In recent years, the segment of medium and large commercial lines has worked intensively to further develop the distribution ecosystem through new partnerships and expansion strategies. Additionally, carriers in this segment have adopted new technologies for distribution, not only to improve internal operations and processes, but also to further support the success of distributors, whether retail agencies, brokers, wholesalers or MGAs. However, not all solutions are meeting the expectations of carrier executives today, according to a new SMA study
The recently released report from SMA, Distribution Technologies for Medium/Large Commercial Lines: Carrier Plans in 2023 and Beyond, includes the current status of the digital opportunities that network operators are offering to channel partners, an assessment of the barriers to the delivery of new functions and network operators’ plans to deliver new solutions. Findings are based on a survey of airline executives focused on the mid/large commercial market.
Across the sales value chain, insurer executives are generally dissatisfied with digital sales opportunities, particularly earlier in the sales process. There is significant dissatisfaction with digital appetite solutions, which is not entirely surprising given the low level of automation in this space. The reality is that distributors often misunderstand a carrier’s appetite – a challenge that has existed for years. Market conditions can cause an airline’s appetite to bob and sometimes they can withdraw certain risks in writing. In other cases, they may have an increased appetite in a particular class. While improved communication can help alleviate pain points, technical solutions that support appetite matching between carriers and merchants will be essential to the continued success of carrier-merchant relationships.
In contrast, insurers’ satisfaction with their digital offerings for the service is significantly higher than revenue, with claims inquiry skills being rated highest among executives. Insurers continue to invest in claims as it is one of the most important touchpoints for policyholders. However, a recent SMA survey of agents shows that carrier partners need to improve claims handling capabilities, with approximately half of agents and brokers in mid-size and large businesses want carriers to prioritize projects when downloading and filing claims.
These insights from the report underscore the need for carriers to evolve the way they interact with and serve channel partners. Insurers that focus on strategies that allow merchants to place insurance coverage efficiently and competitively with minimal friction and a superior customer experience will be the ones to contend with going forward.
For more information on distribution technology strategies and investments for medium/large commercial lines, read our latest research report, Distribution Technologies for Medium/Large Commercial Lines: Carrier Plans in 2023 and Beyond. This report is part of SMA’s research series based on surveys and interviews with insurers, agencies, brokers, MGAs and others in the distribution channel, including insights from ReSource Pro’s extensive distribution customer footprint. Contact the author for more information on these new sales research and consulting services.
Contact the author for more information.
About the author
Mark breading is known for its insights into the future of the insurance industry and innovative use of technology. Mark advises insurers and technology companies on forward-thinking strategies for success in the digital age. His inventive methods, fresh ideas, creative conceptualizations and ability to integrate InsurTech and transformational technology into business strategies are unparalleled. He also leads SMA’s research program, publishes 25-30 research reports per year and conducts various custom research projects for insurance and provider customers. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, transformational technologies, customer experience and digital strategies has earned him a ranking as one of the “Top Global Influencers in InsurTech” by InsurTech News and Onalytica and a place among the ten finalists for the “Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award”. “
Prior to joining SMA in 2009, Mark spent 25 years at IBM, including positions as Global Insurance Strategist and Director of Global Financial Services Executive Conferences, in addition to senior consulting and marketing roles. Mark co-developed IBM’s Account Based Marketing program and led the global project office to implement ABM across all industry verticals worldwide. Mark has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing and business strategy and has been advising insurers around the world for nearly 30 years.
About SMA, a ReSource Pro company
At Strategy Meets Action, our clients drive their strategic initiatives and accelerate their transformation journeys by leveraging our forward-thinking insights, deep vendor insights and deep industry expertise. Strategy Meets Action is a consultancy that works exclusively with insurers, MGAs and providers in the P&C market. For more information, visit www.strategymeetsaction.com.
About ReSource Pro
ReSource Pro provides insurance organizations with integrated operational solutions to improve growth, profitability and insurance outcomes. Headquartered in New York, ReSource Pro’s global service centers attend to customers’ operational needs 24/7. The company is recognized as an industry thought leader and has been named one of the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies annually since 2009. It is known for its focus on innovation, service excellence and trusted partnerships, as well as its unique insurance operations productivity platform. ReSource Pro’s 5,000+ employees provide dedicated support to hundreds of insurance organizations, achieving a consistent customer retention rate of +97% over a decade. Visit www.resourcepro.com for more information.
SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)