Changing Role of Technology in Distribution Management
May 16, 2021
The U.S. insurance industry is heavily regulated. That’s no shock to anyone working in the industry.
Everything from producer licensing to commission payouts comes with a whole set of regulatory expectations. Keeping up with renewal dates, changing state rules, and licensure requirements can pose a challenge for licensing managers. Fortunately, technology is shaping the way agencies, carriers, and MGA/MGUs streamline processes to more accurately and effectively handle regulatory compliance.
But merely keeping up with compliance needs isn’t enough to set insurance companies apart. No, insurance companies need to grow their distribution footprint and reimagine how they sell policies to remain competitive in today’s insurance landscape.
Faced with the competing priorities of growth vs. compliance management, insurance companies may find themselves at something of a loggerhead. When you think about it, however, operational efficiency is key to growth in any industry. So, by evaluating and implementing the best-in-class technology solutions to streamline processes, insurance companies can both manage compliance and drive growth.
Technology solutions: the key to attracting and maintaining producers
It can be tricky to navigate the complex statutes and regulatory directives central to licensing and compliance regulations. As agencies onboard more producers, this process becomes even more overwhelming, making growth tough to manage.
Fortunately, staying on top of onboarding and licensing compliance doesn’t need to be so much work. Agent onboarding technology that integrates with NIPR makes it simple to stay on top of producer licensing requirements and move away from reactive remediation, turning instead toward growth. What’s more, some technology solutions can even help insurance companies attract the producers they need to maintain growth.
There are several viable tech solutions and considerations to help insurance companies rebuild outdated internal structures in distribution management. In this post, we’ll discuss just a few:
Attracting producers with technology
Step one to growing a distribution channel is finding the right producers. And, bad news for insurance companies, but in today’s insurance landscape, producers have their pick of insurance providers. So, how can insurance companies stand out?
The key is improving the producer experience from the inside. Making sure existing producers have the tools they need to succeed is a great way to attract new producers to a growing distribution channel. Plus, if existing producers are unhappy with their overall employee experience, they’ll leave, forcing insurance companies to backfill empty roles, rather than forward-fill for growth opportunities. A few of the tools that can make or break digital agent management:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRM platforms help to ensure that producers and customers get the information they need when and where they need it. Through a CRM, producers can view customer profiles and communication streams to make it easy to build client relationships and relay important information.
- Onboarding solutions: Writing business with a new company can be exciting for a producer, but being buried in redundant onboarding paperwork is a great way to take the metaphorical wind out of a producer’s sails. We have the technology solutions to ease the onboarding process for producers, allowing them to focus their energy on selling policies.
These tools make producers’ lives easier. As more insurance companies look to adopt them, the ones who refrain will struggle to attract top-talent producers to their distribution channels.
Use technology to leverage your human capital
There’s often an abundance of data that comes with any single insurance case, and managing all of that important data presents a challenge for us humans. We’re just not wired to take in hundreds of thousands of data points at one time, but computers are.
Re-thinking business procedures to remove manual data processing from an employee’s workload can open up time for them to work on what people do best; building relationships with other people.
With artificial intelligence (AI), it’s now possible to process claims faster, monitor fraud detection, and improve underwriting accuracy, all while reducing the risk of inevitable human error. By handing some of the heavy lifting over to AI, insurance companies refocus employee efforts toward sales.
Invest in cybersecurity to build lasting trust among employees and customers
Given the tremendous amount of personal data that insurance companies handle, there are specific protections agencies should require of their distribution management software. Data privacy should be top of mind while adopting new technology.
A new age for distribution management
Building a robust tech stack may take time, but it’s a non-negotiable for insurance companies that want to remain competitive in the future. It’s important to vet technology vendors to ensure their program interface integrates well with current processes. But it’s also important to remember that processes and workflows are dynamic, and change as employee needs and expectations change.
In the insurance industry, we’re moving toward innovation more rapidly than ever before; and frankly, it’s for the best. AgentSync can help your team move toward efficiency via smart technology and automation. Check out our solutions page to learn how embracing the opportunities that come with new technology is the best way to keep your producers engaged, compliant, and effective in a growing distribution channel.