Digital investments in the life agent channel, have gone from luke warm to red hot. Fueled by the pandemic and the virualized sales process, carriers are enhancing their digital agent sales tool-kit at breackneck speed. We all know the impact that 2020 had on the way each of us now go about our daily business. The new virtualized world has forced a digital operating model on life insurers and many of them, along with solution providers, are taking the digital challenge as a must to survive and thrive. Despite the decline in new annual premium in life insurance many Life companies reported growth in policy sales, citing increased consumer interests in life products due to the pandemic and their ability to sell products without meeting face-to-face. Direct-to-consumer sales propelled growth in whole life policy sales, but they were offset a bit by declines in other distribution channels.
What is ahead for 2021? In Q4 2020 we interviewed and polled several insurers and found they have adjusted investment focus to accelerate the way they do business digitally. The results can be found here:
In this report we focused on the specific pandemic impacts in life sales and distribution along with how carriers are thinking about direct-to-consumer channels.
The results show how most in the life insurance market have had to pivot investment direction to support sales and distribution in a virtual world. Prior to the pandemic consumers and agents were demanding insurance experiences equal advanced digital capabilities in other industries, including self-service capabilities and anytime/anywhere virtual communication. From an insurance standpoint it now looks like they are getting what they wanted, driven by necessity due to the pandemic.
As executives planned their 2021 budgets in the shadow of the pandemic, one of the critical issues to address, was to choose which technologies best align with their respective insurers digital business strategy and which are projected to offer the most value for growth and support of their current and/or new distribution channels. As you can see from one of the questions in the survey the pandemic had a massive effect on investment focus for technology supporting the agent distribution channel.
Investments are being focused on enhancing agent automation to support the new virtual sales model to get the most value from their agent or third‑party distribution channel. Insurers now have an opportunity to strengthen what had been their traditional face-to-face model and to develop virtual alternatives that allow them to meet the full range of customer needs.
See all the fascinating results for the Pandemic Effect on Sales and Distribution in Life Insurance by clicking the link above.