New Study from Bindable Says Independent Agents Must Go Digital

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Report highlights evolution of customer expectations and the future of technology in the insurance industry

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The insurance landscape is evolving with digital processes and purchasing offerings becoming the gold standard for agents and carriers. That is according to new research from Bindable, the insurance technology leader for alternative distribution. The new “Future of the Agent” report takes a look at the state of independent agents, the impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, and how the adoption of technology will be a critical part of remaining competitive in the insurance ecosystem.

The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt across the insurance industry and independent agents are still working through the fallout with 78% saying that their businesses were negatively impacted, with agents reporting an average 38% drop in sales and revenue. Many agents attribute their challenges to being unprepared to work from home, a lack of technology, and having to drastically adjust their businesses. Six out of ten agents say that they were unprepared to work fully remote with another 57% wishing they had better technology to assist them and their businesses during the pandemic. What’s more, 54% of agents say that they made significant changes to the way they conduct business with another 79% citing that their individual roles have fundamentally changed because of the pandemic. Without having the proper technology in place, nearly half of agents reported their client relationships suffered and ⅓ struggled with client retention.

The study found that even prior to the pandemic, independent agents were beginning to notice a shift in consumer behavior with 46% of agents saying that customers were looking for more digital tools, and 40% of agents were looking to invest in more digital tools in an effort to better serve their customers. Today, ¾ of agents report that expectations around automated processes have increased and 73% say that they are seeing an increase in customers looking for an all-digital purchasing experience.

“COVID-19 changed the insurance landscape and accelerated the need for digitization. Consumers are transacting more online and expect access to digital products on-demand,” says Bill Suneson, co-founder and CEO of Bindable. “We know that limited investment in technology hinders agents and that is only magnified in the current landscape. Today, business strategies rooted in technology will prove to be the most successful for independent agents in terms of customer satisfaction and retention.”

What is clear from the report is that technology and digital transformation efforts will be essential for independent agents to remain competitive in the insurance landscape. 75% of agents were in agreement that investment in technology is critical to their survival, with 80% citing that slow technology adoption has made them less valuable to carriers and 65% believing they have been less valuable to the overall insurance ecosystem. In addition, independent agents recognize the need to cater to their customers, especially millennials. 68% of agents acknowledge that they need to better understand younger generations and customers and 48% say that providing their customers with digital access to both products and services is a key way to make that happen.

In an effort to better assist independent agents with evolving customer needs, Bindable recently launched its Agent Wholesale Platform, a white label insurance marketplace that allows independent agents or their sponsoring carriers to offer ancillary products such as pet insurance, travel protection, and home warranty through a virtual agency. Agents can expect to see higher commissions and enhanced cross-selling abilities while customers will enjoy an overall better experience by having multiple products available for purchase online at their convenience.

For more information and to view the full report, please visit http://www.bindable.com.

About Bindable
Bindable is the insurance technology leader for alternative distribution. Its proprietary platform brings together software, a digital wholesale marketplace, and a full suite of support services to offer flexible, market-ready solutions that connect insurance providers, trusted brands, and consumers. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about Bindable please visit http://www.bindable.com and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Sonia Segal-Smith
Bindable
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