What do you think of when you hear the word value? You may be surprised at what agencies consider most valuable in carrier partners. It's not always about your costs or offerings.
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with InsurOne Insurance District Manager Craig Most in a virtual Duck Creek Formation Conference session about this. Find out what he had to say and learn three steps you can take to become a preferred carrier partner.
1. Make Doing Business Easy
Agencies are looking for carrier partners who make it easy to provide the best service to their policyholders. This includes supporting processes with technology so that agents have more time to focus on their client relationships.
“While commissions are important to me as an agency, it's not the only reason I will do business with a carrier. I'm going to do business with a carrier because they provide an outstanding product for my insureds. That's my number one. Number two is how easy are you to do business with?”
Most Insurance, an InsurOne Insurance agency
When it comes to making it easier to do business, IVANS has tools to help at every phase of the insurance lifecycle – from appetite to sales to servicing. These tools reduce errors and omissions, match the right risks to the right partners, and give agents more time to build client relationships.
“We all benefit if everything communicates. If I have to go through four systems and four databases to be able to effectively take care of my insured, I’m not going to be able to effectively take care of them,” Craig said.
Going paperless and offering download through IVANS Download is a simple way to make workflows easier for your agency partners. This tool allows agents to automatically get the policy documents, claims information, and other communication they need in their management systems.
“If we have a carrier that doesn't utilize download and isn't taking steps toward that, we have to question how much business we will do with them,” Craig said. “If we have to send off paper applications and wait for 30 days to get a quote, we're never going to write that policy.”
2. Make Agency Communication a Priority
Whether you're launching a new product or want to see how a process works, two-way communication with your agency partners is critical. The feedback and communication loop should start with an idea and follow through the entire lifecycle. We're all a part of a team that works together to figure out what works best for everyone and help the entire industry.
One way to have a continuous loop of agency feedback is with councils or boards. If you don't get their input, you could end up spending time and money on something that doesn't work for them or neglect to invest in something easy that could make a big difference for them.
“I can think something is great and go develop it and then realize it doesn't work for anyone else and it's going to fall apart, ” Craig said. “Conversely, something that may seem trivial [to the carrier] like updating a product suite for download could be huge for agents.”
Open communication at the agency-carrier level leads to success for everyone involved.
“Communication is essential. There are three parties at a minimum in every engagement we do – the insured, the carrier and the agent. We can't have barriers like not communicating and not providing feedback,” Craig said.
3. Work Towards Connected and Streamlined Workflows
From the phases of advising and engaging with new clients to servicing and renewing, connected and streamlined workflows will make it easier for everyone and result in more profits. System integration and streamlined workflows are an important part of making sales and retaining your clients.
“Carriers aren't sending us prospects in most cases and other partners are, so those carrier platforms need to integrate with raters or whatever those platforms are,” Craig said. “It all needs to be streamlined because it will make us more effective and help reach more people with fewer mistakes than if we're having to reach everyone in a disparate system.”
Are you ready to take the next step and become a preferred carrier partner? Your next steps depend on your organization’s goals, but getting agencies involved can always help you with your agency-carrier connectivity roadmap. IVANS is also here to help connect your data, processes and workflows with your agencies and their management systems.