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6 Criteria for Finding the Right Commercial Insurance Solutions for Your Agency

Agents who effectively harness online technologies into their service offerings will be able to offer more value to their commercial clients. 
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6 criteria for finding the right commercial insurance solutions for your agency

Consumers have been able to buy and service personal lines coverage through an online portal or app for some time. Now, commercial insurance is ripe for similar changes that will remove friction and enable a digital experience across the entire insurance value chain. Importantly, independent agents need to be ready to not only navigate but also embrace this accelerated digital wave.

Prior to the pandemic, a small number of your clients probably began their search for commercial insurance online. Today, an ever-increasing number of commercial customers are starting their insurance journey online. They want the option of interacting with your agency through multiple channels and seek the same digital service experience and ease of access they enjoy with Amazon or their financial institutions.

In response, a growing number of InsurTechs with digital platforms now offer commercial lines quoting and binding services for agencies. These platforms allow you to quickly quote and issue commercial property, general liability, auto, workers compensation and umbrella coverages via their carrier partners. Some vendors take it a step further and offer agency management systems that include work management capabilities, data processing and connectivity with carriers.

Agents who effectively harness these complementary technologies into their service offerings will be able to offer more value to their commercial clients, place a greater volume of business at a faster pace, achieve more efficient operations and serve their clients where they want to be served.

As you consider which commercial lines platforms might be best for your agency, here are six things to consider:

1) Digital transformation is not about replacing humans. The ultimate goal is to empower humans at the point of sale or service. People should always be at the heart of your strategy and the digital ecosystem. Build your systems with the user and customer at the center.

2) Technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Develop a digital ecosystem that fits your business model and not the other way around.

3) Automating a bad workflow will not give you the outcome you desire. Develop the optimal workflow for your team and use automation to make it more efficient. Make sure the technology you buy solves the needs of your producers, customer service representatives and clients.

4) Choose your partners carefully. Pick the ones that fit your needs and business model, and will help you grow efficiently and effectively. Which digital platforms make it easier to do business? Which ones are scalable and will help you acquire more commercial accounts? It's not just a matter of choosing the right platform but also making sure the preferred carriers you do business with are signed up for that platform.

5) Look for solutions that allow you to transact business across channels. Every agency is different, but all are looking for speed, efficiency and flexibility in how they submit business. You want to be able to select the channel that has the least friction and quickest turnaround for your agency and, more importantly, for your clients.

6) Make incremental changes in your commercial offerings. Instead of worrying about digitizing everything all at once, develop a vision and then incrementally enable different components of your digital ecosystem in alignment with that vision.

Amir Farid is chief operating officer and chief transformation officer for commercial lines at Westfield

Friday, October 28, 2022
Commercial Lines