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The insurance industry has changed drastically in recent years with price frequently becoming a primary differentiator between companies. If an insurer chooses to be a warrior on today’s battleground, the chances are that part of the battle will include drawing swords over the issue of price. Businesses have been hacking away at each other’s value until there is nothing left but the bones of price, essentially cannibalizing the industry within the market. This is evident with every insurance marketing campaign that touts, “I can save you money,” in essence turning insurance into a commodity.

The role of the agent has changed a lot through the years as well. There is more pressure for an agent to produce while there is a price war, and companies usually do not want agents heavily involved in the claims process. However, changing customer expectations have led to claims centers, 800 numbers and online portals which have become the new face of customer service, one of the last few weapons to use on the battlefield. Mechanizing customer service can have harmful effects on a company’s value proposition.

 

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