New Digital Solutions are Transforming Insurance Distribution

Room to Improve the Distribution Process

At ReSource Pro, we talk a lot about the technological innovations underway across the insurance industry. However, the reality remains that many processes continue to involve manual paperwork and legacy systems, leading to reduced efficiencies and increased chances of errors. While carriers have invested heavily in distribution capabilities and enhancing agent-carrier connectivity, many agencies and brokers lag behind. But the tide is changing, with a wide range of solutions – from leads to binding – emerging to streamline the distribution process for agents, brokers, and MGAs.

A new research report from ReSource Pro explores today’s distribution technology landscape and spotlights the solutions that can benefit the distribution value chain for agents, brokers, and MGAs. To identify the solutions that will add the most value to their businesses, it is critical for distributors to first identify their top pain points.

Pain Points Facing Insurance Distributors

Data enrichment represents a significant challenge for agents and brokers. Customers often provide incomplete underwriting information, leaving agents/brokers to fill in the gaps. Data enrichment solutions help fill these gaps. While historically, these solutions have been carrier-centric, many vendors are now extending their offerings to distributors, such as using APIs to connect to third-party data sources (public and private) to populate key underwriting information. This also helps facilitate another common sore area – data pre-fill.

Manual data entry and, particularly, duplicate entry have long been a significant drain on agency/broker resources. Automating data pre-fill can be a real game changer, vastly improving the customer experience. As with other digital capabilities, the approach to and scope of pre-fill varies. Robust solutions often involve many digital transformation tools that, when combined, significantly expedite the pre-submission process. For example, more insurance providers are relying on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to digitize paperwork. OCR can be used to scan ACORD applications and identify key data points. AI and machine learning can then be used to map this data to AMS, carrier applications, and more.

Balancing Technology with Human Expertise

For agents, brokers, and MGAs seeking to enhance their current distribution processes and capabilities, now is a prime opportunity. As technology continues to advance and upfront development costs decline, access to digital solutions is expanding for small and large distributors alike.

However, at the same time, achieving efficiency and improving the customer experience requires striking a delicate balance between cutting-edge technology solutions and maintaining a human in the loop. Many lines of business continue to require human expertise to make coverage decisions. And the personalized touch that human professionals bring can be a real differentiator in the customer journey. It will be critical for agents, brokers, and MGAs to recognize the synergy between technology and human expertise when pinpointing opportunities to transform their distribution processes now and in the future.

Discover more insights in the newly released research report, “The P&C Distribution Landscape: Companies, Solutions, and Partnership Opportunities for Agent-Carrier Connectivity.”