I recently had the opportunity at SMA’s Insights to Solutions event to give attendees a virtual tour of IVANS – who IVANS is, and what our place is in the insurance ecosystem. IVANS sits right in the middle, connecting on one side over 400 insurers and MGAs to more than 32,000 agencies on the other. We connect service providers, policy admin systems, even insurtechs back down to the agencies. When I say connect, I mean that we are actually building a digital superhighway between the two.
People have historically seen IVANS as a company that provides download – the data that flows from the insurer systems back to the agency management systems, and we do have a lot of download products. However now, IVANS is beginning to focus on the distribution space, specifically digital distribution, and streamlining it for insurers.
We have surveyed thousands of agencies and found that 84% place more business with insurers that provide automation. This is because automation and other products like download genuinely save agencies hours of time per day. Especially now, agencies are placing more business with insurers that provide automation due to remote working. In fact, because of the pandemic, some agents have decided to place business only with insurers that offer eDocs and download.
Through our surveys, we also found that 71% of agents give more mid-market commercial business, and 83% of agents give more small commercial business to the insurers that can quote the fastest. This shows us that that they’re looking to quote more quickly so they can deliver a better customer experience. Finally yet importantly, 89% of insurers want to receive submissions digitally so they can quote faster. We’re seeing this demand coming from all sizes of business, from small to large. It’s because of this demand and need that IVANS is focused on building the industry’s digital distribution platform.
Removing Friction from the Commercial Lines Distribution Process
In addition to our surveys, we have taken a deep dive with insurers and agencies to understand where the friction is in the commercial lines distribution process. From complex risks handled through email to simpler risks directly entered into insurer portals, we see room for improvement.
Talking to the more complex side, we have heard that insurers and agencies want manual data entry to be eliminated and to have more complete submissions to minimize the back and forth that is going on today. With key submission information already entered as structured data, a much faster and clearer route to quote would be available.
On the simpler risk side, insurers want to meet agencies and do business where they are to minimize the need to connect with multiple 3rd party systems. Agencies on the other hand, want to know which insurers have an appetite for their specific risks, get rid of duplicate data entry, and be able to start the process from within their preferred agency management systems.
To help solve for these challenges and demands, IVANS’ digital distribution platform encompasses three main components. The first is Market Appetite, which allows agencies to see exactly who has appetite for their specific commercial risk. The next is Submission workflows, where we are focusing on supporting the path that the insurer, MGA, or distribution partner is able to support, including delivering digital submissions and data through APIs rather than email. The third component is data insights, marrying the other two for useful analytics, to not only allow a view of usage trends, but to provide insight into how an insurer’s business compares against others in the industry.
There has been a thirst for an industry-wide digital distribution platform, and by focusing on this issue, IVANS is able to provide the capabilities to help complete the full life cycle of commercial insurance.