Agents See a Future Filled with Technology

August 29, 2000

According to preliminary findings of a series of focus groups conducted by the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) and sponsored by nekema.com, independent agents know that they will need new technology to compete in the future, but they aren’t sure how to go about selecting “the right” technology.

The findings were announced yesterday at a meeting of the IIAA Agents Council for Technology (ACT) held at SAFECO’s offices. SAFECO is an ACT member. The focus groups were held in Chicago, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Other findings from the focus groups include:

· Agencies know they cannot sit and wait for technology to “settle down.” Not making any decision is as bad as making the “wrong” technology decision.
· Technology expenditures have become more than a one-time expense. Technology will need to be a line item every year. This is a change.
· Technology can create efficiencies of processing, but changes may not be as drastic as originally thought.
· Agents continue to believe the multiple carrier input is a possibility.
· Agents would like to see all carriers adopt a uniform set of standards for entry.

Formed in 1998, ACT is comprised of both agent and industry groups representing more than 25 individual organizations and companies. ACT participants include technology vendors, agents, insurers and industry technology organizations. For more information, visit www.acttogether.com.

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