While the volume of insurer appetite available to agents searching for markets is high, finding the right match for a commercial risk remains a challenge for many agents.
Fully aware of this challenge, MiniCo Insurance Agency found a better way to identify quickly agencies interested in their unique products at the exact moment agents are searching. Mike Schofield, president and CEO of MiniCo, sat down with us to discuss how his business uses IVANS technology to communicate their appetite directly to agents.
IVANS: Tell us about MiniCo’s business model.
Mike Schofield: MiniCo Insurance Agency was founded in 1974 as a provider of specialty insurance products for the self-storage industry.
Today the company is a full-service managing general agency offering multiple specialty property and casualty insurance products for a variety of unique industries and exposures:
- Agricultural insurance
- Lawyers’ professional liability insurance
- Equipment breakdown insurance
- Cyber insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Sports and activity insurance
- Wind/hail deductible buy-back insurance
In terms of how we work with agents, the ideal retail agent partner is one who provides a complete application and is responsive to underwriter follow-up so that MiniCo can respond with the best available terms and pricing. Agents do not need to be appointed to receive a quote.
IVANS: Why is it important for MiniCo to embrace digital as a foundation to the business and customer service models?
Mike: Digital platforms have become the standard across the insurance industry. MiniCo relies on digital communications to provide immediate, current information to agents with the flexibility to modify messages as required.
IVANS: What value do you feel IVANS and integrated appetite communication within agency management systems bring to the industry?
Mike: The integration of IVANS Markets into agency management systems is very beneficial in that it helps to pair agents with providers that have an appetite for their business.
Clear communications about insurer appetite enables agents to identify markets quickly and efficiently, which benefits everyone – agents, customers and providers.
IVANS: What business drivers made MiniCo look to communicating appetite through IVANS?
Mike: Historically, MiniCo has communicated to agents via our website, email marketing, social media, print advertising, webinars, videos, printed collateral, and participation at industry trade shows and events.
MiniCo continually seeks out new opportunities to communicate to agents about our products and appetite. IVANS Markets provides a trusted and efficient platform for this type of communication, directly embedded within Applied Epic, Applied TAM and seven other agency management systems. Agencies that do not use any of the nine systems that have Markets embedded can access the technology online at markets.ivansinsurance.com.
IVANS: Why is having appetite communications integrated into agency management systems important?
Mike: Our focus is on enhancing the ease of doing business for agents working with MiniCo – starting with their first submission and continuing throughout our working relationship.
IVANS Markets provides easy access to information so that agents can quickly identify MiniCo’s products and understand our available appetite. MiniCo utilizes the platform to communicate with agents, and we look forward to seeing agents’ responses there as well.
IVANS: How does IVANS help you gain better visibility with your agency distribution channel and generate new business opportunities?
Mike: Providing our appetite to agents via IVANS Markets means that hundreds of thousands of agents now have immediate access to current information about MiniCo’s products and appetite, which helps to create a one-stop shop for our markets.
Since going live on May 28, 2019, MiniCo’s appetite profiles in IVANS Markets have had 7.1M impressions with recommendations to 2,702 agents covering 35,525 agencies, and they've seen a 10% uptick in submissions. MiniCo programs are available to all agents, even those not appointed.