3 Trends that MGAs should start planning for now
As the insurance industry continues to evolve, MGAs will help lead the way in creating new innovative programs. To help plan for what’s next, Vertafore recently hosted a webinar, “A Virtual MGA Roundtable: Unlocking Growth with MGA Technology,” featuring key MGA professionals who discussed how modern technology ecosystems can connect management systems and provide an efficient digital experience for their partners. Our panel of experts have revealed the following three trends that MGAs should keep in mind as they look toward investments in 2022.
1. MGAs need more than just a management system
In the past, simply having a core insurance management system tailored specifically for MGAs was enough. MGAs needed a system of record and the ability to track policies, manage commissions, perform accounting, and run reports. Now, they need to adapt and exceed the expectations of their retail agency partners. After all, MGAs drive the need for customizations and integrated functionality that improves and streamlines internal processes, reduces workarounds, and improves data accuracy.
Webinar panelist and Senior VIP of IT and Operations at XPT Partners Marc Stevens said that retail agents “want to be able to just click a button or two and send the data over to us without having to create an email and attach a PDF.”
Webinar panelists agreed that MGAs may lose their place as pioneers in the future of insurance if they don’t embrace technology. Meanwhile, those leveraging technology to integrate content management, facilitate workflows, automate processes, offer online payments, and more are likely to remain successful in the changing marketplace.
2. Investments in technologies with APIs are key
Building a comprehensive technology stack is only possible using web services or solutions that are built on application programming interfaces (API). APIs can typically integrate with any internal technology within an MGA business, including CRM systems, comparative raters, or even agent portals—making it easier for solutions from different vendors to work together.
TIP: New to APIs? MGAs that are just getting started with APIs and web services should start with a solution integration that is already established or where the API is managed on their behalf.
When it comes time to invest in a technology ecosystem, MGAs must decide on whether to build it themselves or buy it directly. Because of MGAs’ unique nature, the increasing need for agent connectivity, and level of growth, the trend to buy is becoming more prevalent. With one caveat: the solution provider must be able to integrate into their core systems. Additionally, MGAs need that service to have enough flexibility and customization to align with their unique set-ups and diverse needs.
3. Technology will help fuel successful acquisitions
The MGA space is famous for mergers and acquisitions. According to Capital Premium Financing, the largest MGAs ($100M+) will continue to acquire smaller, high-performing MGAs. As mid to large MGAs make acquisitions, they need to quickly onboard these new entities to standard practices and systems. By leveraging technology, MGAs can drastically shorten onboard times from several months to just weeks.
“From a technology perspective, I think getting accounting consolidated has really been a big win,” said one of our panelists, Marissa Moscowitz, VP of Strategic Management & Implementations at RT Specialty. “Being able to have that within 2 months of an acquisition close has really helped our accounting team.”
Converting data from one system to another is one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to an acquisition. An MGA looking to be acquired might want to invest in a robust management system that would attract a potential buyer already familiar with the same system, making it easier to transfer data once an acquisition takes place.
An innovative MGA ecosystem to unlock growth
MGA insurance management systems should connect to the technologies you choose, not try to do everything. Vertafore’s solutions and partnerships are focused on driving growth and productivity through seamless customer experiences and providing access to the right data to help businesses grow faster.
Learn more about Vertafore’s ecosystem of products and partners that work together to meet the unique needs of MGAs.