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How Traditional Insurance Sales is disrupted by Online Technology
Nearly, technological innovations and new entrants affect or disrupt the traditional way of
operation almost in every industry. The participants in these industries are forced to adapt to
the changes and come up with means for survival. Over decades, insurance industry has not
experienced the kind of pressure from outside errands and technological innovations that are
currently facing. Below are various new entrants and technological innovations that have a
larger impact on traditional sales insurance.
To start with, the most outsider errant threating agents in the insurance industry is Google.
The technology giants have previously caused disruptions in lots of industries to achieve its
great success, talk of health, navigation, travel, email and now insurance. With its dominance
of the search space, many people use it to search for best insurance companies, cheapest
policy and steps to follow to acquire insurance information. As a way of eliminating this long
steps and being used only as a search engine, Google has ventured into insurance business
itself, launched as ?Google Compare?. Instead of a person using google to search for
insurance companies or cheaper policies, Google will be there ready to provide the service
more effectively and efficiently with a cheaper cost. With such in operation, no agent will be
needed since everything will be provided online in a more clear and simple manner.
Furthermore, Google has teamed up with different insurance companies of all sizes to help
them in business writing and determination of individual risks. It also allows them to quickly
search for the rates and compare the policies, ?Pound for pound,? the work which was being
done by agents. To manage all its large customer base and ensure that it provides insurance
services of high quality, Google has come with different technological innovations;
First is the Millennials Trust Google which was created to familiarize itself and elicit trust
with the consumers. It is aimed at increasing the number of consumers who will prefer to
purchase insurance cover from online providers other than traditional insurers. This was
arrived at, after the research showed that consumers lack confidence in most insurance
companies since they are not transparent in their operation. This creates an uneasy tension in
the industry. Besides that, it is largely believed that most millennials trust Google with their
information than they trust insurance firms. They share more confidential and private
information with Google than they do with insurance companies. They also trust other
consumers more. In response to this, Google has created a platform that compares feedbacks
from the user hence promoting transparency which traditional insurance providers lack. This
confirms that the survival of traditional insurance agent is highly endangered.
Secondly Google has established a preferred Consumer Platform that enables consumers to
find their preferred policy at a cheaper price. A group product manager of Google, Stephanie
Cuthbertson recently reported that since its launch, Millions of people have used it to find
quotes they prefer. Among those who obtained quotes using Google, half of them have
confirmed that the policies were much cheaper than the policies in existence. An agent was
only involved for the sake of consumers? peace of mind before purchasing the policy and not
necessarily providing any advice to the consumer. This means that with time, consumers will
be convinced and there will be no need of them speaking to an agent before the purchase. So
what will be the work of an agent?
Finally Google compare has partnered with global insurance industries such as CoverHound
which is specialised in renters and homeowners insurance, Insurance Technologies
Corporation and Comparenow. This points out clearly where google compare will be in next
few years. It will also give Google compare an opportunity to interact with so many customers in different insurance companies identifying their specific needs. Eventually
Google compare will be in the better position to provide all these insurance policies in the
best manner ever that will leave insurance agents jobless.
Another company that has start venturing in the insurance industry is Walmart. By the fact
that it has entered into the partnership with AutoInsurance.com confirms that it has an interest
in the insurance businesses. Auto Insurance has leased Walmart a space. This has given a
supermarket a chance to interact with over 140 million individuals who visit the company
weekly to do their shopping. This is also a threat to the insurance agents since Walmart with
its financial stability and global interaction will provide these services in a modern way that
will not require an agent to intervene in the process of selling policies.
Beside new entrants in the insurance industries, innovative technologies are also contributing
to the eradication of human agents in their companies. For instance, some insurance
companies such as PolicyGenius and CoverHound have started providing online insurance.
Online means doing away with mediators, represented by agents, Others like Comparenow
don?t use agents to get policy prices or fee ,rather they do it themselves immediately after the
client has purchased the policy by sending traffic to insurer. Whichever the case, at the end of
the day, Main Street agents are pressed by showing insurers prices side by side and
automating the whole process.
In his article, ?The Insurance Industry in 2015: Trends and Innovation,? Parker Beauchamp
outlines four major technological and innovative trends that have taken place in the insurance
industry that are threatening the survival of traditional insurance agents. The innovations
include; big data analysis programs, Mobile insurance, Re-Engineering Underwriting and
Under big Data analysis program, the new program is developed to improve efficiency in the
insurances process by assessing fraudulent claims or improving on how one can fully meet
customer needs and demand in response to environmental and economic changes. The
program also consists of the evolving dashboard for data that compiles metrics from multiple
locations into a visualized platform hence providing clients with all information they need.
With such in practices, the services of insurance agents will no longer be needed.
Another technological innovation is Mobile insurance. Most insurance have taken the
advantage of the advancements that mobile phones have gone through. The insurance
companies have offered mobile applications that make it easy for clients to access their
accounts, make inquiry, obtain insurance quotations and claim any support. The technology
has also enabled policyholders to connect directly to the insured via mobile phone. The two
parties are able to exchange information directly.
Finally, cloud/client computing defined as ?the practice of sharing a network or remote
internet servers to store, manage and process information.? Operating this way helps
companies to optimize Innovation and Technology that will see them doing away with agents.
Additionally, the technology enhances business preparations for everything from potential
data loss disasters to growth of the product or service. Integrating the network means that
insurers will be in a better position to get in touch with their clients or consumers directly. In
simple terms, it means that the network integration eliminate an agent from the insurance
Beauchamp, P. (2015, February 18). The Insurance Industry in 2015: Trends and Innovation.
Retrieved November 22, 2015, from http://www.inguard.com/blog/the-insurance-industry-in2015-trends-and-innovation.