Let’s be honest. Insurance is the last thing any business owner wants to be bothered with.
If you were to list priorities – making a profit, calculating overheads, working out employee salaries and assessing growth prospects, would all be ahead.
And this is not the full list. Not even the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which makes a point of stressing the importance of digitization, mentions insurance – implementing cash flow is king.
For small business owners, the problem is magnified because, typically, one or two people are responsible for handling every aspect of the firm, from managing employees to making payroll.
And if admin work is a chore, why make it more complicated with paperwork?
Jeff Shaw, CEO of insurtech firm Cerity, would heartily agree with you.
“The world is moving to digital, and digital insurance is no different,” he told Insurance Business America shortly after the announcement of a partnership between his company – a digital provider of workers’ compensation insurance policies – and fellow insurtech firm, Thimble.
As far as Shaw is concerned, there is no reason why online insurance should not be as easy as shopping online, and he is quick to point out that there is a historical precedent.
“I remember when online auto insurance first came out, everyone looked at it and said ‘that’s never going to happen – you have to have an agent’, but now most people get it online. It’s a little different with business insurance because there’s more complexity, but I very much think it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time and awareness.”
The data backs the claim. According to Zippia, a firm specializing in data collection, up to 25% of the insurance industry will be automated by 2025.
The sector itself – which is worth $1.4 trillion in the US alone – has also grown by almost 13% between 2020-2021. Regarding professional liability insurance, the market is set to reach $55,100 million by 2028, up from $43,480 million last year.
The key, according to Shaw, is to reach a greater number of small business owners and convince them of the advantages of going online for their insurance needs, as opposed to going to an agent.
“The biggest challenge is brand awareness and for clients to know that going online is an option. Many companies think that the only option is agent-placed.
“But there’s nothing you do with an agent that can’t be done online. Workers’ compensation insurance is complex, but we have taken the steps to make it less so,” he explained.
That may mean learning about protecting their company and their employees, getting an affordable quote in minutes, or downloading their own certificates of insurance. The goal is simply to provide a one-stop shop for them.
Irrespective of the challenges facing the US economy – and the prospect of a recession – Shaw remains optimistic going into 2023.
“The rapid growth of digital (will continue),” he said. “We’re going to see people become more comfortable shopping online for their business insurance. I don’t think recession is going to hurt, though. I’m always bullish. You see a lot of companies go out of business, but you also see a lot of small companies. If people lose their job and start their own business, they’re going to need workers’ comprehensive insurance – and they’re going to go online.”
Source: Insurance Business America