The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) Strategic Future Issues Work Group has released the first phase of an initiative to identify key trends that affect the future of the independent insurance agency system.
“The real value of the Hard Trends Report is the great discussions and involvement of so many in the creation of the report,” says Rick Morgan, ACT Strategic Future Issues Work Group chair and senior vice president of Aartrijk in Springfield, Virginia. “We expect the release of the report to generate further discussion on the challenges and opportunities these trends present.”
The following seven trends were identified and evaluated in phase one:
- Mobile First: Mobile, along with social and cloud computing, is what has enabled the cultural transformation and the emergence of the connected consumer. Mobile cuts across everything and will change the insurance products offered, how they are presented, and interaction on services.
- Social Culture/Digital Transformation/Internet of Me: This trend reflects the broad influence and impact that social and digital are having on all aspects of our society, including our business lives. This ongoing transformational change is an expansive, strategic trend that has grown from social web tools and digital technology.
- Connected Society: Connectivity is expanding from consumers to business and even “things”— all aspects of our physical world are being connected.
- Demographic/Segmentation & Personalization: This trend encompasses diversity in every sense of the word: age, ethnicity, culture, gender and connected vs. non-connected.
- Growing Availability of Big Data and Actionable Business Intelligence (“BI”): New technologies and techniques are enabling the capture and analysis of more and more data (big data). Agencies and carriers are able to integrate BI into their decision-making in real time, enabling them to understand their consumers and operations better.
- Changing Nature of Insurance Risk: Changing social norms, applications of technology, climate change and all of the trends noted above and more are changing the types of risks that consumers and businesses are facing.
- Information Security & Privacy Regulation – Cyber Liability: In addition to federal and state regulations for security plans and procedures, the costs of data breaches will become more expensive to businesses. Growing risks also create opportunities for carriers and agents to provide coverage and risk management guidance to clients.
“ACT is pleased with the Strategic Future Issues Work Group’s report and efforts to identify, update and discuss trends in the independent agency system,” says Ron Berg, ACT executive director. “Although these technological developments and trends often present challenges, they’re also blooming with opportunities for agencies to build their business and provide better service.”
The report has also resulted in a list of industry ‘Must Do’ undertakings which will drive key actions needed by ACT work groups such as Customer Experience, Security Issues, and Mobile, as well as other industry programs such as the Big “I” Diversity Task Force. As an example, one of the key objectives is to proactively respond to the trends to create an enhanced customer experience. The Strategic Future Issues Work Group is directing these ‘Must Do’ actions now.
The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) was established in January 1999 by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) to provide a candid, action-oriented forum to address the critical workflow and technology issues facing the independent agency system. ACT helps participants understand the perspectives of the other stakeholders in the process and provides excellent networking opportunities with the participants who are shaping the future for the industry on these issues. For more information about ACT visit www.iiaba.net/act.