Do you recall when insurance was slow to change? Those days are gone. Here are five industry developments to watch.
1. Amazon poised to disrupt financial services
Bain & Co. found that more than half of U.S. respondents "are willing to buy financial services from established tech players," according to Insurance Journal. For example, young and unbanked adults may say yes to a new "checking-account-like offering" from Amazon, which is currently the "most trusted" tech player of them all.
"Once Amazon establishes a co-branded basic banking service, Bain & Co. expects the Internet giant to move steadily but surely into other financial products including ... property/casualty insurance ... and term life insurance," Insurance Journal said.
2. Top P&C insurers, going digital in new ways
State Farm has its eye on driverless cars, with patented wearable technology to keep drivers from getting distracted. Meanwhile, Progressive, with its reputation for forward-thinking on UBI, is exploring a new model for the relationship between insurer and insurtech firm. Allstate is solving challenges digitally, too. Following last year's hurricanes, it used digital tech to innovate claims response and is now seeking to extend "that transformation across the business," Digital Insurance said.
4. Market dynamics shifting from captive to independent agents
Nationwide currently employs a mix of exclusive and independent agents, but over the next two years, it intends to move to a strictly independent model. Agents who are currently exclusive are invited to transition to independent status.
Nationwide explained the move as part of an effort "to provide exclusive agents with more choices so they can ... be successful and maintain long-term viability," Insurance Journal said. Add to that, current "market dynamics and the desire of agents to shift from traditional exclusive agencies toward more integrated agency models make now an opportune time."
5. Industry partnerships offer modern tools for insurance sales and support
TechCanary is a cloud-based, analytics-driven provider of Salesforce CRM insurance solutions. This year, it's partnering with Bold Penguin, an insurtech firm with an online marketplace for P&C agents. Together, they're streamlining and modernizing the way sales and support is done - and they're not the only place where insurtech and industry partnerships are making waves.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
With Policy Scan we have increased efficiency in our workflow and reduced our exposure on the risk.
Silvervine’s core administration solutions easily handles multiple carriers within multiple states, including accounting, payment processing, immediate policy issuance and endorsements.
What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.