In the case of insurance market, the topic of digitalization only the lazy does not bandy about. Dominant are transform into online by some hook or crook, the agent and the insurance intermediary in general becomes an endangered species that is live out one's remaining days.
I must say, I too, for a long time lean toward to such opinion about the agents. But, keep an eye on all people and developing technologies, began to strongly doubt.
The matter is that the development of machines and their capabilities have grown colossally. I'm not even afraid to say that we are in the midst of digital revolution. And after the industrial revolution of the XVIII-XIX centuries, this is undoubtedly the most significant revolution in the economic development of mankind.
In fact, at that point the machines are not just promised to replace part of hand labor. They are called to replace man himself. This can be seen in the example of self-learning computers, became known as neural networks. "Magic Box" prove able finally to play up a man in the game "Go", the last frontier of the superiority of the brain over the chip is taken.
It should seem that if the facts are so obvious, why we all do not sit together at the student table of technical universities, learning the foundations of programming or robotic technology?
I think I found the answer to this question for myself.
First of all, people do business with people. Any industrial revolution did not change this, but rather strengthened it. Transactions became bigger, sales - more massive, products - more complex. Secondly, at least 80% of our decisions to buy something are based on emotions –for at least, that’s what say psychologists.
Assume, Compulsory Motor Third Party Liability (TPL) Insurance (OSAGO), and after a while and casco, along with a number of boxed products, are automated - which is quite natural and logical. And what about a more complex business? Insurance cover for production, trade and other business? With new risk for cyber-attacks and other consequences of new technologies for individuals and legal entities, such as data theft and damage to software and hardware due to virus attacks? Let's call it cyber-VHI. These new insurance products are already relevant in markets of Western countries. And how many new products can appear in the future? For example, the impact of nano-sized robot on the environment. They created a nanocrystalline powder for washing, which consumes all the dirt. The cloth is clean, but what will do eat these nano robots when they get through the drains into rivers and lakes? Whose responsibility and how is this case need to insure?
And in life, health and retirement pension insurance? I mean a real reputable and long-term coverage of the principal risks, rather than stamping out useless boxes by banks for 80-90% of the commission in the appendage to loans. For such products, we need not only an individual technical approach: the appropriate protection of these risks primarily take off fears from such events.
So it seems to me that with dry questions and an automated proposal all this cannot be solved. Life after all is a delicate matter.
Unless the computer capable of this? It does not even stand next to the human brain, in my opinion. Yes, he plays up a man in the game "Go". But only on the field 19Х19. And a person can calmly on the move to change to the board 18X18 or any other, without even greatly straining. The machine is not. It is a "single operative" and each task can be solved only point-by-point, within the framework of the program written for it. A step to the right or to the left puts it to a stymie. Especially as the technology for self-learning computers have been around for 30 years, there simply was not enough speed for their mass deployment. But they are still deadlock. Each problem is solved in narrow parameters of the opening. If they change or the rules be change, a person cannot do without.
And that’s come as it always has been. We need not try to fight with machines, as the British and Germans did in the industrial revolution in the early 19th century. These machines subsequently did not destroy jobs, but made new ones. And in the same textile industry, which it was then mainly affected.
And in insurance sales there will be something similar. It's just that agents and other vendors, like insurance companies, need to develop, rather than sit on the pipe of flows of the mandatory types and box products, hoping that this will go on forever. This definitely will not happen. But the new opportunities will be an order of magnitude greater. Who understands this, for that and the future.
Do the agents die? All hail the agent network! As the old German folk saying, "those who are be expected as deceased person live longer."
Author: Alexander May, President of Edinyi Agent LLC