Agents and Producers in the Digital Era: Insurer View

An SMA Research Report

Mark A. Breading, Senior Partner
Monique Hesseling, Partner
Publication Date:
May 12, 2016
Number of Pages:
$995.00 USD

The role of agents and producers is in transition as insurers become more digital and strive toward omni-channel operations. What are the factors driving this change and how fast is it happening? Some are predicting the demise of agents, but a more likely scenario is a new, more technology enabled role for human intermediaries.

Agents and Producers in the Digital Era explores this evolution from the insurer viewpoint.  A companion report will be released looking at this issue from the agent point of view. The report is based on SMA research on customer experience trends, distribution strategies, and insurer technology investment plans. The report, which covers P&C and L&A insurers in North America: 

  • Identifies the game-changers in insurance and how perceptions of the agent/producer are changing,
  • Explores the evolution from multi-channel to omni-channel and the related implications for agents,
  • Describes three key ways in which insurance distribution and the agent role are likely to change in the digital era, and
  • Concludes with actions insurers should take to leverage agents and digital operations in an omni-channel environment.

Figure 1 is an example diagram from the report, showing how insurers view agents and policyholders.


 20160510 agents producers insurer view

Figure 1. Who Insurers’ Consider to be their Customer



Table of Contents

  • Agents and Producers in the Digital Era 2
  • Understanding the Game Changers 3
  • Changing Perceptions About the Agent/Producer in Insurance 4
  • What is (and What isn’t) Omni-Channel? 6
  • Omni-Channel Distribution and the Impact on Agents 7
  • SMA Call to Action 8
  • About Strategy Meets Action and the Authors 9