Some people argue that “agent” and “broker” in the insurance industry is dead – but is it true? Well, I talked to several insurance and Insurtech movers and shakers, and here were some of their views regarding the same.
Kai Kuklinski, the Chief Distribution Officer at AXA, disagrees that the broker or insurance agent is dead. Several others, including Felix Anthonj, Konrad Schmidt, Stephan Schinnenburg, Philipp Krohn, Stefan Wittmann, Matthias Maslaton, Alexander Grimm, Stefan Riedel, Thomas Heindl, Jurgen Hunschens, Stephen Voss, and Oliver Pradetto share the opinion. But with the market embracing more automated solutions, most of these experts believe that brokers and agents need to be smart in their approach if they are to remain relevant in the industry.
According to Kai, the main challenge that brokers and advisers face today is to strike a balance between the administrative burdens and client needs. Carlos Reiss, CEO at Asuro, couldn’t agree less. He thinks agents and brokers have a lot of problems with administration – like they have too much work, paperwork, and no time for consulting and taking care of clients.
Thomas Heindl, the Lead Marketing at LV1871, thinks that brokers and agents should open up to the digital world and tap into various channels to determine where they want to play, their target groups, and ways to address their concerns. Matthias Maslaton, a Board Member at ARAG, says today’s agents need to be on social media to show their community that they are present.
Jurgen Hunschens believes that clients are thirsty for solid advice and are looking for people they can trust – those who can evaluate their situation in dialogue and give them a sense of feeling that they aren’t alone despite all the changes. Oliver Pradetto, the MD at Blau Direkt, looks at insurance as a feeling or emotion, and the reason agents will always trump machines. However, he believes that agents and brokers shouldn’t be all about advice and office stuff, but more of relationship managers.
Bastian Kunkel thinks that there needs to be a mindset shift among insurance brokers. He believes that digitization is happening and is working, and it’s about time people embraced it because it is personal (maybe even more personal) than some would want to imagine. Hans-Jurgen Theede wants agents to be on the customer’s smartphone – something he thinks they are not doing.