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MythBusters: Commercial Lines Download Edition

May 7, 2019

By: Jim Bany

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.