What if your field was going to completely change in the next few years, and you found that you weren’t prepared?
That’s something those who work in the insurance industry are experiencing right now. In recent years, unexpected developments like the COVID-19 pandemic changed how customers perceive, research, and buy coverage. Now, the industry is poised to change again in a number of exciting ways that might take the average agent by surprise.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be caught unprepared. We’re here to dive into the newest industry trends. Ready to learn what’s new and, more importantly, what’s next? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Automation and AI in Insurance
It’s been impossible for most industries to escape the influence of automation and artificial intelligence. Now, an increasing number of carriers are starting to explore what this emerging technology can do, making this one of the standout industry trends for the foreseeable future.
AI has already been on the digital frontline for many carriers, with chatbots helping to provide 24/7 customer support when live chats aren’t available. Development of these bots will continue, thanks in large part to customers craving more digital convenience (more on this later). But carriers are also now exploring different ways that automation and AI can help optimize claims and underwriting as well.
Overall, while customers still want the human touch, most forward-thinking carriers are exploring how AI can help provide improved customer service while simultaneously reducing costs and generally making operations more efficient.
More Personalized Insurance Solutions
Just as things are changing for the industry, things have been changing for insurance clients as well. Now, more than ever, the average customer is wary of any “one size fits all” model for their needs. Because of this, carriers are now increasingly focused on developing more personalized insurance solutions to better suit customers’ evolving needs.
For example, we are seeing an increase in the popularity of peer-to-peer carriers. Similarly, more companies are now offering microinsurance packages that appeal to lower-income customers as well as those looking for more flexibility in their coverage.
Technology ranging from analytics to APIs is continuing to help carriers learn more about clients’ lives and lifestyles. This provides them with a more accurate risk assessment, which helps with offering clients specific solutions to their particular problems.
Continued Focus on Digital Convenience
Once upon a time, browsing and buying insurance online was a rarity for most customers, with the majority preferring to visit a local office and sit down to speak with an agent. However, the trend now is that customers deeply prefer the digital convenience of shopping for coverage online, with more choosing it every year.
As an example, a recent survey discovered that more than 40% of American consumers prefer to go online or use an app when shopping for life insurance. That’s a significant jump from the old number (10%), so more carriers have begun to focus on making browsing and buying coverage easier than ever. This means using more intuitive forms, relying on SMS marketing, and even developing standalone apps to help capture the market by providing a top-notch digital customer experience.
An Evolving Distribution Landscape
Anytime there is disruption in a particular industry, there will be entrepreneurs and companies that take advantage of newfound opportunities. And insurance providers are currently facing a changing distribution landscape that may threaten traditional agencies even as it provides unexpected opportunities for others.
For example, increasing partnerships between carriers and tech companies have made embedded insurance trendier than ever before. Now, when someone goes to buy a Toyota automobile, they will most likely be prompted to browse and buy coverage packages because the automobile manufacturer has partnered with an insurer.
We are also seeing marketplaces team up with tech-based wealth management companies such as Facet Wealth to streamline the process of browsing and selecting the best financial planners. All of these changes mean that the average agency needs to focus on marketing and offering a better value proposition to customers who are now getting more competitive offers from more places on a regular basis.
Insurance for the Gig Economy
Over the years, commercial coverage has had to change and evolve to reflect the changing employment landscape. The biggest recent shift in the employment landscape has been the rise of the gig economy. Accordingly, the industry has been racing to create customized coverage packages for such workers.
What does insurance for the gig economy look like? While some workers are interested in coverage for things like reduced work capacity (in case they are injured) and general liability, the most popular coverage has been automobile policies. Simply put, drivers who work for companies like Uber or Lyft or even those who simply transport packages locally are worried the company coverage will be insufficient if they are found liable for an accident. By focusing on custom packages for such workers, more carriers are catering to this growing arm of America’s workforce.
From Cyber Risks to Cyber Insurance
As you can tell, technology has been a primary driver of changes in the insurance industry. Therefore, many carriers have their hands full trying to mitigate the potential threat of cybercrimes while also taking advantage of the new business opportunities that rising cyber risks create.
Industries around the world have been experiencing a rise in cyber-attacks, so carriers must stay on top of this potential risk to their own operations, even as these carriers explore innovative new ways to integrate technology. Since all major businesses are in the same boat when it comes to cybercrime, though, an increasing number of companies are now offering cyber insurance to protect companies who are worried about losing everything overnight to a nefarious hacker.
Join the Leading Edge of the Insurance Industry Today!
Now you know what’s new and what’s next when it comes to insurance industry trends. But do you know who can help you keep your fingers on the pulse of this dynamic industry?
Here at Confie, we are the rocksteady thought leaders in the shifting seas of a changing industry. Ready to stop reacting and start leading in your field? We’re always looking for talented agents, so feel free to reach out online or just give us a call at 714-252-2500!