In this article, Andrew How, Senior Sales Director, UK & Ireland, talks about the need for insurers in the UK to develop more productive intermediary distribution networks and how Duck Creek’s Producer platform can help them to significantly enhance their producer partner relationships in today’s challenging market environment.
This is an exciting time for our industry, where the most successful insurance businesses are undoubtedly those that act on their ability to listen to consumers and react quickly.
This is particularly important in today’s uncertain economic environment with spiralling inflation and the cost of household living increasingly impacting consumers – an environment where simple, relevant, cost-effective and easy-to-access products have never been more important to allow customers to clearly see the value-add and benefits so that they can make informed decisions about a product purchase.
The challenge for insurers more than ever now is to improve the experience of currently indifferent customers, delivering a positive experience and better outcomes. In particular, insurance providers must have a good understanding of which products their customers actually want and need – relevance is critical – and for those products to do what they say on the tin, without exception.
While product relevance is of course vital, the other equally important element of the product purchase is distribution and we know from our own research that while the majority of consumers still prefer to buy insurance directly from a provider, over one quarter of purchases are completed via brokers or other third parties.
Whatever a consumer’s individual buying preference, it is incumbent on insurers to adapt distribution channels so that people have a choice as to how they purchase the products they need. New customer behaviours require a shift in distribution and a seamless, consistent, multi-access experience across every channel is now the gold standard for insurers – all delivered through a highly configurable and flexible core platform.
In recent years, there has been a value shift towards intermediaries and in the UK wholesale and retail insurance markets, for example, brokers play a central role in helping consumers and businesses access the insurance products they need. Insurance brokers arrange over £74 billion of insurance each year – 67% of all general insurance business and 81% of all commercial insurance business in the UK.
Nurturing and expanding relationships with brokers and other third-party intermediaries is, therefore, critical to any insurer’s strategy. Having a modern producer relationship management system that enables companies to tailor all aspects of the producer lifecycle to attract, retain and increase productivity as well as building trust with brokers, agents and other intermediaries is a prerequisite for today’s insurance companies.
The significance of effective distribution management in our industry cannot be underestimated and as insurers look to grow distribution channels, ensuring that intermediaries have the right data available to empower smart, accurate and timely business decisions. Working in partnership with these intermediary partners, the shift toward high quality digital solutions is the best opportunity for insurers to retain the upper hand in the fight for the customer in a very competitive market. The current economic environment is certainly putting pressure on insurers to develop more productive and loyal broker networks.
We are delighted, therefore, with the international expansion of Duck Creek Producer, our cutting-edge platform for enhancing the relationships between insurers and brokers and accelerating speed-to-market for distributing new products. The platform has been gaining strong traction in the US since we launched it two years ago and its functionality has now been extended globally, with the UK/EMEA markets a key growth area.
Duck Creek Producer enables insurers to maximise operational efficiency by delivering genuinely valuable and differentiated portal experiences that result in more productive and loyal agents, brokers and other intermediaries. Incorporating extensive persona-based UX research and industry standard formats, the platform offers tools and workflows that are visually appealing, intuitive and easy for brokers and agents to use. Producer also offers a single point of change, ensuring that any amendments to policy wordings, structure and rates only need to be made once and can be live with intermediaries in almost real time.
By providing out-of-the-box content that simplifies implementations and increases speed to market, Duck Creek Producer optimises user experiences while helping insurers to increase revenues and market share by making it easier for brokers to do business with them – offering quote, billing and claims-handling tools in a centralised channel.
This valuable cloud-based tool offers insurers the opportunity to deploy modern core systems to enhance and modernise their relationships with their producers and positively differentiate themselves from the competition.
By using the best available technology to strengthen and expand their relationships with their broker and other intermediary partners, insurers will stand out in a highly competitive market – and importantly, all parties will benefit by putting the need to meet customers’ ever-changing requirements at the heart of their go-to market strategy.