Insurance Professionals & Students Talk Top Trends in Evolving Industry

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When was the last time you heard or read about technology like drones, virtual reality or autonomous vehicles? Chances are, you see coverage on these hot topics on a regular basis. 

These emerging trends were among the topics discussed at the Ohio Insurance Institute’s (OII) annual Central Ohio Insurance Education Day, Life & Technology in the World of Insurance, on April 6. 

This year, the OII was pleased to welcome more than 200 company representatives, college students, educational instructors and other insurance professionals at the event. The day’s discussions centered on top trends disrupting the industry, and how insurance professionals can stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the evolving market.

Below, we recap several insurance trends discussed at Education Day. 

A new generation is knocking on the industry’s door  

Students from across Ohio discuss their upcoming careers in insurance.By now, you’re probably aware that the insurance industry is facing a talent gap. This presents the industry with a unique opportunity to fill thousands of jobs with fresh faces that are ready to share new ideas and offer a wide range of skillsets. 

Presentations from Bill LaFayette, owner of Regionomics (@RegionomicsLLC), and Jaya Yoo, senior vice president and practice leader at Paul Werth Associates (@werthknowing), shared that more than 29,000 jobs in the industry will be available by 2024.

So, how can the insurance industry ban together to fill the talent gap?

LaFayette shared these tips:

  • The industry needs to start preparing now to fill these positions before the impending exodus of senior talent occurs.
  • Soft skills are immensely important in insurance. Look for applicants who possess strong communication skills, take a team-first approach, and act professionally among customers and co-workers. 

From another perspective, students, who are studying risk management and insurance at schools across Ohio, weighed in during a Q&A-style panel session. Students were asked questions like “What interested you in the industry?” and “What do you want out of a mentor?” Responses shared by students included: 

  • Students crave mentors who are willing to take the time to explain their roles, interests and why they’re passionate about insurance.
  • They ask that current professionals keep an open mind to new ideas and give them a chance to offer a different way of thinking.
  • Students are looking for company cultures that welcome employee bonding time, understand work life balance, and have open floor plans to encourage communication and collaboration. 

Welcome to the age of automation

When you think of the term “automation,” you may immediately think of manufacturing, IT or bill processing. But, did you know that many insurance companies are shifting toward more automated services? So far, automation has helped insurance with data processing, underwriting and improving customer service. 

According to Alex Timm, CEO of Root  Insurance Company (@joinroot), automation is an absolute must in the industry. Timm explained that it’s what customers crave. For example, industries like retail (think: Amazon) have already disrupted the customer journey with one-click shipping. 

It’s the same in the insurance industry: Timm said customers don’t want to be bogged down by a complex sales process. They want quick and easily accessible information that produces an immediate result or solution.

Timm predicts automation will hit hard in the next five years. And if your agency or organization is still denying the power of this tech, now is the time to explore the benefits.

3 Key Takeaways 

  • With emerging technology like autonomous vehicles, automation and drones, insurance pros must be educated on the benefits, as well as the possible challenges. As Franklin Manchester, a consultant at Nationwide (@Nationwide), said during his presentation, “It’s not if but when. Risks are going to evolve, and we as insurance pros need to evolve, too.”
  • A new generation of insurance professionals is rattling the industry, and current professionals need to support and listen to their viewpoints. They’re ready for a welcoming culture, a limitless career, and advice from those already in the industry to help shape their careers.
  • Consumers are demanding a smooth, automated shopping experience in industries like retail. And, it’s time for insurance to follow suit. The industry must shift with consumer demands, or it risks falling behind. 

Were you unable to attend this year’s I-Day? No problem! Check out select presentations here, or read the full session lineup.

OII would also like to give special thanks to this year’s presenters:

What did you think of the topics presented at this year’s I-Day? Share your thoughts below. 

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