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The Connected Business of Insurance

Drive New and Renewal Business with This Indispensable Tool

June 14, 2018

by Brian Wood
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Historically, agents have relied on relationships with insurers, paper guides and insurer websites to identify insurer appetite for commercial risks. These time-consuming, manual processes often provide a partial and outdated view of potential markets for risk which can lead to a lost business. In fact, 72% of agencies surveyed by IVANS said they have lost business because they cannot find or access a market that will quote their risk.

Knowing the right markets for your insurance risks is critical for success. Without the right markets, you can’t win as much new business and your renewals will face fierce competition. When you know the right markets, you can get the best coverage for your client at the lowest price and learn where your competitors may be coming from. With competition stronger than ever and renewal season in full swing, you should leverage digital tools to improve the process of finding the right insurer appetite at the right time.

Never Miss a Business Opportunity Again
IVANS Markets is a free online search tool that enables you to quickly identify markets for commercial lines risks to submit new and renewal business.

With IVANS Markets, you can:

  • Immediately identify insurers who will be responsive to the clients’ coverage needs
  • Review premium renewal rate change trends
  • Remarket only those accounts where the premiums and/or coverages can truly be improved
  • Evaluate the true need for spending significant time quoting multiple markets
  • Improve your insurer relationships by providing them the business they want

Integrated within nine agency management systems and available through markets.ivansinsurance.com, IVANS Markets allows you to search for insurer appetite within your daily workflow. Simply type in your search criteria, including state location and industry code, and instantly receive a list of insurers, MGAs and wholesalers who have an appetite for your risk and information on who you can contact. You can also choose from 12 common industry classes to perform a quick market search in a single click. Streamlining the placement strategy process saves agents hours of work every day. You can now get the results you need when you need them.

Customize Your Appetite Search
Within IVANS Markets, you have the ability to indicate Appointed Markets for your insurer partners. As your agency’s insurer relationships evolve, Appointed Markets allows you to manage your market appointments and relationships to ensure you and other users in your agency focus on the right relationships. As an agency administrator, you also have the ability to designate your top Appointed insurer partners as Preferred and add personalized notes about insurers to ensure you and other users in your agency have the latest details to make more informed market decisions.

Take a Look at Spotlight Markets

  • Fire Sprinkler Contractor Insurance
    All Risks offers Fire Suppression Insurance for fire sprinkler contractors and those businesses with excellent hiring and training programs and a favorable loss history. Don’t let your clients get trapped without a risk prevention plan.
  • Lessor’s Risk
    Pekin has been supporting agents with supplemental learning materials including eBooks, blogs, quick guides, and webinars to educate them on Lessor’s Risk accounts. The company has also increased their Lessor’s Risk-specific marketing materials for agents to use.

    Note: Some accounts may qualify for Pekin Pak – their preferred property and general liability program. Those that don’t can be considered for BOP or standard package policies. Coverage available in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin.
  • Artisan Contractors
    Central Insurance plans to remain a long-term market for Artisan and General Contractors. Examples of Artisan Contractors the company writes include those doing Finishing Work, Heating and Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical, Carpentry – Exterior (other than residential home construction), Masonry/Concrete, Excavation and Grading of Land, and Landscaping/Lawn Care.

    Note: Typically avoid those who are involved in tract housing and other large habitational projects. Also prefer to limit their book of General Contractors to those working on projects that are less than $10M in costs.
  • Classic Car Dealers
    Hagerty is the world leader in insuring classic cars. This program allows you to provide outstanding coverage designed specifically for classic car businesses! Classes include Classic Car Restorers, Classic Car Dealers, Classic Car Museums, and Classic Car Storage Facilities.
  • Stay Ahead of Renewal Season
    Ultimately, automated market search technology like IVANS Markets is critical to continued success in today’s digital age. This free tool for agents provides more access to new markets in less time and insight into the latest premium renewal rate change trends so that you can better advise your clients on the latest products and pricing.

For more information on how to drive new and renewal business with IVANS Markets, register now for the upcoming live webinar, “Renew – and Gain More Business – with IVANS Markets.”

Brian Wood, Vice President of Data Products Group for IVANS, develops innovative and data-driven applications, tools and services for the insurance industry. Prior to this position, he co-founded EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied in Sept 2015. Brian spent 10 years with Marsh & McLennan as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Analysis where he developed global insurance distribution platforms. Brian began his career in insurance building the first company to bind insurance online, insuranceOrder.com (a Trilogy company) which was acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 2001.

IVANS Index: May 2018 Results for Premium Renewal Rate Change

June 07, 2018

by Brian Wood
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IVANS Index is a data-driven report of current conditions and trends for premium renewal rate change of the most placed commercial lines of business in the insurance industry. Data collected in the IVANS Index enables insurers to determine competitive rates and the most profitable lines of business for investment. To learn more about IVANS Index, read IVANS Index: Industry Insights to Help You Run Your Business Better.

May Results Show Uptick Across Majority of Major Commercial Product Lines
The latest IVANS Index results for May 2018 showed that the majority of standard commercial lines products are trending positively, except Commercial Auto and Umbrella, which experienced a slight downward tick while still remaining in positive territory.

Highlights from the May 2018 results include:

  • Commercial Auto: 4.04%, down from 4.54% at the end of April.
  • BOP: 4.02%, up from 3.86% the month prior.
  • General Liability: 2.37%, up from 2.16% at the end of last month.
  • Commercial Property: 3.20%, up from 2.98% at the end of April.
  • Umbrella: 1.54%, down from 2.31% the month prior.
  • Workers’ Compensation: -2.71%, up from -2.93% at the end of April.

May’s IVANS Index figures show that premium rate change across the industry still remains steadily positive, with average variance from month to month across nearly all lines, except for Umbrella which experienced the most significant trend change. These numbers demonstrate that the Commercial Lines market remains hard and further provide guidance on the most profitable lines of business for both insurers and agents.

Analyzing more than 120 million data transactions, the IVANS Index premium renewal rate change measures the premium difference year over year for a single consistent policy. Inclusive of more than 30,000 agencies and 380 insurers and MGAs, the IVANS Index is reflective of the premium rate change trends being experienced by all agencies and insurers across the U.S. insurance market.

For further insights into premium renewal rate change across the industry, download the full IVANS Index report now >

Brian Wood, Vice President of Data Products Group for IVANS, develops innovative and data-driven applications, tools and services for the insurance industry. Prior to this position, he co-founded EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied in Sept 2015. Brian spent 10 years with Marsh & McLennan as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Analysis where he developed global insurance distribution platforms. Brian began his career in insurance building the first company to bind insurance online, insuranceOrder.com (a Trilogy company) which was acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 2001.

Irrefutable Interdependencies: The Case for Agent – Insurer Connectivity

May 31, 2018

by Thad Bauer
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What Insurance Can Learn from Nature

Irrefutable InterdependenciesAs a lover of all things tech, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that I also love science. Recently, while thinking about the future of the insurance industry, I was taken back to something I first learned about in my sixth grade science class, which is the concept of mutualism. Do you remember mutualism, a type of symbiosis? If not, a mutualistic relationship is when two different species “work together” and each benefits from the relationship. One example of a mutualistic relationship is that of the oxpecker (a kind of bird) and a hippo, zebra or giraffe.

Watch this short clip from Richard Attenborough’s BBC nature series to see mutualism in action:

The concept of mutualism is being embraced by some of the world’s most successful companies. In fact, perceptive leaders at P&G, Nestlé and GE Digital have all recognized that mutuality and interdependence with partners fuels growth.

So how does mutualism apply to the independent insurance channel?
While huge efficiencies have been gained by insurers and independent agents who are using digital technology for internal process automation, this alone is simply not enough to grow and thrive. We live in digitally driven, hyper-connected times. Thus, it is critical for agents and insurers to extend their use of technology beyond their own offices and form an interconnected insurance ecosystem whereby everyone involved – agents, insurers, MGAs, wholesalers and ultimately insureds – wins.

There’s that concept of mutualism. By connecting through digital technology, agents and insurers work better together and mutually benefit. Digitally connected agents and insurers can exchange accurate data for quoting, market identification, underwriting, billing and customer service via download, real-time and market search tools. This allows agents to work more efficiently with insurers to provide access to advice, product range, insurer choice and localized personal service. Ultimately, it builds better, mutually beneficial relationships between agents and insurers, which increases the value of their service to insureds and to each other.

Of course delivering superior customer service has never been more crucial. According to Accenture, “In the ‘Age of the Customer,’ in which technology and economic forces have put customers in control of their interactions with businesses, companies are actively working to transform their organization, processes, and technology in pursuit of a more effective digital business and a more satisfying customer experience. While companies have made good progress, especially over the last five years, they still have a lot of room for continued development of their digital capabilities.”

As key business partners in the insurance lifecycle, agents and insurers have an irrefutable interdependence on one another and therefore have a stake in each other’s success. To fully capitalize on this mutualism and fuel growth, agents and insurers must increase their connectivity by using automated data exchange technologies such as download, real-time and market search tools. In doing so together, they are both positioned to experience higher profits, greater efficiencies, reduced expenses, faster service and stronger business relationships.

To further explore how insurer connectivity can drive greater business success, download the Insurer Connectivity ebook now

Thad Bauer, IVANS InsuranceThad Bauer, vice president and general manager of IVANS Insurance Solutions, has had 25 years of property and casualty experience and has played a key role in furthering the adoption of ACORD standards to exchange data within the industry to improve efficiencies.  He has helped carriers and MGAs realize benefits through innovative technology and workflow implementations of real time, download, Web service connections to third parties and maximizing data within their enterprise. Prior to IVANS, Thad was president and co-founder of  NxTech, a leading provider of agency-MGA-carrier interface and data integration solutions. Prior to NxTech, he spent nine years with BWC Systems and IVANS, Inc. and has worked with more than 350 insurance carriers throughout North America.

Why Digital Transformation Is a Partnership

May 17, 2018

by Karen Pauli
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For a very long time, everyone outside the insurance industry has been admonishing everyone inside the insurance industry for their lack of digital capabilities. In turn, insurers have been pushing agencies to step up their digital capabilities. There has been a lot of finger pointing going on. For many reasons, not the least of which are customer demand, emerging technology, and InsurTech, digital awareness has moved past the admonishing stage to the embracing stage. Not too long ago, one would have to go a long way to find an insurer or agency that thought digital was transformational. Now, it is the reverse. Only a very small number of organizations are still in the denial stage.

Embracing and acknowledging are one thing, but as most everyone knows, the devil is in the detail. The “how” of digital transformation is the real challenge. At Strategy Meets Action (SMA), we have developed a framework for digital transformation. Putting definitions and execution guidelines around digital transformation is critically important. However, in terms of insurer and agency digital transformation success, the most important thing may be “partnership.” Insurers and agencies must partner for digital success. Both sides of the insurance transaction have a stake in – and influence upon – successful digital execution. And failure hurts both sides as well.

It is easy to say that partnership is important, but how do insurers and agencies see the other’s contribution toward successful digital capabilities? IVANS and SMA conducted a research initiative to delve into many aspects of insurer and agency digital transformation. This blog will not go into all the results – it would go from blog to research paper very quickly. But, there are a few points that are elemental to a partnership theme.

  • Digital Strategy
    When asked about a comprehensive digital strategy, 65% of agencies indicated that they had digital projects going on, but not a comprehensive strategy. From working with insurers of all sizes, SMA understands that many insurers are in the same circumstance. Given the project nature of digital execution today, it is the perfect time for agencies and insurers to work together to optimize digital capabilities to create seamless, omnichannel processes.
  • Partnerships Beget Partnerships
    When agents were asked what expectations they have of insurers in terms of enabling digital interactions, regardless of the agency’s size, the majority agreed that establishing partnerships with tech providers that facilitate communications between insurers and their agency was number one. In all good partnerships, one side has strengths that the other partner does not have, which are brought to the relationship for mutual benefit. Insurers, because of size, skill set, and technology knowledge, are in that position. This is a win-win for both sides.
  • It’s All About the Data
    SMA survey results show that, for the past five years, data and analytics have been the number one or number two strategic initiative for insurers. Coincidentally (and happily), agencies, again, regardless of size, are focusing resources on obtaining data for new insights about customers, improving policyholder service, and improving efficiency. New data will permit agencies and insurers to reach their mutual goals of meeting customer expectations with superior sales, service, and risk management competencies efficiently and seamlessly.

While the survey results certainly indicated some digital and emerging technology differences between smaller agencies and jumbo agencies, this is not dissimilar to insurers of varying sizes. Understanding the differences and positively responding to them is the key, as in any good partnership. Like many industries, silos within the insurance industry have constrained innovation and transformation. A “you do your thing, I’ll do my thing” attitude is a losing strategy when the customer expects both their advisor and the insurer to come through for them. Fortunately, because of maturing and emerging technology and new data sources, insurers and agencies can partner for unified outcomes that benefit both. Two is better than one in life and in a digital world as well.

Download the Agencies in the Digital Age Survey Report >

Karen Pauli is a principal at Strategy Meets Action and has over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Her areas of focus include claims, underwriting, business intelligence and analytics, distribution, and customer management. Karen can be reached at 1.774.462.7820 or kpauli@strategymeetsaction.com. Follow Karen @kpauliSMA on Twitter.

3 Ways to Support the Needs of Today’s Digital Agents

May 03, 2018

by Christine Horne
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As the world becomes more digital, agencies are leveraging technology to meet consumer demand for instant, 24/7 customer service. Consumer demand, along with the need for greater ease of doing business and a more diverse product range, has pushed agencies to seek increased connectivity from insurer partners. By connecting through digital technology, we can work better together and mutually benefit.

Digitally connected agents and insurers can exchange accurate data for quoting, market appetite, underwriting, billing and customer service via real-time, market search and download services. This allows agents to work more efficiently with insurers and provide access to advice, product range, insurer choice and localized personal service for the end insured. Ultimately, increasing agency connectivity is critical to finding and keeping the right agencies for the right – and most profitable – risks.

What Digital Agencies Need From You
From my role at Bankers Insurance as well as my participation in various industry groups, I know that agents value ease of doing business – from finding markets, to quoting, to issuance and service – over anything else with insurers. Agents conduct business with countless insurer and MGA partners, and see these three core areas as critically important in the success of these relationships:

  1. Greater visibility into your latest appetite and product details
    Traditional ways of identifying market appetite, such as referencing paper guides and insurer websites, prevents agents from having the most up-to-date data and only provides a partial view of potential markets for risk. In fact, I was not surprised to learn that 72% of agents surveyed by IVANS reported lost business because they couldn’t find or access a market that will quote their risk. To support your agency partners, you need to market directly to them via tools that integrate into their daily workflows to keep your products top of mind 24/7.
  1. Access to quote and rate details in real time
    A recent IVANS survey found that 41% of agencies would prefer to quote directly from the agency management system versus portals or comparative raters. The ability for us to receive quotes directly in the management system reduces duplicate keystrokes and saves time by eliminating the need to log into multiple insurer portals, allowing us to respond to clients more quickly and easily. By automating quotes instantly to agencies’ systems, you reduce overhead costs and time spent managing insurer portals while ensuring your products are consistently quoted.
  1. Continuous access to the latest policy information
    To keep up with consumer demand for instant service, we require continuous access to the latest policy information directly within our daily management system workflows. IVANS research also reveals that 83% of agents found the availability of automated insurer connectivity to be very important when selecting insurers to do business with – and I couldn’t agree more. IVANS enables you to automate the exchange of policy information directly from your system into agencies’ management systems through download services, like eDocs and Messages. Spending unnecessary time and money managing paperwork that your business sends to agencies is hindering our collective ability to focus on servicing our mutual customers.

Strengthen Your Agency Relationships for a More Successful Tomorrow
As agents continue to become more digital, it’s crucial that you take advantage of the technology to more easily and quickly connect to your agency partners. Those insurers and MGAs who support their agents’ digital strategies stand to reap the rewards of building stronger relationships with the right agents that will drive profitable premium growth. Those who continue to rely on the “way things have always been done,” will begin to miss out on new agency opportunities and potentially alienating current agency relationships.

I encourage you to schedule an appointment with an IVANS representative to learn how IVANS can strengthen your agency relationships and drive growth for your business.

Christine Horne is VP of Systems Support at Bankers Insurance. She brings almost two decades of industry experience to her role and is on the IVANS Agency Advisory Board, an AUGIE Ambassador, ACT member, member of the board of directors for the Applied Client Network and active within the insurance industry promoting download adoption and technology.

IVANS Connect 2018: Why IVANS Connect Is a Must-Attend Event

April 19, 2018

by IVANS Communications
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This October, insurers, MGAs and solution providers from across the industry will gather at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville for IVANS Connect 2018, the insurance industry event dedicated to advancing information exchange – connecting insurers, agencies, MGAs and their insureds through digital technology.

This year’s conference explores the digital age of insurance, offering insightful educational sessions, powerful thought leadership and valuable networking opportunities for agencies, insurers, MGAs and solutions providers to discover the opportunities to embrace digital and drive new distribution and service models across the insurance industry.

To learn why IVANS Connect is a must-attend industry event, we spoke with previous attendees about their experience at the conference, and why they continue to attend year after year.

Bobbie Coe Altman, IT distribution leader at Westfield Insurance, discusses how insurers can benefit greatly from the education and networking opportunities available at IVANS Connect.

Q: Why do you attend IVANS Connect?

A: IVANS Connect is a chance for me to be in a room with all participants in the industry – carriers, agents, agency management system vendors and IVANS – to better understand how the insurance data and products flow through our industry’s pipelines. After the first year at IVANS, I was able to see firsthand how critical this is to the industry. I have continued to attend to network and identify how Westfield can improve the solutions we offer to agents.

Q: Has your business benefited from attending IVANS Connect?

A: Yes – Westfield’s integration offerings to the agents have improved as a result of our industry involvement in IVANS Connect. We are able to hear feedback directly from agents and understand the roadmap for integrations with IVANS and agency management system vendors that enable us to reach the agents most effectively. We can then use this information to enhance our current offerings or prioritize new offerings. Additionally, networking opportunities at the conference provide a forum where we are able to find assistance with implementation questions or challenges.

Q: What is one important think you’ve learned at IVANS Connect?
A: As a carrier representative, IVANS Connect is a forum where I can understand how carriers can work together to create a more efficient workflow for the agents. I’ve learned about how the insurance policy and documents we send through download are received by the agents. So, I’m able to see how our download may or may not help them service the insured in the most efficient and effective way. We’ve been able to make improvements to reduce the amount of work that the agent has to do once they receive it in their system.

Dennis Zimmerman, senior development specialist for North American Software Associates, discusses why he believes the conference is the perfect place to bring together voices and perspectives from across the industry.

Q: Why do you attend IVANS Connect?

A: The biggest reason I attend is the personal relationships that develop at the conference. We are all fellow travelers who face common hurdles and we can better navigate the ever-changing insurance landscape with observations from across the industry. My boss has provided me the opportunity to attend the conference over the past couple of years, but apparently, my post-conference reports are so good, he also plans to attend the next IVANS Connect himself.

Q: How has your business benefitted from attending the conference?

A: One of the best benefits of participating in IVANS Connect is learning about the industry challenges related to sharing information and the direction that the industry disrupters might move us toward. We can all build vital partnerships when we better understand each other and our industry as a whole.

Q: What is one important thing you’ve learned at IVANS Connect?

A: It is often true that a team’s reality is colored by the lens they are viewing the world through. I find it refreshing to expand my reality with the insights provided by the conference. So often the problems which seem so difficult are pared down to a manageable size after speaking with participants of IVANS Connect.

Scott Montney, vice president of information technology for Cochrane & Company, speaks about the valuable networking opportunities the conference provides, and why IVANS Connect is the best place to learn about agency connectivity and automated servicing.

Q: Why do you attend IVANS Connect?

A: I continue to attend the conference to learn about agency-insurer connectivity and related operations at the retail level, and to know more about the challenges the standard markets are facing as they work toward further adoption of new technologies.

Q: How has your business benefitted from attending the conference?

A: As an MGA at IVANS Connect, I gain significant insight into the pragmatic aspects of agency connectivity – where this technology is heading and how it is being used in the “real world.” The ability to network with peers involved in these projects on a technical level is something I have not found in any other event I attend as an MGA.

Q: What is one important thing you’ve learned at IVANS Connect?

A: By participating in IVANS Connect, I have gained a more complete understanding of the “retail side” of the industry. I have seen first-hand how agency-insurer connectivity fits into and enhances agent workflows, and have learned technical details and implementation recommendations for eDocs and Messages that will allow us to better serve clients. One of the most important things I have learned is that there is clearly a place at the agency connectivity table for MGAs, and IVANS Connect helps us gain an early seat.

IVANS Connect 2018 takes place October 14 – 15 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.

Register now >

IVANS Index: 2018 Q1 Results for Premium Renewal Rate Change

April 05, 2018

by IVANS Communications
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IVANS Index is a data-driven report of current conditions and trends for premium renewal rate change of the most placed commercial lines of business in the insurance industry. Data collected in the IVANS Index enables insurers to determine competitive rates and the most profitable lines of business for investment. To learn more about IVANS Index, read IVANS Index: Industry Insights to Help You Run Your Business Better.

Q1 2018 Results Show Positive Uptick in Premium Renewal Rate Change Average Across Nearly All Lines of Business
The latest IVANS Index results for Q1 show that insurance industry premium renewal rates are up quarter-over-quarter across nearly all major commercial product lines, except Workers’ Compensation. Commercial Auto, Business Owner’s Policy, Commercial Property, Umbrella, and General Liability show positive results compared to Q4 2017; however, Workers’ Compensation demonstrated slightly negative premium renewal rate change during the quarter.

Key findings from the 2018 Q1 results include:

  • Commercial Auto: Premium renewal rate change averaged 4.20% for Q1, ending at 3.87% in March.
  • BOP: Quarter premium renewal rate change averaged 4.00%, representing an increase over last quarter’s average of 3.85%. BOP renewal rate change finished the quarter at 4.29%.
  • General Liability: Q1 premium renewal rate change experienced an uptick at 2.01% compared to Q4 which averaged 1.86%. General Liability renewal rate reached 2.24% at the end of March.
  • Commercial Property: Q1 premium renewal rate change increased quarter-over-quarter, with an average rate change of 3.11% as compared to 2.91% in Q4 of last year.
  • Umbrella: Quarter premium renewal rate change spiked in March, finishing the quarter at 2.13% and increasing the Q1 average to 1.49% from 1.34% in Q4.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Premium renewal rate change dipped again in Q1, averaging at -2.47% as compared to -2.32% in Q4.

Commercial Auto
Premium renewal rate change for Commercial Auto insurance averaged 4.20% in Q1. Insurance buyers in Florida continue to experience a premium renewal rate change higher than the average, with Q1 rate change for Florida buyers averaging 8.58% premium renewal rate change versus overall Commercial Auto at 4.20%.

BOP
March marked the quarter high for Business Owner’s Policy at 4.29% premium renewal rate change, with the low in February at 3.80%. BOP for real estate firms is increasing faster than other industries, with Q1 2018 rate change at 5.66% versus the national average at 4.00%.

Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation rate change averaged -2.47% in Q1 versus -2.32% in Q4 2017. February marks the lowest premium renewal rate change of the quarter at -3.61%, with March being the second lowest at -2.79%. Social services experienced more variable average premium renewal rate change for Workers’ Compensation than the industry average. In Q4 2017, social services averaged a 0.74% premium renewal rate change versus the national average of -2.32%.

Quarter-over-quarter, premium renewal rate change continues to show significant positive momentum across the majority of commercial lines. Analyzing more than 120 million data transactions, The IVANS Index continues to serve as a product and pricing tool for our insurer customers and provides the industry’s only data-driven insights for our agencies as they provide renewal guidance to their customers.

For further insights into premium renewal rate change across the industry, download the full IVANS Index Q1 2018 report now >

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend IVANS Connect 2018

March 22, 2018

by IVANS Communications
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Every year, insurance professionals from across the industry gather at IVANS Connect to learn about the latest innovations and opportunities in digital distribution and servicing. IVANS Connect provides insightful keynotes and valuable education sessions specifically designed to help your business embrace digital transformation. Attend the industry’s only conference dedicated to advancing information exchange — connecting insurers, agencies, MGAs and their insureds through digital technology.

Here are the top 5 reasons to attend IVANS Connect 2018

  1. Increase your industry and technical knowledge
    Dive into peer-driven best practices and learn from the experts with valuable education sessions within both business and technical tracks.
  1. Discover the latest innovations and products
    Uncover the latest advances in IVANS technology and gain invaluable insights on solutions revolutionizing digital distribution and servicing.
  1. Build your agency relationships
    Find the right agents with the right products and services through the industry’s largest digital network of more than 30,000 agencies. IVANS Connect is the industry’s leading forum facilitating connectivity among insurers, agencies and MGAs.
  1. Network at the Welcome Reception
    Jumpstart your conference experience and enjoy an evening of lively discussion at the Welcome Reception.
  1. Be inspired by engaging keynotes
    Get inspired by extraordinary keynotes from IVANS and Applied executives, and engaging guest speakers. Past speakers include Mark Breading, partner at leading industry analyst firm Strategy Meets Action, discussing the convergence of innovation and tradition, and giving his predictions for the insurance industry of the future.

Join industry peers, leaders, and innovators at IVANS Connect 2018 to discover the opportunities to embrace digital to drive new distribution and service models across the insurance industry.

Register Now for Exclusive Early-Bird Discounts >

Connectivity: The Secret to Competing in the Age of the Customer

March 08, 2018

by IVANS Communications
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Today, insurance agencies face many challenges that they didn’t contemplate years ago. Consumer buying behaviors and patterns are different. Now, you find shoppers engaging with you after doing extensive research, not up front. Service expectations are different too. “I’ll get back to you with an answer” doesn’t cut it with consumers who want and expect an immediate response. And whatever response or communication does take place must be on the customer’s terms, not the agent’s.

To meet changing consumer demands and gain a competitive advantage, agencies must leverage the power of connected technology. Technology provides your business with data-driven insights about your customers and automates business operations between your agency management system and your insurer partners. Connectivity technology creates more streamlined processes while driving more insurer connections to drive higher agent productivity and better service for customers.

Dive deeper into your data
Understanding data and having meaningful information available for all agency functions is important. That’s why you should focus on making sure employees enter thorough and accurate data. Workflow consistency can yield real productivity gains. So can implementing procedures and processes to capture comprehensive customer risk and demographic information your agency can use to better market and engage customers.

Data analytics helps you better understand client, prospect and employee trends and activities. With business intelligence gained from your system data, you can easily zero in on new business opportunities, identify responsive and profitable insurer performance, and productively align resources, activities and employees.

Access data anytime, anywhere
Data within the system is only actionable when it’s accessible. That’s why it’s essential to have a mobile solution that integrates seamlessly with your management system. Mobile technology provides your staff with access to client information while out of the office, enabling them to be more productive and to capitalize on new business opportunities. Mobile also enhances your customers’ service experience by providing online 24/7 access to policy information.

Develop relationships with the best insurers
Insurer connectivity technology provides your agency with a single workflow for information exchange, reducing manual processes and allowing you to deliver faster, more complete service to your customers. These automated workflows eliminate time spent on daily manual administrative tasks, including searching for quotes, policy information and appetite on multiple websites, or using outdated paper guides.

Connecting with insurers enables your agency to access new markets and quickly search insurer market appetite to submit new and renewal business, enabling staff to provide product range and insurer choice. Insurer connectivity also provides data-driven industry insights on expected renewal rate changes to ensure your agency provides guidance to clients around renewals and that you are focused on the most profitable lines of business for future growth.

Technology also automates the exchange of policy-related information from insurer systems into your management system to ensure the most accurate information is available for servicing. Automating data exchange allows you to seamlessly view, manage and increase insurer connections to meet the ever-changing needs of your business. Additionally, by eliminating manual management of administrative tasks, staff can save up to an hour a day per employee.

Ultimately, automating connectivity is critical to the core value proposition of the independent agent – providing the best products and advice to your clients. Therefore maximizing your insurer connection opportunities is key. By using applications to increase insurer connectivity like IVANS Exchange – a free online tool for viewing and managing insurer and MGA download connections on demand – you can easily identify which download connections are available, inactive or not turned on. 

Connect today for a more competitive tomorrow
As the business of insurance becomes truly connected, agencies have the opportunity to improve operational efficiency, capture new clients across all lines of business and increase loyalty and retention. The best performing businesses will set forth on a digital transformation to meet the ever-changing expectations of the connected insured and capitalize on the new market opportunities of the connected insurer. Agencies embracing digital transformation will realize the benefits of the connected business of insurance to grow and thrive. 

Discover how IVANS enables you to find the best products and service for your customers >

One Click Away from the Best Markets: New Market Discovery Tools

February 22, 2018

by IVANS Communications
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Have you ever spent several hours reviewing appetite guides or visiting insurer portals to see if they have appetite for the business you are looking to write? This manual process of searching for insurer appetite is inefficient, expensive and time-consuming. It also leads agents to only go to a small group of ‘favorites’ and inadvertently miss the market for that risk, hindering them from securing new business. In fact, according to a recent IVANS survey, 72% of agents surveyed admitted that they have missed opportunities to place business due to lack of market access.

With competition stronger than ever, agencies need to leverage digital tools to improve the process of finding the right products at the right time. IVANS Markets, a free online market search tool, enables your agency to immediately identify insurer and MGA appetite for the specific risk you are searching for. By providing a simple, automated solution to connect you with insurers and MGAs, IVANS Markets expands your market opportunities and drives greater efficiency.

What’s new in IVANS Markets?

To give agencies more control and ensure their staff is working with the right partners, IVANS is releasing new capabilities that enable agencies to customize how their Appointed Markets appear in the results section of each IVANS Markets search. As your agency’s insurer relationships evolve, Appointed Markets allows you to manage your market appointments and relationships to ensure you and other users in your agency focus on the right relationships.

The latest capabilities enable you to:

  • Designate your top appointed insurer partners as Preferred
  • Set a custom order to rank your Appointed/Preferred insurers list
  • Add personalized notes about insurers

All of these customizations are then viewable by your staff when they perform a Market Appetite search to help them make informed decisions when placing business and help your agency strengthen established insurer relationships.  

How to get started

Log in to IVANS Markets through markets.ivansinsurance.com or by selecting the IVANS Markets option that is integrated into nine agency management systems. Under the Appointed Markets tab, you can determine whether appointed insurers display for all agency users and whether users can customize their own appointed markets lists. Selecting to Manage appointments for all agency users creates an additional view in the Market Appetite search results that only displays your preferred/appointed insurers, ordered according to your defined ranking. The Allow users to customize their list option permits your IVANS Markets users to customize their appointment lists. Users’ individual selections are appended to the agency-defined list of preferred and appointed insurers in the search results.  

To request that IVANS set you up as an administrator so that you can manage appointments at the agency level as well as the user level, click the Request administrator access link.  

For more information on the latest enhancements to IVANS Markets, watch the Gain Access to New Markets with IVANS on-demand webinar now.

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