Although download has been around for 40 years, it is relatively new for Commercial Lines compared to Personal Lines. As a result, agents aren’t always as familiar with download for Commercial Lines and sometimes have reservations to try it. The truth is that download could be an inexpensive and valuable addition to your team, freeing up your staff from tasks that weigh your agency down.
According to the 2021 IVANS Connectivity Report, download saves agents an average of 2.2 hours per day. It also decreases errors caused by manual entry and reduces costs spent on printing and mailing documents. You can have policy information, claims, and more at your agency staff’s fingertips and pull data in electronically with little effort. In turn, this helps you service your clients better and more efficiently.
“Download is the pathway to efficiency. We want your office to be as efficient as it can be.”
Cal Durland, CPCU
Interface Optimization Director
Why Not Download?
IVANS Interface Optimization Director Cal Durland recently shared the reasons she has heard that agents choose not to download with tips and insights to help.
1. Putting Together the Process Puzzle
Agents have said they don’t know how the pieces fit together with download. There is a lifecycle that needs to happen for download to begin.
How to Get Started
Work with an insurer or MGA and get appointed to write business with them. Set your agency management system up to recognize that insurer or MGA.
Configure that partnership so you can get the download to come into the system you’ve selected. Once the partnership is established and you write a policy, you can view that information in your IVANS mailbox within 24 hours after you write the policy.
When the renewal process starts, repeat the process above.
Once you’re set up with download, you can easily view and manage your insurer and MGA download connections with IVANS Exchange, a complimentary tool for agents. Within IVANS Exchange, you can find out which of your insurer partners are offering policy, eDocs and Messages, Claims, and Direct Bill download. You also have the potential to influence the insurers who are not providing download by indicating that you want them to offer it.
“We want to make sure we’re all working together. It takes agents’ input to system providers to insurers to make the experience better,” Cal said.
2. Looking for More Lines of Business
What lines of business can be downloaded? This is a question that agents ask, especially from a Commercial Lines perspective. There are some lines of business that are embedded within another download. If you’re having difficulty finding a line of business within download, you can start with eDocs or Messages, a secure alternative to email, mail or faxes that pushes a document or a message from the insurer’s policy system into the agency system. Supported lines of business include Personal, Commercial, Agriculture, Excess & Surplus, and Surety.
Agents who currently receive eDocs and Messages download want more. Thank you to all of you agents who communicate this to your insurers. As an agent, it is important to advocate for download, eDocs and Messages with specific lines of business with your insurers.
IVANS has some documentation on what each insurer downloads as eDocs. We’re working on expanding that documentation, because we’ve heard that you want to know what is currently being downloaded and you want to know what you have to still go to their website for. Eventually, you’d like that to come down as download too because it’s so much easier when it comes into your system versus having to have people go to the insurer’s website and pull the documents down.
3. Navigating Industry Inconsistency
It is not a secret that insurers and MGAs don’t all have the same download processes. While there are industry standards, there hasn’t been a defined way for insurers to implement those standards. The IVANS team recognizes this and is working to create a more consistent experience across insurers. One thing you can do as an agency to improve this is work with insurers and MGAs on their processes.
“Maybe something isn’t exactly what you want. You could show them what another [insurer or MGA] does. That always helps if you can show them that another does it better,” Cal said. “When you work with them on it, it not only helps your agency with a better download experience. It helps the whole industry.”
Commercial Lines download has continuously improved over the years thanks to many agents’ efforts in identifying inconsistencies or room for improvement and working with both IVANS and their insurer and MGA partners.
Connect with IVANS to Maximize Download
Join the ranks of IVANS’ recognized Connected Agencies by fully utilizing IVANS’ connectivity solutions. This includes leveraging IVANS Exchange to easily view and manage insurer download connections going through the IVANS Network. To learn more, email Connections@IVANSInsurance.com or schedule a Zoom appointment with our team!
“Our team will work with you to help you get the most out of your download experience.”
Cal Durland, CPCU
Interface Optimization Director
To get started with download, ask questions or give feedback, email the IVANS Connections team at Connections@IVANSInsurance.com. There is also a new chat feature within IVANS Exchange that you can use to chat with us – just log in and look for the button in the bottom right corner of your screen to start a chat.