Digitally Mastering Self-Serve Solutions
By Thomas Accardo, Co-Founder, BrokerLift
Individuals and businesses turn to insurance brokers for solutions and advice, and the best protection against unforeseen risks. Digital doesn’t need to take that away; it doesn’t need to drive prices down and further commoditize the market. It can however be a powerful recommendation engine.
Amazon’s people like you also bought or Apple Music’s Genius service that recommends songs you’ll likely enjoy based on prior listening now operate on powerful algorithms; however, when they started, they were human driven. Even today, many recommendations we believe to be computer-driven are monitored by humans.
Insurance brokers can take a cue from these powerful recommendation engines and begin using technology in a way a direct writer cannot. We have two powerful forces that need to come together: the value proposition of an independent broker – the advice, experience, expertise and access to unlimited product; and the self-directed customer who’s going online first before picking up a phone or walking in a door.
The first step is to put eCommerce technology in the hands of the broker force. Retail is the domain of the broker; therefore, online retailing is a natural extension. A direct writer’s online store is only going to carry products they understand that align to their risk appetite. This will only appeal to some customers, but not all. On the other hand, a broker’s online store could be limitless; a broker has access to product for all classes of small business.
Technology can now be used to dynamically build solutions for customers based on risk profiles and coverage requirements. Brokers no longer need to lean on just one market, potentially offering sub optimal product because it’s easier. We can instead compile best-in-class products from best-in-class providers and link them together like Lego, building the best coverage for our customers in a single online transaction.
Imagine two friends who have decided to open a restaurant. Too busy during a broker’s office hours, they choose to buy their first Commercial Insurance policy online. Their first step is Google. After landing on a broker’s website that seems to specialize in restaurant insurance, they begin to answer a few questions about their business. The site selects the best insurance to handle each part of the business, which the broker has pre-selected in the system: Liability + Property from Company 1, Crime from Company 2 and Cyber from Company 3. The system also suggests that businesses like theirs often buy D&O insurance as well.
A best-in-class solution is delivered to your customer: pre-selected specialty coverage, assembled by expert brokers, delivered online, after hours. All that’s left is for the customer to provide their credit card information and buy now to receive their combined policy documents in their inbox.
Customers trust their insurance broker to provide advice and guidance. Just because the office is closed doesn’t mean the brokerage can’t sell the right insurance for the right risk at the right time.