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The Connected Business of Insurance

New Ways to Distribute Your Products

March 09, 2017

by Keith Iler
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As the digital transformation of insurance continues, agencies and insurers have come to rely on technology to run their businesses. In order to provide the best coverage to their insureds, agents are looking to place their risks with the best markets by product and service. However, accessing markets has traditionally been an inefficient and time consuming process. In fact, a recent IVANS survey found that 71% of agents surveyed admitted they have missed opportunities to place business due to lack of market access. Insurers that automate appetite communication to increase product visibility for agencies are well positioned to grow their business.

As Commercial Lines director for State Auto Insurance, I have seen the benefits of automated distribution and servicing to gain a competitive advantage in the digital marketplace. At State Auto, we recognized a need for an all-digital solution to replace the outdated methods previously used to communicate our appetite and find new markets. Our agents used to have printed BOP handbooks and materials that were very costly to produce and update, and we never seemed to have enough on-hand when they were needed the most.

Automated distribution solutions through IVANS enable us to expand our distribution footprint to promote, sell and close on business products in the commercial lines space. With innovative solutions created to automate distribution and servicing of insurance products throughout the insurance lifecycle, IVANS has enabled us to write more desired business and distribute our products in new ways. This supports our sales and distribution process by reducing friction between insurers and agents.

3 reasons why IVANS enables us to increase in-appetite submissions and drive premium growth:

  1. Product visibility to expand our marketing efforts
    Since launching with IVANS, we have already had many conversations with agents that did not know State Auto wrote a specific risk, but saw the information in the IVANS system and reached out to us to place business. Through a single platform, we can communicate new appetite to current agencies while expanding our marketing capabilities to drive new business. Currently, 56% of State Auto appointed agents use agency management systems integrated with IVANS, but 100% of agents have access to the information directly through IVANS. Agents can instantly access the information they need to place business with you, at no cost to them.
  2. Integrated search capabilities within agent workflows
    IVANS technology is creating new opportunities for insurers to build the omnichannel distribution strategies required to drive profitable premium growth in the digital era. IVANS solutions are complimentary for agents to use, providing insurers the ability to communicate with agents directly within their everyday workflows. With a single exchange, we have access to a network of more than 30,000 independent agencies. We are able to instantly update our appetite without having to reprint manuals or update PDFs, allowing us to go to market instantly with the most up-to-date and accurate information for increased ease of doing business with agencies.
  3. Advanced appointments
    The system is easily customizable to help show your agents where you have interest, help them understand why they should go to you for business, and provide them with a link get started. Not only will your agency partners see your appetite information, but agencies that are not yet appointed with you will be able to search for and view your current appetite, enabling you to expand your distribution network and find new agencies to do business with.

With IVANS, we now have a 24/7 virtual sales rep with our agencies, promoting what State Auto is looking for in Commercial Lines business. This enables us to create a lasting legacy of what we want to write, so agents have our current appetite right at their desktop, whenever they need it.

To discover how you can automate distribution, attend the upcoming “Distribution in the Digital Era” webinar, hosted by IVANS.

Keith Iler, Commercial Lines director for State Auto Insurance, has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has been with State Auto for over 8 years, and is currently leading the small business group to a full digital platform.

State Auto Insurance makes no representations or guarantee as to the correctness or sufficiency of any information contained herein, nor guarantees results based upon use of this information. State Auto does not warrant that reliance upon this document will prevent accident and losses or satisfy federal, state and local codes, ordinances and regulations. The reader assumes entire risk as to use of this information.

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