Insurance carriers that prioritise technology investments to improve customer service are likely to gain a competitive edge over their less tech-savvy competitors, according to a new report from insurance platform provider Socotra.
The survey, titled Becoming the Preferred Provider: What Insurance Producers Want from Insurers, 2023, offers insights into the preferences of agents and brokers in the US and the UK when selecting insurance providers.
The report highlights the importance of offering a superior user experience (UX) for producers and their customers. Insurers who provide advanced technology platforms with enhanced convenience, transparency, and the ability to quote, bind, and deliver policies online will have a distinct advantage in the market, Socotra said.
Conducted by Global Surveyz Research, the survey involved 100 senior-level employees from insurance agents, independent agents, and insurance brokers in the US and UK. All respondents worked with tier two to five insurance carriers with up to $5 billion in direct written premiums.
“One hundred per cent (100%) of the agents and brokers surveyed said it was important to be able to quote, bind, and deliver policies online. This was remarkably consistent,” said Dan Woods, founder and CEO of Socotra. “Our survey respondents also prioritised paying premiums and filing claims online, suggesting these features are now necessary for carriers expecting to attract and retain the best producers.”
The report found that agents consider a user-friendly agent portal (54%), a user-friendly customer portal (50%), and digital claims processing capabilities (42%) as the most essential technologies. These findings underscore the evolving expectations of customers and highlight the need for insurance carriers to invest in UX to meet the demands of their agents and policyholders. Failing to prioritise user-friendly portals and efficient claims processing may result in carriers falling behind competitors and potentially losing valuable customers, Socotra said.
“Socotra understands and appreciates the importance of a connected ecosystem that provides data and services from an array of industry leading providers,” said Mike Benayoun, director of partnerships at Socotra. “Our partner network is committed to helping carriers deliver more value to their end users - whether those are agents, brokers, or policyholders.”
Agents and brokers play a crucial role as distribution channels for insurers, handling approximately 62% of all property and casualty business in the US and 67% in the UK. Therefore, understanding and acting on their expectations is vital for carriers' success, Socotra said.
The report also found that being first to market with new products and features is a significant consideration for 30% of agents, particularly those working with five or more carriers.
Click here to download the full report.
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