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The Connected Business of Insurance

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

May 02, 2019

by Abigail Curtiss
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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.

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