Two Trends in the Quest to Grow the Book of Business
Trend 1: Insurance Good, Fast, and Cheap
Back in the day, one insurer trained the entire driving public to spend no more than 15 minutes on finding and binding an auto insurance policy. This pushed all large carriers to create on-line solutions and find ways to trim the quoting process to suit the new efficiency demanded by the public.
Today, the public expects even more simplicity and speed. These new demands have grown from outside of the insurance industry with on-line retailers offering one-click buying, the ability to cross-sell based on known consumer interests, and delivery to the doorstep sometimes as fast as same-day. The public’s appetite for good, fast, and cheap is impacting the insurance industry as never before.
Meeting expectations for fast quoting, cross-selling, and quick delivery of services are functions of a data-driven business model: retailers know who you are, what you like, and when you need it. Insurance has never been a data-driven industry and although there are lots of good reasons why that is true, excuses are not going to cut it. Insurance needs to up its game.
Organic growth in personal lines has stagnated; growing the book of business in personal lines means enticing policy holders from your competitors to come to your company for a better experience. That means saving 15% in five minutes or less. It means binding on your smart phone by answering five questions instead of 50. It means receiving your policy, insurance cards, and notifications by text. Yes, text, not just email.
This is not cutting-edge; this is the new normal. Growing the book of business requires insurance carriers to excavate the metric-tons of data they already have, liberate data about consumer preferences and behaviors, and mine data from public and private records. For example, we don’t need to ask for a policy-holder’s address which is already in the public record. Instead of asking for it, just look it up. That’s one question down, 49 more to go! Need help navigating the new normal? Fenris can help. Click here to schedule a demo or to discuss custom solutions.
- Dana Isaacoff is a 30-year veteran of information technology and the CIO at Fenris LLC. She has helped dozens of companies grow by streamlining processes and tapping into stored data.
Trend 2: Small Business is Growing Fast – Capture the Opportunity
Smaller standard and non-standard auto carriers are struggling to meet their growth objectives. The reasons for this are myriad including the shrinking of the driving public, and the delays in the Y and Z generations in getting their licenses. Growing auto insurance organically will not substantially improve the numbers. We must move beyond that.
In the era of Ubers, Airbnb’s, and selling product on Etsy, no one has failed to notice the growth in US small and micro businesses. Recent census data indicates that 99.7% of US business have fewer than 500 workers. Businesses with fewer than 20 workers made up 89.4%. All these companies face risks making business owner policies (BOP) and other commercial vehicles the new growth centers for insurance.
Currently, there are few products or services that can aid carriers in securing this business. Insurers need a better means of quoting coverage besides the hand-written form, faxing, mailing, and hand-reviewing that marks the industry. Seriously…how many things do you do today the same way they were done in 1970? Right, I thought so. Welcome to insurance! The same barriers to excellence exist in prioritization of leads and in underwriting services. BOP is the forgotten child of the industry.
Automation is the prerequisite for growth and profitability of BOP. To get ahead in this market, carriers will need standardization of processes and access to relevant data. This isn’t about eliminating the underwriter. This is about making her more efficient.
The expectation of the 21st Century business owner is that getting BOP is fast and easy. A carrier who cannot respond in a timely fashion with a quick and accurate quote will lose the business. Further, a bad experience will cascade through social media crippling a carrier’s ability to grow. The carrier that finds a way to provide more meaningful information at point of initial contact and quote will be rewarded. Fenris has several products to address the needs of commercial underwriters including lead scoring, dashboard view of relevant underwriting data, and small business application platforms. Click here to schedule a demo or to discuss custom solutions that can make you a winner in small commercial.
- John Petricelli – wrote the book on insurance data in a lifetime of working with carriers large and small. Many of the insurance innovations that exist are his inventions. JP is the Head of Product at Fenris LLC.