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Mounting geopolitical strife, rising interest rates, and the decline of a previously thriving stock market are putting pressure on all areas of the economy. And the insurance industry is no exception. With potentially reduced demand for insurance services, and more regulations, insurance brokers need to run a crisis-proof (or at least crisis-resistant) operation. There are plenty of actions brokers can take to secure new policyholders in uncertain times.
The Insurance Buying Experience Matters More Than Ever
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to combat inflation, and interest rate hikes can be expected to continue. Due to the slowdown, individual and business demand for new insurance plans is expected to decline this year. Those consumers who do decide to purchase insurance are more likely to make their decision slowly and deliberately, shopping around.
We are also seeing that insurance company growth mostly comes from price increases—rather than successfully selling new insurance plans. This is a worrisome trend, especially given that InsurTechs are able to address customer pains through delightful digital experiences. While some of these providers have seen their share price tumble recently, they offer a unique digital experience that will allow them to ride this wave. When the economy stabilizes, they will likely come out on top—while incumbents may struggle to stay relevant unless they make changes to their selling model.
Maintaining (or even increasing) demand during these challenging times will mean that traditional brokers need to create seamless and digital experiences for increasingly picky policyholders. Here are three ways they can get started:
Use Dynamic Product Presentations
Agents no longer have to rely on in-person or even PowerPoint insurance sales presentations. These cumbersome ways of selling add needless friction to the sales process. In contrast, automated digital workflows allow agents to create a visual “order” showcasing potentially relevant insurance products, and sharing it in real-time with customers in a collaborative mobile environment. Simultaneously, agents are on a phone call with the customers to provide guidance and answer any questions each step of the way.
Skip the Agent Scripts—and Try This Instead
Terms and conditions (T&Cs) vary depending on the different parameters of the agreement with the customer. Depending on the offer type, there is usually a corresponding T&C paragraph. While it’s certainly possible to save every T&C document in a separate PDF template, this slows down the time-sensitive sales process.
With automated digital workflows, there is no need for agents to search for the right T&C template or read lengthy compliance scripts.
Using dynamic documents, it is possible to create multiple sections on the same HTML document, add a section for each T&C paragraph, mark those paragraphs as objects, and apply conditions to them.
This way, with a single dynamic document, agents can send a single page that includes all the T&Cs—straight to the customer’s cell phone for approval.
Offer a Self-Service Option
While insurance sales agents can play an important role in advancing the sales cycle, automated digital workflows are also ideal for self-service. Insurers can easily embed the entire sales cycle into an email body or website.
This is very helpful for attracting prospective customers who may be wary of interacting with a sales representative, and would rather buy online. While some customers are reassured by representatives who can answer all their questions, for others it’s a barrier to buying. Insurance companies should cater to both types of prospective policyholders.
Self-service workflows also allow existing customers, whose information is already in the system, to renew or upgrade their insurance policy in a low-touch, convenient fashion. For these customers, there may be no need to speak to a representative at all.
The Bottom Line
By offering a differentiated and modern experience, insurance brokers can attract new policyholders even during periods of uncertainty. Taking a leaf out of the InsurTechs’ playbook is a good way to weather this storm—and ensure a thriving business during the next one, whenever it is.