Since its emergence into the daily lives of individuals far and wide, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a tool for insurance carriers to change the way they service and provide coverage to their insureds.
“The Internet of Things has really enabled carriers to become more creative with their coverage and value-added services that they’re able to offer clients,” says Laird Rixford, CEO of insurance marketing, rating and management software provider Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC). “There’s some concern around how disruptive this could possibly be, and what brokers can do to evolve with these times and adapt their services to fit the IoT environment.”
Providing easy and ready access to information, IoT is empowering consumers to interact with companies at an unprecedented level. Think Amazon’s Dash Button, Progressive’s Snapshot device or wearable health trackers. While IoT devices are often the makings of large corporations, brokers can join in by being a part of the distribution channel of this technology.
“Work with insurance carriers to distribute those IoT and talk to your clients about how IoT can help them save money at home, such as with internet-connected thermostats,” Rixford explains. “These are things brokers can talk about and include in their service offerings that’ll enable them to be part of the IoT.”
IoT also gives brokers the opportunity to boost their own business by wrapping coverage for IoT devices into existing policies or offering added coverage.
“IoT options are becoming more and more expensive. Brokers can add them under a client’s umbrella policy, a personal articles policy or something similar,” he suggests.
So, will brokers start offering on-demand coverage at the push of a button? Not anytime soon, Rixford states, but what brokers can do is create ancillary offerings, as well as coverage for IoT devices.
“What that does is it continues to create and build the relationships between brokers and clients,” he concludes.