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Digital impact on insurance market – Intermediary role still important

“Technology, data, cultural and behavioural change of the consumer is transforming the role of the broker – and the importance of advice – in South Africa’s intermediary insurance market,” according to an article on the Techfinancial website.

“In today’s digital era customers expect instant and ubiquitous service and this is driving innovation within the global insurance industry. Insurers are leveraging technology and data to roll out previously undreamed off capabilities. These innovations are also redefining the broker’s capability to give advice to customers and significantly improve the customer experience,” Soul Abraham, Chief Executive for Retail Insurance at Old Mutual Insure writes.

According to Abraham the change in customer needs and behaviours have led to a substantial part of the personal line market shifting to direct insurers over the past decade. This trend speaks to the evolving expectations of customers over the last decade. “Younger customers today have a much more shared-economy and omni-channel mindset. These customers generally prefer to use a broad range of digital platforms to understand the risks or research the cover they will need – even though they may, for example, still want to pick up a phone to ask questions or conclude a transaction,” he stresses.

Abraham points out that this means that insurers need to be able to make brokers relevant from an omni-channel perspective. “In other words, millennials still need broker advice but require this in a different accessible and digitally delivered format.”

As the Consulta study on Customer Satisfaction rightfully points out: “Technology will change and evolve, but the fundamentals of being relevant and responsive to customer needs and wants on every aspect of the customer journey remain steadfast.”

This is also borne out by the market research published above. Whether this will remain so, is entirely in our own hands.

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