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2021: A year of opportunity and innovation for the insurance industry

February 16, 2021

The challenges of 2020 gave numerous opportunities for the insurance industry to learn and grow. We’ve spent time working with our distribution partners in the past months and discovered three areas where carriers must focus their attention if they want to be successful in 2021:

1. Make it as easy as possible for distribution partners to meet their needs

  • Carriers need to be easy to work with, both in communications and in how we enable them to sell. And our technologies must work with theirs. That’s why Nationwide accelerated our rollout of Nationwide Express, offering expedited quote and bind to personal and commercial lines clients.
  • Carriers must deliver what agents expect with as few issues as possible. Consumers are looking for protection from insurance carriers who are secure and stable. Carriers that continue to provide this level of consistency to their partners will earn their trust and their business.
  • Carriers need to offer relevant protection for customers’ changing needs, which are only increasing amid the pandemic. For example, Nationwide’s SmartRide and SmartMiles products offer customers choices that meet their personalized driving behaviors and budget. On the commercial side, Vantage 360 is a free telematics offering for small and large businesses that provides an easy way to manage fleet vehicles, monitor driving activity, and mitigate workplace safety concerns.

2. Be a growth partner who can deliver relevant, innovative insurance products to meet customers’ protection needs and help agencies transform during these changing times

COVID-19 brought the necessity to accelerate insurance innovation timelines with projects that previously took years to implement. This presented many opportunities for both customers and distribution partners.

  • Digitization made it easier to provide faster service to their customers and changed the way we interact with them
  • Telematics has allowed customers and businesses a fantastic opportunity to reimagine their mobility protections, saving them money in the process.
  • Self-service allows customers and partners to get the information they need and make the changes they want on their schedule. Online, mobile, and texting capabilities have sped up the process, from insurance purchasing to submitting a claim, putting the power right in the hands of the customer and partner.

The pandemic has customers returning to well-established, stable insurance carriers. However, that doesn’t mean that those carriers can continue doing business the way they were before the pandemic.

  • At Nationwide, we’re working with insurtech startups to quickly develop and stand-up new products/solutions that will protect customers and help them avoid losses, save them money, and help partners increase their book of business. For example, Nationwide Private Client now offers Flo by Moen’s Smart Home Solution to our customers, giving them more control in protecting their homes.
  • Additionally, we continue to work with our distribution partners to help them develop their digital marketing skills and earn into our industry-leading co-op program so they can reach and sell to their customers more effectively.

3. Understand the importance of an inclusive workforce that represents our customer

Carriers and agencies need to do a better job of making sure that all levels of their organizations are inclusive and represent all of the customers we protect.

  • First and foremost, we need to be partners to all of the communities we protect. Nationwide has a decade-long commitment to inclusion and has been recognized by FORTUNE, the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, and many others.
  • Nationwide also partners with organization such as Latina Style Magazine and Black Enterprise to provide resources and educational tools to help minority small businesses grow and thrive.
  • We are also committed to offering training and development for our talent to prepare them to meet the needs of our industry. In 2021, we’ll be sharing our expertise to our distribution partners through webinars and resources along with information to help you attract diverse talent to your organization

Certainly 2021 will offer its own set of challenge. However, as we continue to be consistently dependable and committed to innovation and inclusion, together we can successfully help our customers through whatever this new year brings.