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The Connected Business of Insurance

Winning More Commercial Business for Independent Agents

October 13, 2016

by Matt Foran

IVANS Market AppetiteKnowing the right markets for your insurance risks is critical for success. Without the right markets, you can’t win as much new business and your renewals will face fierce competition. When you know the right markets, you can get the best coverage for your client at the lowest price and learn where your competitors may be coming from. When you don’t now the right markets, you spend a large amount of time searching through outdated carrier appetite guides, visiting websites, and emailing your underwriters.

71% of Agents Say They Missed Opportunities

In the 2016 IVANS survey, 71% of agents said they missed opportunities because they couldn’t find or access a market for a prospect’s risk. Every agent and CSR knows how painful it can be to spend a significant amount of time getting a submission to a carrier only to hear nothing back or get declined.

71% of agents said they missed opportunities because they couldn’t find or access a market for a prospect’s risk

Even the most talented and experienced agency marketing personnel still use binders full of carrier appetite guides and drawers full of underwriter business cards. When asked, “When did you print that guide?” The usual response is “three years ago.” It’s no wonder agents constantly receive declinations and run into dead ends.

Why You Never Have to Miss Opportunities Again

IVANS, the largest digital distribution network of nearly 30,000 independent insurance agencies, knew there was a better way. With the goal of better connecting agencies with their carrier partners on specific risks, IVANS invented Market Appetite.

IVANS Market Appetite is a search tool that helps agents find carriers and MGAs based on key risk characteristics. Agents use a cutting-edge industry lookup for SIC and NAICS and then further refine their search by selecting products and risk location. The result is a list of carriers and wholesalers ranked in order of relationship, detail, and likelihood to be a match.

IVANS Market Appetite is built into Applied, HawkSoft, NASA, Strategic Insurance Software and Xanatek agency management systems already. Additionally, there are ongoing conversations with many other system providers. IVANS Market Appetite is also available at, and every independent agent can use it free of cost.

“I never want to miss an opportunity because I’m stubborn. I will find a market. IVANS Market Appetite is one of my new favorite things.”

– Crystal Hart, Hazel Partners LLC

More Opportunities = More Premium Dollars

More than 2,000 agencies have already signed up for IVANS Market Appetite and many have been able to translate the information provided into real premium dollars.

Crystal Hart, Director of Marketing at Hazel Partners LLC, recently told us that she found the answer for a more complex risk by using IVANS Market Appetite. Crystal’s experience and understanding of long-term carriers told her that many of her standard carriers wouldn’t bite at a manufacturing company with less than $100,000 in revenue. She jumped on IVANS Market Appetite and quickly identified a brand new carrier their agency had just appointed. Seeing her new carrier partner at the top of the list, she picked up the phone to the underwriter and it became an easy $3,000 win.

IVANS is hearing more and more stories about how agents are winning with this information as the tool gets better and better.

Agents looking to leverage this complimentary search tool from IVANS can access it via their agency management system, or by visiting Principles, producers, or CSRs looking to learn more about IVANS Market Appetite can also watch our latest on-demand webinar video.

Matt Foran, VP and general manager of IVANS Market Appetite, a division of Applied Systems, is responsible for the creation and strategic execution of the cutting edge distribution platform built for the commercial insurance industry. Prior to his current role, Matt was the CEO of EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied Systems in September 2015. Before co-founding EvoSure, Matt was the director of strategy for Zurich Specialty Products, a $2.5 billion business unit of Zurich Insurance Group, where he worked closely with the CEO and Senior Management to set overall strategic direction, develop and execute financial and operational plans, and lead execution of strategic initiatives. Previously, Matt served as assistant vice president of Marsh USA, with responsibilities including the initial formation of the Marsh & McLennan Agency, the Marsh Select Model, the restructuring of Marsh USA, and was a broker for healthcare and Fortune 500 firms. Matt was selected as a Global Rising Star by Reactions Magazine in 2011 and named in Insurance Business America magazine’s Hot 100 list for 2015.

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