For Risto Rossar, CEO of Insly, a UK-based insurance IT company, the question of whether insurance brokers will be replaced by technology is equal to asking if the transportation industry will be replaced by autonomous cars. “Until human teleportation is invented, we still need the car that transports us, we’re just talking about removing the human operator from the driver’s seat at this point,” Rossar writes in Insurance Age.
Rossar sees trends that will continue to drive the insurance industry:
• more interactive channels, particularly mobile;
• automation of business processes;
• improved risk selection through Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and better data quality and analysi;s
• possibly profound, yet largely uncharted advances in industry structure, brought about by the blockchain technology; and
• decreasing reliance on human labor.
“:And guess what does the industry need for all of that to happen?” he asks in the opinion piece. “It needs technology, a lot of it, and this is exactly what we’re doing at Insly: empowering insurance industry with technology to embrace the innovation in that sector.”
Rossar believes that the war for customers will be won by companies that understand customer needs and make them happy. He sees new services where insurance companies are bypassed altogether, with online channel operators (essentially agents or brokers) making direct deals with reinsurers.
It’s an industry shift but “as of now, it’s not at all decided which participants – insurers, brokers, agents or reinsurers – stand to gain and which ones end up losing,” he writes. “Some things are certain though. Only the digital will survive. And in the new world, it’s not about big eating the small anymore, it’s the fast eating the slow.”