Are you a digital insurer?

Whether you want to be or not, the independent insurance industry needs more digital insurers.

Why does the independent insurance industry need more digital insurers?

The truth is, insurance carriers don’t have a choice. The modern insurance consumer demands a different experience when purchasing insurance.

As evolution has taught us over a millenia, adapt or die.

As the new report from McKinsey & Company titled, The making of a digital insurer: The path to enhanced profitability, lower costs and stronger customer loyalty explains:

“In short, to reap the full benefits of the digital era, insurers should aspire to become digital firms.”

What Is a Digital Insurer?

According to McKinsey & Company, the digital insurer takes an enterprise-wide view of digital business to unlock the value already being harvested from digitally advanced industries.

The digital insurer looks at their business not as a traditional insurance operation, but as a digital firm who happens to provide insurance products.

The insurance industry is NOT unique.

We do not have unique challenges keeping us from embracing digital tools and business practices.

content warfare book

Screenshot from my new book Content Warfare.

Google wants to disrupt the insurance industry.

To believe they are incapable of such a thing is naive at best, and at worst, suicidal.

Re-thinking the Insurance Consumer Experience

Do we all understand what makes Google Compare a threat to the independent insurance industry?

I’m not so sure we do.

I’ve started to see articles popping up vilifying technology, calling for a resurgence of “Old School” insurance business practices. This is completely ludicrous.

Google Compare is a threat to the independent insurance industry because they are re-thinking the way insurance consumers experience insurance as a product.

Google’s threat is not technology or the Internet. The threat Google poses is their willingness to adapt, re-imagine and test new ways of operating an insurance business.

This is the threat.

Now is NOT the time to bury our head in the sand and yearn for the good old days.

The digital insurer will take it upon themselves to re-think the insurance consumer experience.

McKinsey & Company outlines six specific areas where this is possible:

  1. Digital Analytics and Decision Making
  2. Strategy
  3. Technology
  4. Digital Organization
  5. Digital Process
  6. Consumer-centricity

For a full explanation of each area, I’ll direct you to download your copy of McKinsey’s report. I would like to dive just a little deeper into one specific area the independent insurance industry needs to focus on more than any other: consumer-centricity.

insurance consumer-centricity

Modern Insurance Consumer-Centricity

If there is one question we can ask ourselves as an industry (carrier, agent, association, vendor) that provides the largest step forward in creating a culture of digital insurers, it’s this:

What do insurance consumers want out of the insurance buying experience?

This isn’t what we think they should want, what we believe they wanted at one time, or worse, what we’re willing to provide them.


We no longer get to dictate the insurance buying experience.

To compete in today’s marketplace, we must adapt. We must become digitally mature. We must build consumer-centric businesses.

We must…

We must because Google already is.

GEICO already is.

State Farm already is.

Do any of these companies have the digital insurer 100 percent figured out? No. Not even close.

But that is why there is so much opportunity for the independent insurance agent.

We have the foundation they do not.

The Rub

According to McKinsey & Company, 40 percent of new business in the next three to five years will come through online and mobile channels.

We have the foundation that our more digital mature competitors do not. Now it’s time for us to join the game.

The McKinsey & Company report included in this article is a roadmap.

Have you prepared your business to capture the modern insurance consumer?

Are you a digital insurer?

Thank you and good luck,

Ryan Hanley

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