With the rise of InsurTech (insurance technology) companies, many people have started to wonder if insurance agents will become obsolete. We don’t think this is a concern, as insurance agents have plenty to offer that you can’t get from direct carriers or InsurTech. If you start to wonder about the future of your insurance agency, keep the following in mind and know that there will always be a place for you.
Agencies Offer More Options Than Direct Carriers
To start, insurance agents are able to offer more options compared to a direct carrier. After all, a direct carrier will only offer insurance from the carrier they work for. By contrast, independent insurance agents are licensed to work with multiple agencies.
As an agent, this means that you can give clients even more options for policies, helping them find the right fit.
They Can Work with Insurers of Any Size
That larger variety of insurance carriers that independent agents work with includes insurers of all sizes. That is a significant difference from most InsurTech, which will only offer the major carriers. After all, it would be too time-consuming for their business model to deal with smaller carriers, and they have no incentive to do so.
But insurance agents have an incentive – getting the best coverage for their clients. Simply put, there will always be insurance carriers that you work with and few (or no) InsurTech companies do.
Agencies Can Provide Better Customer Service
The goal of an independent insurance agent will always be to serve their clients’ best interests. They typically work on commissions and rely heavily on renewals. This means that they want their clients to be happy, so they continue working with the same agent and agency year after year. So, your agency’s excellent customer service will give you an edge over new technologies.
They Provide More Personalization Than InsurTech or Direct Carriers
By offering more options than direct carriers, independent insurance agents can deliver more personalization. Though InsurTech can offer as many policies, it lacks the human element needed for assessing risks and needs accurately.
Agents can take the time to get to know a client instead of just looking at the basic data they input into a platform. Use that personalization to your advantage to boost renewals and ensure client satisfaction.
Insurance Agencies Can Provide Better Agent Support
With an insurance agency, agents have the ability to learn from their colleagues’ expertise and experience. This means you can get the support you need for handling difficult cases or understanding complicated new offerings.
In most cases, working with an insurance agency will also give you access to tools like Jenesis. Such tools typically offer features for efficiently managing client data and handling other administrative tasks.
InsurTechs Have a Complicated Relationship with Regulators
InsurTech companies are still fairly new to the insurance industry, so they have a more complicated relationship with regulators and licensing. They also face the added challenge of facing varying regulations in different states or regions.
By contrast, insurance agencies tend to be familiar with all local regulations. You also work in a more limited market, so you have fewer regulations and licensing requirements to keep track of, making it easier for you to do so.
InsurTechs Are Associated with Data Privacy Concerns
Because InsurTechs do everything online, data privacy can be a concern. There are added challenges of international data privacy laws that they have to follow. By contrast, insurance agents will use tools and software with data privacy and security built into it. You also store much less information online, so you may be a smaller target for cybersecurity threats.
They Have the Tools to Offer the Same Benefits as InsurTech
Some people argue that InsurTech is the future of insurance because of its efficiency, speed, and real-time information. It has more automated processes and theoretically makes it easier to stay organized. There are also arguments that the lack of go-betweens in an Ins makes getting insurance easier for clients.
But insurance agents can get all of these same benefits when they use the right insurance agency management software. Jenesis, for example, has a convenient client portal that gives clients the same information (if not more) that they would get with an InsurTech company. The software also includes automated email marketing, invoicing, an Acord forms library, and other features that can streamline the insurance process.
The Bottom Line
While InsurTech is growing in popularity and direct carriers remain popular, insurance agents are not going anywhere soon. They offer a level of personalization and customer support, along with a variety of insurance options, that give them an edge over InsurTech companies or direct carriers.
On top of that, insurance agents and agencies can provide the human touch that many consumers prefer. As such, you shouldn’t be worried about the future of your career.