This article was produced in partnership with bolt access
Karen Surca of Insurance Business America sat down with Nicholas Lindblom, director of marketing for bolt access, to discuss an industry-specific whitepaper outlining the role bolt access plays in the insurance space and the unique challenges facing independent insurance agents in today’s competitive market.
All industries have had to adjust their working business models to accommodate the fallout from COVID-19. Although we are arguably at the tail end of a global pandemic, the technological changes that organizations of all sizes have implemented have permanently altered the way their businesses are conducted.
Nowhere is this new business model more apparent than in the insurance sector. While the insurance industry has often been seen as reluctant to adopt new technological changes, many independent insurance brokers have had to rely on digital platforms and available technology to continue to be profitable.
In a recent whitepaper presented by bolt access entitled “Important Considerations for Independent Agents Today”, the need for independent insurance agents to “push beyond their traditional boundaries” is highlighted.
The whitepaper also argues that it is in the independent insurance agent’s best interest to utilize insurtech solutions to help connect to larger US-based insurance carriers when looking to expand existing business.
The main role that bolt access plays in the insurance space is giving independent insurance agents instant access to the nation’s top insurance providers. Carriers also benefit from this as it’s helping to power their product distribution.
“Independent agents, especially newer or less experienced, face a number of challenges trying to obtain a direct appointment from top carriers. As a result, their customers might not be getting the best coverage for their specific needs,” Nicholas Lindblom, director of marketing with bolt access explained.
“With bolt access, we give agents the ability to write with the top carriers through our online platform without those challenges, meaning they won’t have specific volume requirements to hit or a certain size book of business to be eligible,” Lindblom added.
Meeting the inherent challenges
The primary focus of “Important Considerations for Independent Agents Today” is identifying and addressing the built-in obstacles facing independent insurance brokers in today’s consumer-driven insurance climate.
The whitepaper also sets out to offer solutions to fix these problems. Basing insights on years of experience working in a facilitator role between the independent agents and the well-established big insurance carriers, bolt access can provide some tangible direction for independent agents.
“It comes down to enhancing the role (of the independent agent). An agent knows the details for an insurance file and is viewed as a trusted advisor,” Lindblom stated.
“We want independent agents to know that they can leverage their advisory role to become a complete one-stop insurance destination for an online consumer.”
What bolt access has found is that successful independent agents can push beyond their specialty area.
“Agents are expanding their business models beyond a few lines of business or a specific niche and not limiting themselves geographically. They are pushing themselves outside of their current scope,” Lindblom explained.
The whitepaper points out that the agents that are navigating the online market well, are also very accepting of new technologies such as the online platform that bolt access provides them.
These agents also understand that there is a tremendous level of data that needs to be accessed to work effectively in the consumer-driven insurance space.
As Lindblom views it, the key is to “successfully shift the consumer mentality of what it takes to get a policy right. The long-form traditional method is becoming a pain-point for consumers.”
The ability to understand the needs of the consumer, pivot to meet those needs, implement new technologies to achieve them, and shift the overall business model are the key solutions outlined in the whitepaper.
The biggest challenge then remains how the independent insurance agents will utilize the knowledge about the direction of the insurance industry and how to adopt some of the solutions that bolt access has drawn attention to.
The biggest takeaway
Attempting to navigate the road ahead for an independent insurance agent may throw up some detours, but bolt access has provided a solid map to turn to when independent agents are choosing the most profitable route to take.
“The world and COVID have had such a big impact on the way insurance agents do business. We are starting to move in the right direction but there are still a host of challenges that agents need to overcome, especially when it comes to current customer expectations. Implementing solutions to help simplify and streamline your insurance operations will be a key factor in overcoming today’s challenges,” Lindblom concluded.
Read the full whitepaper – Important considerations for independents agency today – now.
Nicholas Lindblom is the director of marketing at bolt access, one of the fastest-growing market access providers for independent insurance agents. He and his team are tasked with helping more agents discover the power of insurance technology and how it can be leveraged to overcome some of today’s toughest challenges.