How Automation is Disrupting the Workplace for Insurance Agents

The more that workplace automation takes over industries, the more fear everyone seems to have and the more negative attention automation is getting.

Although many articles are talking about the repercussions for American workers, the reality is that automation is transforming industries and redefining jobs – not just eliminating them.

The traditional example we learned about during business school (in Operations Management) was the airport kiosk.

Rather than eliminate jobs, automation provided the opportunity to refocus employees skills on more important processes while machines took over tedious repetitive tasks. The result was reduced wait times for flight passengers checking in, improved jobs for employees, and the ability for airlines to process more complicated transactions.

Insurance chatbots are another automation technology disrupting an industry. These AI assistants can collect and process consumer’s data to provide insurance quotes or provide policyholders with claims assistance 24/7.

As you can see, in the workforce automation is disrupting things for many industries. This is definitely the case in the insurance industry as billions are being invested in disruptive technologies like chatbots.

Although many insurance agents fear this change in the workplace, you can also start to see that this creates opportunities for flexible workers to provide skills that machines cannot. Now is a better time than ever for insurance agents to have their own independent agency with low cost access to automation technologies.

In fact, their jobs with these big insurance companies may not last long. There is a huge trend of companies, including insurance companies, hiring contractors from around the world, as opposed to local full time employees.

In fact, 51% of global executives say their organizations plan to increase the use of flexible and independent workers in the next 3 to 5 years, according to Deloitte.

According Susan Lund published by McKinsey&Company,

“With today’s technology, roughly half of the tasks that people do can be automated. That’s a staggering figure. But just as interesting, and maybe even more important, is that only 5 percent of jobs can be entirely automated.”

I think that the key take away from all of these figures is that the future workplace for most industries will consist of high performers with valuable skill sets continuing to excel alongside automation technologies.

Meanwhile, the lower performing workers will lose out on job opportunities and fill in the gaps where automation cannot completely replace them. They will provide their skills in the forms of gigs as opposed to jobs, this future economy is known as the gig economy.

Let’s go back to insurance chatbots for example. Just a few years ago, and still today in many cases, consumers shop for insurance by getting quotes from insurance agents. This process usually occurs over the phone and requires providing a lot of personal information.

Now, this process is becoming automated through billions of dollars in investments into technologies like chatbots. Bots like Maya who is made by Lemonade are providing quotes to shoppers in no time at all.

That is right, these AI assistants can now provide instant quotes to insurance shoppers, no phone call required.

Even independent agents are taking advantage of instant quoting with chatbots using Leadsurance’s bot which is designed and deployed for insurance agencies across the U.S.

High performing insurance agents won’t cringe at the idea of having a 24/7 AI assistant, but instead welcome this idea.

Then there will also be the majority of agents who fear the change and turn down the idea of leveraging a bot for their agency.

Have you ever heard the phrase,

If you can’t beat them, join them.

I remember when social media started taking off. Insurance agents would laugh at the idea of marketing their agency on Facebook.

Literally, I would speak to clients and the conversation would go like this,

Me: You should market your agency on Facebook

Agents: Haha no way, never

6 months later…

Me: I thought you’d never market your agency on Facebook

Them: Yeah, but every other agency around us started doing it, so if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, I guess.

As more insurance companies offer their policyholders 24/7 AI assistance for quoting and claims, how is your agency going to compete?

Will you start taking inbound calls and texts 24/7 like a cheap little robot would? Will you look up information for your clients in a matter of 2 seconds, like your competitors bot will?

I didn’t think so. I figured you’d probably give in like you did on social media, and invest in automation technology like a chatbot for your insurance agency.

Afterall, companies like Leadsurance make insurance marketing automation tech affordable for independent brokers and agents starting at just $99 per month.

So, there really aren’t any barriers to getting started with automation.

You just have to make the decision that you are going to continue to make your insurance agency competitive despite the changes coming with automation in the workplace.

Afterall, it is best not to worry about the stuff you can’t change, it is better to focus on that which you can control. So, rather than worry about automation changing the insurance workplace, take control of automation for your insurance agency today and get ahead of your competition before it is too late.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.