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AI and Digital Solutions in Insurance Distribution: Insights from ICMG’s exclusive keynote panel

Brendan McLoughlin, President of e123, joined industry leaders Kevin Garvin, President of Gallagher Affinity, David Essary, President of Allstate Benefits, and David Burke, Director, Accident & Health, Everest Reinsurance Company for a keynote panel at ICMG on the role of AI in the future of insurance distribution. Here are the top takeaways from their discussion around how strategic prowess, combined with AI and digital solutions, is reshaping the
industry.ICMG 2024 Panel-4 

#1 Leveraging AI in insurance distribution

Insurance companies sit on massive amounts of data, but what good is that untapped data? Enter AI. When applied to that data, AI allows you to extract meaningful insights to make smarter business decisions. Useful for all players – carriers, agencies, FMOs, and agents – within the distribution chain, AI can improve marketing efforts by optimizing messaging and enhancing the experience throughout the customer journey. However, AI is a tool that should not replace actual employees, but rather empower them to become “software mentors” harnessing its power. Bringing these forces together, AI can remove friction and operational inefficiencies, and ultimately, reduce the cost of doing business.

#2 Advancing the sales process with AI-driven technology

From pre- through post-sale, AI can streamline the buying process by making it more focused for your target audience. AI solutions can help to better understand their needs, match them with the right benefits, and even predict their experience based on past data, thus increasing the value of bundled solutions. 

AI can also help carriers and distributors “become easier to do business with.” For instance, not paying commissions timely, the number one complaint for agents and agencies, is easily solvable with the right technology. With an AI-driven platform, not only can you address agents’ payment needs, but also gain access to critical insights for growing your business while allocating your sales and marketing resources more efficiently. 

#3 Anticipating AI-related regulatory changes

As with any new technology, it’s important for insurance distribution to remain agile from a business and product perspective when it comes to regulatory changes. Further, because legal compliance does not always equate to data security and protection, look for thoughtful partners who anticipate change, have adequate protections in place, and know how to adapt quickly.

#4 Finding the right investments and technology partner

When it comes to potential investments and partners, it’s important that your organization understands their core strengths and long-term goals to optimize ROI. When deciding whether to build capabilities in-house or partner with a vendor specializing in AI, consider both the costs as well as allocation of time and resources to ensure focus. 

With consumer preferences constantly evolving, members want increased benefits and they want them now, but it can be challenging to understand the voice of the customer, given all of the noise in the market. AI can assist in determining which agents to speak to about the performance of specific products or bundles in select markets. In addition, leveraging AI and data sharing tools can reduce operational costs so you can invest in new products or value-added services while controlling costs. 

#5 Gaining competitive advantage through AI innovation

AI should offer flexibility, enhance existing tools, increase productivity, and empower people and data – not replace them. When used correctly, AI can turn your data mine into a treasure trove of insights and analytics, increasing operational efficiency through cost reductions, elevating customer engagement, and fueling business growth. The end result? You become easier to do business with and get ahead of the competition.

You can watch the full panel recording here. The password to access the full recording is #ICMG2024