The Connected Business of Insurance
September 29, 2016
Technology has changed the way we do business today at Berends Hendricks Stuit, especially when it comes to receiving client, policy, billing and claims information. In fact, we have made it a priority to stay ahead of the curve with technology to drive efficiency and gain a competitive advantage.
At first, the only way to receive information was via snail mail and then manually input all of the data in the agency management system. Eventually, we started receiving information via email or fax, which was slightly easier. However, there was still an incredible amount of tedious work to be done by staff members.
Until recently, our Commercial Lines department had a processing team in place, with each team member assigned a carrier. They were required to go to the assigned carriers’ websites to find the policy information and input the data into the agency management system, so that it could be delivered to the client. This was still a very time-consuming process and ate up a lot of valuable resources.
The good news is, we don’t have that problem anymore. With download, our agency receives this information from 19 different carriers directly to our agency management system. Our account managers can now focus on serving our clients, rather than finding and inputting data into the system.
Other agencies are seeing success with download as well. According to a recent IVANS survey, 67% of agencies saved at least one hour per day, per employee using Commercial Lines download. At Berends Hendricks Stuit, we are experiencing similar success with download.
In fact, we can relate to these 4 benefits reported in the IVANS survey:
- 95% report significant time-savings
Since we have turned on Commercial Lines download our processing team no longer spends time finding policy information and inputting the data. The data is automatically downloaded into our agency management system and is easily accessible. This gives that team more time to serve our clients and focus on growing the business.
- 88% report more ease of conducting business
Not only do we have more time to dedicate to conducting business and advising our clients, but with download, we are working within a single system. The processes are much more streamlined because we don’t have to take data from one platform and input it into our agency management system. Everything is in one place, working cohesively.
- 87% report the ability to serve clients faster
Before turning on download, it would take days to go through the process of receiving all of the information from the carriers so that we could present it to our clients. Now, we are better equipped to give our clients superior customer service. The account managers can access the information in seconds. We are able to advise clients at the exact time they need us, making our clients very happy!
- 84% report increased agent productivity
Because our agents don’t have to be part of the “processing team” anymore, they are much more productive. The team is no longer spending time re-keying information from carriers or fixing issues that resulted from manual data entry. They are able to focus on customers and developing new business.
With all of the benefits from Commercial Lines download, it is no wonder why there has been a 50% growth in agency adoption over the last two years. In short, it is an extremely useful data exchange solution that will help grow your agency. Similar to the agencies who took the survey, Berends Hendricks Stuit is taking full advantage of all 4 benefits of download.
Is your agency taking advantage of download? Share your thoughts below.
You can read Insurer-Agency Connectivity: An IVANS Annual Report to learn more about how P&C agencies like yours and mine are benefiting from download.
Lori Heemstra joined Berends Hendricks Stuit in 2005 as the Commercial Lines Division Manager. Her duties include overseeing the customer service agents and support staff, training new and existing staff, coordinating technology and developing consistent professional standards. She has over 25 years of insurance experience and is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). Lori is a member of the IVANS Agent’s Council, Applied Client Network Large Agent Alliance, the Vice Chairman of the Applied Client Network Member Relations Committee and serves on various insurance company councils.