At the 2016 IASA conference, held in San Antonio, Texas - Novarica, Erie Insurance and ValueMomentum collaborated to present a session titled Digital Journey: From Strategy to Implementation. Matthew Josefowicz, President/CEO Novarica, who was one of the panelists in the session shared his perspective on digital for P/C insurance. In his session, Matt showcased a list of sample capabilities derived from a bigger list of 100 technology-enabled business capabilities included in the report The Novarica New Normal for P/C Insurers: 100 Data, Digital, and Core Capabilities. Matt included distribution capabilities in his sample list. This article discusses briefly those 10 distribution capabilities enabled through digital from the Novarica report.
Digitally enabled capabilities in P&C insurance distribution
Insurers are rapidly adopting electronic signature technology to enable their producers, partners and employees to perform online transactions with ease at anytime, anyplace using any device. This technology has the potential to speed up business transactions considerably thus adding tremendous value to customer satisfaction thereby helping agents/brokers become more productive. A Celent survey found that nearly 60% of life insurers are using e-signatures on agent-based applications for insurance, and another 19% rank it as highly likely in the next year. E-signature technology is maturing, and it is safe and legally valid for many transactions in many countries.
Manage and track communications preferences by channel and communication type
Today, more and more customers are going online to buy insurance, and they prefer to engage with their insurers using their preferred channel of communication. Insurers need to enable and seamlessly integrate all communication channels, be it online or offline, to ensure customers are receiving consistent experience across all channels. Besides, customer’s preferred media type is something that insurers need to keep track of for effective communication.
Mobile app/mobile optimized web for producers to provide access to customer or book of business and interactive sales materials
The rate of mobile phone penetration has been exponential in the last decade or so, and has become a part of everyone’s day-to-day life. Insurance industry, though traditionally slow to respond to technological innovations, is compelled to adopt mobile platform as part of their business strategies. Mobile apps or mobile optimized websites are leveraged by insurers to empower their producers to engage with the customers anytime, anyplace. Producers can share marketing materials with their customers on the go. Additionally, Interactive content using mobile devices brings huge opportunities for producers to engage customers. Interactive content has the potential of dramatically improving customer engagement.
Mobile app/mobile optimized web for producers to submit new business
The ability to submit new business applications using mobile app/mobile optimized web through implementation of Straight through processing (STP) can drastically improve producer’s efficiency and customer satisfaction. Straight through processing completely eradicates paper-based transactions resulting in increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced costs for insurers.
Online access to customizable marketing materials
Due to abundance of information on the Internet today, customers are selective about what they want to view. Generic sales and marketing collaterals may not appeal to customers today. Insurers need to provide their producers/agents online access to customizable marketing materials such as flyers, email templates, PowerPoint presentations, etc. to create focused and personalized marketing communication materials with ease for the customers and prospects to drive better engagement.
Online and social media marketing support for distribution partners
Social media offers great opportunities for the insurer’s distribution partners to engage with their customers and prospects. To leverage the power of social media networking, insurers are supporting their distribution partners by providing content to agents/ producers to publish in their social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Some insurers are even running training programs to educate their distribution partners in social media platforms making them more adept in using those.
Online or mobile access to commissions information
Insurers need to provide their producers the ability to process, download and print commission information online or using mobile application. Instant access to commission statement can help producers stay up-to-date with their performance status and may encourage them to set higher business goals.
Responsive social media engagement with general public
Online marketing, and more recently explosion of social media networking, have opened up new avenues for companies to engage with general public. Using social media platform, distribution partners can reach out to a vast number of prospects who are part of social media network, surpassing geographical boundaries, to promote company brand, product, run marketing campaigns, launch new services, provide instant services, gather feedback on product and services, etc.
Self-service licensing & appointments/certificate management for producers
Insurers are providing self-service capabilities to their producers to meet the demands of the agency principals. This provides consistency in assuring licensing and appointment compliance across applications.
Single sign-on for all products and functions accessible by role
Insurance agents/brokers face a major challenge in managing credentials for insurer’s multiple websites and applications. It leads to password fatigue and losing on valuable time. Implementation of single sign-on authentication capability provides agents/brokers an ability to seamlessly access all insurer’s applications. This results in fewer help desk calls for password retrieval.
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