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B2B2C for insurance: managing agents, brokers & business customers

Insurance companies serve a diverse network of external user groups, such as agents, brokers and business customers. All of these groups need access to the company’s applications and services, so they can do their jobs. These users are neither employees nor customers of the company. That means they have some special requirements when it comes to Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Company mandate models are usually used to grant access to business applications and infrastructure. But these models cannot be just replicated for every user group that is part of a modern insurance company’s ecosystem. In this post, we describe some of these user groups and give examples of how you can manage them effectively in your company’s IAM system.

Agents and brokers
Insurance companies don’t always sell directly to customers. They work with independent agents and brokers who often require access to the same business applications that internal employees use. Managing this access can result in a heavy workload for IT departments, application owners and customer care teams.

It takes a flexible, sophisticated delegation solution to allow Access Management, User Management and Customer Care activities to be delegated to the agents and brokers themselves. As a result, administrators of these user groups can be granted the ability to add, invite, change or even offboard users.

That means these administrators can assign and revoke access to your company’s business applications (of course, within the limits of your company’s own access and security policies). All actions are recorded so you have a fully auditable paper trail of these activities. Your company should also allow administrators overseeing larger agencies and brokerages to further delegate specific management tasks on their own.

User friendliness should be your company’s top priority for its agents and brokers. Their delegated administrators are usually not people with an IT background. They need a clear, intuitive user interface (UI) to efficiently manage the users they oversee.

Business customers
Insurance companies offer collective insurance for organisations, which is often handled by an HR representative at the organisation. These business customers have different rights than individual customers and can also obtain a delegation role to manage accounts for the people insured under their company’s collective insurance scheme.

These users need a system that’s easy to handle, with the option to create accounts or invite employees for self-registration. Many different levels of trust can be built in, from trusted email address extensions to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or step-up authentication solutions.

Insurance companies regularly outsource specific business tasks to external companies. Users at these external companies need access to the insurance company’s applications and services, often collaborating with internal users. Unlike with agents and brokers, these applications may be identical to the ones that your company’s internal employees use.

External companies often integrate with your identity provider, allowing them to use their own accounts while leaving the user management up to you. In a similar fashion, these companies should be able to manage access to your applications and services. A Delegated User Management model enables (delegated) administrators to assign and revoke access to your applications, provide users with self-service capabilities and allow them to request access.

Because outsourced companies are more intertwined with your company’s daily operations when it comes to application access, there’s an even greater need for reporting and auditing capabilities. This is another area where your IAM and Delegated User Management system serve an essential role.


Service desks and customer care
Insurance organisations usually have their own customer care and help desk employees, but these services may also be outsourced. There may also be other external parties involved, such as business customers and brokers who serve as the first line of support for customers that they serve in a B2B2C scenario.

So, functionalities for customer care and help desk employees must be highly flexible.
A customer care employee at an insurance company should be able to access the account reset and password recovery settings for many users. On the other hand, a delegated administrator at an organisation that has collective insurance should also be able to access these settings, but only for a specific user group. A fine-grained delegation model with structures, groups, etc. should be in place to manage these scenarios optimally.

In short, insurance companies can face countless different constellations when it comes to the types of users accessing their applications. It takes flexible, fine-grained IAM solutions to manage this. OneWelcome offers an extended module that offers the functionality your organisation needs, so delegated users at many levels have enough rights to properly manage their users and work efficiently without compromising on security by granting too many rights to people who don’t need them.

Read the whole series
This is part 4 of a series of 5 posts about Customer Identity and Access Management challenges in the Insurance industry.

You can read the rest of the series here:

  1. The best customer experience for Insurance, with CIAM
  2. How Insurance companies can orchestrate the best User Journeys with CIAM
  3. Passwords are the problem!
  4. B2B2C for Insurance: How to serve different user groups
  5. Conversion from prospect to customer

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