Are You the “Insurer of Choice” for Agents?
It’s generally understood that agents prefer to work with insurers that are easy to do business with. This typically leads to more business and can establish an insurer as the agents’ “insurer of choice.”
In a 2018 survey conducted by National Underwriter (NU) in conjunction with the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and Flaspohler (as covered extensively by PropertyCasualty360), 64% of independent agents rated “ease of doing business” as the top consideration when selecting insurers. The organizations just released an updated 2019 survey, which shows similar results. According to PropertyCasualty360 Editor-in-Chief Rosalie Donlon, technology continues to be a challenge for the survey respondents when doing business with insurers that use outdated software and tools. One survey respondent even said that he does “not understand why some companies let the agents go around with a laptop and have the ability to interview and bind on the spot, while other companies take five days to look over an app.”
EY sheds more light on the technology challenge. More than 25% of independent agents find that the effort spent on administrative tasks is a serious threat to growth, while 35% of agents told EY that they would “stop, drop, and roll” for improved customer online tools, and 45% would stand on their heads for fewer forms and less paperwork. Furthermore, 60% of agents select insurers based on the quality of the tools they offer, and 35% have left one insurer for another that offers better options.
Automate Your Tasks and Workflows
What can you do to improve agents’ ease of doing business with your insurance organization? We’ve found that the most critical thing you can do is to automate where possible to reduce friction and increase accuracy in the quoting process.
Manual tasks are the biggest (and most expensive) sources of lost productivity and data inaccuracy in insurance processing, starting with intake. Minimizing manual data entry can increase accuracy and speed when quoting insurance policies. For example, depending on the system and the pre-integrations that it offers, automated workflows can enable push-button data population for agents and underwriters, making it easier and faster for you to return more accurate quotes to your agents. An automated inspection workflow can help you define inspection providers and help your users create and review inspection requests, search for (and assign) inspectors based on location, and automatically generate correspondence to the inspection company, the insured, and the agent.
Imagine your underwriters no longer needing to rely on manual tasks to manage property inspections. Instead, a system with automated workflows sends the inspection request, creates follow-up tasks for underwriting, and automatically cancels those follow-up tasks and creates underwriting review tasks when the inspection report is attached to the policy. All of this enables your underwriters to get more accurate quotes back to agents faster.
And that is what your agents want most from you.