Technology Changes, but the Need for Relationships Remains Fundamental

This year, Poms & Associates celebrates its 30th anniversary – 30 years of leveraging long and productive relationships with our clients into effective insurance solutions. I founded Poms on the principle that knowledge is the best insurance, and our job, as brokers, has always been to share the knowledge that equips our clients to solve their challenges, big and small.

We started in 1991, right before the explosion of the internet and all the accessibility and interconnectedness it brought. The internet presented virtues and challenges – ones that many companies, in and out of the insurance market, struggled to absorb. Thanks to the strength of our founding model, Poms was able to incorporate the internet into its brokerage practices without much trouble. Our business has always been rooted in our partnerships with customers, and by maintaining an open and honest dialogue with our clients, we ensured that the internet’s rush of information didn’t overwhelm them or us. As long as clients trusted our commitment to their best interests, any new technology – regardless of its innovation or complexity – could be leveraged to add value to our business model.

Insurance companies’ adoption of new technologies mirrors similar trends occurring in other industries. Automated solutions are especially visible in the sphere of personalized insurance, with apps, websites and phone services dominating the industry. While technology has benefited our business in many ways, it’s important to recognize that technology is a means to – and not the end of – good insurance brokerage. At Poms, we recognize technology’s capacity to enhance our work, but we still appreciate that strong and trusting relationships are the backbone of everything we do. Our emphasis on partnerships has been a constant over the last thirty years, throughout waves of new technological advances.

From the launch of the internet to mobile and smartphones, businesses can access information more quickly than ever. This is an emerging complexity for decision-makers, working to comply with burgeoning U.S. litigation around the use of technology in business practices. Our lawmakers are more litigious and the bar for accountability has risen; now, it’s on businesses to ensure that technology enhances their work without controlling it. Addressing new technology-related risks and liabilities is not a challenge business leaders should have to face alone.

When we began in 1991, physical burglaries were relatively common, occurring far more regularly than they do today. Our clients would come to us, looking for ways to reduce their vulnerability to property theft, and we would work together to develop effective risk management solutions. Today, most companies’ most valuable assets aren’t physical – they’re digital. Criminals who formerly planned burglaries and inventory theft now send phishing links and attempt data breaches. Through the internet, they can gain access to companies’ bank accounts, credit cards, proprietary information and more.

Working with clients to reduce their cyber liabilities and secure appropriate insurance coverage is a great example of how, despite our technological revolution, clients still rely on humans to interpret their needs and vulnerabilities. At Poms & Associates, we use our longstanding relationships with clients and our industry expertise to tailor solutions specifically to clients risks and cost considerations. Our customers end up happier and more secure every time.

Today, insurance customers are more informed than ever. They have access to one-click policy solutions. They can compare and shop rates to find the plans with the lowest out-of-pocket costs, even while their risk – and future costs – may be amplified. Clients come to – and remain with – Poms & Associates because of the personal touch we provide. At Poms, every client is unique, and our team works to understand the specific risks they face, the data behind them, how they can mitigate them, and how they can cover risks outside of their control.

The fundamentally human aspect of our business model has guided Poms through the last three decades. Insurance partnerships help decision makers think about their operations to make their business better. We may utilize the appropriate technology to facilitate these relationships and decisions, but, ultimately, the best solutions come down to the people behind them.

Without a strong relationship with their broker, businesses leave value behind. For the last 30 years, Poms’ brokers have been dedicated problem solvers, willing and able to think outside the box for our clients. When we work together with clients to develop a culture of risk management, the result is safer and happier employees – regardless of the technologies we employee in the process.

Ultimately, the insurance industry is about connections. At Poms, we’ve just about seen it all, and we share what we’ve learned with out clients so they can improve their operations. While there’s no predicting exactly what the future will bring, I’m confident that the lesson of prioritizing strong partnerships will carry us through the next 30 years.