As the provisions of the Affordable Care Act begin to come to fruition, the role of independent insurance agents is becoming more vague. In an effort to embolden independent agents, the Consumer Agent Portal LLP, a coalition of property/casualty insurers that support independent agents, has launched a new online resource system that is designed to give agents access to the 65% market share they are missing out on. The system will take advantage of the growing electronic market, which is becoming a major playing field in the world of insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.
In accordance with the new law, states are required to set up health insurance exchanges. These exchanges are electronic marketplaces where consumers can find affordable policies offered by large and small insurance companies. Independent agents may have trouble coping with the new system, as consumers will be able to find and purchase policies directly from companies. The new resource portal from the Consumer Agent Portal, aims to put agents in direct contact with consumers, allowing them to sell policies more effectively.
The consumer-agent portal will have no regional restrictions, meaning that any number of agents or agencies can sign up in a given Zip code. Agencies utilizing the system to take advantage of the emerging electronic market are expected to benefit the most, as consumers still show favor toward purchasing policies through agents as opposed to getting them directly from the insurer.