The Connected Business of Insurance
November 29, 2016
Insurance has historically been known as a paper-heavy industry that mails all notices, policy information and general messages. To remediate this industry-wide inefficiency, there has been an initiative for several years to drive adoption of a type of download called Activity Notes, which enables the automated exchange of policy documentation and messages from insurer systems to agency management systems.
Fast forward to today and Activity Notes are now eDocs and Messages download. Why the change? Simply, the terms eDocs and Messages clearly illustrate the data being virtually exchanged between insurers and agencies, as well as eliminate any agency confusion around the use of the term “Activity” within their management system, of which there are many.
So, what are eDocs and Messages?
eDocs and Messages are a form of download that push a PDF or a message from the insurer’s policy admin system directly to the agency management system. This allows insurers to generate a variety of messages and documents, which can be sent to their agencies using the existing download services. This is a secure and managed alternative to email, mail and faxes.
The most common eDocs include renewal or new policy, endorsement or declaration page PDFs. A message to agents could include information about clients who have outstanding bills or upcoming policy cancellations. The core benefit of eDocs and Messages is that they are automatic PUSH notifications, eliminating time previously spent either sending or locating and pulling client information from the individual insurance company’s sites.
What is the flow of information between systems?
The workflow is all electronic within the agency system, not on someone’s personal email or through an insurer’s website or agency portal login — and it’s in real time. eDocs and Messages downloads are directly attached to a client and/or policy in the agency management system, and are an auditable, secure, system-based method of handling essential communications between insurers and their agents.
Additionally, as agencies move forward with implementation of their own client portals and mobile apps, these documents can become instantly available to the clients – without agent intervention.
Understanding the eDocs and Messages opportunity
Adoption of eDocs and Messages enables immense time savings and enhanced customer service benefits for both agencies and insurers. Agencies have quickly recognized this value, with eDocs and Messages transactions seeing exponential growth of 575%, as well as a 50% increase in agency adoption from 2013 – 2015.
Key benefits of eDocs and Messages for agencies and insurers include:
- Increases operational efficiency: Agencies and insurers eliminate time spent re-keying data and processing requests and quickly access client policy documents on demand. According to a recent IVANS study, 79% of agencies saved at least one hour per day per employee when using eDocs and Messages.
- Reduces cancellations: Automated insurer notifications can enable agents to reduce coverage lapses and subsequent reinstatements.
- Enhances overall customer service: Quick access to policy and claims information enables agents to provide timely and effective customer service.
How you can get started
Insurers and agents may now communicate with each other about the availability of eDocs and Messages download through IVANS.
Consider the following easy ways to get started:
- Log in to IVANS Exchange: Agencies can use this free online tool to review and manage insurer download connections. Once an insurer makes a line of business available to agencies, it is marked as an “A” for available on an agency’s Download Connections Report. Similarly, insurers can review agency demand in the agent’s reports and dashboards to identify where agents have expressed interest (marked by “W”) in specific download services, like eDocs and Messages.
- Connect with the experts: Agencies and insurers can contact agency management system providers’ support teams or the IVANS Connections Team to configure their systems.
As the insurance industry becomes more connected, leveraging connectivity and automated information exchange service like eDocs and Messages download will become even more critical in maintaining a competitive advantage.
Do you foresee your business taking advantage of eDocs and Messages in 2017? Share your thoughts with us.
Cal Durland, Interface Optimization Director at IVANS Insurance Solutions. Cal Durland has spent her career ensuring the insurance industry provides a good experience for all, including insureds, agents and brokers, insurers, suretys, financial institutes, solution providers and other supporting organizations. With a base in P&C, Cal’s experience includes roles as an underwriter, broker and industry advocate.