Insurance Will Remain Relationship-Focused, Even With COVID-Inspired Tech Advances
Improvements to claims handling, underwriting and policy origination forge customer connections at every level, said AM Best’s Matthew C. Mosher.
- Terrence Dopp
- May 2021
Insurance will remain a relationship-focused industry, with even the technological advances necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic not eliminating the need for independent agents and brokers, said AM Best Rating Services President and CEO Matthew C. Mosher.
Mosher spoke during the Emerging Leaders Conference co-sponsored by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, the Insurance Careers Movement, and AM Best. He said the industry's push to use technology to better handle claims and improve underwriting and policy origination will actually forge customer relationships at every level.
The technology that we saw early on during the pandemic was something that was really focused on ‘How do we do this human interaction without human interaction?’
Matthew C. Mosher
AM Best Rating Services
Mosher pointed to court cases around the country and the globe over COVID-19 exclusions as an example of where agents fulfill an important role.
“Customers still need help interpreting what the risks are, what the coverages are. We still see a lot of it,” he said. “The question [relates to] having that trust and that working relationship with the companies. Do the customers go to their agent with that claim, or do they just go directly to the company with that claim, and how does that process work? That's part of the issue that I think agents and brokers are going to have to work through.”
Two years ago AM Best created a framework for evaluating innovation on the part of insurers and finalized those guidelines about one week before going remote amid the pandemic, Mosher said.
“The technology that we saw early on during the pandemic was something that was really focused on 'How do we do this human interaction without human interaction?' And we saw a lot of changes in that regard over the past 12 months,” he said.
Mosher was joined at the session by Marc Schmittlein, president and CEO of CopperPoint Insurance Cos. and Lissette Perez of the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies.
In a March Best's Market Segment Report, US Life/Annuity Industry Weathers the Pandemic Well in 2020, AM Best found the pandemic's effect on the sector spurred the use of new technologies. Hastened digital sales initiatives did manage to lift volumes in the second half of the year.