Results from a new survey carried out by Aventus in partnership with the MGAA has revealed that fewer than 50% of MGAs offer a ‘modern customer experience’.
In the survey carried out at the end of June, 58% of MGAs revealed that they do not have a single view of the customer through their IT platform (with 18% not knowing if they have). Furthermore, out of 64 MGAA members who completed the survey, only 17 knew whether or not their customer data was in a format that provided commercially beneficial insight or the intelligence for advanced decision making.
Only 26% of MGA IT platforms offer ratings based on real-time third party data, and only 29% supply customer data for account-based marketing and cross-selling. This highlights a massive untapped opportunity for brokers if they can enhance their ability to access and make use of customer data.
An overwhelming 90% of brokers and MGAs believe investment in technology will accelerate recovery from COVID-19.
The survey was carried out by the Managing General Agents Association (MGAA) and Aventus, the insurance market’s first modular Operating System. Aventus is the IT system behind MGAs including Homelyfe and Stella, Sam White’s new women only motor MGA. 64 MGAs completed the survey which was distributed by the MGAA to its membership in June.
Commenting on the results, Peter Goodman, CEO & Founder at Aventus, said: “This survey proved to be a very interesting exercise. Clearly whilst the majority of MGAs have made great strides to make better use of data, driven through technology, there is still a long way to go if more than half still don’t have a single view of the customer, or perhaps more worryingly ‘don’t know’ if they do! This should be a given starting point for delivering customers the modern buying experiences they have come to expect from other sectors like retail.
“If 90% believe that technology will accelerate recovery, and 60% believe customer insight driven technology investment will deliver the greatest rewards, then there is a clear understanding of the need to change, and MGAs have quickly come to the realisation that digital practices are a vital part of the insurance ecosystem. The onus then must be on the software providers like Aventus to show MGAs a clear and affordable path to digitisation – no matter what their size or specialism. The future is about brokers and MGAs enabling themselves – all MGAs can become insurtechs now with help from the right insurtech partner and a desire to change.”
Encouragingly 55% of MGAs said they were aware of affordable technology solutions on the market for SME brokers and MGAs, and yet 33% still said they didn’t know what was available. This highlights either a lack of marketing on the part of software providers and/or perhaps a degree of inertia amongst those MGAs who haven’t yet invested time in identifying the affordable options available.
The ‘need for speed’ in the digital race has been well documented. The Aventus platform takes seconds to add a policy endorsement and hours to build a new product line. Amongst those surveyed, by comparison, 68% of MGAs said their existing platform takes more than a minute to add an endorsement; 41% said it takes more than a week to build a new product, and for 24% it takes several months!
Other results from the survey showed that only 17% of MGAs had one single IT platform, 70% have multiple platforms (more than 2) and more than half (52%) operate more than four platforms.
When asked what MGAs and brokers are doing to reach a stable ‘new normal’ post-COVID-19, the overwhelmingly popular response was investment in technology, e-trading and digital strategies (48%), followed by 16% who revealed that they are still thinking and planning. 12% didn’t know, 8% answered remote working, whilst another 8% simply said ‘work harder’.
According to the survey, MGA’s greatest challenge post-COVID-19 will be managing the issues around remote working (32%); hard market and capacity issues (20%); digitisation (20%); global economics (16%); a rise in claims (8%); poor reputation with customers (4%).
Aventus conducted the survey in partnership with the MGA and alongside its live broadcast webinar to debate the impact of COVID-19 and considerations for recovery. The panel included Action 365 and Pukka’s Sam White, Solicitor and CEO of Greenkite Associates, Sara Ager and Peter Goodman, CEO and Founder of Aventus. The Aventus operating system allows insurers, MGAs and brokers to offer modern buying experiences that consumers expect, whilst supporting and phasing out legacy systems.