Blog

Agency and Carrier Interfaces, Part II

Angelyn Treutel Zeringue
Insurance Experts' Forum, May 31, 2012

Insurance is something everyone needs. Unlike jewelry, which is purchased only on special occasions, consumers need insurance year-round, every year. What a great industry to be in.

Today’s consumers want choice and speed. Studies have confirmed that people spend more time researching things they plan to buy, but they prefer to buy a complicated product from a trusted advisor. And that’s where agents and carriers can work together more effectively to help consumers.

In our industry, we should already have the capability for real-time transactions and download synchronization using ACORD standards.

Our current automation efforts must be spent enhancing the agent-carrier experience, which includes expanding the offerings available, so that agents are able to offer more lines of business and more transactions for clients. This would include capability for quoting, binding, notice of loss, document retrieval and providing alternate quoting options for personal lines and small business risks. As carriers and agents, we also need to work together to add these capabilities in the mid-commercial and wholesale partner market space.

As we evolve our interfaces, we must constantly strive to improve functionality and the quality of the experience. The Agents Council for Technology is promoting the concept of Round Trip Rating, which will provide quoting options delivered back into the agent’s system through the use of more embedded assumptions and third-party data interfaces to avoid excessive interrogation of potential clients. The use of carrier portals is inefficient and requires steep learning curves in agency offices, taking valuable time away from what the agent should be doing. Agents should be selling policies rather than keying in data over and over.

We should implement best practices for automation to ensure consistency, increase speed of transactions, incur fewer errors, and allow for the easy and effective rollout of new capabilities. The new ID Federation authentication (www.idfederation.com) offers carriers and agents a way to increase the ease of doing business while increasing security and will remove the need for logon IDs and passwords. Everyone reading this article should consider it; imagine if we could all use a standard way to authenticate our identities and improve the ability for our systems to communicate with each other.

Next month, we will look to the future needs for our industry and ways we can enhance agent and carrier interfaces and move our technology out to the end consumer. I invite your questions and comments.

Angelyn Treutel is President of Southgroup Insurance and the chair of the IIABA Agents Council for Technology and ASCnet's Industry Solutions Committee.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Angelyn by using the “Add Your Comments” box below. She can also be reached at atreutel@southgroup.net.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Driving Growth Through Distribution Management

In the current hyper-competitive marketplace, many carriers are focusing on improving their distribution practices as a key technique for driving growth.

Google and Insurance: One Year Later

Google is getting the approval for selling insurance on their compare site in a large number of states via a number of different insurance partners.

How IT Managers Can Get Close to Policyholders

Four steps CIOs need to take to lead insurance organizations to greater “customer obsession.”

Strategic Initiatives for 2015: Making Sense of the Shifts

Insurers must choose between embracing innovation or just continuing with business as usual and run the risk of becoming a casualty in the new competitive battle.

To Stay in the Game, Insurers Must Aggressively Embrace New Consumer Technologies

Emerging technologies displayed at the CES could be some of the greatest change agents since the introduction of the Internet, offering breakthroughs that could challenge many businesses.

Marketing: The Insurer’s Shadow IT Department

Marketing executives continue their march into the insurance data center.