Another year is here, and we can already see what’s on the horizon for digital insurance—the last few years demonstrated the need for more data gathering and analysis, tech integration, and a focus on personalizing and streamlining customer service. The 2021 Independent Insurance Agent Survey found that, before the COVID-19 pandemic, about a third of agencies said they “lacked the financial or other support” to invest in digitization. However, by the end of 2020, 77% were investing in digitization, showing digital insurance is growing rapidly.
As we ring in the new year, let’s take a look at what’s on the digital insurance horizon for 2022.
Over the past year, customers have come to expect fast service and, in many cases, independent service. Customer portals are ideal for addressing this growing customer demand. Especially when paired with chatbots, customer portals allow customers to get answers to routine questions quickly and accurately, satisfying their needs and freeing up time for CSRs to address more complex questions.
Application Programming Interfaces (API) for Integration
More digital insurance tools mean more systems to integrate into your agency processes. That’s why agencies turn to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to make that integration possible. With APIs, you can connect software that previously couldn’t sync. System syncing means data syncing, which is critical to improving your agency prospecting, service, and other essential processes.
Let’s get into the value of integrating systems to share data. When all your data comes together, it gives you potent information on your agency’s performance, where you need to improve, and growth opportunities. But, the only way to gain that information is with quality analytics. That means reporting you can understand. Invest in your data by investing in processes and reporting that makes sense for your agency.
Machine learning encompasses a host of different digital insurance technologies. One of the most prominent are chatbots used to address customer concerns quickly. Through A.I., chatbots can learn how to route customer and prospect concerns, providing ways to self-serve or connecting them with the best person or department to answer their questions.
Other machine learning uses include using A.I. to improve and speed up workflows, like claims processing, billing, and underwriting. Modern software can assess needs, create follow-up tasks, and process inquiries fast and with greater accuracy. Investing in machine learning means agencies can keep up with the demand for speedier service.
It should come as no surprise that a rise in data sharing means an increase in data vulnerability. The 2021 Independent Insurance Agent Survey found that agents’ greatest concern about serving customers is “data safety and compliance.” Cyber security incidents increased dramatically over the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and remain high. Savvy agencies partner with cyber tech providers and ensure all their tech partners take security seriously. Make sure you understand how your agency data is stored and protected and educate your staff on how to spot and avoid cyber-attacks.
While not technically a piece of digital insurance, digital insurance knowledge is critical for agencies today. We’ve heard from multiple tech partners and agency clients that “knowing your stuff” is a real game-changer, especially for independent agencies. You and your staff need to understand new technology and how it fits your agency. The more you can stay educated, the better you can serve your customers.
Prepare to Tackle 2022 and Beyond with Partner Platform
The SIS and Partner Platform team thrives on that continuing education. Our tech partnerships keep our clients in the know about coming trend and what will stick, and our engagement in tech-focused industry groups like IVANS and ACT are critical. The more we know, the better we can serve our clients so they can better serve their customers.
See the latest in our tech partnerships and integrations here and get a firsthand look at how we’ve integrated tech and ease of use in our Partner Platform agency management suite: view a demo or get in touch today.