The world is constantly changing, and it seems the pace of technology is ever-increasing. The world of insurance is dynamic, as well – from regulatory changes to coverage expansions and changes in case law, the insurance industry is no stranger to change.
Innovations in technology are also changing insurance jobs. More business is being done digitally, and some customers prefer the convenience of using an app over visiting an agent in person. Tasks that used to be performed by people can now be done by machine.
These technology innovations in insurance are called insurtech, and it is changing the insurance landscape in many ways.
What is Insurtech?
Insurtech is a term used to define using technology to create efficiencies within the insurance industry. Adoption of the term became widespread following the finance industry’s coining of Fintech – which is using technology in finance to drive efficiencies.
Looking for better ways to do business isn’t a new idea, but the recent explosion of technological innovations within insurance is creating new opportunities. Insurtech is the concept of innovation in action within the insurance ecosystem, creating a better customer experience throughout the insurance lifecycle.
Insurtech innovations can be applied to all areas of insurance – the quote and buy process, underwriting, customer communications, claims, policy management, and billing. Carriers, MGAs, agents, and brokers can all benefit from the various applications of insurtech.
How is Insurtech Changing the Insurance Ecosystem?
Insurtech is here to stay and is changing the insurance ecosystem in many ways. Different insurtech applications solve problems for customers and agents across the industry. Because of some of these innovations, insurance jobs look different than in the past.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
There are many repetitive processes within the insurance lifecycle, from how we send bills to the way we take recorded statements. Using automation for repetitive tasks means people are able to work on other, more complex tasks. Insurance jobs become less task-based as automation fills some of these duties. Workflow automation can be accomplished with AI, and by using machine learning, the system can continue to get better over time.
Fraud remains a costly problem across the insurance industry, with the FBI estimating the annual cost at more than $40 billion for non-medical fraud. New technologies can better detect fraud, helping agents to find duplicate claims, inconsistent data, medical scams, employee scams, and more. Mobile and cloud technologies help to enable faster and more efficient data sharing, helping employees see possible patterns of fraud.
The use of bots in customer service applications is increasing. Many carriers and agencies use chatbots on their websites – when you are scrolling a company’s site, you may notice a chat box pops up or appears in the lower right corner of your screen. These are chatbots designed to interact with customers when they reach certain places on a website.
Chatbots can be programmed to answer simple, repetitive questions – things like providing an email address, an adjuster’s name, or the steps in a process. Since these questions would previously have been routed to CSRs, insurance jobs change as the chatbot saves time and lets the human employees engage in more complex discussions with customers.
Some insurance carriers are exploring the use of blockchain to exchange and store information. USAA and State Farm began a partnership in 2019 to explore the use of blockchain to transmit subrogation data and payments between the two carriers. The system they have built can be expanded to include other carriers as the idea finds success.
The Institutes’ RiskStream Collaborative is a blockchain alliance for life and P&C carriers focused on solving various common challenges using blockchain solutions. They have recently announced an initiative for First Notice of Loss (FNOL) to save time and money. It will also reduce customer effort since a customer involved in an accident should only provide information once, eliminating the repetitive questions often found in claims investigations.
Stay Flexible for a Career in Insurtech
With all of these new innovations happening in the insurance industry due to insurtech, you may be wondering how you can stay current with new advancements changing insurance jobs.
Stay flexible for continued success. Insurtech is here to stay, and new advances and changes in the industry will continue. Those who can stay flexible and embrace change will be successful as the insurance ecosystem evolves. There will continue to be insurance jobs, but they may look a little different in the future.
Keep learning new things. Continuing education is always an essential value for agents, but with insurtech rapidly changing the playing field, it is even more critical to keep learning new things. Staying current on trends and new advances in insurtech means you can take advantage of new technology quickly.
Network with your colleagues. Talking with your peers in the industry will help you stay current on new innovations and how others are using them. You can attend conferences and join membership organizations, like the American Agents Alliance, to expand your network with other agents and brokers.
Find new ways to use technology. Keep finding new applications for the technological advancements being introduced. Seeing new uses and opportunities for the technology will keep you involved and invested in new insurtech innovations at your agency. These innovations can save you time and money, so finding new ways to exploit them will help you become more efficient.
How is Your Agency Using Insurtech?
Is your agency using any of the insurtech innovations mentioned here? Become a member of the American Agents Alliance and stay up to date on the latest in insurtech! Check out more handy resources about agency technology and management on our blog.