Compared to other products, the group insurance industry has been slow to embrace change and innovation. Fortunately, this is beginning to change as new players begin to enter the market and shake things up. Previously clear demarcations in the vendor supply chain have been challenged and blurred, and these changes may have a far-reaching impact.
Filling the Role of Advisors
Group insurance providers are increasingly beginning to offer products and services that were traditionally part of the advisory community. Advisors, for their part, have shown an interest in providing products of their own. As the lines between them begin to blur, new situations are developing to create transformational opportunities in the industry.
What This Means for Consumers
While the group insurance industry undergoes its shake-up, consumers may be left wondering how to best navigate these new options. Traditional wisdom doesn’t always fit.
Instead of relying on old ways of thinking about insurance, go back to basics in asking yourself what you need and how those needs can best be met. Several things should be considered:
- Focus on value. This doesn’t necessarily mean price but rather what you’re getting for what you pay for. Look beyond the surface to see what is really being offered and compare all products on their own terms rather than being caught up in the distinctions between providers.
- Look at how a group handles risk. New players to the market may not have the experience or crucial understanding of how to share and manage risk. Look to the previous experience of an insurer and the expertise the company has proven.
- Consider your priorities. Is cost your most important factor? Are you willing to pay more for better service? Different groups entering the insurance field focus on different aspects of the consumer experience, and finding a provider that matches your needs and values is key.
Research is the key to becoming an informed consumer, and this is especially true in insurance. Whether you opt to work through a broker or buy coverage directly through a new digital agency, take time to understand who you’re working with and what they have to offer. Arming yourself with knowledge gives you the upper hand when it comes to understanding and navigating the new blurred lines between producers, advisors, tech companies and others looking to get involved in this newly disrupted industry.