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Technology brings brokers, buyers closer by broadening communication

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The development of technology may well enhance, rather than supplant, relationships between brokers and insurance buyers.

“The complex and specialty risk will always require personal expertise,” said Emily Cummins, Washington-based director of tax and risk management for the National Rifle Association.

“It will never replace in-the-flesh relationships,” which is “how brokers differentiate themselves in a competitive market, too,” she said.

“It's just another way of broadening the way people communicate,” said Deborah Smallwood, Boston-based president and CEO of consultant Strategy Meets Action.

Jackie Hair, executive director of risk management for Ingram Micro Inc. in Santa Ana, Calif., said, I've heard stories where risk managers have not been able to provide accurate information about their own program.”

“If anything, (technology is) going to build the relationship” because the more accurate the information the risk manager will be able to provide will give the broker “a greater sense of confidence” in relaying that data to the insurer.

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