Man walking away from metro train looking at his cellphone

The Connected Business of Insurance

Embracing Digital Distribution: Instantly Reach More Agents

June 13, 2019

by IVANS Communications
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Woman using tabletA challenge for many insurers is finding the right agents to fit their appetite. It’s even more difficult for a new insurer since many agencies do not know where or how to find you.

As a new general agency, Attune is aware of these challenges, and found a better solution for communicating appetite to and finding new agents. Offering Businessowners’ policies, Commercial Liability Excess policies and Workers’ Compensation from strong financial insurers, Attune leverages IVANS Markets to effectively communicate its appetite to current and prospective agency partners. Head of Business Development for Attune, Patrick Girouard, sat down with us to provide more insight into Attune’s use of IVANS technology.

IVANS: Tell us about Attune’s business model.

Patrick: Started in January of 2017 and backed by AIG, Two Sigma IQ and Hamilton Insurance Group, Attune is reinventing how independent agents sell small business insurance. Attune uses technology to gather data to limit the amount of data entry agents must complete for appointments, applications and underwriting. Getting a bindable quote from Attune takes minutes – not days or weeks.

Attune’s use of data doesn’t stop with the application process. It is an integral part of its underwriting and analytical edge, allowing Attune to successfully write many classes of business including some of the most frequently searched classes on IVANS Markets: Lessor’s Risk, Medical Offices, Artisan Contractors and Restaurants.

IVANS: Why is it important for Attune to embrace digital as a foundation to the business and customer service models?

Patrick: As a digital-first general agency, ease of use is critical for our customer base and embracing digital is what springboards that experience. It’s important to us that we create the best insurance experience possible for everyone – insurers, agents and their small-business clients. By embracing digital, we can further our mission of empowering our insurance agents to spend time where it matters most – with their clients, not on paperwork or administrative tasks.

Attune has built a business around digital – utilizing analytics to digitize the appointment, application and underwriting process. It only made sense to leverage digital technology to communicate our appetite to agents.

IVANS: How do you feel IVANS brings value to the industry?

Patrick: Sitting at the intersection of the insurance transaction between agents and insurers, IVANS is in a unique position to access information regarding what is happening in the insurance world in real time. It’s because of their data-driven insights and energy around empowering the independent agency channel that makes the partnership between IVANS and Attune such a natural fit.

IVANS: What business drivers made Attune look to communicating appetite through IVANS?

Patrick: As a new entrant to the market, communicating at scale is a challenge. Partnering with IVANS helps us get our message across in a clear, efficient and consistent way to the largest network of 32,000 independent agencies.

It shouldn’t be a mystery to insurance agents as to which insurer or MGA can write which policy. Agents should know what we can and cannot do – even though it would only take minutes, we don’t want them to waste their time submitting business that isn’t in appetite. IVANS gives that information newfound horsepower and velocity.

IVANS: Why is having appetite communications integrated into agency management systems important?

Patrick: An agent’s agency management system is a massive part of their day-to-day lives, so we need to make sure it works both smart and hard. The management system is also where agents are most comfortable operating, so the more tools you can integrate into this world where they already exist, and streamline and standardize it, the better.

Think about it this way: agents already have volumes of information to deal with – appetites and rules are always changing and inconsistent. So, which would you prefer:

1. A 50-page hard copy PDF document that must be constantly updated.
2. A digital platform that provides accurate information in real time at your fingertips.

We know that #1 can lead to human error and wasted resources, but perhaps most dangerously, decisions made on incomplete or inaccurate information.

#2 makes the entire experience faster, accurate and profitable for everyone involved.

IVANS: How does Attune’s partnership with IVANS support your digital transformation?

Patrick: The way we look at it, we are working alongside IVANS as we go on this digital transformation journey. IVANS is an excellent partner that breathes new life into the commercial agents’ insurance experience.

To learn more about how your company can instantly communicate appetite to the more than 32,000 agents in the IVANS network, watch the Future of Commercial Lines Distribution on-demand webinar.

IVANS Index: May 2019 Results for Premium Renewal Rate Change

June 06, 2019

by Brian Wood
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

IVANS Index is a data-driven report of current conditions and trends for premium renewal rate change of the most placed commercial lines of business in the insurance industry. Data collected in the IVANS Index enables insurers to determine competitive rates and the most profitable lines of business for investment. To learn more about IVANS Index, read IVANS Index: Industry Insights to Help You Run Your Business Better.

Premium Renewal Rate Experiences Changes Across All Major Commercial Lines of Business
The results showed varied change in premium renewal rates month over month with BOP, General Liability and Commercial Property experiencing an upward turn, and Commercial Auto, Umbrella and Workers’ Compensation experiencing a downtick in rate.

Key findings from the May 2019 results include:

  • Commercial Auto: 4.28%, down from 4.33% last month.
  • BOP: 4.26%, up from 4.12% at the end of April.
  • General Liability: 2.46%, up from 2.18% the month prior.
  • Commercial Property: 3.82%, up from 3.69% in April.
  • Umbrella: 2.52%, down from 2.59% the month prior.
  • Workers’ Compensation: -3.86%, down from -3.77% last month.

The latest IVANS Index results show varied change among all commercial lines, with General Liability experiencing the greatest increase month over month since April. IVANS Index continues to enable agents to advise clients on expected policy renewal premium changes while providing the market intelligence insurers need to support pricing decisions.

Analyzing more than 120 million data transactions, the IVANS Index premium renewal rate change measures the premium difference year over year for a single consistent policy. Inclusive of more than 32,000 agencies and 400 insurers and MGAs, the IVANS Index is reflective of the premium rate change trends being experienced by all agencies and insurers across the U.S. insurance market.

For further insights into premium renewal rate change across the industry, download the latest IVANS Index report now >

Brian Wood, Vice President of Data Products Group for IVANS, develops innovative and data-driven applications, tools and services for the insurance industry. Prior to this position, he co-founded EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied in Sept 2015. Brian spent 10 years with Marsh & McLennan as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Analysis where he developed global insurance distribution platforms. Brian began his career in insurance building the first company to bind insurance online, insuranceOrder.com (a Trilogy company) which was acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 2001.

Insurtechs Working Together: A Different Way to Cover Small Businesses

May 29, 2019

by Patrick Girouard
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Any agent who has worked with small business owners knows that the process is a complicated one. There is typically a lot of work involved, including working through complicated insurer appetites, policies that don’t properly cover customers, and what feels like endless forms to fill out in order to submit and underwrite a risk. And since these are small business owners, the payoff is smaller than other larger clients, discouraging agents from these accounts.

As the insurance industry is currently undergoing digital transformation, the quoting and underwriting process is no different.

Enter Attune

Started in January of 2017 and backed by AIG, Two Sigma IQ and Hamilton Insurance Group, Attune is reinventing how independent agents cover small businesses. Attune works only with strong financial insurers to offer Businessowners’ policies, Commercial Liability Excess policies and Workers’ Compensation.

As a digital-first general agency, ease of use is critical for our customer base and embracing digital is what springboards that experience. Attune uses technology to gather data to limit the amount of data entry agents must complete for applications and underwriting. Getting a bindable quote from Attune takes minutes – not days or weeks.

broker portal screenshot

Broker portal

Attune’s use of data doesn’t stop with the application process. It is an integral part of its underwriting and analytical edge, allowing Attune to successfully write many classes of business including some of the most frequently searched classes on IVANS Markets: Lessor’s Risk, Medical Offices, Aristan Contractors and Restaurants.

Insurance for small business owners is deeply personal as they have their livelihood on the line with their policies. By embracing digital, we can further our mission of empowering our insurance agents to spend time where it matters most – with their clients, not on paperwork or administrative tasks.

Where can you find Attune?

Attune’s BOP, Excess and Workers’ Compensation appetite is now searchable in IVANS Market Appetite and within Applied Epic. As a free tool available to you, IVANS Markets allows you to search by NAIC/SIC code and state for commercial lines market appetite to submit new and renewal business.

Integrated within nine agency-management systems and available through markets.ivansinsurance.com, IVANS Markets allows you to search for insurer appetite within your daily workflows. Simply type in your search criteria, including state location and industry code, and instantly receive a list of insurers, MGAs and wholesalers who have an appetite for your risk and information on who you can contact.

Look for Attune within your search results, and request access to the Attune Portal.

Patrick Girouard, Head of Business Development, Attune, is responsible for identifying, building and managing distribution and sub-producer relationships. Patrick and his team focus on both traditional insurance distribution (retail and wholesale) as well as strategic partnerships. He joined Attune from Hamilton USA in 2017, where he had a similar position in Business Development and played a significant role in the design and launch of Attune with Hamilton, AIG and Two Sigma IQ. Prior to Hamilton he spent eight years at Guy Carpenter & Company where he most recently led the Umbrella & Excess Casualty Specialty Practice and had numerous responsibilities as a team leader in reinsurance structuring, placement and strategic advisory for global insurance companies. Pat is a graduate from the University of Notre Dame and obtained his Masters of Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend IVANS Connect 2019

May 16, 2019

by IVANS Communications
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Every year, insurance professionals from across the industry gather at IVANS Connect to discover the latest innovations and opportunities in digital distribution and servicing. This year’s conference takes place October 13-14 at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas with a focus on arming attendees with valuable insight, tools and techniques required to succeed in the digital revolution of insurance. Attend the industry’s only conference dedicated to advancing information exchange — connecting insurers, agencies, MGAs, solution providers and their insureds through digital technology.

IVANS Connect 2019 will be a conference you won’t want to miss as we bring you more of what you loved from previous conferences.

Here are our top 5 reasons to attend IVANS Connect 2019

  1. Increase your industry and technical knowledge
    Dive into peer-driven best practices and learn from the experts with valuable education sessions. IVANS and industry executives as well as IVANS Connected agents will be offering insights through in-depth case study presentations. Past speakers have discussed ways to better market your products, adoption, and rating best practices for agents, MGAs and insurers.
  2. Discover the latest innovations and products
    Uncover exciting new advances in IVANS technology and gain invaluable insights on solutions revolutionizing digital distribution and servicing.
  3. Build your agency relationships
    Find the right agents through the industry’s largest digital network of more than 32,000 agencies and connect them with the right products and services. IVANS Connect is the industry’s leading forum facilitating connectivity among insurers, MGAs, solution providers, and agencies.
  4. Connect with colleagues at the Welcome Reception
    Jump start your conference experience and enjoy an evening of lively discussion at the Welcome Reception among 200+ of your peers.
  5. Shape the future of agency-insurer connectivity
    Take part in interactive breakout sessions among IVANS and industry experts addressing some of the industry’s most trending topics. Have your voice heard during energetic discussions to advance information exchange across the entire industry.

 

Every attendee we speak to has their own top 5 reasons to attend. What are yours?

IVANS Index: April 2019 Results for Premium Renewal Rate Change

May 09, 2019

by Brian Wood
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

IVANS Index is a data-driven report of current conditions and trends for premium renewal rate change of the most placed commercial lines of business in the insurance industry. Data collected in the IVANS Index enables insurers to determine competitive rates and the most profitable lines of business for investment. To learn more about IVANS Index, read IVANS Index: Industry Insights to Help You Run Your Business Better.

Premium Renewal Rate Experiences Changes Across All Major Commercial Lines of Business
Month over month, the results showed varied change in premium renewal rates. Specifically, General Liability, Umbrella and Workers’ Compensation experienced an uptick, and Commercial Auto, BOP and Commercial Property experienced a downward turn.

Key findings from the April 2019 results include:

  • Commercial Auto: 4.33%, down from 4.42% the month prior.
  • BOP: 4.12%, down from 4.39% in March.
  • General Liability: 2.18%, up from 2.05% last month.
  • Commercial Property: 3.69%, down from 4.40% at the end of March.
  • Umbrella: 2.59%, up from 2.39% in March.
  • Workers’ Compensation: -3.77%, up from -4.43% the month prior.

The latest IVANS Index results show a continued trend of increases in most commercial lines with the exception of Workers’ Compensation. Our data-driven approach to the IVANS Index helps identify the most profitable lines of business for insurers to invest and guide pricing strategies.

Analyzing more than 120 million data transactions, the IVANS Index premium renewal rate change measures the premium difference year over year for a single consistent policy. Inclusive of more than 32,000 agencies and 400 insurers and MGAs, the IVANS Index is reflective of the premium rate change trends being experienced by all agencies and insurers across the U.S. insurance market.

For further insights into premium renewal rate change across the industry, download the latest IVANS Index report now >

Brian Wood, Vice President of Data Products Group for IVANS, develops innovative and data-driven applications, tools and services for the insurance industry. Prior to this position, he co-founded EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied in Sept 2015. Brian spent 10 years with Marsh & McLennan as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Analysis where he developed global insurance distribution platforms. Brian began his career in insurance building the first company to bind insurance online, insuranceOrder.com (a Trilogy company) which was acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 2001.

MythBusters: Commercial Lines Download Edition

May 07, 2019

by Jim Bany
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

woman at laptop3 Myths That Could Be Costing You Valuable Time

One of my favorite TV shows is MythBusters, the popular Discovery Channel program where hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman use scientific methods to test the validity of popular beliefs, rumors and myths. It’s fascinating to see a commonly held belief get “busted” after a scientific experiment or research proves it to be false.

So I thought it would be fun to apply the myth-busting principal to Commercial Lines download. Commercial Lines download isn’t as heavily adopted as Personal Lines. My hope with this “MythBusters” edition blog post is to dispel some of the commonly held beliefs about Commercial Lines download and uncover the truth – it not only works, it works well!

Today, download is more advanced than ever and use continues to grow with more download services available to agents, including Commercial Lines. Commercial Lines download improves operational and policy writing efficiency by giving you accurate real-time transaction data from carrier systems.


73 percent of agents want commercial lines download from all of their carriers.

IVANS Annual Insurer-Agency Connectivity Report

In the past three years, the use of Commercial Lines download has increased by 21%, totaling over 16 million transactions in 2018 alone. Your peers are demanding it from carriers, with 73% citing that they want Commercial Lines download from all their carriers.

However, agents haven’t always been as eager to embrace Commercial Lines download as they are today. In the past, agents didn’t trust it and thought it was “broken.” And here’s where we get to the myth busting. I’ve outlined a few commonly held beliefs about Commercial Lines download and provided the facts that prove them to be false.

Myth 1: Commercial Lines download overwrites data in my management system.

Myth Busted: One of the first things carriers and agents say when exploring the possibility of using Commercial Lines download is, “I’ve heard there’s an overwrite issue.” The idea that your data could be overwritten is a total myth. Agency management systems today have applications that create an efficient merge of data – better than ever before. Advanced logic is also available in the agency management system to analyze data and determine how to protect it, safeguarding against data overwriting. Commercial Lines download actually increases data accuracy and minimizes errors, since information is sent directly to your agency management system.

Myth 2: Commercial Lines download creates more work for me.

Myth Busted: Many agents believe that Commercial Lines download doesn’t fill in the proper fields, requiring them to go in and manually correct the downloaded information. While this may be the perception or what you’re currently experiencing, in actuality the policy information being sent from the carrier system to your management system via download is placed in the proper fields. Most often, this “overwritten” data occurs when agents input information into the incorrect field (i.e. vehicle model = RED) and then it’s replaced by the download. Thus, the perception is that data is being overwritten, when in fact the policy info is being downloaded into the correct fields.

Some carriers have produced Commercial Lines download guides to help you better understand download options and capabilities. These guides also reference download fields, enabling you to know in advance what to expect when the download populates. Once you understand this process, you’ll recognize the time savings that Commercial Lines download offers.


66 percent of agents save at least one hour per day per employee with commercial lines download.

IVANS Annual Insurer-Agency Connectivity Report

Myth 3: Commercial Lines download disrupts my current workflow.

Myth Busted: Your current workflow likely involves a lot of manual entry, which diminishes productivity and increases risk for errors. Adopting a new process always comes with a learning curve, but once you become comfortable with this new workflow, you will experience greater productivity and always have up-to-date policy information. Using Commercial Lines download saves almost 1 hour per employee per day, according to ACT/Augie. With this type of time savings, you become more efficient and can spend more time on valuable activities.

Today, nearly 23,000 agencies receive Commercial Lines download and benefit from the time savings it provides.

As you can see, many commonly held beliefs about Commercial Lines download are just not true. As a growing market, carriers are continuously adding Commercial Lines available for download, creating immense time savings opportunities – nearly an hour per employee per day – and enabling you to focus on revenue driving activities. By eliminating time spent manually managing administrative tasks, your agency can spend more time servicing customers and selling insurance, resulting in greater growth and profitability.

Still not convinced? Then take it from fellow agent Rachael Bassett, Commercial Lines Manager at John M. Glover Agency. Rachael went from being a non-believer to complete convert.

To hear her story and experience with download, watch the on-demand webinar, Increase Policy Writing Efficiency with Commercial Lines Download.

Jim Bany

Jim Bany, National Agency Relations at IVANS Insurance Solutions, began his career in the P&C industry as an underwriter at Cincinnati Insurance and moved into the field with Heritage Mutual and eventually held management and Director Positions at Fireman’s Fund Insurance. In addition, Jim was an agent for 6 years in the Cincinnati area. Throughout his 25+ year career, Jim has always worked with independent agents.

Surety eDocs: How Insurers Can Help Agency Partners for Mutual Success

May 02, 2019

by Abigail Curtiss
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Many independent insurance agencies would agree that the traditional way of receiving Surety renewal documents is a highly manual process. In a typical work week, I would estimate that I spend about four to eight hours going through the mail we receive from our insurers.

Previously, our Surety process would start with insurers sending their paper documents to our agency’s home office where the mail is sorted and then sent to me at our branch, taking about one to two weeks. Once received, I would then sort, scan and add them to our agency management system, Applied Epic, and then send them to our clients online.

How Insurers Can Make the Surety Renewal Process Easier

Because this was a highly inefficient process and an additional expense for our agency and Surety companies, our agency looked into downloading Surety documents through IVANS.

One of our insurers has started to send a portion of their renewal invoices via eDocs. Now, we automatically receive these renewal invoices directly in Applied Epic. Renewals are then automatically processed by Applied Epic, eliminating the mailing, sorting and scanning process so that customers receive their documents faster.

What Surety Document Insurers Should Focus On

There are three categories of bonds that typically renew where communication is mailed to the agent: ERISA, Crime/Fidelity and Commercial & Miscellaneous Bonds. ERISA and Crime would be a great starting point for any Surety looking to send renewals via eDocs.

ERISA and Crime policies are almost always easily identified within all Surety systems. There are no original signed or sealed documentation needed to renew the bonds. These are the types of bonds that are starting to be sent via eDocs and automatically renewed.

What Insurers Stand to Gain from Surety eDocs Download

Using eDocs to receive Surety documents makes our workflows so much more efficient, but only a couple of our insurers use them. If other insurers used eDocs for Surety download, we would use them over insurers that don’t. The more insurers that use this method, the more time we will have to focus on our customers.

For more information on implementing Surety eDocs, watch the Automate the Surety Bond Documents & Messages Process webinar.

Abigail Curtiss is the surety specialist for John M. Glover Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency servicing the insurance needs of the Fairfield County area since 1916.

A Visual Guide to Millennial and Gen Z Buying Preferences

April 18, 2019

by IVANS Communications
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

As previous generations retire and move to a life stage in which they consume fewer products and services, younger millennial and Gen Z adults between the ages of 18 and 38 are becoming more relevant to the insurance industry in terms of size and spending power. The Millennial and Gen Z Survey Report was developed to provide insight into the insurance buying behaviors and preferences of these two generations.

View this infographic to discover key findings from the report about millennial and Gen Z buying preferences.

IVANS Index: Q1 2019 Results for Premium Renewal Rate Change

April 09, 2019

by Brian Wood
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

IVANS Index is a data-driven report of current conditions and trends for premium renewal rate change of the most placed commercial lines of business in the insurance industry. Data collected in the IVANS Index enables insurers to determine competitive rates and the most profitable lines of business for investment. To learn more about IVANS Index, read IVANS Index: Industry Insights to Help You Run Your Business Better.

First Quarter of 2019 Experiences Increase Across Nearly All Major Commercial Lines Products
Q1 results showed an increase in premium renewal rate change average across Commercial Auto, Business Owner’s Policy, Umbrella, and Commercial Property compared to Q4; however, General Liability renewal rate change experienced a decrease and Workers’ Compensation average premium renewal rate change dropped and remained in negative territory, consistent with the year-end 2018 results. Notably, Commercial Auto, BOP, Commercial Property and Umbrella experienced higher average premium renewal rate change from the quarter prior.

Highlights from Q1 2019 results include:

  • Commercial Auto: Averaged 4.53% for the quarter. February marked the Q1 premium renewal rate change high for both 2018 and 2019.
  • BOP: First quarter averaged 4.19%, representing an increase over last quarter’s average of 4.00%.
  • General Liability: Q1 decreased from Q4, averaging 1.67% change relative to 2.54%.
  • Commercial Property: Q1 increased to 4.24%, reaching a quarter high in February at 4.58%.
  • Umbrella: Q1 averaged 2.54% versus 2.42% in Q4. Umbrella premium renewal rate change for the quarter reached its high in February at 3.06%.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Average premium renewal rate change for the quarter reached -2.95%, down from Q4 average of -3.04%.

Similar to the end of 2018, premium renewal rates experienced a continued increase compared to the year prior, with the exception of Workers’ Compensation which experienced a downward trend. The IVANS Index remains the only index consisting of industry-wide transactions and a top tool for agents as they provide guidance to clients and for insurers to intelligently use data for their business decisions, like product focus areas and pricing.

Analyzing more than 120 million data transactions, the IVANS Index premium renewal rate change measures the premium difference year over year for a single consistent policy. Inclusive of more than 32,000 agencies and 400 insurers and MGAs, the IVANS Index is reflective of the premium rate change trends being experienced by all agencies and insurers across the U.S. insurance market.

For further insights into premium renewal rate change across the industry, download the latest IVANS Index report now >

Brian Wood, Vice President of Data Products Group for IVANS, develops innovative and data-driven applications, tools and services for the insurance industry. Prior to this position, he co-founded EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied in Sept 2015. Brian spent 10 years with Marsh & McLennan as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Analysis where he developed global insurance distribution platforms. Brian began his career in insurance building the first company to bind insurance online, insuranceOrder.com (a Trilogy company) which was acquired by Marsh & McLennan in 2001.

chat icon