Managing Agents Effectively in Data-Driven World

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Four new paradigms shaping the p&c industry

Insurers are wrestling with four major changes in the industry: shifting the focus from just paying a claim to preventing losses, becoming a technology innovator, putting a greater reliance on partnerships and a placing greater emphasis on engagement.

In this first segment, Karlyn discusses four trends she has identified shaping the future of the insurance industry. From a shift in products and technology to the need for creating a new value chain and enhancing customer touchpoints. Policyholders still want “peace of mind,” but their expectations have shifted, and they want a tailored experience delivered efficiently.

Digitizing the policy holder experience

Insurers have long desired more information about all links in the customer chain but have been limited by the nature of their relationships with producers and customers.

This segment provides an overview of the policyholder value proposition and six basic steps of mapping the desired customer experience. Karlyn expands on this by providing some potential digital capabilities to deliver that are not traditionally found in core systems.

Digitizing the agent experience

Agents, like customers, want insurers to understand what they want, when they need it and how to provide service in a rapid, responsive manner.

Historically, insurance companies have viewed interactions with their agents mainly by function managed by different divisions like distribution, underwriting, claims and accounting, or even by different product areas. Contact with agents was mainly tactical and completely disconnected. Karlyn discusses the need for a more holistic and integrated experience to achieve the agent experience required today. As with many things, the foundation of this can be found in data and analytics and there are a multitude of sources from which to build it.

Challenges with data, data management and analytics

Data is only useful when it’s clean and well organized. It also needs to be accessible and robust enough to be useful in delivering actionable insights.

In this segment, Karlyn takes a high-level view at the four key steps an insurance company needs to take to effectively utilize data in analytics. She then provides more detail into each step and shows how insights derived from analytics can lead to better management of their distribution channel.

Marketing analytics – developing use cases

The most important element of an effective data-driven program is its ability to identify and understand users and their needs, many times through non-obvious indicators.

Karlyn identifies four key areas where she has seen data and analytics better manage distribution and drive profitable growth. This includes the analysis of the agency plant, aligning services with agency segmentation, identifying the best use of compensation and optimizing geographical territories.

Changing-up agency segmentation

Big isn’t always best, and the most highly compensated agents and agencies are not always producing the most profitable business.

In the past, most agency segmentation was based on a limited number of dimensions and the results were mixed at best. Using large data sets including multiple attributes provides more granular segmentation and this allows insurance companies to tailor to the segment’s needs. This in turn tends to drive better results. Companies are now also looking into using compensation and other benefits to drive growth in specific lines of business or territories.

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