Agency-Carrier Connectivity | Read Time: 5 Minutes

Agency-Carrier-MGA Connectivity in 2021 and Beyond

December 9, 2021

By: Kathy Hrach

Where are you on your digital technology insurance journey? We recently asked a series of questions to agents, carriers, and MGAs in our annual survey to get a pulse on digital tech adoption across the industry. Discover how to find and place the right risks, save time spent on manual tasks, and best serve your customers based on the latest industry trends.

Automation for Sales and Marketing

Industry professionals strongly align on the importance of connectivity and automation. While price is often perceived as a deciding factor for who to write business with, ease of doing business and time savings were rated as top reasons agents select carrier and MGA partners. Automation is key to achieving this. Insurance professionals recognize the importance of adding technology to their toolkit to provide the best customer experience and win more business.

69% of agencies said they cannot win opportunities because of difficulty accessing a market that will quote the risk.– 2021 IVANS Connectivity Report

Appetite – Finding and Placing Risks

Most of the agents surveyed feel they miss out on Commercial Lines business – 69% of agencies said they cannot win opportunities because of difficulty accessing a market that will quote the risk. With approximately 30% of Commercial Lines submissions being declined, we know there is a need for better appetite and eligibility communication, which is why we’re so excited about the recent Ask Kodiak acquisition.

The Ask Kodiak platform is now integrated with IVANS Distribution Platform, the industry’s solution for end-to-end Commercial Lines distribution. This means carriers can define, manage, and communicate appetite in real time in one central location. Having Ask Kodiak’s best-in-class appetite technology built into the IVANS Distribution Platform will make it easier for agencies to find the right carriers and MGAs for their commercial business.

New Business and Renewal Submissions

Insurance professionals crave ways to be connected and aligned during the application and renewal process. However, there is still a gap between agents and carriers when it comes to what Commercial Lines tools are used. The ongoing advancements in technology are here to help close the gap when it comes to aligning on processes and business priorities.

While carriers prefer to use their portals, agents prefer starting with their agency management systems. Agencies ranked time savings and faster quoting as the top reasons they prefer to quote directly from their workflows.

When it comes to the world of Commercial Lines, insurance professionals agree that the sky is the limit – 57% of agents said they see room for additional automation capabilities in the Commercial Lines submissions process.

In addition, 33% of carriers plan to invest in Commercial Lines submission technology within the next year. With agents and carriers planning on investing in this technology, workflows are bound to move quickly and seamlessly.

“At the end of the day, digital connectivity drives the bottom line. It helps profitability in a lot of ways. The industry is demanding it and distribution is demanding it.”

Reid Holzworth

Chief Executive Officer

Servicing on the Digital Highway

The benefits are endless for going paperless – from saving time to improving accuracy within your documents and providing the best customer experience. While 74% of agents said they are already using download and 78% are using eDocs and Messages, there is always room to grow when it comes to automating processes.

Agents save an average of 2.2 hours per day using download while also decreasing errors caused by manual entry and reducing costs spent on printing and mailing. Carriers can keep up with agency demand for the latest policy-related information and documents with download.

In 2021 alone, 875 agencies became recognized as IVANS Connected Agencies by fully utilizing IVANS Exchange, a complimentary online tool that allows agencies to easily view and manage their carrier download connections. Many carriers are also being recognized for leveraging technologies that support the growth of their agency partners in the IVANS Digital Insurer program.

“We’ve made a big push on this [digital delivery] and we’re seeing an increase in eDocs and Messages month-over-month as well. I mean, there are so many advantages for agents to help their specific workflows.”– James Sullivan, Vice President and Customer Experience Officer at Encova

Ease of doing business was a popular answer in this year’s survey as a benefit to automation. Much of the technology emerging is designed to achieve this for the industry. Many agents, carriers and MGAs have already recognized that adopting digital tools results in more win rates and stronger industry relationships.

“We have to make it easier than any other options they [clients] have. Our value proposition is that we do what’s in the client’s best interest.”– Matt Simon, President at Coverlink Insurance

Continue Your Digital Connectivity Journey

Change management is key to the digital transformation of the industry, and we know this is top of mind for many of you already. You can find more helpful tips and trends in the in-depth 2021 IVANS Connectivity Report based on this year’s survey.

Kathy Hrach

Kathy Hrach, VP of Product Management at Ivans, focuses on enhancing connectivity for carriers and agencies. She has spent her career helping automate manual processes and drive efficiency through technology.