Nowadays the integration of different distribution channels seems to be a strategic opportunity and a major challenge.
Many Italian insurers, indeed, are becoming aware of the importance of uniformity and quickness in the integration of different channels, as this would allow the Companies to take advantage of the multiple points of contact with the insured. The digital revolution is ongoing, with 7.3 million of mobile workers in Italy and a quick growth of tablets & smartphones sales.
Furthermore, there are much more business challenges, in addition to the digital revolution the Insurers have to deal with. Today Insurers are becoming more harser because of the economic challenges, to the law evolutions, and the relationships with brokers.
We think that in the near future we will go ahead toward the Anglo-Saxon distribution models, with a further growth of the brokers and the multi-compay agents channels, as far as complex retail and corporate contracts are concerned, whereas the direct channel will be preferred for simple retail contracts.
However, the administration activities related to the distribution channels could prevent Insurers in their business capability and cost control. In this scenario, the Insurers seem to be limited by obsolete, no flexible and unsuitable systems, infrastructures, and technological workflows.
If nothing changes the effects will be critical: longer time-to-market for new products, need for manual operations increasing the dealy in processes, over-staffing for back-office processes, distance from the insurance best practices, lack of governance in the critical processes, complexity in the fraud prevention, and in seizing new business opportunities, no coordination among brokers, and difficulties in the compliance with the new law requirements.
To overcome such a situation, Companies might benefit from the implementation of an end-to-end distribution model, with a paperless and real time policy administration system, evolving into a “digital company”.
This transformation would help reducing the operating costs, ending the systems evolution and simplifying the overall organization, with a consequent reduction in the use of paper as every process will be digital from the beginning to the human intervention.
Consequently, the Companies could implement virtual desktops for end users, smart front ends to enhance the user experience, guiding the processes, stating the execution priorities, and monitoring the performances.
The machine could then determine the different steps of a process, the priorities and their management, leaving more complex activities to human intervention.