Insurance brokers are being buffeted by changes in the market. They are being asked to do more with less – less commission, less resources. Zywave is an Insurance Tech Solutions company, which is investing in the development of solutions to help brokers find a safe harbor to situate their business for growth and implement new tools that fulfill the expectations and demands of the individual customers.
Solutions for the Growth
Zywave has a suite of 14 products for independent insurance brokers and agents. It has technology solutions for Employee Benefit and P&C brokers, as well as personal lines agents. It offers technology platforms that help agencies to transform from average growth firms to high growth firms. With various products – such as agency management systems, claims analytics tools, pharmacy benefit discount programs, marketing communications solutions, onboarding/HR management and paperless enrollment tools, a Mod analysis tool, and communication portals, it helps brokers deliver a truly amazing experience to their clients—something that is critical for driving growth and retention for brokers.
Dave O’Brien is the President & CEO of the Zywave. As the CEO, Dave is personally committed to ensuring that Zywave is laser-focused on fulfilling Zywave’s commitments to drive success for brokers. He often reminds his team that what they do matters because of the impact they have on the lives of agents, brokers, and their clients. Dave consistently points out the opportunity they have to test the limits and to push themselves so that Zywave’s Partners and their clients see even more success when they work with Zywave.
Dave has been with Zywave since its inception. Prior to starting Zywave in 1995, he was a producer with Frank F Haack and Associates. Dave developed Zywave’s first software solution, DecsionMaster®Warehouse. When it was launched in 1995, it was the insurance industry’s first medical claims analytics tool. Because of his breadth of experience, Dave knows the industry; understands the challenges that come with being a producer and a leader of a company. His deep understanding drives his commitment to the vision of Zywave, and his vision fuels his unyielding passion for helping brokers succeed.
Spirit for Innovative Solutions
Team Zywave implements advanced technology through a variety of ways such as:
- Continual R&D.
- Zywave’s team market analysts evaluate and analyze the market and analyze market trends on a continual basis so they can stay on top of emerging challenges and opportunities for brokers.
- An annual nationwide survey of thousands of brokers to keep a close pulse on broker business challenges, needs, and top concerns.
- Robust qualitative research – 1:1 interviews with brokers.
- Nationwide annual surveys of tens of thousands of employers to understand what clients want and need from a broker.
- An extensive network of relationships with industry thought leaders and associations.
Taking AI as an Important Tool
While talking about the importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Dave said, “Given the insurance industry’s propensity for slow change, there is a good possibility that it will feel the impact of AI in a more significant way than other, more agile industries.”
Here are some ways that Zywave sees AI impacting the insurance industry:
Claims processing: Sophisticated programs automating the process for deep and accurate claims evaluation to determine the validity of information and claims.
Virtual agents: Automated insurance agents & chatbots that act as virtual assistants and place insurance. Virtual M.D. that analyzes symptoms and provides advice.
P2P insurance: Peer to peer insurance, removing large insurance companies from the picture.
Customer engagement: Programs that take disparate customer and patient information, synthesize data and create holistic customer profiles. Programs that use big data to develop sophisticated customer and patient profiles to develop hyper-targeted offers and products.
Underwriting: Predictive modeling and algorithms continue to become more sophisticated, changing what we know about and how we can assess.
Big Data for the Great Products and Services
Big data allow Zywave to learn more about their partners, independent brokers and brokers’ clients. This creates a fantastic opportunity for Zywave to develop new products and services tailored to specific needs, and to strategically enhance their current products to better meet demands of buyers. Additionally, they’re able to provide solutions that brokers need to deliver meaningful solutions to their clients so that they can provide exceptional customer service. Big data allow Zywave to stay on top of emerging threats to employers and brokers in the benefits, P&C and personal line spaces. In turn, they can keep brokers up-to-date, informed, and ahead of the curve.
Dave about the Customer Expectations with Digitalization
When asked about how digitalization is affecting consumer behavior and demands in the Insurance Industry, Dave said, “Customers expect more transparency and 24/7 access to information online. We see trends that consumers expect fast, paperless transactions with companies. Consumer behaviors are changing such that policyholders increasingly demand digital-first distribution models in personal and small commercial lines. Consumers expect personalized interactions with companies 24/7, like online retailers.”
Position of Insurance Industry Over a Decade, according to Zywave
- A lot more of the business will be streamlined behind the constant wave of technology being applied to the industry. Brokers will focus more of their efforts on strategic and value added activities for clients, while more transactional activities will be addressed through technology.
- Technology will continue to enhance employee/employer education.
- New (2027) manner in which government interfaces with insurance.
- Vertical integration to survive.
- Carriers will increasingly look to sell direct to consumers, particularly in the small P&C market. Carriers and technology companies will attempt to further blur the line between broker and carrier.
- Cyber insurance will become a standard coverage for businesses of all types and sizes. Brokers will need to either become comfortable talking about cyber risk or outsource/insource that knowledge.
- M&A activity will continue to be robust.
- The brokers that survive and prosper will be the ones that do more than facilitating a transaction: The client experience will be a key. Clients—especially Millennials who aren’t afraid of technology-mediated transactions—need to be given a reason to use a broker for their insurance needs instead of binding direct or quasi-direct with a carrier.
- Increased technology with the Internet of Things will continue to revolutionize the underwriting process and help make policies more catered to the individual client.
- Cyber insurance will be required and regulated by the federal government.
- Policies will become more integrated to help eliminate the need to purchase multiple policies to cover various risks.
Zywave’s Steps Towards Growth
Zywave is laser focused on understanding the changing needs of the broker and brokers’ clients. This is the genesis point for Zywave to deliver differentiated solutions that positively affect brokers’ top and bottom line.
“Zywave is a game changer, I can say that with confidence. If you want to be successful, you need these tools. I preach that up and down.” – Hall & Marose Silveus, Indiana agency
“There were so many unique and complex issues that I had to deal with, and Zywave support was HUGE! The whole process wouldn’t have worked and I wouldn’t have been able to overcome my client’s challenges without them.” – Ellison Christopher, Texas agency
“The whole Zywave team has been terrific. They laid out a plan, stuck to it and did everything they said they would. I have nothing but great things to say about Zywave’s support.” – Russel Agency, Connecticut agency