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6 Trends Transforming Insurance Distribution Models

As policyholder expectations evolve, here’s how India’s insurers can leverage new technologies and distribution models to boost revenue and customer experiences.

The insurance industry is undergoing a seismic shift driven by new thinking, new ways of working, and new competition from insurtech and BigTech. A range of innovative products are flooding the market – be it usage-based insurance like Tesla’s where premiums are based on the customer’s real-time driving behaviour; or, embedded products like life insurance in a flight ticket which are integrated in the core product and invisible to the end-user.

Meanwhile, technologies like AI and IoT are opening up new insurance value propositions – such as flexible life insurance policies for bike couriers based on telematics data. New selling models are also emerging along with non-traditional partners and digital forms of distribution – all driven by changing consumer preferences.

To an insurer, these shifts can seem overwhelming at first. But with change come new possibilities and new opportunities for growth – especially within distribution. That’s where insurers can truly transform customer experiences and boost revenue. How? By giving their agents and distributors the tools and data they need to succeed.

To learn more, we recently conducted a webinar on ‘Simplifying Distribution and Empowering Agents to Unlock Growth’. Led by Salesforce’s Abhishek Jain, Lead Solution Engineer, and Priyanka Garg, Senior Manager, Solution Engineering, the webinar explored key trends in insurance distribution, as well as ways to optimise agent performance, productivity, and experiences.

Here are six key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Policyholder expectations have evolved: India’s policyholders want insurers to know their needs, and delight them with personalised products and recommendations. Instead of traditional face-to-face interactions, they prefer hybrid, omni-channel, and multi-touch engagements. They also expect self-service options and transparent claims processing built on trust.
  2. Post-pandemic distribution value chains are going digital: More insurers are shifting their sales processes online, and are actively investing in digital insurance platforms to engage customers. They’ve expanded their distribution channels beyond agents/ brokers to include retailers, banks, aggregators, and ecommerce platforms. Some insurers are even experimenting with direct-to-consumer (D2C) models.
  3. Personalisation is no longer a nice-to-have but an imperative: Today’s agents aren’t just insurance salesmen but also financial advisors. They’re using customer data coupled with intelligent analytics and AI-based recommendations to evaluate the customer’s financial situation, personalise their interactions, and tailor insurance products to their needs.
  4. Automation helps agents sell smarter: Agents expect to be empowered with next-best action recommendations, faster quoting tools, greater transparency into the consolidated book of business, and process automation. This helps them perform better, improve productivity, and boost sales revenue.
  5. Open APIs are creating new revenue opportunities: Through API integrations, insurers can access data like telematics to customise policies and pricing models. They can also partner more easily with insurtech and BigTech to capitalise on new technologies, and improve cross-selling/ upselling.
  6. Insurers are reimagining distribution with Salesforce: Many insurers struggle to collaborate with their agents or distributors, resulting in frustrated customers and poor business performance. Salesforce can help insurers overcome this challenge by uniting your internal teams and your distributors on a single platform built around the customer.

With Salesforce, you can:

  • Communicate seamlessly with distributors – so, policyholders have a smooth and connected experience 
  • Make it easy for distributors to succeed by empowering them with a 360-degree customer view, next best actions, travel schedule, etc – all accessible through an intuitive app
  • Streamline agent onboarding, compliance, compensation, and commissions
  • Drive profitable growth through integrations and partnerships with third parties
  • Pinpoint and turbo-charge high-performing distributors with AI-driven insights

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