In a recent survey conducted by Socotra, a leading core platform provider for modern insurers, it has been found that insurance carriers who invest in technology to enhance the customer service experience for brokers and agents are poised to outperform their less tech-savvy competitors.
The survey, titled “Becoming the Preferred Provider: What Insurance Producers Want from Insurers, 2023,” offers valuable insights into the preferences of agents and brokers when selecting insurance providers.
The report highlights the significance of delivering a superior user experience (UX) for producers and their customers. Specifically, insurers that offer advanced technology platforms with enhanced convenience, transparency, and the ability to quote, bind, and deliver policies online are poised to gain a substantial advantage over their counterparts who neglect these aspects.
Socotra commissioned the survey in collaboration with Global Surveyz Research, a global research firm. The survey involved 100 full-time employees, including insurance agents, independent agents, and insurance brokers from the United States and the United Kingdom.
All respondents held senior positions of vice president or higher and worked with tier two to five insurance carriers with up to $5 billion in Direct Written Premiums.
A remarkable 100% of the agents and brokers surveyed emphasised the importance of online quoting, binding, and policy delivery. Furthermore, the respondents also prioritised online premium payments and claims filing, indicating that these features have become essential for insurance carriers aiming to attract and retain top producers.
According to Dan Woods, Socotra’s Founder and CEO, failing to meet these evolving expectations puts carriers at risk of falling behind competitors and losing valuable customers.
The report reveals that agents consider a user-friendly agent portal (54%), a user-friendly customer portal (50%), and the ability to offer digital claims processing (42%) as the most critical technologies. These statistics reflect the shifting demands of customers, reinforcing the need for insurance carriers to invest in user experience enhancements to meet the expectations of agents and policyholders.
Mike Benayoun, the Director of Partnerships at Socotra, expressed the importance of a connected ecosystem that leverages industry-leading providers to deliver data and services.
Socotra’s partner network is committed to assisting carriers in delivering increased value to their end users, be it agents, brokers, or policyholders.
With agencies and brokers accounting for a significant distribution channel for insurers, placing approximately 62% of all Property and Casualty business in the U.S. and 67% in the UK, it is crucial for carriers to comprehend and respond to their expectations.
The report also reveals that being the first to market with new products and features is a key consideration for 30% of agents when deciding which carriers to collaborate with, a percentage that rises for agents working with five or more carriers.
In conclusion, the report underlines the importance of carriers prioritising customer satisfaction and experience over cost considerations. Insurers who proactively invest in enhancing the experiences of both agents and customers will gain a competitive edge and become the preferred carriers for agents.
It is recommended that carriers evaluate the benefits of adopting versatile and contemporary platforms to automate operations and expedite the introduction of new products, thereby fostering robust agent partnerships through their offerings and services, the report noted.