NEW YORK -- The “insurance company of the future” will be leaner and meaner, while empowering advisors through technology.
And advisors are optimistic about it, according to new data via a joint LIMRA-Ernst & Young survey. LIMRA hosted a session led by David Holtzman, principal, insurance advisory, for Ernst & Young.
“People are acknowledging that they have to come to this change,” Holtzman said. “We’re seeing it from the big tech companies of the world and the regular applications we’re using on a daily basis for banking.”
“Harnessing Growth: The LIMRA-EY Experienced Financial Advisor Study,” is based on an online survey of nearly 1,500 advisors.
As insurers change, their agents will have to change right along with them. Many are very optimistic that it will be a positive experience for their careers.
As it stands, 43 percent of advisors use social media to search for new clients. About half plan to up their level of texting, virtual meetings and social media for prospecting and client engagement.
“I think an independent agent in being able to sort of help potential clients make a decision is really given an advantage by working with companies that give them the analytical tools that are available in the market today,” Holtzman said.
Some additional findings in the report:
• About 80 percent of advisors have experienced significant gains in gross income in recent years.
• Twenty-two percent say their client base has grown over the past two years.
• More than 40 percent of advisors say they are part of a team arrangement that brings in other professionals, such as tax experts.
• When it comes to compliance, 86 percent of advisors expect requirements to increase in the coming years.
For the insurers themselves, the bottom line is going to feel pressured. After all, it’s a bottom-line business and technology isn’t cheap.
That means making choices and figuring out what is and isn’t important to the company’s mission, Holtzman said.
That choice will come down to “best-in-class” versus “best-in-cost,” he explained.
“For those things that are just utilities, you just want to be best in good, or good enough,” Holtzman said. “We don’t need to be best-in-class in everything. Let’s pick the 30 percent of those things that are going to differentiate us in the marketplace.”
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNjohnh.
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