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The industry has been working on insurer/agent electronic linkage since the mid-1980s, trying to manage the complexity of numerous systems in the agents’ offices that need to talk to many different insurance systems. In order to examine the state of connectivity and explore how insurers and agents are directing their efforts to improve communication, SMA recently completed a major study investigating insurer and agent linkage.  

Overall, impressive progress has been made. But, there’s certainly further work that can be done to create more productive, collaborative interactions. Agents and brokers want an easier, more efficient way to do business. At the same time, insurers are recognizing that functionally rich linkage can be a major market differentiator. The insurers that are leading the pack are finding that electronically enabled interactions are contributing to profitability, driving growth, improving policyholder relationships, and keeping business soundly on the books.

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