Earlier today I was reading the latest story where someone predicted the death of the smaller, independent broker. We’ve all heard this story so many times over the years and I can only imagine the aim is to provoke some kind of response in the market (or generate lots of clicks onto various websites!).
If these predictions are true, then there are a lot of small, independent brokers I know who are simply refusing to follow the script! There are numerous small, medium and large insurance brokers across Canada who are tearing a hole in the market today and growing by leaps and bounds.
The words Digital and Insurance Broker are not mutually exclusive
Yes, technology is playing a big part in how customers wish to be served now and in the future. In addition, continued commoditization of various products could gradually erode the need for advice. Why, however, do we naturally assume that brokers cannot play a role in this digital world?
Brokers provide choice, advice and advocacy to their clients. These benefits can be delivered through a number of different models adapted to the needs and preferences of various end-customer segments. Customers who wish to receive these benefits through a traditional and personal relationship will undoubtedly prefer to continue being served through the broker channel as it is today. At the same time, customers who prefer to interact digitally at a time of their choice can also receive these benefits through brokers who develop slick digital offers with self-customizable products.
I think we need to change this misconception that insurance brokers = traditional and out of date. Many brokers have adapted and are thriving. Many more will continue to innovate and create new value for their target clients, changing the model.
Above all, I’m convinced that the independent insurance broker channel will not simply lie down and play dead, following the script dictated to them by various analysts and industry experts. We will be here to help them in this process in any way we can.
After all, someone please try and tell Expedia that the travel agent is dead.