Distribution Management: Connectivity Plans and Priorities

An SMA Research Report

Deborah M. Smallwood, Senior Partner
Mary Ann Garwood, Partner
Publication Date:
March 6, 2013
Number of Pages:
$995.00 USD

The effectiveness of connectivity between insurers and their distribution partners continues to be a critical factor for competitive advantage. This report investigates the state of connectivity in the insurance industry and examines how investments and priorities are shifting beyond simple exchanges of basic required transactional data to informed interactions that drive better decisions and improved service.     

The findings are based on data gathered from 479 Property and Casualty insurers, agents, and brokers that responded to an SMA survey. Participants included 131 insurers representing all lines of business, with a balance of business and IT leadership. All sized companies were represented. 348 agents and brokers participated, with 85% agency and 15% brokerage representation.

The research data points and insights present a picture of the progress that has been made in linkage between insurance companies and agents/brokers. The report looks at priorities and the direction that plans are taking. For insurers, the information will be useful for analyzing patterns and trends that are influencing market advantages, assessing expectations, and setting priorities for improving functional capabilities. Agents and brokers will learn about the state of connectivity and where insurers are investing to improve interfaces with their distribution partners. IT solution providers will find the data and accompanying observations helpful in determining product development needs and marketing strategies. An example of the research data is shown in the figure below.  

Distribution Connectivity Chart