Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Technology

P&C Insurers Not Quite Social Enough

Social Media Gains Momentum, But Still Much Room for Growth

The process of integrating social media in insurance and its moving parts continues with a new report examining both hurdles and opportunities specific to the North American property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. Basing its findings on 3Q 2011 interviews with 15 P&C industry executives, Aite Group makes a convincing case that although some are successful, many P&C insurers are not fully social media savvy...yet.

“Dramatic and rapid consumer adoption of social media, fueled by the uptake of mobile communication and computing devices, and further spurred by most other global consumer industries, has presented the P&C insurance industry with a variety of challenges and opportunities,” says Stephen Applebaum, senior analyst at Aite Group and author of the report. “Further magnifying the enormity of these implications is the fact that social media, unlike most of the disruptive technologies that preceded it, has impact and utility across the entire P&C insurance enterprise and the broader insurer ecosystem.”

Today’s hurdles are undoubtedly the result of consumer disengagement from the traditional agency-distribution model. In the report, Aite asserts that carriers can no longer rely solely on agents to pinpoint the product needs and expectations of current customers and prospective ones. Another area where social media is vastly underutilized is claims, where “revolutionize claims handling.”

Conversely, social media is making the jobs of those investigating claims somewhat easier. More people are willing to serve up details about their daily activities for public consumption, often inadvertently revealing discrepancies in their stories, especially when that pertains to injuries for which the over-sharers collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Applebaum reports that “nearly two-thirds of internet-using adults also use social networking sites,” and that virtually all Millennials use social media, thus representing a large and untapped market for the industry. U.S. internet users

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