Smartphones. The internet. Memes. Technology has exploded in the past decade, leaving the insurance industry behind. However; the rise of InsurTech has allowed even the most traditional of insurance agencies and brokers to bridge this gap. And although a clear transition is happening, it hasn’t come without its challenges. Two of the biggest barriers: a difference in work culture and a lack of knowledge.
Yes, some insurance agencies continue paying by checks, faxing instead of sending emails, and keeping paper records as opposed to digital ones. Imagine paying for Netflix by sending in cash! The good news is, these agencies are in the minority. A recent study showed that 94% of insurers believe that “adopting platform-based models and forming digital ecosystems are critical to their success as a business” (“The Rise of Insurtech” – Roy Jubraj, Steven Watson, Simon Tottman).
The truth is, Insurers and InsurTech companies want to be on the same page. And they can get there through trust. But to earn trust from an already established and comfortable industry, means being transparent. Take this 2016 study by PwC. It revealed that almost half of insurers fear that they will lose 20% of their business to InsurTech companies. If InsurTech companies become transparent, those fears will diminish. In fact, a large proportion of InsurTech companies actually aim to empower industry professionals by equipping them with the tools to automate outdated processes.
Collaboration is key. Just like Batman and Robin, like Han Solo and Chewbacca, and Thelma and Louise, this critical partnership between insurance agencies and InsurTech startups is on its way to dramatically improving data analytics, infrastructure, and customer experience. Clearly the most adaptive agencies will be the ones to win over the most clients. With the arrival of the Age of Information, where technology is improving every aspect and every detail of society, it’s time for the insurance industry to catch up, too.