The Age of the Digital Insurance Agent
We are now officially in the digital era. The advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) has triggered a broad trend towards automated services that will impact almost every industry across the globe. The way our parents used services and interacted with companies is dying a fast death. Waiting in line for human service and filling out a stack of forms will be largely forgotten within years, not decades.
From investment firms offering automated retirement accounts, to retail franchises using virtual shopping assistants, and banks reducing the number of physical branches—everything is going online and becoming more efficient and cost-effective. A business that resists this global trend will fall by the wayside. Adapting to this digital age will be a simple case of survival. For companies wanting to thrive rather than merely survive, a comprehensive digital strategy will be what makes or breaks them.
Until recently, this trend had failed to reach certain legacy industries, such as life insurance, due their particular structure. Now, however, with the rise of technology companies selling life insurance online, we’re seeing clients offered a simple, rapid approval process that dramatically reduces the timeframe and difficulty of securing policy coverage.
It has therefore become inevitable for agents to begin utilizing the right equipment if they wish to remain competitive in the marketplace.
Electronic Health Records are exactly what they sound like — a digital version of a patient’s medical history. Not only do they make storing the information far easier than their physical alternatives, they strongly expedite the life insurance underwriting process from 4-6 weeks into as little as a few minutes.
Agents should always be on the lookout to maximize their clients’ experiences and there’s no better way to achieve this than by saving them time.
- Simple, Rapid Online Approvals
The host of large technology companies dominating market share in the life insurance sales industry isn’t a mystery.
By creating what is basically an automated funnel for clients, taking them from browsing policies to securing coverage in record time, they completely flipped the industry’s traditional model on its head.
Online Approvals’ biggest value prop is that it empowers clients to journey through the life insurance application process by themselves, on-demand, so they get the best of both worlds — ultimate convenience and speed.
Going forward, the only way for individual agents to match these tech competitors is for them to incorporate the same software.
- Illustration Generator
When it comes to a life insurance agent’s tasks, few are as time-consuming and tedious as creating policy illustrations.
Fortunately, agents can now rely on illustration generators to produce illustrations in real-time for any policy, which includes the risk-adjusted return, risk & volatility history, and term vs. perm comparison.
Additionally, these statistics can be measured against both the S&P 500 and the 10 year treasury bond.
It’s difficult to overestimate the amount of resources this saves agents. No longer do they need support aids creating one-off illustrations or be forced to redo them entirely due to slight changes in the nature of the policy.
If you haven’t yet integrated this tool into your work routine, it’s advisable to do so now.
- Table Summary
Life insurance policies are known to be exceptionally complex with most averaging dozens of pages of confusing jargon.
Normally, clients require an agent to go through a permanent policy and interpret it for them, but this tool conveniently eliminates this issue.
When used by clients, they can view a policy’s most significant points in a brief table so they don’t need to speak to an agent to understand it.
This convenience serves both the consumer who can journey through the entire process by themselves and agents who don’t have to spend valuable time articulating it for clients.
The Future of Insurance
Automated self-service is impacting the insurance industry at a rapid pace. The 2020 Applied Systems Digital Agency Report (ASDA) surveyed over 700 insurance companies and found that insurers who embrace the emerging technology of self-service portals and digital agents are seeing better returns on their investment and enjoying increased profits. In the US, approximately 88% of insurance companies either have a digital strategy or acknowledge the need to develop one as soon as possible.
A digital agent creates a one-stop interface between a customer and the insurance carriers’ internal systems. From underwriting, policy management, claims, and quotes; traditional insurance products and services are becoming almost instant. We see customers preferring automated services more and more, which will drive the direction of insurance companies. The digital era is forcing a simple decision upon the broader insurance industry: you either keep up with client needs or you cease to be competitive. It’s not so much about keeping an eye on your rivals; it’s about knowing what the market is looking for.
A New Composition
Not surprisingly, it’s the large established players in the insurance game that are adapting to the digital era at the fastest pace. Independent and small to medium-sized insurers are lagging behind the curve. If the status quo remains, the next decade could see a fundamental shake-up in the insurance industry with large players being the only survivors. The window of opportunity is closing at a rapid pace and the game of musical chairs has already begun.
Small to medium-sized companies that play their cards right can see the digital era not as a threat, but as an opportunity. Online portals are the easiest way to expand your company footprint and attract new business from further afield.
Forecasting shifts in market share brought on by the digital era may not be an exact science, but what’s clear is that a failure to meet the changing demands of customers is the downfall of any business. The world is going digital quickly and people have come to expect the convenience of real-time, online services. The time to act is now; the alternative is to fade into the history of analog.