Insurance carriers who prioritize technology investments that make it easier for brokers and agents to provide better customer service are likely to steal business from their less tech-savvy competitors, according to a new survey of U.S. agents and UK brokers.
Insurers can now gain insights into what agents and brokers, collectively known as producers , are looking for when selecting providers in “Becoming the Preferred Provider: What Insurance Producers Want from Insurers, 2023,” a new report published by Socotra, the next-generation core platform provider for modern insurers.
As a casual browse of Trustpilot reveals, online selling doesn’t always go smoothly and some customers like to complain. Among other findings, the report notes that insurers must offer a better user experience (UX) for producers and their customers. In particular, insurers who provide more advanced technology platforms with more convenience, more transparency, and the ability to quote, bind, and deliver a policy online will have a greater advantage over those who do not.
Socotra commissioned this survey by Global Surveyz Research, a global research firm, of 100 full-time employees from insurance agents, independent agents, and insurance brokers in the U.S. and UK, all of whom hold senior positions of vice president or higher. All respondents worked with tier two to five insurance carriers with up to $5B in Direct Written Premiums.
“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. Our survey respondents also prioritized paying premiums and filing claims online, suggesting these features are now necessary for carriers expecting to attract and retain the best producers,” said Dan Woods, Socotra’s Founder and CEO.
The report shows that agents rate the most essential technologies as: a user-friendly agent portal (54%); a user-friendly customer portal (50%); and the ability to offer digital claims processing (42%). These statistics shed light on the evolving expectations of customers, indicating that insurance carriers must prioritize investments in UX to meet the demands of their agents and policyholders. Failing to do so puts carriers at risk of falling behind their competitors and potentially losing valuable customers. Thus, it is imperative for carriers to provide a seamless digital experience through user-friendly portals and efficient claims processing, thereby enhancing the overall customer experience and ensuring long-term success in the industry.
“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.”
Agencies and brokers remain a vital distribution channel for insurers, placing around 62% of all Property and Casualty business in the U.S., and around 67% of all P&C business in the UK, which is why it’s so important for carriers to understand and act on their expectations.
The report also finds that being first to market with new products and features is an important consideration for 30% of agents when they are deciding which carriers to work with, a figure which rises for agents that work with five or more carriers.
In conclusion, the main finding of the report emphasizes the importance for carriers to prioritize customer satisfaction and experience, placing them above cost considerations. Forward-thinking insurers who take proactive measures to enhance both agent and customer experiences will have a competitive advantage in becoming agents’ preferred carriers. It is recommended that carriers evaluate the benefits of utilizing a versatile and contemporary platform to automate operations and accelerate the introduction of new products, thereby fostering a robust agent partnership through their offerings and services.
To learn more, download the report.