Collaborative solutions to retain agent participation in a changing life insurance market place

Globally, the market share of agents has been declining across life insurance markets, while that of direct and other/alternative networks1 has been increasing. While agents have been the key life insurance distributors for decades, direct, bancassurance, and other/alternative networks have been increasing in prominence in recent years. Facing an ongoing decline in both the number of affiliated agents and the profitability of affiliated networks, prominence of agency network in life insurance is shrinking. It is also hurting insurers’ growth prospects as life insurance as an industry is predominantly advice based.

Despite these challenges, agents still remain an important distribution network in the life insurance industry. While insurance customers are increasingly turning to the Internet (both PC and mobile) for research, the majority seek advice to understand complex life insurance products and still buy through agents. This paper explores trends in life insurance agent/broker distribution and reviews collaborative solutions.