The Connected Business of Insurance
June 27, 2019
Today’s insurance agencies are faced with new demands from prospects and customers for mobile capabilities, new opportunities to improve agency-insurer connectivity via digital solutions, and new competition from InsurTechs. In the face of this new marketplace dynamic, many leading agencies have seen the writing on the wall and are transforming to become digital businesses.
While huge efficiencies have been gained by both agencies and insurers who are using digital technology for internal process automation, this alone is simply not enough to grow and thrive. In today’s digitally driven, hyper-connected world, agents and insurers need to extend their use of technology beyond their own offices. By connecting through digital technology, agents and insurers work better together and mutually benefit.
Connecting with insurers enables agencies to access new markets and quickly search market appetite to submit new and renewal business, enabling staff to provide product range and insurer choice. Technology also automates the exchange of policy-related information from insurers’ policy admin systems into your management system to ensure the most accurate information is available for servicing. Ultimately, connectivity technology provides agencies with a single exchange, reducing manual processes and allowing you to deliver faster, more complete coverage and service to customers. Agents can access all of these technologies via IVANS – completely complimentary.
Find the right markets for your risk
A good example of this innovation is how we’re able to quickly and effectively match insurers and agents on the basis of risk. Historically, this process has been extremely manual and time-consuming with heavy reliance on person-to-person communications. Whether it was toiling through pages and pages of outdated appetite guides or attending lunch and learns, today’s agent requires a digital solution.
Matching commercial appetite and markets is a very niche industry problem that IVANS has solved. Leveraging our network of 32,000 independent insurance agencies and 400 insurer and MGA partners, IVANS has simplified the process of insurers and agents finding one another for the most profitable business and best products. The solution is IVANS Markets, an online search integrated into agency management systems that enables agents to instantly identify insurer appetite when searching for markets to submit new and renewal business. By providing a simple, automated solution to connect you with insurers and MGAs, IVANS Markets drives greater efficiency and expands your market opportunities to provide the best products for your policyholders.
Manage policy inquiries on demand
Saving agents an average of 53 minutes per employee per day, IVANS offers an automated data exchange, IVANS eServicing, that provides instantaneous lookup of data in an insurer system from within an agency management system, enabling you to inquire on a policy, bill or claim; submit a First Notice of Loss; obtain loss runs and more in real-time.
By making these requests through the management system, you can reduce duplicate keystrokes and respond to clients quickly and easily, without having to log into an insurer web portal. This not only saves time and effort by eliminating manual entry, but also minimizes errors, provides an E&O trail within the agency management system, and enables you to deliver rapid, more efficient service to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.
Quote product via a single entry point
With more insurers adopting comparative raters and integrated management system quoting workflows, you can increase the opportunity to showcase the advice and value of working with an independent agent by providing clients and prospects the best policy options and overall improved customer service.
Advanced comparative rating software, such as Applied Rater, enables agents to provide accurate quotes in real time to meet consumer demand for timely and comprehensive service. Real-time comparative rating automates quoting by efficiently sending data stored in the agency management system to multiple insurers simultaneously, thereby eliminating the need for agents to visit each individual insurer website or perform other manual, time-consuming steps.
Reduce paperwork and access the latest policy information
On average, agencies leveraging download services report saving more than one hour per day per employee. By using all of the download connections supported by IVANS available to you – including eDocs and Messages, Claims and Commercial Lines – your agency can realize significant time and cost savings. However, many agencies simply are not aware of all the download services their insurers offer or believe they already download every line of business. There are more than one million available connections, but 52% of those available have not been activated by agencies.
To ensure you are leveraging all available connections, IVANS offers a complimentary online tool to independent agents, IVANS Exchange, which allows you to review insurer download connections available to your agency and communicate interest in receiving download by line of business. 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.
Connectivity between agencies and insurers is not only valuable to the growth of your agency, it is critical to compete in the digital age of insurance. Connectivity technology streamlines processes to reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks, enabling you to drive more insurer connections and higher agent productivity. Ultimately, the ability to communicate and exchange information securely from insurer systems directly to your agency management system enhances your core value proposition as an independent agent – to provide the best products and advice to your clients.
Watch these on-demand videos and explore related resources about how to increase insurer connectivity with applications available and free to your business.
Thad 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-insurer connectivity 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 insurers throughout North America.