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The Connected Business of Insurance

IVANS Index: Q2 2018 Results for Premium Renewal Rate Change

July 12, 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.

Second Quarter of 2018 Shows General Uptick in Premium Renewal Rate Change
Compared to the previous quarter, the latest results from the IVANS Index show that the insurance industry premium renewal rate change has experienced variable change across nearly all major commercial lines products, including Commercial Auto, General Liability, Commercial Property and Umbrella. There was no change in premium renewal rate change for BOP, and Workers’ Compensation remains the only line of business experiencing a negative rate change.

Highlights from the Q2 2018 results include:

  • Commercial Auto: Premium renewal rate change averaged 4.32% for the quarter, ending at 4.38% for June.
  • BOP: Quarter premium renewal rate change averaged 4.01%, representing no change over last quarter’s average of 4.00%. BOP premium renewal rate change finished the quarter at 4.14% in June.
  • General Liability: The quarter premium renewal rate change reached 2.16% in April and ended the quarter in June at 2.35%.
  • Commercial Property: Q2 premium renewal rate change experienced an increase quarter over quarter, with an average rate change of 3.14% as compared to 3.11% in Q1 2018.
  • Umbrella: Q2 premium renewal rate change averaged 1.77% versus 1.49% in Q1 2018.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Premium renewal rate change slightly decreased in Q2, averaging at -2.49% as compared to -2.47% in Q1 2018.

The latest IVANS Index figures demonstrated slight variance quarter over quarter, with the most significant trend change occurring with General Liability and Umbrella. As the second quarter comes to a close, the IVANS Index shows that the Commercial Lines market continues to harden, providing guidance for agents to advise their clients on policy changes and market intelligence for insurers to support pricing strategies.

General Liability
General Liability insurance premium renewal rate change for Q2 averaged 2.29% versus 2.01% in Q1 2018, with a six month average of 2.15%. In Q2, May marked the quarter high at 2.37% premium renewal rate change, with the low in April at 2.16%. Retail firms continue to experience higher than average premium renewal rate change across the past six months, most notably in Q2 2018, relative to the average. Six month premium renewal rate change was 4.63%, with a spike in May at 6.25%.

Umbrella
Umbrella premium renewal rate change averaged 1.77% in Q2 versus 1.49% in Q1 2018, with a six month average of 1.63%. Premium renewal rate change reached a quarterly high at 2.31% in April and low at 1.46% in June. Texas experienced higher than average premium renewal rate change in Q2 at 4.25% relative to the national average at 1.77%, with a spike in June at 5.09%.

For further insights into premium renewal rate change across the industry, download the full Q2 2018 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.

Insurers, Ever Wonder How You Can Better Support Your Agency Partners? Hear Directly From a Leading Digital Agency

June 28, 2018

by IVANS Communications
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As independent insurance agencies become more digital, they expect their insurer partners to provide digital services that increase ease of doing business while providing access to the best products – and pricing – for their clients.

Those insurers who support their agents’ digital strategies will stand to reap the rewards of building stronger relationships with the right agents that will drive profitable premium growth.

“Technology isn’t replacing our relationships, it’s enhancing them by allowing us to better serve our customers.”

Matt Simon, Vice President at leading digital agency Hill & Hamilton, sat down with us to discuss what it means to be a digital agency and how insurers can better support their digital businesses. 

IVANS Communications: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Matt. To start off our discussion, can you explain why your agency and other agencies are going digital?

Simon: In today’s insurance market, agencies are moving at a faster pace and cannot afford to be bogged down by manual processes and paperwork. Our agency was experiencing inefficiencies with manual, day-to-day tasks that prompted us to search for technology to enable flexibility and automation throughout. I believe that implementing a digital agency strategy goes hand-in-hand with our core value of being a trusted advisor. I’ve heard from both agents and insurers that they are worried technology will replace the relationships they have. But technology isn’t replacing our relationships, it’s enhancing them by allowing us to better serve our customers.

IVANS Communications: How does technology drive success at your agency?

Simon: Technology has impacted our agency in three areas:

  1. First, it enables us to retain our existing clients and positions us to win new business that we may not have had an opportunity to win before. Today’s consumers expect omnichannel service in real time via whatever channel they choose – be it in person, phone, web and mobile apps. By delivering the excellent customer experiences our clients expect, both physical and digital, we solidify our customer relationships, which ultimately drives business returns through enhanced retention.
  2. Technology also allows us to attract and retain top talent. Just like consumers, the next generation workforce expects instant access to information, both in the office and while on the road or at home. By providing the best software tools to our team, we experience higher retention and easier recruitment.
  3. Before we went digital, our agents had to be in the office to complete tasks or provide customer service. Now, our agents have the ability to work on the go and are not bogged down by paper-based transactions. The greater efficiency that technology affords has had a significant impact on our bottom line.

IVANS Communications: Now that we’ve explained why agencies are going digital, let’s discuss what digital agencies look for in an insurer partner.

Simon: Agents are increasingly valuing ease of doing business over anything else when evaluating their insurer partnerships. We conduct business with many insurer partners. The ability to have information delivered directly to our management system versus visiting countless different insurer portals results in significant time savings. Automated workflows and faster insurer communications enables us to deliver better service throughout the insurance lifecycle.

IVANS Communications: How can insurers better support their agency partners?

Simon: When evaluating our insurer partners, we see three core areas as critically important in the success of these relationships:

  1. Greater visibility into their latest appetite and product details
  2. Access to quote and rate details in real time
  3. Continuous access to the latest policy information

IVANS Communications: Let’s take this one step at a time. Can you explain what the market search process is like for your agency and how insurers can better support you?

Simon: Many insurers communicate their appetite to us via phone or in person. The problem with this is that they only have the conversation with one person in our agency, so it then becomes that person’s responsibility to make sure everyone else in our office gets this information. The second problem is that by the time we hang up the phone or the insurer leaves our office, the information is already outdated. Technology streamlines these one-one-one conversations to provide the most up-to-date appetite information that is accessible by everyone in our agency. To ensure continuous product visibility, insurers need to market directly to agencies via tools that integrate into our daily workflows.

IVANS Communications: Next, let’s talk about the quoting process. How do agents want to receive quotes?

Simon: We prefer to work directly from our agency management system verses portals or comparative raters and I’ve talked to other agents who agree. The ability for us to receive proposals directly through our management system reduces duplicate keystrokes and saves us an enormous amount of time. By eliminating the need to log into multiple insurer portals, we are able to respond to clients more quickly and easily. For insurers, automating quotes instantly to agencies’ systems reduces overhead costs and time spent managing insurer portals, and ensures constant product visibility.

IVANS Communications: Lastly, let’s examine how download is changing the way agents interact with insurers. Can you explain the process agencies must go through to get physical documents from insurers into the agency management system without download services like eDocs and Messages download?

Simon: When insurers don’t offer eDocs and Messages download, our associates have to manually print, sort, file and scan all of the policy documents. This a very time-consuming and costly process that prevents us from having access to the latest policy information. To keep up with consumer demand for instant service, we need continuous access to the latest policy information directly within our daily management system workflows. Implementation of eDocs and Messages download eliminates paper-based transactions related to policy details and documentation to save both agencies and insurers a significant amount of time and money.

IVANS Communications: To conclude our discussion, can you touch on why insurers should support digital agencies?

Simon: As agencies continue to become more digital, they expect insurers to provide and support these digital services. 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 could even run the risk of straining current agency relationships.

Hear from Matt and other digital agents on the opportunity to support agencies’ digital strategies in this exclusive webinar, A Day in the Life of a Digital Agency: Panel Discussion.

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, watch the on-demand 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 >

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