Agents Seek More Real Time Options from Carriers

June 7, 2010

Independent agents and brokers want more carriers to offer real-time functionality, according to a new industry survey. Agents believe those carriers will deliver the greatest benefit in making real time the predominant workflow in their agencies.

Participants from every state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, were asked in a recent Real Time/Download Campaign to prioritize nine possible enhancements to real-time programs and tools, using a scale of 1 to 9 and giving a particular number ranking to only one item.

“Additional carriers with real-time capabilities” was rated a high priority – ranked 7, 8 or 9 – by more than 60 percent of respondents,” said Cal Durland, CPCY market development manager and AUGIE facilitator at ACORD. Almost 30 percent assigned it a 9, the highest possible ranking, she noted.

“Broader carrier implementation of real time based on ACORD Standards will provide a more consistent workflow, one that uses the agents’ technology to access company systems,” Durland said. “This will deliver faster response, fewer errors and, most important, more sales.”

Agents also viewed better personal lines endorsement processing as an important enhancement, rating it the second highest. More than half (55 percent) called it a high priority, scoring it 7-9; nearly one in five rated it a 9.

“Carriers have done a good job working with vendors to build out inquiry and service capabilities, and real-time personal lines quoting is growing rapidly,” said Jeff Yates, executive director of Independent Insurance Agents of America’s Agents Council for Technology. “Agents want more carriers to focus on endorsements, providing ‘deep link’ functionality that takes them directly to the company endorsement completion screen to make changes.”

Forty-eight percent of respondents assigned a high (7-9) priority to “faster response time,” while 22 percent gave the potential enhancement a top vote.

Some 44 percent of respondents rated “commercial lines real-time comparative rating” as a high priority, while 18 percent gave it the highest ranking (9) as a possible enhancement.

Survey participants rated other suggested priorities as a high (7-9) priority as follows:

  • Improved commercial lines endorsement processing, 37 percent;
  • Easier password management, 27 percent;
  • Improved vendor support, 25 percent;
  • Improved usage reports, 24 percent; and
  • Cancellation processing, 17 percent.

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Insurance Journal West June 7, 2010
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