"In a report this year, Boston Consulting Group and Morgan Stanley looked at how the money is divided up in the German life insurance industry. It found that distribution expenses take up 38 cents out of every €1 that is paid in premiums — a higher sum than goes to the customers."  ft.com 10th Sep, 2019

This high operational expense invites digital transformation but does not that intermediaries are doomed. There is a case fort augmented intelligence combining technology and human intuition plus empathy. 

"Boston Consulting Group and Morgan Stanley argue that insurers can improve profits even if they stick with intermediaries. They estimate that shaking up distribution and simplifying products could boost profit margins for life insurers from 6.5 per cent to more than 11 per cent".  ft.com 

P&C and Commercial Insurance have already seen hybrid systems delivering better quality advice to customers whilst collapsing costs. Life insurance will likely see a mix of direct and distribution via fewer but better skilled intermediaries.