Non-life insurers are feeling pressure to prepare automated multichannel distribution models, according to a recent Agencyport survey.

The results indicated that direct channels currently source most of insurers’ business, and while phone communication remains popular, there is the most demand from insurers for agile front-end development—new, adaptable technologies for serving customers and scaling their business.

“The issue we have now is that European carriers have developed their own portals but they are inflexible and unable to adapt swiftly to technology, market and product changes," said Phil Race, managing director, Agencyport Europe.

Delegates from European and global insurance companies attending the Uniglobal Annual Conference in Berlin, May 2012, responded to the Agencyport questionnaire.

Agencyport submitted the same questionnaire to delegates at last year's conference. Year-over-year comparisons show that web portals are more important to non-life carriers in 2012 compared to 2011 survey but also more carriers are moving on mobile portals—an increase of 23 percent in 2012.

Collaboration was also stressed in the responses, e.g. brokers and policyholders needing to communicate with underwriters on policy details and exposure.

Quotes, binding, renewals and claims tracking were most often cited as features of Web portals.

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