Insurance organizations increasingly leverage technology to better meet their customers’ needs, but what does the resulting automation mean for front-line insurance professionals?
“People can now purchase or update their insurance, file and track claims and make and receive payments online,” says Patrick Vice, partner at Insurance-Canada.ca Inc. “For the last decade or even longer, there has been a concern that we are losing the front-line workers who have traditionally explained insurance products to the consumer.”
A Global Future of Work Survey, released by Willis Towers Watson earlier this year, found that on average, Canadian companies expect that automation will account for 17 per cent of work being done in the next three years, compared to the 10 per cent that they say is currently done using artificial intelligence and robotics (and the just five per cent three years ago).
As a result, 49 per cent of the Canadian employers participating in the survey believed they are going to require fewer employees in the next three years.
Insurance is no exception, but Doug Grant, partner at Insurance-Canada.ca Inc., is certain that technology also comes with opportunities. “When computers and the Internet came along, everyone thought this would significantly diminish the number of jobs,” he says. “But while some jobs disappeared, new jobs arrived. The number of front-line people working in insurance may be smaller, but we also hear that insurance organizations continue to identify new things they want to do. And they need qualified personnel to implement these measures.”
Even beyond the tech-savvy people who help companies develop and implement InsurTech solutions, Mr. Vice believes that brokers and agents can also adapt to play a role that better fits our time: one that goes beyond selling a product and involves helping consumers navigate an increasingly complex range of offerings.
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