Most carriers recognized long ago that making it easier for agents to do business with them has competitive advantages. Companies have made an effort to simplify the submission and underwriting process, and they’ve created online systems for personal and small commercial lines. For the most part, this has been a good thing for the agent and ultimately the insured.

Executive Summary

With agents still taking notes by hand at prospects' offices for larger commercial and specialty accounts, and carriers requiring data entry into unique systems and the completion of carrier-specific forms, the easy-to-do-business promise seems like a pipe dream. Here, an insurance tech company executive, Linda Dodson, provides recommendations for getting complete commercial submissions to markets faster, including common data standards.

However, the sales process normally begins in the prospect’s office, not online. And what about those lines of business that don’t fit neatly into the underwriting box? Carriers have focused on reducing their acquisition and processing costs in these lines, too, but in many cases at the expense of the agent. Agents and wholesalers often have to rekey data into multiple systems since each carrier has its own unique online system. It seems that ease of use has given way to squeezing margins and streamlining operations.

Yet companies can save money and make it easier for agents to do business if they take the time to reduce the pain points in the acquisition process. For example, improving the collection and accuracy of data can lead to fewer incorrect submissions, fewer touch points in underwriting and significantly faster turnaround times on quotes.

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