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Look for technology solutions where the primary customer is the agent. Key indicators include: a willingness to partner with a variety of carriers, deep understanding of the agent's specific workflow, and regularly soliciting feedback from agent customers on ways to improve the product. (Adobe Stock) Look for technology solutions where the primary customer is the agent. Key indicators include a willingness to partner with a variety of carriers, deep understanding of the agent’s specific workflow, and regularly soliciting feedback from agent customers on ways to improve the product. (Adobe Stock)

For many independent agents, the word “InsurTech” strikes concern. Many early entrants designed their business models around disrupting commercial independent agents in the same way that the prior generation of technology changed the personal lines landscape. However, the vision of replacing independent agents is changing as InsurTechs recognize the value that they bring to the distribution ecosystem. Many of the same companies that once sought to replace independent agents are now courting agents as part of their growth strategies.

There is sometimes good reason to be wary of “disruptive” tech companies that have pivoted to be agent-facing. Yet there are other InsurTechs that haven’t had to shift their models at all because they understood the power of agencies from the start. These companies are optimizing the current distribution ecosystem — instead of trying to replace it — by creating solutions specific to helping agents compete in a digital market.

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