Technological innovations are playing an increasingly important role in every aspect of modern life, and insurance is no exception. Brokers who accept that embracing technology is a necessity, and not an option, will be in a good position to remain competitive in what is an increasingly complex industry. Those brokers who refuse to adapt with the times run the risk of becoming outdated, unable to properly service their clients and, as result, left behind as the industry evolves.
But brokers don’t only have to worry about their own approach to technology. When deciding on a wholesale insurance intermediary to partner with, discovering the technological capabilities of that firm should be a top priority. From a broker’s perspective, working with a tech savvy intermediary could be the difference between providing excellent or lackluster service to their insureds.
“Being committed to technology helps an intermediary better service brokers in two key ways: speed and service,” explains Barb Pattenden, Director, Insurance Operations, South Western Insurance Group. “We’ve been paperless for 10 years and we send all of our policy documents out electronically, so the brokers are able to get them to their clients faster. The technology we use also helps get quotes out with much more speed, which helps brokers give their clients a better level of service.”
Pattenden has found that SWG’s electronic delivery and paperless file management systems have given brokers the ability to increase their books of business. “We’ve had really good feedback on our systems,” Pattenden says. “In the past, some insureds were reluctant to go fully electronic and wanted hardcopies, but that doesn’t happen anymore. People want everything in electronic form these days.”
Pattenden believes that, for brokers in today’s ultra-competitive insurance industry, working with an intermediary who is able to offer something different is of utmost importance. There are so many good products out there - and competent brokers offering them – so having a competitive edge is vital. That’s why working with an intermediary who understands the importance of speed and service is crucial for brokers in 2016. “Brokers should ask questions about an intermediary’s approach to technology,” Pattenden says. “Also, if an intermediary is slow in providing documents and not exactly tech savvy, why not try their competitor?”