Marketing & Distribution | Read Time: 4 Minutes

How to Solve the 4 Pain Points of Commercial Submissions

June 24, 2021

By: Kathy Hrach

Commercial Lines Submissions Pain Points

Historically, the commercial lines submissions process has been very manual, with four major points of pain in the process. The pain can begin when an agent needs to find a market for a specific risk. Many agents have a few go-to insurers for quotes. However, those insurers may not quote all the risks an agent needs, so losing the business is a real possibility. In fact, nearly 70% of agencies said they often lose opportunities because they cannot find a market to quote the risks, according to the latest IVANS Agency-Insurer Connectivity Report.

Nearly 70% of agencies said they often lose opportunities because they cannot find a market to quote the risks.
IVANS Agency-Insurer Connectivity Report

Data collection is another pain point in the process. Many commercial risks require insureds to fill out many forms, oftentimes with the same information needed across them all. Requiring clients to fill out countless forms creates unnecessary opportunities for data errors and omissions, which in turn prompts additional back-and-forth between agents and insurers. The result? An extremely poor customer experience.

Once all of the data is collected from the insured, the agent must then either email the information to each insurer to start the quoting process or go to each individual insurer’s portal to manually fill out and submit the information for a quote. Both options cause inefficiencies for the agent. If submitted via the portal, the agent must re-key all the same information into the systems over and over, increasing opportunities for errors. If emailed, the insurer must review, decide if they will accept the submission, and follow up with the agent if information is missing.

The last pain point centers around knowing the status of the submission. Currently, any visibility into the status of the submission is reactive, reaching out to the insurer when a client wants to know the status of their policy. Given clients’ desire for instant information, agents who are not responsive risk losing business.

The Evolving Independent Agent

Technology has evolved to automate the manual, administrative processes that burden agents, including tasks like data entry and visibility across systems. As technology automates these processes, it frees up agents’ time to focus on advising clients, as well as more revenue-generating activities.

This renewed focus on advising and servicing clients quickly is critical in today’s age. As customer expectations continue to change because of the level of service provided by big, digital brands like Amazon and Apple, agents must use technology to quickly serve clients and provide digital experiences while delivering advice that cannot be replaced by technology.

Technologies to Improve the CL Process

There are applications agencies can begin using to streamline the submissions process that are either free to the agent or integrated into other technology they may already be using. IVANS Markets is complimentary to agents and allows them to search for insurers based on risk details like line of business, class code, size and location.

Similarly, data collection applications and management systems have already begun integrating with IVANS to enable digital submissions to insurers like Hanover, Encova and Coterie. More distribution providers and insurers are slated to plug into the IVANS Distribution Platform soon to create even more connection opportunities throughout the entire insurance lifecycle.

Tips for Improving the Commercial Submissions Process

Take advantage of digital submissions technology. Traditional commercial lines submissions processes are inefficient and waste valuable time due to duplicative data entry. Data collection software and agency management systems that digitize submissions streamline this process with instant data fill and automation, freeing agents to focus on growing their books of business.

Another piece of advice for agents is to talk to insurer partners about supporting digital submissions. Insurers want to invest in technology that ultimately benefits their agent relationships, so agents need to fervently express to them the value that digital submissions deliver. The more awareness of this technology between agents and insurers, the faster we can create a more connected commercial lines ecosystem.

Explore IVANS Distribution Partners who provide agents efficient workflows for commercial submissions that reduce manual processes and improves customer service to grow their books of business.


Kathy Hrach

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