High Tech Versus High Touch: Do New Tech Solutions Make Traditional Brokers Obsolete?

January 22, 2016

Tension between traditional health insurance brokers and startups offering web-based and other tech-based solutions continues to rise. However, while some traditional brokers fear advanced technology solutions, others highlight their unique value add borne from years of experience as valuable differentiators.

A recent article in Business Insurance explored this classic showdown between “high tech” and “high touch.” In reality, there is room for both. For example, a seasoned broker might bring valuable wisdom to a strategy while a tech-based solution might enable a strategy to scale.

Randall K. Abbott, a North American leader and senior strategist in Willis Towers Watson’s Health and Benefits practice, noted in the article that the primary threat to traditional brokers is not competition from tech startups, but rather consumer preferences. “People want to do things just like they do on Amazon,” said Abbott.

Still, Abbott said it is “way too early to sound the death knell for brokers. Traditional brokers (will) adopt some of the new technologies to meet the needs of their consumers, and I think we’ll increasingly find that some that relied extensively on the technology will find the need to provide more personalized decision support.”

For the complete article in Business Insurance, click here. (Note: a paid subscription is required.)

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