Insurance agents can predict the future with data analytics


Using data analytics, insurance agents can uncover new opportunities without manually touching each account. (Photo: Rawpixels / Shutterstock)

What if you could see into the future and know the insurance needs of your customers before they even do? You could offer flood insurance quotes before customers even realize they are in a flood zone. You might be ready to provide up-to-date auto insurance coverage when the kids turn 16, even before customers ask you to add another driver.

You have a clear outlook on the future because you are not relying on crystal balls but on mathematics to predict covers and identify trends. With data analysis, agents can use information from their third-party systems and databases to identify gaps in coverage and identify new opportunities within their business volume. And agents should take advantage of it. Knowing customer needs and providing comprehensive coverage shows the customer that the agent is behind them. Ultimately, this creates customer loyalty.

Agents want to stay on top of their clients’ needs – and in a world where there were endless hours in a day, they would personally check in with each client on a quarterly basis. But in reality, they don’t have the bandwidth to do manual tracking. The workloads are important. Agents can’t check in with every client, even twice a year, to see if there are any changes in their situation. This is where data analysis can help. Agents can discover these opportunities without manually touching each account.

Don’t let advanced terms like AI-based analytics or predictive analytics scare you away from using these tools in your agency. Data analysis has become quite easy and straightforward for agents to use. Many agency management systems (AMS) will generate reports analyzing the data in your system. Insurtechs specializing in data analytics have created complex platforms underneath but allowing agents to easily see cross-selling opportunities. For example, an auto insurance customer may own multiple homes that are not currently insured by the agency.

Consider these three ways you can use data analytics to stay on top of your customers’ changing needs and identify new opportunities.

1. Get the big picture using third-party data

The agency management system is the primary customer data center for independent agents. But it is only filled with information that you know. Imagine a detective trying to solve a theft by speaking only to the bank manager and ignoring the accounts of other witnesses. He might be missing some key clues to help him solve the case. Ditto with insurance. Customers may not be aware that a certain change affects their policy or that they do not have certain coverage. Third party data can fill in the gaps.

Some data analysis platforms not only use information from the agent’s own systems, but also marry it with external information, giving the agent a more complete view. For example, the platforms can scan public records and alert you if a current policy does not cover all of the risks associated with a customer, such as additional properties or life changing events.

2. Stay ahead of renewals

Renewals are a great reminder for agents to check with their clients. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to show your client that you are on top of their needs by accidentally missing the date. But don’t be afraid; data analysis is to the rescue. It can easily identify renewals within a certain time frame. For example, you can run a report to determine who should renew in 60 days. Then if you have email automation that allows for personalization, you can send everyone a reminder with a draft email and a few clicks.

Data analytics platforms can also alert you if there will be a significant change at the time of renewal, such as a large increase in premiums without much change in the customer’s situation. Armed with this information, you can prepare additional quotes in anticipation that the customer might want to explore options with other carriers.

3. Turn predictions into actions

A pumpkin only helps Cinderella if it is transformed into a carriage, and an opportunity only helps an agent if it becomes a policy. It’s not just about knowing what an insured might need, it’s also about being good at selling. Analysis can reveal dozens of potential opportunities, but using analog processes like phone calls and one-to-one emails will be too slow to turn all of those opportunities into wins.

Creating automated marketing campaigns can make it possible to act quickly and easily on potential opportunities. Some data analysis platforms even automatically generate a quote when they discover an opportunity to be included in the communication with the customer. For example, your data analytics solution identified 40 customers who resided in flood-prone areas but did not have flood insurance. An automated marketing platform allows you to create an email campaign alerting the customer to their lack of coverage and giving them basic policy information. Basically you can reach 40 potential customers for the price of one. These platforms also allow you to personalize the email with the personal information of the customer, so that it does not appear as a mass communication.

Getting them the information is the first step; enabling them to purchase the policy quickly and easily is the second step. Look for partnerships with carriers that provide a quick and easy shopping experience. Many newer digital operators allow their agents to provide a seamless shopping experience to their customers. For example, customers can view the policies on their mobile devices and purchase them with just one click. It’s a fact that people hate red tape, and if you can reduce it for your clients, you will not only win their business, but you will also become one of their favorite people.

You can’t take customers for granted. You need to stay on top of their needs, so they know you are behind them. By using data analytics, you can make sure your customers have the right coverage to meet their needs and grow your business.

Luis Pino ([email protected]) is founder and CEO of Agentero, a digital insurance network. Prior to founding Agentero, he was a member of the founding team of CoverWallet, the insurance platform for small businesses which was acquired by Aon.

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