Insurance Business magazine sat down with Patrick G. Ryan, founder, chairman and CEO of Ryan Specialty Group to pick his brain on how brokers were—or were not—evolving along with technology. Ryan did not mince words: “The advice that the broker or agent gives is irreplaceable; it’s not going to be replaced by a machine,” he said. “The broker is an advocate in placing the coverage, getting the right terms and conditions and making sure the coverage is appropriate and fits the client’s risk. In the claims space, there’s often so much ambiguity that having the broker or agent as the advocate is once again invaluable.”

Ryan also drew attention to where the capital being invested in insurtech is going. According to him, “If you look at all the capital that’s being pumped into insurtech, the majority of it is actually being invested in tools that will enable and empower the broker.” This was a theme The Council saw both at Plug and Play’s inaugural Broker Age event and at InsureTech Connect in October: most startups nowadays attack inefficiencies in the application process or back-office systems, allowing the broker to spend more time acting as the trusted advisor/advocate for their clients instead of being bogged down by rote clerical work.