4 Things for Agencies to Consider When Investing in Technology

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As an independent insurance agency owner, you’ve seen the industry evolve. You might be a second-generation owner who’s looking to upgrade your agency’s tech stack. Or you may have made the transition from a captive to an independent agent.
 
Whatever the reason is, your agency is now thinking about investing in technology – but where do you start? 
 
There are a ton of companies looking to solve many different pain points for the IA channel. These companies, often referred to as “insurtechs,” can be a bit overwhelming when you’re not sure what to look for.
 
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when investing in technology:
  1. Your agency’s pain points;
  2. Your agency’s budget;
  3. The reputation of the potential partner; and
  4. Your current tech stack
     

Pain Points

Here’s where categorizing needs vs. wants comes into play. Reflect on your day-to-day, what are the problems or frustrations you seem to run into again and again? These are your pain points, and we want to solve these first.
 
Low client retention, long or tedious internal processes, or disorganization signal foundational issues. But good news – many insuretechs already offer solutions for these core functions.
 
Insurtech products you should consider for your core tech stack may include:
  • An Agency Management System (AMS) or Customer Relation Management System (CRM)
  • Billing and payment automation solution
  • Personal lines and/or commercial lines comparative rating tools
     
Once you’ve minimized your pain points, you can begin to explore nice-to-have solutions. These could include:
  • Lead generation tools
  • Data aggregation or automation solutions
  • Virtual assistants
  • Marketing automation solutions
     

Budget

 
You’ll need to review your existing budget to see what you can invest in technology.
 
Insurtech products range in cost. Some include the cost of onboarding, training, and support into their product cost. While others may charge extra fees for these services.
 
It’s also important to look at what problems each product is solving. If the insurtech offers one solution that can solve for several pain points it could be worth a higher cost.
 
It comes down to investing in technology that will bring your agency the most value. Identify which products offer the best return on investment. And take into account any future rate increases or support costs.
 

Reputation

 
90% of insurtech startups fail – so it’s wise to be careful when choosing which one(s) to buy. Imagine integrating a new piece of technology into your workflow, for it cease to exist a year later.
 
Don’t be afraid to ask the sales rep about the growth of the company, or put feelers out into the industry for feedback. Your colleagues will always be willing to share their experience- good or bad!
 

Pro tip: ask for referrals or testimonials from current users of the platform.

 

Integrations

 
OK – now you’ve invested in different tech platforms, but none of them communicate with each other. What does that mean for your agency?
 
Being able to seamlessly pass data from one platform to the next will prove to be a huge time-saver. When identifying new tech products for your agency consider the available integrations. 
 

Questions to ask: 

  • Does this technology offer native integrations with my agency’s:
  • If there are limitation with direct integrations for your existing tech stack: 
    • Does this technology offer built-in solutions for streamlining cross-platform workflows?
    • Are you able to use an automation tool, like Zapier, in place of direct integrations? 
       
You can often find integration partners of a solution listed on their website. 
 

Now you’re ready to invest!

 
Of course the list of considerations does not stop here. Each insurance agency and their needs differ from the next. 
 
You’ve decided it’s time to invest in technology into your agency – and these four points are a great place to start.

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