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Multi-channel distribution was one of the top three strategic insurance topics fielded at TowerGroup in 2010. The other two were cloud computing and social media. The discussions on multi-channel distribution were definitely more complex and, frankly, more interesting — at least from an analyst perspective.

Not that cloud computing and social media aren’t very important strategic subjects — they definitely are. But the topic of multi-channel distribution not only hits upon a complex suite of technology, it also brings with it a discussion about historical distribution channels. All of the insurers I have worked for in my career were singularly committed to the independent agent and broker channel. My longest standing allegiance is to this channel, though I have full appreciation for other distribution channels.

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