No matter the insurance company, the customer ultimately looks to you, the agent, for advice, service, and responsiveness. (iStock) Customers want a risk advisor with access to a larger array of products that can meet their unique needs, not a mere price quoter or someone with limited product selection. (iStock)

COVID-19 is fundamentally reshaping retail insurance distribution. With customers demanding greater choice and ease of use, and carriers and brokerages across the spectrum converging on omnichannel distribution, large structural changes in retail insurance distribution were afoot long before COVID-19.

However, many of those trends, now accelerating at an unprecedented pace, are imminently reshaping the insurance distribution landscape. New-age retail distribution models such as comparative marketplaces, call center/virtual brokerages, and carriers/MGA’s going direct are rising at the expense of the traditional brokerages that have historically relied on in-person consultation and are unable to offer choice and ease of use that customers now demand.

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