Regional or national?

Executive Summary

With less than 50 percent of digital penetration in the financial services sector, regional insurers still have a shot at positioning themselves for competitive advantage with the right technology. But carriers that are selfish about automation, designing processes that provide cost savings for themselves and not their agents, and those that pay lip service to soliciting agent input aren't thinking smart about technology, writes Foy Insurance Group President Michael Foy, who lists five ways for carriers to gain an edge with technology.

That’s a question producers have long considered when deciding where to place their business—whether to go with a regional company that has close relationships with their agency and a keen understanding of the market, or to choose a national carrier that may have an advantage in pricing or coverage.

At my firm, you will be the carrier of choice if you can compete on process, product and price, with a heavy emphasis on ease of doing business. That hasn’t changed much in the over 120 years my family’s agency has been a property/casualty sales leader in New England. Today, our agency represents more than 50 P/C companies on behalf of clients.

Technology was supposed to upset the applecart. Those companies that had deep pockets to invest in technology—presumably the largest carriers—would be the winners. Digitalization would create greater efficiencies and provide new ways to measure and control risk, engage with customers, and drive down prices. Small and regional carriers, it was thought, would be squeezed out of the market because they couldn’t modernize fast enough.

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