The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated channel shifts across consumer sectors. As consumers were forced online to meet their everyday needs, digital laggards had to reinvent their online channels. This digital acceleration has been evident even in the property and casualty insurance industry, which has come at the expense of traditional insurance agents interacting with clients via brick-and-mortar agencies. As consumers navigate a new, more digitally focused customer journey, three trends in the market will change the role of agents in the traditional selling model:
The shift online to DTC sales has changed the traditional agent-led dynamic in the property and casualty insurance market. While there is significant momentum towards DTC, the introduction of complex, hyper-personalized products creates both opportunities and threats for agents in this ecosystem. Just as AI, Machine-Learning and IoT force carriers to re-think traditional definitions of risk, they must shift their perspective of agents as assets to convert potential customers rather than a liability that decreases the bottom line. Like the recalibration of physical retail doors in the wake of e-commerce, insurance carriers will have to re-think the size and shape of its agent force, including questions around where to locate them and what role they play in the customer journey.