Edison, N.J. - More than 90% of insurance agents want 24/7, Web-based access to the information technology (IT) systems of U.S. insurance carriers, according to a survey of independent producers conducted by research firm Celent LLC.Technology tools that improve efficiency, communication and customer service also are highly desired by insurance producers, said the majority of the 215 producers surveyed by Celent for MajescoMastek, a software solutions provider to the insurance industry.
"Independent insurance agents highly ranked tools that enhance communications and that help them work more efficiently," says Craig Weber, senior analyst with Celent. "This survey found that 91% of the agents want their carriers to provide 24/7, Web-based access to tools like compensation and new business systems. They also expressed a strong preference for using e-mail to communicate with their carriers, particularly for routine service or underwriting questions."
The results show that tools that focus on customer service, such as proactive alerts and 360-degree views of existing customers, are much sought after by independent agents.
"Insurance carriers that don't provide sales illustration software and automated online quote generation tools risk losing their agents' business to competitors," warns Steve Kendrick, MajescoMastek's head of North America Insurance Operations.
By deploying an efficient channel management system, as well as tools for up selling and cross selling, insurers can empower their agents with increased opportunities to sell, according to MajescoMastek.
MajescoMastek engaged Celent, an independent research firm, to conduct the detailed research on agent behavior and wants for technology tools offered by U.S. insurance carriers. Participants ranked Allianz as their favorite carrier for overall use of technology, followed by ING, Blue Cross, AIG and Midland National.
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