Welcome!

News Feed Item

Expect accelerated digital adoption and agent-carrier data sharing in 2018, according to Smart Harbor's insurance trends analysis

Agents will have to balance technology advancement with human customer service

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2018, agents will accelerate their adoption of digital tools according to insurance trends analysis from Smart Harbor, a digital technology solutions provider for insurance. Agents and carriers will also enter into stronger partnerships to share critical data and analytics to grow.

"As an industry, we have been talking about technological evolution for a long time. But in 2018, the combination of competitive conditions, availability of cost effective technology and numbers of independent agents striving for growth and better client service creates the perfect storm to drive significant acceleration in agent digital transformation," said Jason Walker, managing partner of Smart Harbor. "Barriers that once prevented agents from implementing digital technologies have been removed."

Walker added, "Incorporating these technological advancements is mandatory for agents to compete in the market, but going digital will never remove the human element from the insurance transaction. Customer service is the foundation for agents and they will need to navigate how to implement these solutions while still providing the personal interaction clients demand."

Based on Smart Harbor's insurance trends analysis, here are five key predictions for 2018:

1. All about the infrastructure: Insureds' expectations for the always-on agency are real, and to serve clients anytime, anywhere, agencies need systems and processes that can efficiently handle business. Whether the agency is looking to grow, expand, or even exit, having a strong and flexible digital infrastructure is critical. This includes interactive websites with online chat and quoting capabilities, client portals and mobile apps, next generation agency management systems and integrated call centers for 24/7 services. Agents will be evaluating their infrastructures and expanding capabilities and services for clients.

2. Move from closed loop to open access: In the insurance ecosystem, agents operate in many environments, including regularly accessing multiple carrier websites, agency management systems, and customer relationship management systems. Many of these applications are closed, meaning they don't allow the free exchange of data, forcing agents to spend time on manual workarounds and double data entry. Agents will seek to partner with companies and implement tools that can bridge the gap between various systems, and choose applications that are built on open structures, meaning they "talk" to one another.

3. Pursuit of the paperless agency: Though e-signature is nothing new—it has been around the industry for 20 years—a large number of agencies will finally implement e-signature and other e-document tools in 2018. To improve productivity and increase sustainability, more agencies will transition to an all-digital mentality when it comes to sending, receiving and signing documents. But they can't do it alone. Removing all paper from insurance transactions will require collaboration with carriers and be informed by regulators.

4. Synergistic partnerships increasing access to sales analytics: The carrier/agent partnership is about to go beyond a provider/seller framework. Agents gather unique sales data such as target market behaviors, web preferences, and specific product interest that can help carriers improve sales and marketing efforts. Meanwhile, carriers have the technological infrastructure and expertise enabling them to provide education, training, and best practice programs that can help agencies improve their digital capabilities. These two entities will foster deeper and stronger partnerships that will enable both the carrier and the agency to improve sales and grow their businesses.

5. Agents embrace artificial intelligence (AI): Machine learning, robotics, artificial intelligence – these tools may seem daunting and beyond the capabilities of agents who are just beginning to adapt digital solutions. But as they become more commonplace, agents will appreciate the ease and benefit of using these technologies and even realize they might have been using some form of AI already. From automatic fill on certain forms to using machine learning to move key prospects to top of the workflow to installing chatbots on websites that can resolve claims and answer clients' simple questions, agencies will convert from trepidation to the implementation of AI  that will drive key processes.

About Smart Harbor

Smart Harbor provides digital technology solutions for trusted advisors, empowering them with industry-specific tools to grow their businesses. With a specific focus on insurance and deep industry expertise, Smart Harbor offers CRM, web and SEO, and data and analytics capabilities, enabling insurance agencies to compete effectively in the constantly changing digital world. Today, Smart Harbor serves more than 1,300 independent agencies that represent over 100 carriers, bringing them the right technical expertise, customer service focus and industry knowledge to enable agencies to grow their businesses, create markets for new products, and retain the most profitable customers.

 

Contact: Candace Boyle
the10company
212-614-4561
[email protected]

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/expect-accelerated-digital-adoption-and-agent-carrier-data-sharing-in-2018-according-to-smart-harbors-insurance-trends-analysis-300568051.html

SOURCE Smart Harbor

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.