April 19, 2018 11:30
Photo : Freepik
Many digital platforms now exist to support the dealers in their solicitation and their interactions with the customer. Newton Asare has presented some at the conference Insurtech, held on 13 April in Quebec city.
The founder of the platform LiveBrokers.co, is also the co-founder and CEO of ClaimCast, ClientDesk and Dream Insurance. In all cases, the platforms are intended to assist the broker in the management of the relationship with the customer, and also to attend the customers in case of a claim, » he said.
Incomprehension in the face of the artificial intelligence
There is a lot of misunderstanding concerning the artificial intelligence, learning algorithms and metadata, » says Dr. Asare. However, the main functions of the broker are to sell insurance policies, advising customers and supporting the victims of a disaster.
There are already digital tools that allow the broker to perform these tasks, he said. Different methods exist to scan the activities of a brokerage firm. On the US $ 5 billion already invested in startups in the sector, fintech, a good portion of these sums were devoted to the distribution of products, both in damage insurance (17 %) and insurance of persons (11 %).
Platforms have been successfully launched in recent years, » said Mr. Asare, citing the examples of the League, focused towards the management of the health of the employees covered by group plans, or Dialogue, that facilitates access to health professionals.
The role of the intermediary
Some platforms and applications that seem to threaten the very existence of the brokerage, but there are others who aim to support them in their work of intermediary. Newton Asare compares the situation of the brokerage to the travel agencies, which have been shaken by the new reservation platform on the Internet.
Between 1999 and 2011, the number of travel agencies in the United States has fallen by 72 %, and over half of the tickets are now booked online. The insurance industry is not immune to such turmoil, » adds Mr. Asare.
Brokers that digitize their operations will succeed to pass through, he says. However, there is still a lot of work to do. The Centre for study of insurance operations (CSIO) leads a vigil on the degree of progress of the brokerage industry in Canada.
In 2017, only 150 brokerage firms, out of a total of 2 000 firms evaluated, obtained the certification of the CSIO for the digitization of their activities. «This is a serious problem. By the end of 2018, half of the firms should hold this distinction, and it is a minimum, » he says.
To get this title, it is necessary to master the following elements : documents transmitted digital presence on the network CSIOnet, electronic signature, online brokerage platform, mobile applications, use of social networks and a system for optimization of online research (SEO), etc
Many platforms are available both for sales, marketing or customer service. On the sales side, BrokerLift allows the dealer to scan the submissions, suggests Newton Asare. Customers can then choose their insurer and pay their premium directly through the dealer. For the moment, this application is aimed particularly dealers that offer commercial insurance to SMES.
Pronavigator works with a robot-advisor, and provides a link to the consumer with a representative in case of need. Auto and home insurance, Applied to Miss allows the broker to offer an aggregator which compares the premiums offered by different insurers.
Other applications exist to facilitate the interactions between the broker and its clients. It aims to facilitate the management of interactions with customers, through various channels of communication, be it a simple information request or to submit the documents related to a claim. In addition to ClientDesk, Newton Asare cites the example of SharpMobile or Applied Mobile Insurance. Many of these platforms are offered in French and in English.
In marketing, the tools allow you to solicit new customers or to maintain links with existing customers. Kanetix Digital and Pathway are good examples, » says Dr. Asare. The broker may offer personalized content in function of the duration and nature of the collateral held by the customer, or according to the seasons.
The insurer is Travelers also provides a platform of information to its brokers, Toolkit More. All content is accessible free of charge to the broker who placed a risk with that insurer.
The insurer Intact also provides a platform that allows the broker to directly link the customer with the claims service of the insurer. Some dealers are reluctant to do so, he recognizes it, but the system works very well.
Many of the management systems of the broker (BMS) are available. At the end of march, the insurer Aviva has handed its distinctions in brokerage digital. In collaboration with the CSIO and associations of brokerage, he has evaluated the performance of the platforms Applied Systems, Keal Technology, TechCanary, Power Broker and Broker Core for a dozen criteria.
«According to me, the most important aspect is to choose its BMS in terms of its ability to integrate the existing capabilities of the broker «, he says.
The platform Guidewire also is widely used in insurance, » adds Newton Asare, and offers a wide variety of features to the broker.
Newton Asare recalls that it is not a broker itself, but it can advise the brokers on their digitization strategy. «It must be an urgent need to automate the process of sale of products which are less profitable «, he insists, as is the case for home or auto insurance.
If the company does not have in its ranks the appropriate expertise to develop and maintain functional platform, Mr Asare suggested to use external providers who offer integrated solutions, such as Plextec Insurance, Fortify Network Solutions, Insureline or Prolink Broker Network.
Even Lemonade, a firm considered to be the worst enemy of the insurers, offer from October 2017 a platform usable by all intermediaries in the United States. Traders interested can use the application to offer insurance to consumers.
Approach a fully automated
Based in Vancouver, Jauntin « uses the same approach to fully-automated, based primarily on the needs of temporary cover, as seen in the collaborative economy..
For the insurance of persons and financial products, Newton Asare provides the platform Finaeo, which provides in particular a system of management of relations with clients (CRM) entirely digital. «Finaeo wants to become the partner of the financial advisors, not their enemy «, he says.
Some insurers want to take advantage of the collaborative economy.. The insurer Aviva announced in April 2017 that it was investing $ 2.5 million in venture capital in Casalova, whose platform allows you to rent or buy a residence at a distance. The agency GDR acts as a broker for the insurance needs, and financing transactions made through the platform.
Need a human presence
For the board and the service of intermediation between the client and the insurer, there is always need of a human presence. «It is no longer necessary to travel in person to provide this presence, this is what technology now allows us to do,» he said.
Newton Asare has presented its own application télécourtage, LiveBrokers.co, which allows the broker to discuss with the customer through a mobile phone, on the same principle as the application FaceTime ofApple. «There are many applications that aim to eliminate brokers, but this is not the purpose of our product. The dealers already have customers ; we want to allow them to interact with them at a lower cost, » he concludes.