In the United Kingdom, insurance brokerage is associated with property and casual (P&C) insurance that is also called general insuranceв. Life insurance, pensions, and investment, in turn, are offered mainly by individual financial advisors. In the United States, insurance brokerage activities are regulated by each state separately. Insurance brokers here provide P&C insurance, annuities and life/health insurance, and accident insurance. In this article, you will learn about the main roles and challenges of brokers, what software they use, how to use it effectively. Also, this post will cover the benefits of bespoke insurance broker software.
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Main tasks of insurance brokers
Beyond insurance services, brokers are able to assess risks, consult customers, provide updated information on insurance regulations, process claims, help employees with enrollment, and solve issues with benefits. In the United States, some of these services are considered to be an inducement or a rebate that is forbidden by law in most states. However, let’s see what primary roles insurance brokers may perform.
- Sell different types of policies: consult customers, explain points of policies, select the best-suited policy for each client.
- Inspect assets when offering car or property insurance: investigate the state of the car or property, look for previous damages, assess possible risks, etc.
- Assess customer risks when offering a life or health insurance: investigate customers’ background, evaluate medical, financial, criminal or any other records.
- Develop special coverage packages according to customer’s needs.
- Coordinate payment plans and arrangements and process payments.
- Perform administrative tasks.
- Manage claims.
As you can see, brokers have a great number of tasks to complete. Thus, they surely meet different challenges while performing their roles. Let’s find out what these challenges are.
What challenges do insurance brokers face? Software and tech solutions
Challenge 1 – Customer experience
In a fast-paced world, clients who become more informed want to get better services. Before making any buying decision, people want to carry out detailed research on the needed products online. Thus, insurance brokers have to provide a more personalized approach to customers delivering a unique experience to every client.
Solution – It would be amazing if any insurance broker software was able to provide customers’ history. In that case, brokers will be able to easily meet customers needs. With previous e-mails, notes, financial data, and other meaningful information at brokers’ fingertips, customers may receive a useful personal recommendation. Thus, a good CRM system or a module will be a perfect solution for an insurance company.
Challenge 2 – Productivity
Due to constant innovation, insurance brokers need to change the way they manage their work regularly. To seize every opportunity and realize their plans, insurance companies should modernize their legacy software and develop the systems that can provide as much information about customers as possible in one place. As a result, when every broker has access to the needed information and is able to share it, workflow efficiency can be affected easily.
Solution – Automation is a new trend in any industry. It helps eliminate repetitive, routine, manual tasks and save time for major activities. Digital transformation or modernization can help enhance existing processes within insurance organizations, reduce administrative costs, and attract more leads. For this, insurtech solutions should have intuitive user experience and user-friendly design.
Challenge 3 – Lead generation
When it comes to generating new leads, insurance brokers face a lot of challenges. When customers are to invest in life insurance packages or retirement planning, a particular reticence is observed all over the world. Consumers have to look through different services online, compare services, and analyze the coverages.
Solution – According to new GDPR rules, companies should inform their customers about where and when they plan to use their personal data. Brokers should keep in mind that they can’t continue with lead generation if a person doesn’t agree to provide personal information or use it as you need. Thus, insurtech companies make use of their blogs and social media channels to attract more customers. To boost lead generation, they need to reinvent their marketing strategies by providing their clients with very useful information that is able to help consumers solve their problems or answer their questions.
Challenge 4 – Sales process
Having automated workflow and management systems doesn’t mean that your sales will boost instantly. There’s a direct correlation between sales management and high revenue growth that’s why the sales process should be also automated and improved.
Solution – First off, a company should clearly define its sales process: how it manages customer relations, generates leads, etc. Every stage of the sales process should be clearly defined, tracked, and measured. It will ensure that every single member of your company know what they need to do to reach mutual goals or accomplish their tasks. Usually, a CRM system becomes the best tool to optimize the sales process. To streamline the sales process, you can also use A/B tests, analysis of activities, and coaching.
Software used by insurance companies
Each agency uses its own set of software. It depends on the company’s preferences, workflow, products offered, and a lot of other factors affecting the choice of insurtech solutions. However, the majority of insurance brokers use the following modules as parts of insurance broker management systems (IBMS):
- Financial accounting
- Dashboard and sales reporting
- CRM and lead management
- Product development and administrating
- Policy management
- Claims processing
Learn more about accounting software for insurance brokers in our expert article.
Large, medium, small insurance agency management systems: Do they differ?
Actually, management systems for insurance companies of different sizes can differ only by a set of models used to manage the workflow and communication. Thus, each company can have its own set of tools that depends on business needs and goals. However, no matter what size an agency is, its management system should possess the following characteristics:
The user-friendly interface can ensure that every broker or agent will more likely leverage the features of a management system if it is easy to navigate it.
High performance of the system is also very important. All insurance-related processes can be time-consuming that’s why any management system must provide the functionalities that can save time and efforts of agents.
Automation of all the processes means a simpler workflow. Automated systems allow brokers and agents accessing customer data faster, share information, analyze data, make reports, track contacts in one centralized location.
P&C insurance software (Property and casualty)
P&C insurance is aimed to protect your home or car by offering liability coverage. This type of insurance doesn’t include health or life insurance liabilities. P&C insurance types include condo, co-op, renters, auto insurances coverages. Let’s find out what key software features are needed to manage P&C insurance.
Claims Processing module allows insurers automating claims management processes, provide high-quality interaction experience, and cut the claims processing time. Usually, platforms for P&C insurance management provide dashboards on which agents and brokers can see every claim data in real time.
Underwriting module ensures that brokers adhere to all the guidelines. Typically, this module provides automated and manual risk assessment capabilities. It can be also integrated with third-party systems to supply the insurers with required data and checklists.
Marketing module is good when insurers need to improve their marketing efforts and develop the best-suited offering to customers. This module includes analytics capabilities to provide a more personalized interaction experience.
Insurance product development module is a configuration tool that helps insurers develop new offerings. It can include analytics to instantly respond to new customer requirements and preferences.
If you want to know more about new product development life cycle, read our latest article on this topic.
Bespoke development: How to create custom insurance broker software?
When it comes to choosing the best-suited insurtech solution, most companies are fluctuating between out-of-the-box products and custom solutions. If you need to implement the system immediately, you’d better choose a ready-made product, however, if you want the product that meets your company’s needs, a custom insurtech product is a perfect match.
Speaking about the key advantages of developing a custom solution, you should know about the following benefits. With a comprehensive insurtech solution, you will be able to improve customer support, process a large scope of information seamlessly, and build client database according to certain parameters.
Furthermore, bespoke systems can help you automate data management processes to eliminate mistakes made by humans and improve efficiency. Besides, everything a broker needs is stored in one place.
If you made up your mind on bespoke insurance broker software, you should be aware of the basic development process. It takes from a pair of months to a pair of years to develop a custom solution, however, you should keep in mind that it is worth waiting.
So, a standard software development life cycle begins with requirements capture and ends with maintenance and support. Below is more detailed information about each of the stages.
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Stage 1 – Requirements capture
Requirements gathering is a kind of brainstorming process that is taken on the early stages of the project. During this stage, developers gather all the initial requirements and expectations of the final users. Senior developers who have a strong background in the insurance industry undertake this research and come up with innovative ideas.
Stage 2 – Business analysis
Business analysis is conducted to determine the main needs of a particular insurance company. Based on real needs, developers make up a list of features and functionalities that are to be designed and developed. During this stage, developers come up with estimations of time, prices, and potential resources they will need to develop the product.
Stage 3 – Prototyping and design
With a list of initial requirements in mind, the development team provides customers with software requirements and specifications, a document which is called SRS. It is used as a basis for architecture and business logic and is often connected with DDS (design document specification).
Stage 4 – Development
The development stage is the phase when developers write code according to prototype and SRS documentation. They use a particular technology stack which consists of a certain number of frameworks, a programming language, and other tools.
Stage 5 – Integration and testing
Integration stage ensures that the product meets all the requirements and is properly integrated with third-party systems. During this stage, the product undergoes a range of tests that may include stress, accessibility, conformance, security, usability, performance, and other types of testing.
Stage 6 – Release
Very often, a release is a final stage in the software development life cycle. The product is launched on the market and is presented to a target audience. In many cases, developers release an MVP which includes only basic features to identify if the product is liked by users. After users feedback, the development team can continue to develop the product by adding other features that are needed.
The number of stages may vary or be called differently as it depends on the software development vendor’s processes, however, the above-mentioned life cycle is quite popular.
What agent and broker software (ABS) can we offer?
DICEUS can design comprehensive agent & broker software (ABS) exclusively for your insurance company. We develop systems for S&M and large companies based on in-depth research conducted by our business analysts to provide for your agency everything you need to manage contacts, customer relations, claims, products, etc.
The insurance broker software we develop can be deployed either locally on your server or on the cloud. The latter option is good if you want to provide your agents access to important data from anywhere at any time.
Here is an example of our accomplished insurtech project – the custom-built insurance management system designed for Insubiz. DICEUS developed the platform providing its final users with a bunch of features like assets management, claims processing, CRM, risks assessment module, reports, etc.
Our products are user-friendly, you will be able to easily implement them and to intuitively learn how to use them. To start discussing your project, feel free to contact our development teams.
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