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The Ever-Increasing Importance of Insurance Agent Portals

Automated underwriting, often driven by machine learning models, has become standard practice. However, this doesn’t signify the end of human underwriting. In fact, 80% of the value of human judgment in underwriting arises from just 20% of cases. Therefore, carriers in personal lines, workers’ compensation, and small commercial lines should aim for high straight-through processing rates. In certain cases, such as personal auto insurance, setting goals as high as 100% is feasible.

So what are the recommended goals of a carrier’s digital platform?

  • Enhance the Agent Value Proposition: As insured clients increasingly use digital channels for price comparisons, carriers should strengthen their agents’ digital capabilities. Doing so will empower agents to provide personalized support and value beyond just pricing.
    • Make sure your online platform easily enables agents to cross-sell products, e.g., automatically prefilling data across multiple products within the same insured account.
    • Extend agents capabilities, particularly in claims processing, to serve as advocates and advisors during crucial moments in the client-carrier relationship
    • Provide proactive status alerts to keep agents informed outside of the claims web portal.
    • Enable your adjusters to Identify and redact any notes that should not be shared with agents.
  • Increase Straight-Through Processing Rates: Carriers should strive to achieve higher rates of straight-through processing, especially in areas where automation can be maximized.
  • Improve Real-Time Integration with Agents: With more insurance being written through digital channels, carriers should expose APIs to facilitate agent-driven customer-facing digital experiences that work seamlessly across different carriers.
  • Agents often need quick access to underwriters or carrier tech support, yet some carriers still do not offer chat support. Providing agents with real-time assistance strengthens the carrier agency relationship.
  • Establish an Adaptive Technology Foundation: The ability to adapt continuously is crucial. Many carriers rely on custom-developed portals to maintain control over the agent experience and provide unique value. Carriers who consider themselves above average in what they provide to agents relative to competitors are twice as likely to use custom development.

Emphasizing business processes, not just systems, is essential for future-proofing solutions as digital distribution strategies evolve.

Enhancing the agent experience is essential for carriers to remain competitive and relevant in an increasingly digital insurance landscape.