Agency Management System

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Which System You Like?

NexSure
23
16%
Applied TAM
18
13%
Applied Epic
5
4%
AMS360
4
3%
Ebix
24
17%
Newton
3
2%
EbixASP
1
1%
Hawksoft
16
11%
Nasa Eclipse
1
1%
Other System
45
32%
 
Total votes: 140

serp
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Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:30 pm

Agency Management System

Post by serp »

Yes, yes, yes, that's the new post on the same old topic again.
Many of you have read a lot of information on this subject and written several posts here, but in the age of technology info becomes outdated very soon, so I decided to start the same flame again. Most systems do the same thing, and I am not going to compare systems available feature wise, rather price wise.

Okay, after short introduction let's rush to the question:

Pricing level (sign up and recurrent) for the following systems for a small agency (1-5 people):

1. NexSure
2. Applied TAM
3. Applied Epic (how Epic is that? :lol:)
4. AMS InStar
5. AMS360
6. Ebix
7. EbixASP
8. Hawksoft
9. Nasa Eclipse

I understand that the price level depends on many factors and is not the same in each case; however, I think with your help me and any other fellow agents that are thinking of agency management software should know the lousy tricks of salespeople, who are working 8 to 5 to upsell you. Given the economy situation, I don't want to pay $$$ for systems, that are available for $ and your help and input is appreciated here.

My best tip of the day: NEVER EVER DISCLOSE what is your agency volume. Or pay more for your soft.

Here is the info I received so far:

1. NexSure: ~$1.5K to sign up + $100/mo per user. "All you can eat" - everything is included. 3 users minimum required.
2. Applied TAM: $5.5K to sign up + $150/mo per user. Add another $150 for "carrier's download"
3. Applied Epic: $8K to sign up + $150/mo per user. Add another $150 for "carrier's download"
4. AMS InStar: $2K to sign up + $100/mo per user.
5. AMS 360: $4K to sign up + $150/mo per user.
6. Ebix: ? to sign up, $100 per month
7. EbixASP: ? to sign up, $100 per month
8. Hawksoft: ? to sign up, $100 per month
9. Nasa Eclipse: from $750 to $1,200 per year per user. No sign up fees.

Some companies are trying to convince you that the you MUST buy training. Well, the training is optional and it may cost anywhere from $0 to $1.5K for agency (up to 5 people)

Please share what you know about the pricing.
mica.cooper
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:56 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by mica.cooper »

Great Info!

I would like to add that NO AGENT SHOULD BE PAYING FOR DOWNLOAD!!!

All of the insurance companies pay heavily for download transactions. Charging agents to pay additionally is just not fair or right. If I were looking at management systems, this is one key item I would look for.

I can personally attest to this fact: Many insurance companies do not do download due to the exceptionally large charges associated with carrier download.
TheInsKid
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Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:01 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by TheInsKid »

I have sat and currently sit on several technology boards and carrier agents councils and from all of my conversation with carriers; the number one issue with download is not the cost. Most have said it is one of two main issues, their agents are not asking for download so why should they put money and resources into this or they do not want to set up download for each and every management system out there at the same time as it is a resource issue and a priority issue with all of their technology challenges, cost is far down the list in many cases. (What agents expect to have downloaded vs. what vendors expect vs. what carriers can or are willing to do are very different things and part of the problem). Download is not a simple issue still today. Download are a cost to both the carrier and the vendor however it is part of the cost of doing business today and for sure in the future. With the push for technology out there, download and for that matter real time, is now starting to take hold and becoming more important than ever before, for both agents and carriers. Whether or not a vendor is “charging or not charging for download, should not be the issue in my opinion (although I do find that unusual and I would take that into consideration in my purchase decision). I think that you have to balance the cost of the system, the monthly maintenance fees, the features of the system and do they work for you and where that system and/or vendor is going in the future with technology. That is what we based our decision upon. Cost of the system in my opinion is not the whole story, never is.
mica.cooper
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Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:56 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by mica.cooper »

You may have set on the agent council. I hear the other end of the issue where the companies complain about the costs. I can tell you that for some companies, ooooh say AIG and other huge companies it is not an issue. For other smaller regional companies it is a HUGE issue. We did a study with one particular company and the cost to implement download was $2000 PER AGENCY. These are the exact companies that agents are having issues with implementing download and this is why.

You are right that one item should not drive your entire purchase. My point which I did not make clearly, was that I have to wonder about companies that charge for download, what are they also doing I would not like?
Rusty
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Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:16 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Rusty »

I look at the pricing with a big grain of salt. To me it's like buying insurance where you say you want minimum limits at the cheapest price. Whether you like it or not, you are married to the vendor for longer than you realize going in to the relationship.
gregcw
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Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 3:29 pm
Location: Newport Oregon

Re: Agency Management System

Post by gregcw »

I cast my vote for TAM because that is the system that I'm on and have been on for 16+ years. It's also the ONLY system I've been on unless you count S.T.A.R.S. ( the Farmers Insurance Group Sales Tracing & Redords System when I was Captive (encumbered) in 1989 and which I kept using for nearly five years after becoming independent. It really was not a management system but a marketing tool. TAM is definitely superior to that.

In reviewing the price/cost listings, given the monthly service cost, there appears to be a $50.00 spread from top to bottom. $100.00 to $150.00 per user. The information that I've gotten from Hawksoft is that their cost is per user as well. I do not know about the other three.

Since $50.00 per month is less than the commission for one policy per month, I think that the real question is. "Do the features work for you?" Regarding the cost of TAM's Batch Back that is the cost of the software package and support. It is not charged per company for the download. It is just charging for the capability of downloiading which is an expense that the comapanies have too.

With that you just need to determine if the cost of doing the daily data entry and updating it manually offsets the expense of downloading.

As for the training, when I got TAM the initial training was included in the purchaxe price. I ssume that it still is.
Gregcw
quote
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:05 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by quote »

I am currently looking for an agency management system, but I am new to the P&C world. So I don't really know exactly what I will need or want in the future once the business grows. Here is what I was thinking and maybe someone can help me out.


I want something affordable
easy to use
compatible with my rater which will be Ezlynx, Quotmation or Silverplume
internet based preferred

Any help or advice would be great appreciated.
quote
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:05 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by quote »

I would also like it to be able to work with auto, home, commercial, life and health if possible.
Knotins
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:17 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Knotins »

Nobody has mentioned Strategic Insurance Software (partner). I have compared it to many of the leading products in the industry and nothing I looked at compared in value. I find that its functionality and services are equal to many of the leading vendors.
ripley88
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:13 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by ripley88 »

The pricing I received directly from these companies, for 5 users.

1. AMS360 -- $9500--one time subsription fee and $1000.00 a month support -- $400 each new user a month

2. Hawksoft -- $2052.00 one time fee -- $145.00 monthly maintenance -- $175.00 each new user and $15 maintenance each new user a month
Roger@QuickFile
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:24 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Roger@QuickFile »

A little self-promotion here, but you can get the "hosted" version of QuickFile (http://www.qqonline.com), including carrier downloads, for $1,050.00 to start (plus the first monthly installment of $117.00), then $117.00 per month. That's for up to 5 users, and includes scanning/imaging, pre-filled Acord forms, and the ability to work from your laptop on the road, or at home (as if you had nothing better to do at night and on the weekends :-)). And, the monthly payment is "locked-in" when the annual renewal comes around (no price increase!). A company that's been around for over 20 years, with thousands of users around the country.

/end self-promotion
islandgirlb
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:40 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by islandgirlb »

Hi, we are finally leaving nexsure and moving to applied. We were going to use a server and now we are thinking of using the online version. Anyone use both or move from one to the other?

Thank You!
Russmann
Insurance Journal Enthusiast
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:42 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Russmann »

A few questions:
1) Are you and your staff willing to put up with keystroke lag and slower response than an inhouse system?
2) Are you now or do you plan to use document management?
3) Does your agency have remote offices?
4) What is your internet connection like?
5) Are you willing to pay considerably more / month for the service?
6) Do you have someone you trust who provides your IT services?

If the answer to 1, 3, and 5 is "yes," the answer to 2 and 6 is "no," and you have a fibre or T1 connection (4) then I would say it's a good idea. Anything short of that you should probably rethink. Nexsure was written to optimize the web; not true with most other agency management systems. This will add more overhead than you're used to and hurt response time. Good luck.
cbreese
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:59 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by cbreese »

I've been following the posts and doing some additional research and was wondering if anyone has any experience with:

1. FSC Manager
2. Insurance Pro
3. GBS

Also, are there any MGA or GA's out there that would recommend a managment system appropriate for wholesale/GA business? I'm currently on Applied's TAM.

Thanks!
Redondo Bill
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:40 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Redondo Bill »

For MGA and Wholesalers, the Velocity policy management system from VRC (www.vrcis.com)is the 800 pound gorilla!
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