It’s been a long year.
Even remembering where we were last December seems difficult after we’ve experienced days that felt like weeks and weeks that felt like months.
We started 2020 with the stock market rising, the economy strong and a positive outlook on a new decade. When the COVID-19 virus began spreading around the world, all of our lives changed. What followed was a challenging year filled with uncertainty, fear and sickness. It’s been a year where many businesses, including insurance practices, were forced to close their doors.
Yet, necessity has again become the mother of invention. As shelter-at-home and then social distancing guidelines came into place, our society soon realized there was a “tech solve” for everything from family gatherings and concerts to business meetings and even insurance sales.
How the Insurance Industry Changed in 2020
From my perspective, the insurance industry as a whole made a massive pivot toward digital transformation this year. Even life insurance, once considered a field that couldn’t adapt to the digital age or would do so at a slow pace, underwent rapid – and necessary – shifts.
For the insurance industry, 2020 was the year when:
- A digital transformation took over. Insurance agents adopted various tools, including video conferencing, e-applications, e-signatures and e-delivery, to continue providing service to their clients. Underwriting changed regarding how carriers secure records and how people receive coverage. Many practices that pivoted toward the digital arena saw great success as interest in life insurance and financial investments surged.
- More consumers became open to digital solutions. People of all ages turned to the internet for their business, entertainment and financial needs. A month into the outbreak, 87% of U.S. adults said the internet was important for them with 53% deeming it essential. Those numbers include 80% of people 65 and older. The myth that the insurance industry can’t move forward digitally because older clients won’t accept change is busted. People are more comfortable with digital services than ever with Zoom alone seeing a 2,900% increase in participants this year.
- The balance of power shifted toward consumers. Consumers firmly took the driver’s seat this year. Insurance sales are happening more and more on their time, and in the era of one-click shopping, their expectations continue to rise. They increasingly expect frictionless sales, flexible solutions, consistent communication and personalized recommendations from their insurance providers.
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- It’s About One Click: Lessons Insurance Agents Can Learn from Amazon
While the balance may be more in favor of insurance consumers right now, their desire to connect and communicate with advisors online also represents a significant opportunity – one that LegacyShield has been helping insurance agents achieve throughout 2020.
How LegacyShield Unlocked New Client Collaboration for Advisors
As a life insurance technology leader, our team at LegacyShield was already on the trajectory toward advanced client collaboration before the pandemic hit. We were proud to help many advisors adjust their practices to meet the marketplace’s needs during this challenging time.
Driven to provide best-in-class solutions for advisors, we launched our advisor-rich platform, Link, this summer. Link has been a lifeline for advisors in 2020, allowing them to:
- Securely share files, insurance policies, and information digitally—a crucial need in the age of social distancing;
- Fluidly have conversations and collaborate with clients within the platform;
- Gain next-level insights into their clients’ behavior and insurance needs so that they can contact clients at the right time; and
- Build a multi-generation book of business by allowing clients to link their family and friends to their accounts, generating a new source of referrals.
As we look forward to 2021 and an eventual end to the pandemic, we are excited for a return to normal. But we know the old “normal” isn’t coming back entirely for the insurance industry. Digital technology will be an integral part of doing business from now on with experts predicting a shift to a hybrid model where client-advisor communication happens via online channels and in-person interactions.
The need for seamless online communication will only grow as younger, tech-savvy generations become the main insurance buyers. At LegacyShield, our goal is to continue building a platform that will simplify workflows and enhance business for advisors, both now and in the future.
To learn more about where the insurance industry is heading next, read our blog, “Insurance Agents Should Pay Attention to These Industry Trends.”