Nangla commented.

Earlier this week, Synechron launched a new suite of insurtech accelerators designed to equip incumbent industry players with the technological know-how to keep up with the insurtechs that threaten to revolutionise insurance.

“Insurers are looking to implement the latest technology to address real-world problems and avoid being disrupted by start-ups entering the industry,” Synechron co-founder & CEO, Faisal Husain, said. “These technologies bring benefit to insurers, brokers and underwriters by allowing them to better predict customer needs, personalise every aspect of the customer interaction, manage risks and streamline processes to higher efficiency.”

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