Disruption is happening all around us:
- UBER has become the world’s largest ridesharing organization and they own no vehicles.
- AIRBNB has become the world’s largest hotel organization and they own no hotels.
- FACEBOOK has become the largest media organization and they own no media.
- TURO is starting a rental Peer-to-peer car sharing service and they own no cars.
- AXA and ALIBABA collaboration
Let’s look at it from a different perspective. Which century old brands have died in the last five years?
Look at the predictions of century old brands that will die within the next 12 months.
Forrester predicts that Brokers will have little time to react when we reach the tipping point in insurance distribution. Their estimate is six months!
The best way to proactively prepare for and to protect the distribution network is to look at what consumers want and need, and then give it to them. In every survey I review, it comes down to the same elements. Consumers want:
- A trusted advisor
- A choice of insurance products
- The ultimate ease of doing business
Brokers excel on points one and two, but can do a lot better on the “ease of doing business” aspect.
We understand that some consumers will still come to the office to do their insurance transactions, some will use snail mail, some will use email, some (growing number) will use social media, mobility, web etc. We understand that brokers need to compose and be efficient in all delivery modes.
Let’s focus on the growing number i.e. the future. What is the need of that group? This group wants to access their broker by whatever means (Web, Smartphone, Text, etc.), whenever they want to (11 AM or 11 PM), and from wherever they are (travelling Europe or from the cottage). That is the ease of doing business referred to in these surveys; one of them suggested that 52% of consumers in the broker distribution network will consider moving to the direct, bank, or other channels if brokers do not provide the ease of doing business as defined above.
We at Keal believe that consumers are no longer asking, they are now dictating the way brokers will do business. Understanding and believing this phenomena, we have shaped our vision and products on a 360⁰ Consumer Experience; “Consumer to Insurer, with the Control and Support of the Broker”.
Your protection against disruption is to make sure your systems provide consumer access in real time and in a 24/7 time frame. Consumers need to do inquiries, access their documents, make a policy change, or at least request a policy change, and of course, get a quote.
You as a broker need to make these functionalities available to the consumer or consumer groups you choose. Incorporate this in your marketing strategy, decide which transactions can go to the insurer without your intervention and which need to be addressed by a CSR. As you are doing this all transactions need to be recorded in your Broker Management System. This will ensure that you keep an accurate record for Errors & Omissions.
Today, brokers can survey their clients and prospects (consumers) in real time. Why not do this after certain transactions like claims or after every second renewal, etc. An unacceptable grade will be uploaded to your BMS in real time so you (broker) can act on it.
Change Breeds Opportunities! I hope you join Keal as we partner to develop the technological tools and reap the rewards of Change for the broker distribution network.