Adapting to STEEP model changes in the insurance industry with EDMS is becoming a strategy positioned front and center in the insurance industry. Price Waterhouse Coopers recently conducted a lengthy array of studies on the changes that the insurance industry will undergo within the next several years, analyzing it through the lens of a STEEP model analysis, STEEP forming an acronym for 1) Social 2) Technological 3) Environmental 4) Economic and 5) political changes.
In this article, we’ll explore how insurance agents and licensed insurance professionals can contend with the STEEP challenges (no pun intended) through different technology infrastructures in either their agencies or insurance firms.
Although it may seem self-serving of us to say, adapting to STEEP model changes with EDMS will simplify pending industry changes for insurance professionals, and here’s why.
Social Implications of Adapting to STEEP Model Changes in the Insurance Industry with EDMS
EDMS will be able to help insurance agents meet social changes (particularly changes in consumer behavior) with poise and confidence.
This is mostly because their clients are increasingly budgeting their time, and have more rigid standards and expectations of their insurance agents.
In fact, over 70 percent of insurance industry experts feel that customer behaviors will change significantly in this respect over the next 3 years.
Insurance buyers have rapidly shifting expectations, which are very difficult to track – even for some of the most tenured actuaries and data scientists of the industry.
However, one factor that isn’t difficult to track is the demand for responsiveness and a broader set of skills that insurance consumers are demanding of their agents.
Although this is in part the result of financial services, accounting, and insurance having an increasingly strong overlap in both scope and services, it can also be attributed to the fact that consumers’ expectations haven’t changed at all, and insurance agents’ inability to meet these expectations have dwindled.
And through no fault of these agents’ own. They’re drowning in an influx of new standards, but attempting to manage all their information with outdated mediums, resulting in very difficult-to-have conversations.
Conversations that can be eliminated by going paperless and ensuring information controls through electronic document management systems.
EDMS Marries Environmental Benefit and Insurance Industry Growth
Contrary to popular opinion, certain technologies ensure that business growth and environmental benefits coincide. And electronic document management software is one of these technologies.
Environmental concerns and global warming issues are becoming harder for many businesses to sweep under the rug.
We live in an age where corporate accountability is becoming essential, and this accountability hinges on environmental consciousness more than ever.
Corporate environmentalism is growing, but many insurance businesses and firms struggle in finding a way to actively advocate environmental health without shoehorning their own profits.
This is where an analysis of “hidden costs,” which oftentimes require CFOs and financial managers to “read between the lines” of the balance sheets they oversee, can prove beneficial.
Farm Bureau Financial Services agent, CJ Vang, was able to take his office paperless, and praises eFileCabinet, noting, “Thank you, eFileCabinet. You’ve made my life simple.”
Going paperless helps the environment, but also added to CJ’s brand as a Farm Bureau Financial Services Agent.
He became more productive, found everything he needed when he needed it, and kept the mass of paperwork he had contained in a controlled environment as he steadily grew his insurance agency.
If that’s not killing two birds with one stone, then what is? The lesson here is that business growth doesn’t require environmental harm.
Political Implications for Adapting to STEEP Model Changes in the Insurance Industry with EDMS
Of all the STEEP components of this article, political implications are by far the most subject to fluctuation, spontaneity, and unforeseen change.
As certain deregulatory efforts pan out under the Trump Administration, insurance companies will enjoy lower interest rates on the broker side of the table, freeing up money to invest in technology that will both advance and necessitate technologies like EDMS.
Life expectancy continues to go up, and therefore affects the life insurance sector—both recipients of the services and those who provide it, too.
Although this is a sociopolitical occurrence, people are communicating much less on a face-to-face basis, and this means that technological mediums that can facilitate collaboration, workflow, and messaging between parties will become more and more important over time.
However, it’s not the way the interaction changes between agents and their insurance consumers that matters most, it’s the security implications it paves for the industry.
Relying on technical safeguards for data at rest and data in transit will prove useful for insurance companies as face-to-face meetings and financial planning become less popular.
Economic Fluctuations Require Stress-testing and Information Controls
Although adapting to STEEP model changes in the insurance industry with EDMS applies equal weight to economic fluctuations as its other four parts, it is most aptly expressed as a sub-component of political implications, at least when it comes to insurance businesses.
Difficult economic fluctuations have changed the way insurance consumption, adoption, and prospecting are handled. Anticipating future risks is enough to drive any CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) insane given the complexity of the insurance industry’s fluctuations and trends.
The only surefire way to combat these issues and safeguard against financial downturns is to manage risk internally, as it is the only risk over which insurance companies and agents have any real control.
Reducing the risk of noncompliance is one of the ways this can be achieved, and use of EDMS and other compliance technologies can assist insurance companies in this endeavor.
As the main monitoring authority for the insurance industry, the Federal Insurance Office strives to protect against risk, focusing on the controls of companies.
Insurance companies and agency producers are learning to emulate this monitoring authority through information governance, treating each document they have as the FIO treats each of the organizations it oversees.
With an EDMS, insurance companies can harness this absolute oversight and understanding of their own information. Given that we live in an information economy, harnessing this information is critical.
Facilitating Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) with EDMS
As the T portion of the STEEP acronym, technology is perhaps the most difficult change in the insurance industry that is shared by both consumers of insurance and their insurance agents alike.
As the model of risk management changes within the insurance industry, it can be upheld through EDMS features like security, bank-grade encryption, and SSL (secure socket layer) encryption.
If you’re ready to begin adapting to STEEP model changes in the insurance industry with EDMS, eFileCabinet is ready to begin helping you.