10 Things that May (or May Not) Happen with the Insurance Industry in 2024
AgentSync’s partially humorous take on industry prognostication
It wouldn’t be December without a new crop of industry prophecies for the coming year, now would it? While we appreciate the effort that each company, analyst, and thought leader puts into crafting their 2024 insurance industry forecast, we also know that trends can change with the wind and no prediction is written in stone. Take the “Y2K crisis,” for example. Sometime in 1998, people started predicting a huge computer meltdown when the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2000. Companies around the world spent hundreds of billions of dollars to make sure they were “Y2K compliant.” And in the end, nothing really happened.
Now, on the cusp of 2024, we’d like to throw out a few predictions of our own. Some are based on a thorough understanding of the state of the insurance industry. Others, not so much. But either way the future plays out, at least we can say we predicted it!
1. Annuity sales will keep soaring now that consumers finally understand how they work
If there’s one thing almost everyone can agree on, it’s that annuties are complex and nuanced products. That’s why there’re so many rules surrounding their sale, and why those who sell certain types of them have to be dually licensed in insurance and securities. In 2023, as often happens in uncertain economic times, annuity sales have been on the rise once again.
We predict this trend will continue in 2024 thanks to an unlikely turn of events. When the writers and actors strikes of 2023 dragged on for months, they prompted a slew of non-scripted programming. Making reality TV, after all, doesn’t rely on union actors or writers. By late 2023, networks and streaming services had exhausted all the low-hanging fruit and, hungry for new subject matter, they began pushing the boundaries of what’s considered entertainment.
One unlikely piece of content will be a new Netflix special titled “All About Annuities,” which will once and for all succeed in accurately explaining the wide array of annuity options in a way that the average consumer can understand. The show will be an overnight hit and lead to recordbreaking demand for annuities, along with several new insurance-themed series, including “America’s Next Top Agent.”
But seriously… Annuities aren’t going anywhere. They’re an in-demand product with consumers and a profitable one for producers and carriers. See how AgentSync can help you seamlessly manage dually licensed broker dealers with real-time data from both NIPR and FINRA.
2. Insurance carriers will stop spending money on producer appointments they don’t need and use excess funds for healthy office meals
How much money are insurance carriers spending to appoint producers who never sell their products? It could be a lot more than they realize, with state appointment fees ranging from $20 to $75 per producer, per state, or even more. If you do the math for a carrier appointing thousands of producers across multiple states, compared to the number of producers actually selling that carrier’s products in every state, the result is a lot of wasted money.
That’s precisely the value of Just-in-Time (JIT) appointments: Hold off on paying an appointment fee in a specific state until a producer has business in hand. We predict that JIT appointments will become even more popular in 2024 as more carriers realize they’re giving away money they simply don’t have to be.
And, because everyone’s looking to be healthier in the new year, we predict all these savings will translate into industry-wide initiatives like Free Kale Smoothie Mondays or Fiber Muffin Fridays.
But seriously… You might not repurpose the funds on superfood smoothies, but that doesn’t mean you’re not overspending on state appointment fees when you don’t need to! See how AgentSync automates Just-in-Time appointments for carriers so you never spend unnecessary money or risk a producer selling out of compliance.
3. Cyborg insurance agents will have their day in the sun
We predict in 2024 the industry won’t just get assistance from technology. It’ll be completely overrun by part-human, part-machine insurance producers. 2023 demonstrated that large language models (ChatGPT and GPT-4 specifically) can pass a number of exams, from the bar to the GRE and beyond. So, what’s stopping computers from passing state insurance licensing exams?
However, given other state requirements (fingerprints, for example), AI alone probably couldn’t cut it as an insurance agent. This is why our prediction specifically relates to cyborgs: part human, part machine, all insurance producer. With the mind of a computer and the fingerprints of a human, cyborg agents should be unstoppable!
But seriously… Before you get too alarmed, remember there’ll always be people who prefer working with, well, people. Even if cyborg agents find their way into the industry, we’ve written before about how the human element only becomes more important as more advanced technology comes into the picture.
4. The insurance talent gap will close when Gen Z realizes its huge career potential
The large wave of retiring insurance agents and other roles – and the gap this workforce exit has left, and will leave – has been quite the topic of conversation the past couple of years. Luckily, we predict this will all change in 2024.
Fueled by the success of the now-mainstream “Insurance Entertainment” genre (created by the severe content drought of 2023), America’s newest high school and college graduates will be clamoring for careers in insurance. The competition may be so fierce, in fact, that large insurance carriers and agencies will get in on the fun by making their recruiting process part of a new slate of reality TV shows.
Working in insurance will be “hot” and the talent gap will be no more!
But seriously… if you’re looking for ways to attract new, young, and tech-savvy workers to your company, consider not asking them to work with outdated systems and manual processes. See how AgentSync provides modern insurance infrastructure for agencies, carriers, and everyone in between.
5. Producer onboarding and license management will become the most coveted job at every insurance business
In 2024, insurance compliance officers, analysts, and staff across the country will be saying things like “I can’t wait for our next compliance audit” and “I love getting producers ready to sell in as little as one day.”
With the help of technology, the producer lifecycle management function has become fast, easy, and effortless. This makes it the hottest job an insurance organization can offer, and just in time for all those new Gen Z employees to dive in!
But seriously… There’s no joke! With AgentSync, compliance staff no longer have to chase paper and babysit licenses. They can focus on compliance issues that need their brainpower, not on cross-referencing state websites and internal spreadsheets to make sure everyone’s licenses are in good standing.
6. All 50 states will agree on universal insurance regulatory standards
2024 will finally be the year that every state and U.S. territory come to one, clear, solid agreement about what exactly someone needs to do to get and keep their insurance license. Processes and procedures will be standardized. Fees will be universal. State reciprocity will be automatic.
Just kidding! Oh well, we can wish, right?
But seriously… It’s not as easy as a unified insurance law across the country, but our Compliance Library is the next best thing. We’ve gathered all the must-know information from every state and territory and combined it into one useful (and free) resource.
7. Technology will help reduce risks and prevent claims before they happen
We’ve been saying this for a while now, and industry analysts agree: 2024 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for taking a prevention-first approach to insurance and risk mitigation. As our ability to collect data becomes more sophisticated, and predictive models become more accurate, there’s a greater ability for everyone in the insurance distribution channel to catch problems before they happen.
Whether it’s telematic devices that detect minor mechanical indicators before larger accidents occur, wearable technology that give early warnings to people before they experience adverse health events, or connected devices that sense minute changes and give warning before a large-scale natural disaster, these quickly evolving technologies have the potential to turn the industry from primarily reactive to largely preventive in nature.
8. Playground insurance: coming to a fast-food restaurant near you
If you have kids, you probably already know how much of a germ-filled cesspool those fast-food playgrounds are. Yet your kids beg you to let them run free in them anyway! Have you ever wondered what types of germs your child’s picking up in that ballpit? And then you’re left with the doctor’s bills when you have to take them in for the bug du jour. It’s real-life examples like these that are fueling new insurance products as much as new ways and places to purchase them.
That’s why we predict 2024 will be the year of everything from fast-food playground insurance (sold at the cash register just after you decide whether you want fries with that), to bad first date insurance, available for purchase when you create a new online dating profile.
But seriously… These (made up) examples aren’t even that far-fetched! Embedded insurance is popping up everywhere. You can get homeowners insurance at the point of sale for your mortgage, auto insurance from the same place you buy the car, even weather insurance when you book a vacation! All kidding aside, 2024 will absolutely be a year for new insurance products, methods, vehicles, and marketplaces to emerge.
9. Florida and California will lead the way in ending residential growth in disaster-prone areas
There’s no question the P&C industry’s struggling to provide insurance to consumers and businesses while balancing legally allowable premium increases with rising loss ratios, increasing natural disasters, and solvency concerns.
While 2023 saw several large insurers opting not to write new policies, or leaving states entirely, we predict 2024 will take a different turn. In a dramatic pivot, Florida and California will take a stand against the devastating losses its communities have experienced in recent years by prohibiting new development (and redevelopment) in the most disaster-prone areas. They’ll also give incentives to those who currently live or work in such areas to help them relocate to less risky locations, even taking a page out of Milwaukee’s playbook and buying up land to prevent future flooding.
By doing this, the states can help homeowners and businesses avoid the most catastrophic losses. This benefits everyone as insurers will be able to write policies once again, insurance will be more affordable for consumers, and the states can largely avoid needless losses of life and property.
But seriously… This prediction may be more like wishful thinking. However, it’s not a far stretch to say that if states don’t start doing something differently, they risk their residents losing access to homeowners insurance altogether. A more realistic prediction is that the industry will continue to grapple with its historic practices that conflict with modern-day realities. California recently made the move to letting insurers account for the impacts of climate change when setting rates, which hasn’t always been the case.
10. Your insurance business will check out AgentSync
If you’ve made it this far, chances are good that you’re wondering how AgentSync could help your business. Whether you’re a carrier, agency, MGA, MGU, or any other member of the insurance distribution channel, AgentSync can help. We make compliance automatic and effortless with real-time integration with NIPR, FINRA data, background check providers, commission payment systems, and many other integral pieces of your tech stack. Make modernizing your organization a new year’s resolution and get in touch with us today.