Agents continue to favor carriers and MGAs that offer automation, ranking ease of doing business and time savings at the top of the list of value they get from connectivity, according to a newly released survey by Ivans.
The annual agency-carrier connectivity report, “Agency Digital Technology Adoption Trends” emphasized the increased demand for a more connected insurance ecosystem to improve productivity for all stakeholders.
Cost savings, increased productivity and the ability to serve clients faster leading to more time to submit business were the top benefits of increased connectivity, according to the 1,000 agents surveyed.
60 percent of agents reported spending more than 30 minutes submitting a quote to one carrier for a commercial risk.
A majority of agents—83 percent—said they would write more business with carriers if they provided real-time appetite and quoting within their management systems that made it easier to find markets.
Sixty percent of agents reported spending more than 30 minutes submitting a quote to one carrier for a commercial risk.
More than half of those surveyed reported submitting to more than four carriers per risk, translating to hours of lost time.
“The majority of our respondents reported declination rates above 25 percent for small and 46 percent for mid-commercial risks,” the report stated, highlighting the need for carriers to update their risk profiles in real-time to save time and money.
Nearly 73 percent of agencies said they often lose opportunities because they cannot find a market to quote.
The most requested item from agent respondents (55 percent) was additional tech capabilities in the commercial submissions process, specifically integrated quoting capabilities.
The report outlined the top 10 ranked digital connectivity tools agents would like to see. Here are the top five:
- Policy download
- Digital document delivery
- Digital inquiry
- Digital commercial quoting and submission
- Digital claims communication/transparency
The most preferred method of quoting was through an agency management system, with 70 percent of agents listing this as their preference and 22 percent currently using this method.
The preferred method for accessing clients’ policy information is through download via their agency management systems, with 76 percent of agents reporting they save at least two hours a day per employee using download.
How fast a carrier turned around a quote influenced how much business they might receive from an agent. This was especially true in the small commercial market lines.
The future, according to Ivans, envisions agents spending less time on submissions while seeing lower declination rates.
The latest API-enabled technology directly connects carrier quoting and submissions processes to agency-facing systems with integrated appetite to market, quote and bind business efficiently.
“We have long known agent demand for connectivity through Ivans Download, but our latest survey really reinforces the growing demand for connectivity at each stage of the lifecycle, particularly quoting and new business submission,” said Reid Holzworth, chief executive officer, Ivans. “By embracing technology, carriers can provide the quick and easy digital interactions agencies are seeking, opening the door to more profits and better agency partnerships.”