Insurance buyers have enjoyed a soft property-casualty market since 2007, and while there are some signs of the market hardening, most experts project that current conditions will likely continue for another two years.
The importance of expense control and organizational efficiency has become more critical than ever. In addition, rapidly changing technology can create challenges, particularly for the independent agent distribution channel. Many insurance carriers are re-evaluating their IT infrastructures and going beyond traditional ways of cost cutting to focus on transforming their business to create market differentiation.
When implementing technology internally, a strategy that incorporates training, education, online resources, or all of the above, is essential to the project’s success. After all, if no one uses the technology, a lot of time and money has been wasted.
Agents aren’t the only ones who can benefit from implementing efficient interface solutions into their systems. With fewer opportunities for “human error,” a carrier’s policy data will be more accurate, which then reduces the number of endorsements needed to correct policy data. By making it possible for agents to submit data to carriers electronically, there are also fewer paper applications and change requests that need to be handled.
Even with its time-saving and economic benefits, some carriers are still on the fence about implementing real-time. This could be due to competing IT priorities or not having the expertise to efficiently address all the intricacies and integration points required for processing data between their system and their agencies’ systems.