Agent group urges adoption of key digital technologies

The Insurance Digital Revolution, an initiative started last year by three agent groups, is launching a renewed campaign to get more agents to incorporate digital solutions into their processes.

Created out of the Agents Council for Technology, Associations & User Groups Information Exchange and the Professional Insurance Association, Insurance Digital Revolution (IDR) principals say that the organization’s goal is to provide information and training to agents to help them embrace technology. Agents, carriers and vendors advise the group on focus areas, while the IDR provides content.

“We have a website as a hub to provide direction, and we’ll do quarterly webinars that focus on the tech areas we’re featuring” in addition to other content, says Joyce Sigler, a VP for Jones-Wenner insurance agency and IDR member. “We are trying to be that conduit that an agent can go to one place and find that direction.”

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Allianz AG agent Cihat Polat, left, explains details regarding car insurance at their offices in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, November 14, 2003. Allianz AG, Europe's biggest insurer by premiums, reported its second straight quarterly profit as earnings in the main property and casualty division advanced. Photographer: Axel Seidemann/Bloomberg News

The IDR is planning outreach activities related to six technologies in 2017:

  • E-signatures
  • Client portals
  • Claims download
  • Electronic documents
  • Interactive websites
  • 24/7 service

Stu Durland, VP and owner of Seely & Durland and IDR member, says that agents have been recalcitrant on digital because of perceived threats to their business and bottom line. The IDR, he explains, will focus on showing the soft ROI from digital based on increased efficiencies.

“Agents have been a little tight on spending dollars, and some of these things, like e-signature, is a new investment,” he says. But, he adds, “it’s not a pure dollar where you’re either saving it or paying it out. If your revenues are growing because of an efficiency, that’s good.”

The IDR is encouraging carriers to help agents get on board with digital for a similar reason, Durland adds.

“If we’re more efficient, we can write more business and that will come back to them as well,” he says.

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