“Insurance is an elevator asset industry. The assets ride up in the elevator in the morning and ride down at the end of the day.” – Ralph Blust, president of Insureon Solutions.
A new report from research firm Autonomous has found that artificial intelligence (AI) is set to take over 2.5 million financial jobs by 2033 – and a whopping 885,000 of jobs under threat are in the insurance industry.
Technological innovation brings change and efficiencies that often impact industries from a human capital standpoint. But those efficiencies can also have a positive impact on the workforce, and subsequently on the end-consumer.
“Innovation inherently will cause changes to the insurance workforce, but I think the dire predictions of disruption to the independent agent are quite frankly overblown,” Blust told Insurance Business. “The Autonomous report suggests AI is on track to kill 2.5 million financial jobs by 2033. But 2033 is so far into the future, it’s really hard to predict.
“Take the iPhone as the example. It was first released in 2007, and just over a decade later, look at the progress we’ve made with telecommunications and technology. Can something occur within the financial services industry that can cause that type of dimension shift? The answer’s yes. Is it happening right now? No, it’s not.”
What’s happening right now is that “technology is providing efficiency,” according to Blust. It’s providing the ability to better evaluate risk, better assess exposures, provide more appropriate coverages for exposures and provide more appropriate pricing for those exposures. In essence, it’s enabling the insurance broker to offer more bespoke products and services to clients.
Blust’s advice to technology resistors is: “Adapt or be left behind.” Technology enables easy access to product. It gives insurance manufacturers (carriers) the ability to get bespoke products to an
agent quickly and efficiently, who can then distribute them quickly to insureds.
“The tools in the toolbox of a contemporary broker are so much broader than they were 10 years ago,” Blust added. “The ability to access information about new risks and exposures, new court rulings and new products enables the broker to be that expert consultant. Being that expert, trusted advisor is easier than it has been in the past because of new technology. I believe that’s the biggest opportunity an agent has over the next decade – to define their value alongside technology and use new tools to grow their business.”