Hype, Hope, & Harsh Realities in U.S. Bancassurance

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22 April 2004
Craig Weber

Abstract

Boston, MA, USA April 22, 2004

Reports Published by Celent

Sales of personal lines have not yet duplicated the success seen in annuities. Will continued investment in the channel pay off?

Bancassurance has enormous potential to affect sales of personal lines insurance products in the life, health, and property casualty segments. But so far that potential has failed to bloom in the U.S., despite years of effort by many banks and carriers.

"Jamming traditional insurance products and processes into the bank environment simply does not work,"

says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of Celent's latest report, . "Players on both sides need to realize that tapping into the under-served middle market through banks requires good product design, evangelical wholesaling, and technology that guides inexperienced salespeople through the process from end to end."

Weber notes that despite slow progress for many products, carriers remain optimistic. Sixty-seven percent of bank insurance program managers polled as part of a carrier panel said that bancassurance has met expectations either "somewhat" or "completely." And 84 percent expect major growth of the channel over the next two to three years. (See Figure 1, above.)

The report outlines the bancassurance market by product and defines three broad sales models in use today. It also describes an integrated approach to products, processes, and technology that carriers should use to maximize their return on time and money invested in the channel. Use of Web-based tools and teleunderwriting are noted as particularly promising approaches to address the clear need for simplified new business processing and reduced cycle times.

A is available online.

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