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January 19 2023 | Mark Breading

We say it often here at SMA – the personal lines segment frequently leads the insurance industry with deploying new innovations, particularly within distribution. Over the next five years, insurers focused on personal lines will likely continue to spearhead the distribution revolution through new technologies and channel strategies. Where insurers invest today to support distributors will set the stage for their channel partnerships in the future, either building solid bonds with agents/brokers and others or deemphasizing some channel partners.   

MBBlog011923 ThumbnailforBlogSMA's new research report, "Distribution Technologies for Personal Lines: Carrier Plans in 2023 and Beyond," details findings from a survey of executives on the current state of digital capabilities offered to distribution partners, an assessment of the challenges and barriers to deploying new capabilities, and carriers' plans to put new digital sales and servicing capabilities into the market.

Two key themes emerge when analyzing carriers' top investments in digital sales technologies for personal lines: increasing automation and improving efficiencies between insurers and distributors. Seven out of ten insurers identified data pre-fill as one of their top investments for sales, enabling them to gather more reliable information for quoting while also minimizing the back and forth between underwriters and agents. The second-highest investment area, e-Signature capabilities, also improves efficiencies by streamlining the binding and policy issuance process. In contrast, the research also reveals where insurers are investing the least. In the area of digital sales capabilities, insurers are focusing the least on proposal tools, which only 6% of insurers say they prioritize today.

Within digital servicing investments, research shows self-service capabilities are leading insurers’ priority lists. Most insurers say they are investing in servicing portals for agents and over half are also investing in capabilities such as online file-a-claim or pay-a-bill capabilities. On the other hand, no insurer indicated investing in an agent mobile app.

In a market such as personal lines where customers and agents expect on-demand service, it's critical for insurers to continually invest in digital offerings and maintain nimble technology roadmaps. Understanding the needs of stakeholders and allocating investments accordingly to enhance digital capabilities not only improves the customer experience of agents and policyholders but also delivers greater efficiencies internally.  

For more information on personal lines distribution technology strategies and investments, see our recent research report, "Distribution Technologies for Personal Lines: Carrier Plans in 2023 and Beyond." This report is part of SMA's research series based on surveys and interviews of insurers, agencies, brokers, MGAs, and others in the distribution channel, including insights from ReSource Pro's extensive footprint of distribution clients. Contact the author for more information on this new research and advisory services for distribution.


breading mark w

To learn more, please contact:
Mark Breading
Partner
Strategy Meets Action, a ReSource Pro company
614.562.8310