Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section
September 2019

Issues & Answers: SETTING THE COURSE FOR A DIGITAL FUTURE

Matt Masiello, CEO of SIAA, the largest independent agency alliance in the nation, said that agencies need to make digital solutions part of their operations model by making it part of their culture. “Agents must be using the technologies available today or they’ll never be able to implement the technologies of tomorrow,” he said. The following Q&As are excerpts from a recent interview.

Matt Masiello

Matt Masiello
Chief Executive Officer
SIAA

“The digital agency concept – and even Insurtech is interesting, because the definition and benefits change depending on you where you sit.”


KEY DIGITAL FACTORS FOR THE INDEPENDENT AGENT

  • Digital presence and online strategy
  • Prospect and client advisory and sales
  • Servicing clients
  • Finding agency efficiencies through automation




Are independent agents changing with the times when it comes to technology?

Yes, but it varies with the agency size, age and willingness to press change into their culture. At SIAA we’ve developed a digital agency baseline for our members, along with a self-diagnostic exam that grades where agencies excel and identifies areas needing improvement. The feedback has been very positive.

How should agents be implementing a digital strategy?

Agencies must be willing to make digital solutions part of their operations model. Much like you can’t wake up tomorrow and decide to run the Boston Marathon – it takes hard work and lots of preparation – agency principals and staff need to be executing on the basics before they take on the marathon distance. If agents are not paperless, not downloading, not using their management system at a high level – they need to start there.

What is SIAA doing to prepare members for an increasingly tech-driven future?

Two years ago we established an InsurTech & Innovation team charged with exploring new technologies and evolving trends. The members are of varying backgrounds, including the consultant, carrier and InsurTech side of the industry. We also made the decision that we were not going it alone – our larger insurance company partners have technology and innovation hubs themselves – we have opened up the dialogue and it’s working well.

I understand SIAA is hosting a virtual conference to address the digital landscape for agents?

Yes, IA Evolve is an all-day event September 17th, and will be available on demand afterward. Like most conferences, it will include a trade show, breakouts and various speakers, all available from an attendee’s desk. Agents can learn what’s available to improve their business digitally for today and tomorrow. iaevolve.com


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