Reinventing Distribution: Shifting Channels
The first step to thinking through shifting distribution channels is to understand the alternatives.
Key research questions
- How do insurers currently view and use distribution channels?
- How are insurers changing the channels they work with?
- What do we predict for the future for distribution expansion?
Buyers are changing. They are being conditioned by the internet to expect that they can interact with insurers in any manner they choose. These changing expectations mean that carriers are forced to assess and address new channels while finding ways of preserving their franchise value and preserving existing channels.
These changing expectations mean that carriers are forced to assess and address new channels while finding ways of preserving their franchise value and preserving existing channels. And so, distribution channels are exploding. Insurers are expanding channels, adding distributors, moving into new territories and growing their existing channel in order to improve customer acquisition and retention.
"Although most insurers do work with independent agents, more and more are experimenting with other channels."
This report examines trends in shifting channels with an eye towards what typical practices are, what emerging trends are occurring in this area, and our predictions for the future. To understand what top insurers are doing in these areas, Celent conducted a survey around these topics. The goal was to understand how the insurers are organized to manage the distribution channel, what types of techniques they use, and what challenges they face. In addition, we looked at public examples illustrating the trends we see in this area. More than 20 specific examples are provided.