The Connected Business of Insurance
September 07, 2017
Do you find yourself spending countless hours every day re-keying data and processing requests? Are you searching for a better way to access policy documents on demand? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then maybe it’s time your agency makes a change in the way you connect with your insurers.
In my role at Kellerman Insurance, I require a secure and efficient way to manage policy updates and files directly in our management system. By connecting us directly to our insurer and MGA partners, IVANS enables our agency to automate the exchange of information directly from their system into our own via download. The ability to work in one management system versus referencing individual insurer portals for customer information allows our agency to operate more efficiently, provide better customer service and increase business growth.
The up-and-comer in download
A key download service IVANS offers is eDocs and Messages, which 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 download offers a secure and managed alternative to email, mail and faxes.
In your agency management system, you can attach eDocs and Messages downloads directly to a client and/or policy, eliminating time previously spent searching and pulling client information from each insurance company’s site.
The value of eDocs and Messages to your agency
Implementation of eDocs and Messages download has enabled our agency to increase overall operational efficiency: with immense time savings, reduction of production cost, enhanced customer service and improved ease of doing business. In fact, according to a recent IVANS study, 79% of agencies saved at least one hour per day per employee when using eDocs and Messages.
When evaluating if your agency should leverage eDocs and Messages download, consider these three benefits:
- Connect directly to insurers from your agency management system
Enables insurers to easily begin servicing and marketing new products and enables agents to have better access to products that better serve their clients. Having the latest information delivered via download also ensures accurate underwriting and servicing for both agents and insurers.
- Build stronger customer and insurer relationships
Focus more time on servicing customers and selling insurance by eliminating time spent manually managing administrative tasks.
- Automate operations via a single exchange
Working within a single data exchange system improves overall staff productivity by eliminating time spent visiting multiple portals searching for information.
Getting started with eDocs and Messages
IVANS offers a free online tool, IVANS Exchange, which allows you to review insurer download connections, like eDocs and Messages, available to your agency and communicate interest in receiving download by line of business from insurers. The benefit of IVANS Exchange is that as your business needs change, you can expand and customize your insurer download connections to match your operational needs.
To get started with IVANS Exchange, follow these easy steps:
- Register your agency or log in
You must first log into your IVANS account before you can access any reports or dashboards in IVANS Exchange. To log in or register for a new account, visit exchange.ivansinsurance.com.
- Access your Connections Report
Once you have logged in or created an account, you can view your IVANS Connections Report. This shows all lines of business your agency is currently downloading. It will also show inactive download connections that are available to your agency.
- Customize your Connections Report
You can request new downloads from your insurers or indicate if you are having download quality issues. When an insurer makes a line of business available to agencies, it is marked as an “A” for “available” on an agency’s Connections Report. Similarly, insurers have an agency report that shows where agents have expressed interest (marked by “W”) in specific download services, like eDocs and Messages.
The Connections Report has been a great tool for my agency. Interacting with multiple insurers can make it hard to keep track of what lines of business your agency is downloading, who you’re downloading with and who to contact if you want to download. The Connections Report brings it all together in one tool, enabling you to be more organized and efficient.
At our agency, there is a big difference in our production and it’s easier to do business with insurers who use IVANS. Interacting with insurers that don’t offer eDocs and Messages download services really throws us off track. The more we can stay in our system and keep a continuous workflow, the more productive we are.
In a world that is all about connectivity and instant access to information, it’s crucial for agencies and insurers to revolutionize the way they do business by offering services that allow you to better connect with and serve your customers. Leveraging connectivity and automated information exchange services, like eDocs and Messages download, is critical to evaluate your competitive advantage in today’s digital market.
For more information on eDocs and Messages and the advantages they offer, watch this complimentary webinar.
Kristy Wilson joined Kellerman Insurance in 1992. Her main focus for the last several years has been in commercial lines and life insurance. She also handles downloads and maintaining efficient processes in their management system. Kristy is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents. She is also a member of the IVANS Agent’s Council.