As the stock market has demonstrated clearly of late, any type of kind of economic forecasting should be taken with a grain of salt. Whether it’s about stocks, jobs reporting, housing starts or any of the other ways the experts try to read the tea leaves, sometimes trends emerge, and other times none of it seems to make sense.
That said, reputable industry leaders put a lot of brainpower and staff resources into trying to make helpful predictions. As an insurance agent, you may be interested to know that accounting and professional services giant Deloitte has released a report about insurance trends for 2019 that is worth reviewing. Here are some of the highlights:
Technology’s Not Going Away
More insurers are using cloud services to offer core business functions, like claims, fraud detection and marketing systems. What does this mean?
You may see or hear the term SaaS, which means “Software as a Service.” Think of products like Google Apps and Salesforce that are accessible online; instead of a physical filing cabinet full of documents, you can keep word-processing documents, spreadsheets and more in Google Drive. And instead of keeping a file card on each of your insurance customers on your desk, you can use Salesforce to not only track that data but also easily automate future contacts with your customers, streamlining your sales process.
So now take the concept of SaaS and imagine how it could apply it to your work with insurance companies. The trend shows that they will continue to develop more and more cloud services that will impact how you and your clients interact with them. This means that staying conversant with technology is a good idea for any insurance agent moving forward.
Flexibility and customization are high on many consumers’ wish lists, and the insurance industry is starting to respond. New products and/or ways of using them may take various forms; Deloitte gives examples such as:
Life insurance that can be activated before a motorcycle trip and deactivated once the rider is back home safe and sound
Property insurance that can be purchases for a single product like a camera and terminated directly by the consumer once they no longer own the item
Niche products like travel insurance for customers with pre-existing conditions
With computing help, data is sliced and diced a million different ways in seconds, making it easier for an insurance company to assess a very specific risk as soon as a consumer is interested in insuring for it. More on-demand insurance is expected to become the norm in the future.
Get Ready to Hear the Word Cyber a Lot
Already emerging as an important area for insurers, the field of cyber risk management is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. This is important to the industry in a couple of macro ways:
What liability coverages will businesses large and small need to protect themselves from cyberattacks? Will individuals need this type of coverage, too?
Are the large insurance companies themselves managing their own cyber risk? Are they protecting their customer’s information and complying with government regulations?
On a more micro level, how safe is your customer’s information? Have you done what you can to ensure that your computer systems are protected from those who’d love to get in and poke around looking for names, social security numbers, bank account numbers and other identifying information?
There are currently lots of questions without definitive answers, but that will change as standards become codified. You’ll do well to keep the topic of cyber risk in mind going forward.
These are three of the topics raised in the Deloitte report, but there are more. To read the full document, click here. To discuss any of them further with one of our Hometown Quotes experts, call 800-820-2981.
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