The Insurance Value Chain Trifecta
For years, the insurance industry has been buzzing with fluttered commentary of how insurtech intended to disrupt the insurance value chain and upend the brokerage relationship.
The pendulum seems to have swung back where insurtechs are now understanding the significance of the relationship between the customer and broker, in addition to the broker and insurance company.
The following Q&A offers direct insight from five industry leaders as to how they view the relationship between the insurance broker and carrier/wholesaler being influenced by insurtechs of the future. These insurance company executives represent the five newest additions to the BTV partner platform.
How do you view the relationship between the insurance broker and carrier/wholesaler being most influenced by insurtech in the future?
Steve Spray, Senior Vice President, Chief Insurance Officer, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies:
“While there is no doubt that insurtechs will continue to accelerate operational efficiency gains, the most profound impact that they will have on the relationship between agents and carriers is in expanding the boundaries of risk management. As we continue to work with insurtechs, we and our agency partners will discover new opportunities for profitable business growth by providing new risk transfer products and new risk mitigation/prevention services to consumers across both personal and commercial lines.”
Ben Sloop, Chief Operating Officer, AmWINS Group:
“Without question, technology has the potential to meaningfully alter the interactions between retail and wholesale brokers in the future. The potential benefits fall into two broad categories:
- An improvement in transparency and choice across a wider range of products, and
- More seamless interactions, leading to more efficient processes and improved speed of response.
If we band together as an industry and execute well, technology will not replace the deep retail-wholesale relationships built on trust and shared expertise; rather, technology has the potential to enable deeper, more meaningful relationships by streamlining the commoditized aspects of the process.”
Bill Devine, Senior Vice President, Business Insurance, Travelers:
“When the carrier/broker/insurtech relationship is a three-way partnership, insurtechs can bring a fresh perspective that can challenge us to think differently when addressing business problems. The creativity and agility of insurtechs, combined with the long-standing industry expertise of carriers and brokers, enable the creation of solutions that optimize areas like productivity and customer experience. Together, we can bring new value to the market faster than ever before.”
Tim Turner, Chairman & CEO, RT Specialty:
“We think about insurtech as an enabler, making us faster and better. Making us faster means making the insurance process more efficient; taking out friction and thus cost for all stakeholders including the retail agent, the wholesaler, the carrier, and the insured. Making us better means we can develop intelligence and insights making us more effective advisors to our clients around things like product development, market trends, and pricing. Ultimately, insurtech provides us with tools and capabilities that we don’t have to build ourselves, so that we can focus on what we do best, providing solutions and advice to our clients.”
Gerald Chiddick, Vice President, Marketing, Amerisure:
“For commercial insurance, the role of the agent will continue to evolve and the technologies used to enable that evolution will be invaluable to the customer/carrier/broker relationship. Insurtech will enhance the relationship and transform the value chain in many ways. It will help improve ease of doing business by simplifying the collection and transferal of data; simplify the understanding of insurance terms, processes and procedures; expedite financial transactions for claims, policy payment and other collateralized risk transfer methods; and create virtual/digital engagement for interpersonal connections that had previously required an in-person visit or meeting for safety, sales and service.”
The insurance value chain is built upon trusted relationships. While technology may make our industry more efficient, nimble, and accurate, the reality is that customer care and concern is not going away. If the insurtechs of the future are able to harness the power of this relationship and attach to technology, the results for our industry could be powerful.
Susan Hatten is the chief operating officer of BrokerTech Ventures.