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Applied Systems Reveals 2018 Digital Technology Adoption Trends Among Global Independent Agencies and Brokerages

12 June 2018

Annual survey reports the adoption of digital technology by independent insurance agencies and brokerages remains steady year over year

University Park, Ill. – June 12, 2018 – Applied Systems® today announced the findings of its annual Applied Digital Agency®/Brokerage Survey, providing an industry-wide benchmark for agencies and brokerages to measure their digital technology adoption and progression towards digital transformation. Survey responses provided the data to calculate a digital score for each agency/brokerage and identify baselines for technology adoption. The 2018 Applied Digital Agency/Brokerage results indicate that 44% is the average digital technology adoption score at an agency or brokerage – the same as 2017, meaning a significant opportunity remains for agencies and brokerages to fully embrace digital technology.

Key survey findings include:

  • Foundational management system: Ninety-seven percent of agencies and brokerages leverage a management system, confirming that it is the foundation of business operations and indispensable for day-to-day operations. Notably, the use of eSignatures in the UK has increased by 260% year-over-year.
  • Mobile: Twenty-four percent of agencies and brokerages offer client mobile apps while 18% offer self-service portals. This is significant because 52% of consumers would switch providers for greater online service. A significant opportunity is available for agents and brokers who adopt these technologies to be more competitive in the marketplace.
  • Insurer connectivity: Seventy-seven percent of agencies and brokerages receive download directly into their management systems. This strong showing reinforces the importance agencies place on digital connectivity with insurer partners.
  • Analytics: Twenty percent of agencies use data analytics to gain insights from their management system data. Year over year, adoption remains virtually unchanged. However, UK respondents do not follow this trend with over 47% adopting data analytics.
  • Cloud: Sixty-five percent of agencies and brokerages host operations in the cloud, and it continues to be the top choice among agencies for software hosting. The UK leads with 77% of brokers running their systems in the cloud.

“Insurance agencies and brokerages across the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland continue to adopt digital technology to transform their business operations and deliver a more connected customer experience,” said Reid French, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. “This year’s Digital Agency/Brokerage Annual Report confirms that there is still great opportunity for agencies and brokerages to take advantage of technology to enable faster growth and higher profits.”

Download the full report.

Survey Methodology
More than 1,300 independent agencies and brokerages across the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland participated in the 3rd Annual Applied Digital Agency/Brokerage Survey, from which the results of this report were generated. Respondents voluntarily participated in an online survey conducted in February 2018. The findings are based on responses to a set of questions about agency and brokerage technology use. Responses provided the data to calculate a digital score for each business taking the survey and identify baselines for technology adoption.

The survey questions examined five core competencies of a digital agency/brokerage, including management system capabilities, mobility, insurer connectivity, data analytics and cloud software. Agencies or brokerages scoring 80% or higher across all core competencies were considered to be digital agencies/brokerages, having adopted most of the key drivers of digital transformation.

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About Applied Systems
Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and the innovation leader, Applied is the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied’s people and products enable millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.

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