What can agents in property and casualty insurance expect in 2020?
Property and Casualty insurance is a significant market in the U.S. insurance landscape. And it is one that continues to see growth despite unstable global trade. As per a report by Deloitte, one of the big four accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world, the net income of the P&C insurance sector soared to $60 billion in 2019. It signifies a whopping 66% increase than the preceding year.
The property and casualty market continues to yield profits. According to the report “Fitch Ratings 2020 Outlook: U.S. Property/Casualty Insurance” published by Fitch in 2019, the outlook for U.S. Property/Casualty sector is stable. It is not likely to change in the coming year. They have also forecast-improved underwriting profits for the industry. However, to make these forecasts true and outperform predicted targets, property and casualty insurers must match steps with the events and changes around them.
What were the major takeaways for the sector in 2019?
Natural calamities in 2019, such as the tropical storm Michael and the Mckinley fire, showed why insurance is so necessary. P&C rates are being raised to compensate for the mounting liability and catastrophe laws. In such a scenario, it becomes more important than ever for agents to offer choice. They need to provide their clients with the broadest range of feasible options so that the buyer can make an informed decision. Agents have transcended their roles to act as risk advisors for their clients instead of salespeople for their carriers.
It’s not just the agents adapting to changes in the sector. Property and casualty insurers are also adapting to shifting marketing dynamics. They are looking towards technology to advance the industry. This can take many forms, such as software to increase underwriting efficiency or optimizing their online platforms for greater visibility with customers. Any agents hoping for a long and fruitful career in property and casualty insurance line must keep themselves updated with the latest technology surfacing in the industry. Not just that, they must invest in technology to enhance operational efficiency.
What else is new?
Non-traditional firms are entering the insurance space. Direct-to-customer platforms have seen a lot of success. The success of these insurance carriers shows the power of direct engagement with customers. The balance of power is shifting towards customers. Property and casualty agents must take steps to build up a rapport with their prospective clients. This may be through conventional means such as phone calls or emails. However, they may also have to dip their toes in unfamiliar waters. Social media platforms have the power to engage your target market. Learning to leverage these benefits can be critical in determining success for agents in the coming years.
How are customers shaping the sector?
Demographic shifts will continue to shape the sector’s long-term future. Targeting younger people means providing narratives that speak to their interests and what they hold dear. This can be insuring personal devices such as smartphones or embracing the abnormal lifestyle of digital nomads and catering to their insurance needs. Apart from that, as budgets get tighter, insurers will have to learn to provide insurance solutions that fit their buyers’ budgets.
In 2020, the outlook for the property and casualty lines look positive. However, that does not mean the sector can be complacent. P&C insurers must continue to modify their offerings and adapt to the changes around them. Agents in the property and casualty lines will have to be pro-active in their approach towards selling insurance if they wish to see larger returns in their business.