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Strategic Future Issues

New and emerging technology levels the insurance playing field and creates opportunity for new competition. Understand the key trends poised to influence the independent agency system.
Lemonade’s position is that they are a tech company offering a new approach to insurance. Their approach to media and marketing has garnered a lot of attention. Their first 48 hours results show an entire world watching the start-up in New York State. So why hasn’t the insurance industry thought of this before? Umm, they have. So why haven’t they done this? In variations, they have, however regulations bind their behavior and options. Lemonade is managing their brand and trying to make an old industry sexy again. Are they as unique as they say? Let’s test it out.
The seven hard trends outlined in the 2015 Hard Trends Report will be disruptive and have a significant impact on the insurance industry. To that end, ACT has identified these specific “Must Do” items and suggested strategies to implement them.
This 2016 Hard Trends Report is the first phase of a two-part initiative. In phase one, the Agents for Technology Council (ACT) Strategic Future Issues Work Group identified the key trends that will affect the future of the independent agency system.
This article is a modified version of comments Jeff Yates made at the Phoenix ACT meeting as he anticipated his retirement at the end of February, 2014. Jeff discusses the significant progress that ACT and the industry have made with technology over the last thirteen years and provides his thoughts on taking ACT to the next level, as well as on the future for independent agents and brokers.
This page overviews the six segments of the 2013 IIABA Special Event in San Antonio and then provides a link to separate podcasts for each segment. Links are also provided to PDFs of the PowerPoints presented in Podcast #2 & Padcast #4.
This is Phase One of a two part initiative. In Phase One, we identify the key trends that will affect our future. In Phase Two, we will develop the Industry “Must Do” Issues, which are the key action items our industry should pursue in response to the challenges and changes brought about by the Hard Trends. The work group will begin work on Phase Two after the September 27, 2013 ACT meeting.
A social business is one that possesses the culture, organization and processes that position it to thrive in the current environment characterized by rapid change and the emergence of the “social culture” and “connected society.” This article defines what is meant by a social business and then describes how it is different from traditional hierarchical businesses. The complete picture of what social businesses ultimately will look like is still evolving, but the article points to the many exciting things agencies and other businesses are already doing to transform themselves into more flexible, social and collaborative organizations.
This ACT overview and review of McKinsey & Company’s “Agents of the Future: The Evolution of Property and Casualty Insurance Distribution,” discusses the trends and predictions for property-casualty agency distribution contained in the report; its recommendations to help agents position themselves for the future; and the key questions it encourages carriers to be thinking about with regard to their agency force.
In a time of rapid and profound change, it is critical for agencies to create a culture that embraces innovation, coupled with a defined process for successful change management. This article shares several of the strategies that ACT participants have found successful in implementing their change management programs. Agencies that keep up with the changes taking place around them and empower their employees to share their ideas and to innovate, as well as to involve them in the changes being made, are finding themselves well positioned for the future.
Peter van Aartrijk provides great insights for the agency principal to consider in order to take his or her business to a higher level in the future, based upon the innovations the author is seeing both within and outside the insurance industry. There has been a lot of very fruitful idea sharing going on within ACT’s Agencies of the Future initiative, which Peter chairs, as well as in ACT meetings and other forums. Peter shares the ideas that have particularly resonated with him, along with providing links to several excellent resources that will provide agency leaders with additional food for thought and action.
This report summarizes several presentations from the February, 2013 ACT Meeting which focused on future-oriented business and marketing strategies that are working today for innovative agencies and carriers. Terry Golesworthy and Mike Wise spoke about using social media effectively and what is coming next. We had an Agencies of the Future panel and then heard presentations from ACT's Strategic Future Issues Work Group and Project CAP.
A page containing qualities of successful agencies of the future.
Independent agents can provide the online auto insurance shopper with a better value proposition than the direct carriers and thereby take personal lines business from them. Independent agents now have the technology tools available to write personal lines profitably and to increase their visibility online so that they can be found by online shoppers. Recent consumer research also bolsters the opportunity independent agents have to attract online shoppers—most online shoppers continue to buy offline from a local agent; consumers using agents highly value their agent; and consumers using local agents have a higher degree of loyalty to their current insurance provider.
Recent research offers invaluable insights about what drives personal lines consumers to choose particular providers for insurance, what’s important to them in making their decisions and how they want their insurance providers to interact with them. This article pulls relevant consumer data from five different studies and then outlines how independent agencies might use this data to enhance their personal lines operations and strategies to attract and retain today’s changing consumer and compete effectively with the direct carriers and others.
This report results from a series of break out sessions at the Tampa ACT meeting that followed a thought provoking panel sponsored by ACT’s Strategic Future Issues Work Group. The role of the work group is to watch what is happening in our society and in other industries with regard to societal, business and technology trends, as well as changing consumer expectations in an effort to help our industry get out in front of these trends and be positioned to respond to them proactively.
This is the latest report on trends and industry 'must do' issues produced by ACT's Strategic Future Issues Work Group (September 2009). It updates the WG's 2006 report found below. The WG's latest report, endorsed by the full ACT group, identifies four key 'hard' trends that will impact our distribution system and industry, as well as the three industry 'Must Do' issues that ACT believes are most important for the industry to unite behind and accomplish. ACT invites your comments and feedback on this draft report.
A major ACT product that was six months in the making. It is a collaborative effort involving agent, insurance company, technology provider, and industry association participants. ACT went beyond its membership to seek input on the report from numerous opinion leaders in the technology area including independent agents and brokers, agent user groups, young agents, the IIABA Executive Committee, the Commission to Enhance Agency Value (which produces the Best Practices studies), IIABA and state association staff, other producer trade associations, ACORD, agency automation vendors and consultants, and insurance company executives. This report is the product of an extensive review process by all of the ACT participants, and we believe it will provide a very useful framework for agencies, companies, and technology providers as they address technology issues.
From the input gained at our September 2011 ACT meetings in Minneapolis and subsequent meetings of the SFI work group, we are recommending the following updates and additions to create a “2012 Trends” report. Our focus will be to stay “pace-aware” – meaning to focus our efforts at the pace technology advances within, and outside of our industry.
he agent participants on this work group have had several meetings to discuss how agents see consumers changing five years from now and how we see agencies needing to change as a result. We then drilled down deeper to discuss specifically how we see business prospects and clients changing in the future and how we expect agencies to evolve to accommodate those changes in their business clients. We hope the following draft will give you a good overview of the work group’s discussions to-date and that it will provoke additional ideas and insights from the full work group and overall ACT membership.
The ACT Strategic/Future Issues Work Group has endeavored to identify the most significant technology and consumer trends that will change how our distribution system does business in the next five to 10 years. We have focused primarily on “Hard” trends, using the terminology provided to us by Daniel Burrus. “Hard” trends are those that we believe are permanent and are likely to change the reality with which we must deal. We also include a few “Soft trends (1),” which are present today and may continue into the future.
This article discusses technology tools that are being introduced to permit independent agents and brokers to serve their clients more promptly and effectively in claims situations. Claims download, real-time claim inquiry, real-time filing of First Notice of Loss (FNOL), and real-time requests for loss runs all have great promise to make agency workflows more efficient. Most of these new capabilities have already been introduced by some carriers, but we need to see much broader usage. The agents will play the critical role in making this happen, but first they need to be convinced that these new technologies will materially improve their workflows. This article seeks to make that case.
Independent agents and brokers should take time periodically to think about the trends that are most likely to affect the future of their businesses. How do I identify the trends that have the highest degree of certainty? Do the trends create opportunities for my agency to begin to take advantage of today, or do they represent threats that I had better start to prepare myself for now? Finally, what are the two or three things the leaders of my agency all agree we “must do” today to meet these trends and continue to improve our business?
ACT’s Strategic Future Issues Work Group had a focus group with ten Generation X independent agents attending the Big I Young Agents Conference in San Diego this past September. Facilitated by agency consultant Steve Anderson, we probed the young agents on how they see their customers’ expectations changing and how they believe their agencies will need to respond. Most interestingly, these agents agreed that their agencies should make a paradigm shift to remain competitive in the future and made several recommendations as to how the carriers could help them in this transition.
While it is easy to fixate on the tough market independent agents are currently facing, many agencies are looking beyond the problems to take advantage of some unprecedented opportunities that exist to greatly enhance their productivity. This article discusses opportunities such as full use of agency management systems, Real Time, Download, going paperless, and social networking, as well as how agencies are using these tools to transform their businesses.
2007 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the industry to make significant advances in how agencies and carriers do business together. The industry has just launched an unprecedented campaign to double the usage of Real Time over the next year. We increasingly understand that Download has become even more important in a Real Time world, so it is imperative that we also push implementation of Commercial Lines Download and make sure effective Personal Lines Download is universally available.
Young agents talk about the generational differences among agency employees and consumers and point to ways in which the generations can work better together and how they can help their agencies attract more young customers. They speak to the inefficiencies in current agency technology and the need to have improved automation to meet their customers’ expectations for a real-time response. The young agents also discuss additional value added services their agencies could provide their customers, as well as urge carriers to provide readily available underwriters.
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