A new report from New-York-based Novarica offers a framework for insurers to use when making decisions about one of the most important arms of its distribution channel: the agent portal. The report, based on interviews with benchmark companies and vendor activities in the area of agent portal software, points to some clearly emerging trends:

1. Build-out of transactional capabilities.The ability to perform self-service transactions is recognized as important to both the carrier and the agent, note authors Don Desiderato and Kim Markel, principal analyst and analyst respectively for Novarica. Capabilities include financial and non-financial transaction such as address changes or account rebalancing. Most carriers have not yet built fully robust capabilities in this area, they say.

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