Tapping into insurtech's potential

Traditional brokerages can still get in on the insurtech revolution. But where should they start?

Tapping into insurtech's potential

Business strategy


Insurance startups often look to capitalize on technologies such as on-demand insurance, blockchain and cryptocurrencies – and they’re attracting the savviest customers as a result. While it’s not too late for traditional insurers to get into the latest technologies to stay competitive, diving into something new can get confusing. So how can traditional brokers keep up with these increasingly advanced innovations?

Joe Sultana, managing director of broker solutions at Applied Systems, believes brokers just need to pick the right tech provider to work with if they want to stay in touch with cutting-edge developments.

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

Sultana also advises brokers to try an alternative approach to using technology in insurance sales – offering customers the option to self-serve using digital methods or providing an omni-channel method for customers to engage with brokers.

“What we’re seeing with many of the insurtechs and startups is that they are very much driven purely by tech, and they don’t have the expertise and support that a broker can give a consumer,” he says. “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 after 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 could also be holding brokers back from fully embracing newer technology, Sultana adds. “Brokers often feel that some of the technology they have from incumbent suppliers is just not fit for purpose, because it’s legacy,” he says. “For a broker to have to do this in isolation – for example, to try to build a mobile app to communicate with a legacy platform – is just beyond many of them.”

Although legacy systems can leave brokers lost as they try to navigate the technology landscape, Sultana says a good tech partner can more than make up for a company’s unfamiliarity with the newest innovations. He advises brokers to do their research, get some advice and talk to customers about what they want before deciding on a partner.

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