Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Management

Personal-Lines Insurers Can Thrive in a Multichannel World

Auto and home insurers might have a tough road ahead of them when it comes to expanding market share organically, but there are growth strategies they could pursue to capitalize on the evolving needs of today’s increasingly tech-savvy personal-lines consumers.

The challenges facing carriers and how to overcome them have been discussed here in a series of blogs over the past few months, based on the results of a pair of Deloitte Research surveys of 1,080 auto consumers and a separate group of 1,080 homeowners’ policyholders, summarized in a report on “The Voice of the Personal Lines Insurance Consumer: Buyers in the Driver’s Seat.”

A growing number of consumers today already expect 24/7 service delivered over their computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone via websites, mobile applications and social media. Demand for multichannel access is only likely to increase as today’s tech-immersed teenagers enter the workforce and start insuring their cars and homes.

However, those carriers looking to substitute tech for the human touch by disintermediating their agents and selling personal lines directly to policyholders might be in for a rude awakening, at least in the short term, as a large segment surveyed expressed a very high degree of satisfaction with, and loyalty to, their current intermediaries. In addition, a significant segment who now buy direct indicated strong interest in using an agent the next time they purchase a new policy.

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