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STREAMLINED MARKETING

STREAMLINED MARKETING

STREAMLINED MARKETING
September 25
07:22 2020

TechKnowFile

By Laureen Mathon

STREAMLINED MARKETING

How technology can boost submission efficiency, even in a pandemic

As the pandemic continues and social distancing remains essential, agencies can embrace technology to facilitate marketing and other agency processes.

Without technology, the process of gathering underwriting information, submitting applications to multiple carriers, and creating proposals would be cumbersome, time-consuming and duplicative. Such marketing is integral to an agency’s success and leveraging technology in the process enables agencies and brokerages to do more marketing with the same number of, or even fewer, people than in the past.

Thankfully, management systems and other tech offerings can help agencies and brokerages maximize production and eliminate duplicate efforts.

In my role as a trainer for Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group, I continually try to improve workflows for our account managers. Through best practices, these account managers can find the most efficient ways to perform their jobs, and using the technology is an essential element of that endeavor.

Five steps to more efficient marketing

  1. The insurance marketing process for my team involves five steps:
  2. Gathering underwriting information from the prospect/insured
  3. Using this information and an agency management system marketing module to create the necessary ACORD applications
  4. Submitting these applications to multiple carriers (in our management system, the marketing module can be used to customize which applications and attachments are sent to each carrier and then send them all at once)
  5. Tracking carrier responses: Recording which carriers did not want to quote the business and why they didn’t is important for future reference (carrier quotes and other responses are recorded as well)
  6. Analyzing and deciding which carrier will write the business, then using that carrier’s information to create a proposal to present to the prospect/insured

At Hickok, account managers and servicing teams use the Applied Epic marketing module to send out multiple carrier submissions at one time and track responses in an organized, central place. The marketing module also provides historical information, allowing account managers and producers to look back over the years to see which carriers declined or could not provide quotes in the past. Of course, appetites change and account managers may still want to follow up with carriers; this tracking facility gives them a starting point in their marketing process based on prior year experiences —and it’s an all-in-one module.

Reaping the benefits

Marketing modules offer numerous benefits for agencies and brokerages. One benefit is that marketing updates and applications can be created without altering the current policies; the servicing side of the agency management system remains the same. On the marketing side, agency/brokerage staff can create a master marketing submission and use it to create customized applications and carrier submissions with one or any combination of lines of business. They can then submit these applications all at once to underwriters and carriers.

The “carrier response” feature of the marketing module allows the agent or broker to track the progress of the submission with the carrier responses—quotes, declinations, and so on. When the agent or broker has received all of the quotes and decides which carrier will write the business, a proposal can be created from this marketing submission.

Once coverage is finalized, the marketing information becomes the current policy information.

The use of technology has been especially beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as in-person renewal meetings have ceased at our office and producers have had to gather information electronically. Being able to use technology to complete supplemental applications and update workbooks and schedules has helped to keep the marketing process moving without these once-vital in-person meetings.

Being able to use technology to complete supplemental applications and update workbooks and schedules has helped to keep the marketing process moving without these once-vital in-person meetings.

Many of our clients who are working remotely did not have access to printers, so we provided the ability to complete the applications and schedules in Indio, a resource that digitizes the application and renewal process. The ability to sign documents electronically also has been extremely helpful to all parties.

As the pandemic continues and social distancing remains essential, agencies can embrace technology to facilitate marketing and other agency processes.

The author

Laureen Mathon, ACSR, CRIS, is an agency training specialist-business insurance for Vermont-based Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group.

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