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Navigating technology: Translating emerging tech into practical applications

January 5, 2024

The digital revolution has brought terms like Internet of Things (IoT), the metaverse, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning to the forefront. But how do these high-tech concepts translate into practical applications for independent insurance agencies? Let’s break down these buzzwords to uncover their relevance for you.

Internet of Things

IoT devices, like smart home systems or wearables, are increasingly common in households. They offer a great opportunity for you to provide more personalized service to your clients. With some carrier partnerships and the client’s consent, data from these devices can help you understand specific needs and risks better, enabling you to recommend the best suitable coverage.

For instance, data from a client’s home security system might reveal frequent out-of-town trips. This information could help you suggest a policy that covers home emergencies during the homeowner’s absence.

The Metaverse

The metaverse, a blend of physical and virtual reality, may seem far-fetched for agents, but it could have down-to-earth applications. As clients begin to own virtual assets, they might need coverage for these digital possessions.

While we’re not yet insuring virtual homes, staying informed about the metaverse allows you to anticipate future customer needs. It might even lead to partnerships with local tech companies that are building these virtual platforms and need an insurance expert to help them understand the potential risks.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning can help you automate routine tasks and offer superior customer service. An AI chatbot, for example, can handle straightforward customer inquiries, freeing up team members to focus on more complex issues.

Machine learning can help you analyze data to identify patterns and insights, such as common coverage gaps in your community. With these insights, you could create targeted marketing campaigns or offer educational resources to your clients.

Quick wins in your tech stack

While these technologies may seem daunting, they offer practical applications that you can wrap into your existing solutions. Here are a few examples:

  • Use IoT data to personalize client communications, providing a tailored experience based on unique risk profiles.
  • Stay ahead of the curve by integrating potential metaverse-related insurance education into your website content, demonstrating your agency’s forward-thinking approach.
  • Implement AI chatbots on your website to handle simple queries, freeing up your team to focus on more complex client needs.
  • Use machine learning algorithms to analyze data, uncovering patterns and insights to refine your marketing automation and prospect management strategies.
  • Utilize AI and machine learning to streamline your prospecting management, identifying high-quality leads.
  • Use AI to analyze online sentiment about your agency, aiding in reputation management by providing real-time feedback on client perceptions.
  • Integrate AI into your texting platform to automate responses to common inquiries, ensuring timely and efficient communication with clients.

Given the pace of technological change, it’s understandable that you may feel overwhelmed. Instead of being overwhelmed by the noise around IoT, the metaverse, AI and machine learning, these advancements can be seen as tools to better understand and serve your clients. Industry regulators are themselves getting familiar with these new technologies, so be sure to pay attention to emerging laws and regulations. By embracing these technologies, you can differentiate your agency, enhance your communications and interactions and position yourself as an innovative leader in your community, ready to meet the evolving needs of insurance clients in a digital world.


  • The information included in this article was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, including subject matter experts, to help users address their own risk management and insurance needs. It does not and is not intended to provide legal advice. Nationwide, its affiliates and employees do not guarantee improved results based upon the information contained herein and assume no liability in connection with the information or the provided suggestions. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the suggestions. Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2023 Nationwide