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Applied Systems Reveals 2021 Digital Technology Adoption Survey Results Among US Insurance Agencies

November 04, 2021

Annual independent agent survey reports adoption of digital technology on the rise year over year

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. – November 4, 2021 – Applied Systems today announced the findings of its annual Applied Digital Agency Survey, providing an industry-wide benchmark for agencies to measure their digital technology adoption and progression towards digital transformation. The 2021 Applied Digital Agency survey results indicate that agencies creating and following digital strategies are increasing, along with adoption of customer service technologies and cloud as the industry pivots to new operating and servicing tactics following the pandemic.

The survey highlights five core competencies of a digital agency, including management system capabilities, mobility, insurer connectivity, data analytics and cloud software. Survey questions assessed the degree of technology adoption to calculate a digital score for each agency and identify baselines for industry-wide technology adoption. Agencies scoring 80% or higher across all core competencies are considered digital agencies, because they have adopted most of the key drivers of digital transformation.

Key survey findings include:

  • Digital strategies: Results indicate 66% of all U.S. agencies have a digital strategy in place with 56% of agencies focusing on implementing their strategies within one to two years.
  • Foundational management system: With nearly a 100% adoption, agency management systems are one of the most used pieces of technology in the insurance industry, confirming that it is the foundation of business operations and indispensable for day-to-day operations.
  • Customer self-service: The adoption of client portals increased from 33% to 39%, with the largest agencies being the highest adopters. Twenty-nine percent of all agencies allow their policyholders to submit their applications electronically.
  • Insurer connectivity: Personal lines remains the most widely adopted at 87%. eDocs and Messages download experienced the greatest growth with adoption increasing 11% compared to the previous year. The continued growth in insurer connectivity reinforces the increasing importance agencies and brokerages place on digital connectivity with insurer partners.
  • Analytics: Twenty-nine percent of agencies reported using data analytics applications. While this adoption percentage is low, the adoption rate has grown more than 100% since 2016 and continues to trend upward.
  • Cloud: Up 9% year over year, 82% of agencies choose to host their software in the cloud, and it continues to be the top choice among agencies for software hosting.

“Last year, the industry faced the reality that it hadn’t adopted the technologies to meet the digital customer service and remote business models driven by the pandemic,” said Taylor Rhodes, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. “The latest survey results are encouraging, demonstrating that more agencies are adopting technology and recognizing the productivity, simplicity, intelligence and value that can be gained from leveraging technology in practically valuable ways. At Applied, we are committed to delivering high-value innovation that makes the agency channel more competitive and connects the digital ecosystem of insurance.”

View the full report here.

Survey Methodology
1,382 independent agencies in the U.S. participated in the 6th Annual Applied Digital Agency survey, from which the results of this report were generated. Respondents voluntarily participated in an online survey conducted in Q1 2021. The findings are based on responses to set of questions about technology use. These responses gave the data needed to calculate a digital score for each agency taking the survey and identified baselines for technology adoption.


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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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