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Best Practices for Independent Insurance Professionals

Insurance Agents Best Practices for Independent Agents and Brokers

The ethics of Competing with Robots in 2016

Scott Scott , 9/14/2016
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What exactly are the ethics of Robots?
How can a Robot or 'an algorithm' be ethical?
When it comes down to it, human professional experience is really more useful than a computer program.

With the advent of the computer, Insurance has changed - Lets Just Face it.  Remember paper applications?  Remember the print, sign, fax process?   Remember loosing one of the pages hoping the underwriter would still take the app?  Its not the same.

More and More, computers are starting to get into the process of making selections and suggestions to clients and prospects.  Clients are reading about insurance online and starting to want to make more decisions themselves.  In the financial investment world, heck, robots are actually starting to make passive investment choices for clients.  This process will eventually start too in the world of insurance.

My question to you the reader is, what are the ethics of these robots?  Will they too, seek to oversell a middle class american on an overpriced whole life insurance policy that they neither need nor want?   Although the robot may be able to suggest a personal injury endorsements, will they be able to forcefully insist on its inclusion into the policy?

We have all been there, the obvious recommendation that costs only a few dollars, the one that the client refuses to purchase but you know they will cry fowl if a claim ever has to come up.   A lesser made algorithm could easily just take the No for a No.  While a skilled insurance agent who is seriously concerned about possible E&O exposure might be sure to confirm that the client fully understands the No in this case.

Let there be no confusion.  Automation is on its way.  It certainly has come to the world of toll booth operators, next up it seems is the taxi drivers.  Its touched down in the investment world, will it be sitting in your chair in 15 years?

I believe that the best defense is to utilize as much technology when possible.  When was the last time you thought that E Signature platform was not beneficial to all involved?   However be the Master of the Technology.  Make sure that the tech is assisting in the process, not fully completing the process.  Don't let the algorithm tell you that the client fully understands what risks they decided not to insure.

By capturing and utilizing the best insurance technologies available in the #fintech and #insuretech world we can all streamline our process flow, better insure risks, and stay in constant contact with our clients.   Future technologies will assist us in better understand underwriting issues.

Scott W Johnson is a Manager and Principal Broker Agent at Marindependent Insurance Services LLC.  California License 0K10734.   His firm specializes the harder to write risks of the San Francisco Bay area.