Brokers embracing digital transformation, even without insurers

Published: July 5, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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While insurance companies are slow to initiate digital transformation, brokers are not waiting and are embracing transformation without the help of insurers. That’s according to a speaker at last week’s Insurance Analytics Canada Summit, held in Toronto.

Greg McCutcheon, president of Markham, Ont.-based Opta Information Intelligence, spoke at the event and said insurance companies are unable to help all brokers, so individual brokers are starting digital transformation themselves.

“I’m actually looking and working with brokers across Canada right now that are not waiting for the insurance companies to enable them with technology; they’re taking matter into their own hands,” McCutcheon said during a presentation, titled Future of Insurance: How Will Digital Innovation Disrupt the P&C Space for 2020 and Beyond? “And their ideas and thought processes are in many cases really, really entrepreneurial, revolutionary in some ways. Right now, I’m pretty impressed with some of the brokers out there in Canada that are working hard to drive digital transformation and I’m also really pleased to see insurers being much more flexible in helping these broker distribution channel partners grow and change and be more relative to this experience for customers.”

McCutcheon accepts there is inevitable consolidation coming to the broker industry in Canada, and suggests brokers who do not embrace digital transformation will be left behind:

“If you’re not onboard thinking about analytics and the changing transformation of insurance, which has been a pretty traditional process, you’re on the bus or you’re left behind,” he suggested.

Brokers may find it hard to be competitive in the auto and property markets.

“So I think that the industry as it goes down this journey on pricing will evolve as well, and has to evolve,” McCutcheon added during his presentation. “If we don’t change as any industry, our clients are going to demand this change.”