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Insurtech is not something insurance agents or other incumbents in the industry should fear. Quite the opposite – insurtech companies and products should be celebrated. Why? Because the adoption of technology and acceptance of these new players will be the leading driver of success for insurance agents both experienced and new.
The advancements these companies have made fundamentally and inextricably change the industry – for the good. While some insurtech companies do sell insurance coverage, plenty of insurtech businesses provide a more supportive role to the insurance ecosystem. Most noticeably for carriers. For example, some carriers have launched more formal partnerships with insurtech platforms, such as to expand distribution, improve customer service, underwriting, etc.
Unlike what’s happened in some other sectors, “InsurTech platforms largely prefer partnerships with incumbent insurance carriers from the outset,” notes an analysis from the Milken Institute. “For incumbent insurance firms, the opportunity to partner with InsurTech platforms is more attractive than building costly in-house capabilities.”
But partnering with insurtechs isn’t just reserved for insurance carriers or large agencies or brokerages with millions in premium. Independent insurance agents have a lot to gain from finding the right insurtechs, especially when it comes to leveraging technology like embedded insurance and digital distribution.
For agents, partnering with insurtech companies can be easier than you think. For example, one kind of insurtech company that agents can easily take advantage of is through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. Much like adding an email marketing platform or a CRM, some SaaS insurtech platforms can easily be added to start improving your operations quickly.
In this guide on how to easily succeed with InsurTech, we’ll dive into the areas to consider before adding an InsurTech platform and explore some examples of InsurTech uses.
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What’s Needed to Use InsurTech?
While you may think you need advanced technical knowledge to use insurtech, the reality is that many platforms are plug and play. In other words, you can sign up for an insurtech platform and essentially start using it right away, much as you would with other business tools like an online accounting platform.
That said, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to succeed with insurtech, rather than just adding platforms that don’t bring value to your business. Some factors to consider include:
Business Use Cases
An insurtech platform might be ripe with features, such as to improve claims processing or help you sell policies, but it’s still important to think about how you would specifically apply the technology to your business. If you’re primarily focused on sales and marketing, then you may want to look for insurtech tools that support these areas. More operational ones might be a better fit for carriers rather than independent agents, but it depends on the specifics of your situation.
As you start to add insurtech platforms, along with perhaps other SaaS tools not specifically related to insurance, it’s important to think about how they can be compatible with one another. That way, you can get the most out of each tool.
Some platforms might have direct integrations with one another, and others might support custom API integrations. So, with a little effort (perhaps with something like custom APIs you’d need temporary tech help), you might be able to connect your systems for more efficiency. For example, you might want to connect an insurance marketing tool with your CRM to help you capture new leads easily or an underwriting tool with your finance software.
While being cost-conscious can be an important way to stay profitable, you don’t want to be overly focused on pricing to the point where it prohibits you from adding insurtech tools that ultimately help you grow. Instead, aim to analyze the cost/benefit of different insurtech platforms at the outset to help you succeed with these tools, rather than hoping for a return on your investment after implementation. This ties back to having a clear use case in mind before adding insurtech platforms.
Examples of InsurTech Uses
As mentioned, it’s important to have a clear use case so you can be sure to get the most out of the tool. So, to help you understand how you might use insurtech in your own business, consider some examples of insurtech uses like:
In addition to the more general marketing platforms that exist for functions like email marketing, SEO, or social media, some insurtech platforms have more specific uses for insurance marketing. For example, our insurtech platform Wheelhouse enables insurance agents to easily create targeted landing pages that help funnel clients toward generating bindable quotes.
So, instead of sending prospects to a generic landing page from a source such as a blog post or social media ad, you could send them to one that speaks more specifically to their insurance needs. And while some general marketing platforms easily allow for customization, an insurtech platform might make it easier to connect your marketing efforts to your policy sales.
Another popular use case for insurtech is expanding distribution. Instead of having to obtain policy quotes such as by calling up insurers, insurtech platforms like Wheelhouse can be used to enable quoting capabilities across more distribution channels. With this type of tool, an insurance agent might decide to add quoting capabilities on their website, through social media, through partners’ websites, etc. Using insurtech to expand these distribution channels can give agents more opportunities to reel in customers.
Insurance agents may have enough on their plate with sales and marketing, yet providing great customer service is important to win renewals, gain referrals, and more. As such, insurtech platforms that can help automate some aspects of customer service can come in handy.
A platform might be able to automatically answer common policy questions, for example. Or, a platform could streamline areas like renewals, such as through automatic reminders and online processing. That way, clients don’t feel like they’re wasting time, nor do they feel like they need to rush to make a renewal decision if they’re notified well in advance.
Getting Started With InsurTech
While insurers may feel like it’s not the right time to invest in insurtech given the uncertainty in the world, clients have a growing expectation to conduct insurance operations digitally, so agents and carriers need to adapt.
“The insurance sector is right to stay the course on their efforts to innovate and embrace the digital transformation of their business — even as they face the ongoing uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 crisis,” says KPMG.
Succeeding with insurtech can be within reach for insurance agents, even if you don’t consider yourself particularly tech-savvy. The key is to examine the different features that insurtech platforms provide to see which ones could easily support your business, rather than making you completely change how you operate to fit the platform’s specifications.
Also look for tools that support fast implementation, such as many SaaS platforms. And ideally, they provide strong customer support to help you get started, rather than leaving you to figure out all the details of implementing the tool or platform on your own.
Take a look at reviews sites like Capterra and G2 to see if there is any public feedback on insurance tools you’re thinking about adding. If not, reach out to insurtech platforms to see if you can set up a demo. That way, you can get a deeper sense of whether you’d be able to succeed with the tool, both in terms of the capabilities the insurtech provides as well as getting a taste of what the customer support seems like.