Across the industry, brokers are beginning to make critical decisions to shift their business and operating models due to the changes in client’s expectations around real-time servicing.

For the first time in 20+ years, insurance brokers must begin to think about assessing the traditional business model.  Across the industry, brokers are beginning to make critical decisions to shift their business and operating models due to the changes in client’s expectations around real-time servicing.  These shifts are being caused by enhancements in technology, changing political environments, shifts in sociological and economic trends, carrier rate increases and commission changes. 

One of the key strategic decisions brokers are being faced with is new non-traditional customer engagement channels such as social media and mobility. Like most established industries, insurance brokers have been slow to adopt mobile technology.  One driver for this slow adoption is the price of implementing mobile strategies and functionality into the organization.  As brokers consider adding mobile to their available channels, they must seek to answer these strategic and tactical questions:

  • What is the value-proposition of implementing mobility into our organization for our business and customers?
  • How do we measure and quantify the return on investment (ROI) for mobility solutions?
  • Where does the investment for mobility fit in our overall strategic plan?
  • Is mobility secure, can I protect my customers and my agency?
  • What are the key business drivers impacting our decision-making process for mobility?
  • What are the critical business functions that we would support with mobility?
  • What do our clients want? What are their expectations?

Once insurance brokers make the decision to start utilizing the mobile channel to help promote, grow, and manage their business from the outset, they will be faced with other difficult decisions.  Leadership will need to determine how they build their mobile practices by recruiting and hiring their own internal teams or by utilizing outside consultants or vendors.  In addition, they will need to define the critical business strategy and develop a vision that represents the best investment for the organization, whether that focuses on an enterprise strategy, consumer strategy, or both.

After conducting extensive research, including information from Forrester, Gartner, Acord, broker interviews, competitive analysis, utilization of mobility in other financial services and internal experience working with our current and past broker clients, West Monroe Partners has been able to identify, develop and design a new and innovative mobility solution created specifically for insurance brokers.  Our broker mobility strategy focuses on implementing an enterprise operational model that provides brokers with a strategy to offset and address some of their concerns around return on investment, costs and value-proposition. Below is a high-level summary of the overall West Monroe Partners insurance broker mobility strategy:   

  • Mobile Readiness Assessment and Strategy
  • Investment Strategy - Innovative Process / Operational Approach
  • Enterprise Application Strategy
  • Consumer Application Strategy
  • Mobile Competency Center and Managed Services

It is currently estimated that there will be 160 million smartphone users in the United States in 2014.  Over the course of the next three years that number is expected to increase to 207 million.  An Ovum survey conducted in conjunction with Acord in November of 2012 indicated that 38% of brokers were looking to make investments in mobility in 2013.  However, our research has shown that brokers to date have still not made significant investments in mobility.  The question becomes how long will it take the industry to calculate and finalize the return on investment necessary to start the process? With almost 207 million smartphone users expected in the next three years brokers must start acting on the strategies to implement and mobilize their organizations. 

For more information about our insurance mobility offerings, contact Jason Koehn at jkoehn@westmonroepartners.com