Hubio logo at ICTC 2017

Broker-based insurers need to modernize and upgrade their portals

For the past few years, Broker Owners, Producers, and CSRs have made their insurer partners aware of their needs for new, better technology solutions that:

1. Enable them to start and end transactions within their broker management system
2. Provide a better portal experience

Upload and download solutions linking brokers and carriers have been the outcome of the first need. For personal lines including home and auto policies, most insurers have invested to better integrate systems.

Direct writers have invested a much larger percentage of their time and funding to create a better portal experiences creating new policyholder portals that are fast, intuitive, and connected to multiple third-party sources to pre-populate and accelerate much of the information collection process. This technology has been a critical element in their strong growth in recent years and has helped direct writers gain competitive advantage and grow their personal lines book. In particular, they have been able to secure new younger policyholders, and develop loyal, satisfied customers.

At the recent Insurance-Canada Technology Conference, Hubio spoke about how broker-based insurers can gain back lost momentum.

What are three essential steps for broker-based insurers to successfully compete?

1) Establish a Digital Strategy

Broker-based insurers need to clearly articulate how they can meet their business goals in a digital domain. It is much more than a response to brokers requests (although that is part of the answer), instead it is a need to establish how to meet their competitive, growth and profitability goals digitally.

Broker-based distribution strategy is more complex, with more moving parts so the digital strategy must support multiple audiences, multiple views and access points, and have efficient, streamlined integration between systems.

2) Align with your brokers

Digital strategies help to improve business operation and can positively impact insurers’ relationships with policyholders and distribution channel partners. Brokers will have greater flexibility and opportunity to change their product focus, and may want to change the basis of the existing partnership.

As policyholders expect digital access, any strategy must address these needs and technology solutions must work for all parties in an integrated manner.

3) Focus on your areas of strength

Direct writers have established dominance in commoditized lines of business. Broker-based insurers can challenge this dominance by focusing on their areas of strength that may include non-commoditized markets where:

  • pricing is variable;
  • coverages can vary;
  • multiple products need to be grouped; and
  • where end-users want interaction, assistance and explanation.

It also means focusing on areas where brokers are strong, and can differentiate insurers’ solutions. For instance, for many commercial and specialty lines in which the sales and customer service components are a priority, the broker-based insurers have a distinct advantage.

Digitization is an opportunity for all levels of the insurance supply chain, if you would like to hear about our presentation, please contact David Gallagher: [email protected]