I recently kicked off a new stream of research that will assess the future of the insurance agency. I am evaluating 5–10 years out and welcome your input.

Rapidly advancing digital technologies (smartphones and mobile apps, APIs, and artificial intelligence) are automating processes and changing how customers buy insurance and engage with their carriers and insurance agencies. There is debate as to what this means for the role of the insurance agency in tomorrow’s insurance marketplace. Automation is a double-edged sword: It could make agents obsolete or make them more effective and productive.

My research will explore where exclusive and independent agencies are headed amid digital innovation — there are two extremes, 100% human or 100% digital; where will most agencies settle? The research will also identify prominent agency solutions (i.e., agency portals and agency management systems) that will enable agencies of all types to elevate customer experience (CX). Lastly, it will provide recommendations to carriers for deepening relationships and driving digital success within their agency networks.

But I need your help to make this research the best it can be. I am looking to speak with senior distribution and technology leaders at insurance carriers and agencies to gather perspective on how you envisage the future of insurance distribution and how you’re using technology as an enabler. For solutions providers, I would like to gain insights into your offerings’ capabilities and how they are enabling agencies’ digital transformations.

Below is a sampling of the questions I’m looking to understand during the interviews:


  • How are you investing in burgeoning technology (AI, APIs, mobility, etc.) to enable elevated CX in your agency network?
  • What are the key challenges that you have faced, if any, in implementing burgeoning technologies?
  • How are you enabling your agency networks to be successful? What are the investments you are making to enhance success for your business and agency partners?

Solutions Providers

  • How is your technology platform enabling agencies to elevate CX?
  • Does your offering have attributes that expand collaboration between carriers and their agency partners?
  • What burgeoning technologies are most appealing as you build next-generation capabilities? How do you expect these next-generation capabilities will aid in insurance distribution?

If you are interested in sharing your perspectives and insights and would like to participate in this research, please reach out to me at jwilliams@forrester.com.

Thank you.