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Productive Agency Visits For Insurance Carriers

A Guide to Effective Communications On Technology-Based Workflow

Second Edition (March 2008)


About the Guide This is the second edition of this guidebook. AUGIE Leaders are pleased at the overwhelming response to the first edition—nearly 20,000 copies were downloaded—and the role it has played in furthering AUGIE’s mission to foster more efficient Independent Agency System workflows. For most products in this distribution channel, relationships are keys to success. Thus, field marketing reps spend considerable “face time” with independent agency owner/managers. These road warriors work to appoint agencies, improve policy retentions, underwrite accounts, and increase the quantity and quality of business. From the agency owner/manager’s perspective, many visits go the same way. The field rep arrives on a monthly or quarterly basis, reviews the agency’s numbers, and addresses a key account or new opportunity. The visit may continue on a more social aspect with a lunch or a game of golf. As valuable as these relationship-building meetings have been for decades, AUGIE saw an opportunity to create more value for both carrier and agency, which led to creation of the first guide. This updated edition summarizes issues and opportunities and provides easy checklists agencies can use as they encourage more successful visits by carrier reps from all departments—marketing, underwriting, education, automation and more. It also helps company staff better understand what AUGIE encourages agents to do to make visits more productive.

Table of Contents Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Checklist for Agency Principals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Agency Questionnaire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Checklist for Carriers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Automated Agency Round Trip of Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Participate in AUGIE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Additional Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Assistance in Workflow Improvement: POWER of Change® Seminar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

1 AUGIE (the ACORD-User Group Information Exchange) is a forum for ACORD, agents, brokers, insurers, solution providers, and associations to gather information, share ideas and actively shape the future of the insurance industry. It allows collaboration on common concerns that affect the day-to-day and long-term operations of agents and provides agents with a voice in the ACORD standards process with the goal of improving agency efficiency and productivity. For more information: http://www.acord.org/augie/augie.aspx

Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


Overview When carrier representatives make their periodic calls, they meet with agency principals and possibly marketing or service staff. The field reps typically discuss goals and the types of business they’d like to generate during the next quarter or year. AUGIE is not suggesting those discussions aren’t valuable. But how that business ultimately gets placed by the agency’s staff is critically important. And increasingly agencies are leveraging existing real-time communications and download tools in improving workflows. The carrier rep needs to understand his/her company’s technology offerings and be able to explain to the agency staff how to use it efficiently for the benefit of all parties involved—including the customer! In today’s insurance marketplace, this is not just something nice for company reps to know; rather, it’s an increasingly large part of their job.

Definitions It is important to define two key terms used in this guidebook: Real Time and Download: • Real Time is the ability to click on a button from a client file in an agency management system or comparative rater for immediate access to carrier information on that client. The transaction may be a quote, billing inquiry, claim inquiry/loss run, policy view, endorsement or a request for information. This approach provides a single workflow for servicing or quoting. • Download is the movement of customer policy data from an insurer to its partnering agent or broker management system. This download directly to the agency management system normally occurs as a batch process after a transaction is performed by an agent, such as adding a vehicle or changing a deductible; or by the insurer, such as the creation of an automatic renewal notice.

‘I know as a young agency, new to our agency management system and some of the newer technology, we would welcome visits such as this. I have to think that the more a carrier puts themselves in front of the agents, especially to help them with technology, that this would be an advantage to everyone.’ —Agent

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‘We are really pushing our marketing reps to learn our agency-interface technologies and capabilities and to communicate and educate during agency visits. More agents, too, are asking about Real Time. This AUGIE guide has supported technology education for our distribution channel.’ — Carrier executive The business reasons for these efficient best practices workflows include increased sales and retention, elimination of manual dual entry (saving valuable time and potential costly entry errors), and improved quality and quantity of the agency’s business. It’s a “win-win-win” for the distribution channel, as agents close the deal quicker and can move on to other sales or service; carriers write quality business at a reduced servicing cost; and customers see value in reduced turnaround time. The use of Real Time can lead to real results for agents and carriers alike. Independent agents can spend less time pushing paper and manually entering data—and more time on critical risk management and account reviews, maintaining a relevant role in the buying and servicing process. And Real Time is a modern workflow consumers have come to expect as they interact with other services and products.

Assertive Role Owners and managers of agencies must take a proactive, assertive role in their relationships with carrier marketing reps. For example, some agencies set aside a specific time for reps from each company to come in and address questions developed by agency staff on a range of issues. Questions are delivered in advance to offer a chance to research answers, if necessary. After the meetings, agency leadership reviews findings and sets priorities for agency-company relationships the next year. Agencies must develop expectations and gauge how carriers meet them.

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


To ensure brand messages are being disseminated clearly, each party should align communications with the respective firm’s philosophy. Field marketing managers should be in tune with their company’s underwriting appetite and mix of business, as well as with their technology and workflow for agents. By the same token, agencies should form a philosophy for their business and their choice of carriers, then promote it throughout their firm. For example, agency owners/ managers who decide their overriding goal is to conduct the most efficient business in real time should communicate that to companies and vendors, ultimately rewarding them by fully implementing vendor- and carrier-technology offerings. In the spirit of more productive communications and agent-carrier visits, AUGIE has provided the following lists and information to foster effective visits.

‘Most field reps have had a laundry list of business things they’re responsible for and things they’re being graded on —sales up, loss ratios down, perpetuation plan in place. Now we’re also seeing more companies asking questions about workflow, like our level of real-time interface use.’ — Agent

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Checklist for Agency Principals Understand Your Technology Opportunities Check Your System q Do you have an agency management system? q If you represent more than three carriers, you will realize benefits through increased efficiencies if you use an agency management system. q For links to various agency management systems, visit www.getrealtime.org and click on “Vendor Real Time Links.” q Various consultants can assist agencies with finding the right technology system. (Example: Steve Anderson, steve@steveanderson.com.) q Are you using the most current version of your agency management system? If so—or if you're one version off--you meet recommended industry practices. Check with your system administrator or your management system rep to be sure. q Do you belong to your local or national user group? Is at least one person from your firm active? These organizations are an excellent resource to learn about what you might be missing about new functionality. A link to “Agency System User Groups” participating in AUGIE is found at www.acord.org/augie/augie_resources.aspx. Implement Real Time q Are you leveraging all the real-time customer service and quoting capability available? Go to www.getrealtime.org to see what real-time functionality is offered by your management system. q Are you using Real Time with all your carriers that offer it? (See the definition of Real Time in the “Overview” on page 3.) Do you obtain updates on which carriers offer Real Time for various products? Ask your local management system users group or vendor or visit www.acttech.org for more information. q Have you reviewed “The Independent Agent’s Real Time Implementation Guide” at www.getrealtime.org? Implement Download q Here are some benefits to your agency for implementing download: q It eliminates your staff’s processing backlog. Your staff will not need to rekey data, eliminating the chance for manual input errors. q The information in your system is current and matches the policy detail in the carrier system. Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers 6

© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


q Download enables you to realize the workflow objective of relying on the agency management system as the primary source of the agency’s information when communicating with your customer. q Your agency can focus on service and sales, not data entry. q When implemented with all your carriers it will eliminate paper processing. Speak up! Ask your vendors and carriers for the functionality. q A paper-free working environment is growing in popularity with agents. Information may be shared by all employees regardless of where they are located as they respond to customer needs for claims processing, quoting and new business processing, as well as in general customer support for inquiries. Also the cost of the paper storage space is reduced. q Go to www.getrealtime.org to see the download functionality offered by your agency management system. q Successful implementation of both personal lines and commercial lines download is essential to the ability of independent agencies and brokers to take full advantage of the efficiencies available in the paperless environment that both agencies and carrier seek: q The ACT Commercial Lines Download Work Group Review of Accomplishments & Next Steps; Recommended Agency Testing Process can be viewed at na.iiaa.org/ACTDownloads/CL_Rpt_5-22-05.doc. q The Commercial Lines Download Agency Start-Up Guide can be viewed at www.acord.org/augie/augie.aspx. Have Your Carriers Stopped Sending Paper? q Note that widespread use of carrier downloads by agencies also enables the carriers to gain efficiencies by “turning off the paper” to agents, replacing it with electronic information and reducing the need for company staff to respond to agent calls for information. q Important: Review the technology agreement with carriers that are turning off the paper! See Turning off the Paper to Agents: The Key Responsibility for Each of the Parties at www.acord.org/augie/augie.aspx. q To learn about “paper and electronic information that relate to transactions involving specific customers,” refer to Turning off the Paper to Agents Phase Two Report: Recommended Agent and Carrier Workflows available at www.acord.org/augie/augie.aspx. Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008

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q To learn if your carriers have implemented Download, go to www.acttech.org. q To learn more about what you should look for in today’s technology agreements, review Guidelines for Effective Agent-Carrier Technology Agreements at www.acord.org/augie/augie.aspx. q Have you recently reviewed your state requirements for document retention? Is Your Staff on Board? q It’s all about process improvement and efficient workflow. Everyone needs more time; use of the systems you have invested in will improve your ability to service your customers. q As the agency owner/manager, take responsibility for getting your staff educated about technology you have invested in. Otherwise, you’re leaving it all to chance. Designate at least one person in the agency (perhaps you, the owner) to take the lead in monitoring what is new and schedule time for the person to sit down and educate staff on particular technology opportunities. q Ask questions about ideas to improve workflows. Then empower your service staff to get answers to questions and solutions to problems. q To learn from another agent’s success in utilizing technology, visit www.getrealtime.org/CampaignMaterials/Articles/RTCCaseStudyParryBecker. pdf. Check Your Carriers q Once your agency management system is set up for Download and Real Time, and you are staying current with updates, you’ll have help in understanding which carriers are set up. Contact your agency management system support desk if you have questions. q To see a list of the carriers that make Download and Real Time available, go to www.ACTtech.org. q If your carrier is not listed, ask them why! Communication is critical and it’s important to keep the list of new technology current on ACTtech.org. q Ask them to send critical technology updates via e-mail—not fax.

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


Preparing for a Visit Be Proactive—It’s Your Business! q You should establish what you want from carrier meetings. Instead of waiting for the field representative to call the agency, contact the rep and set the agenda from the agency’s perspective. The goal: Help you rank each carrier and determine where to place business. q Be sure the marketing rep is aware that your employees will be asking questions on the carrier’s technology and real-time quoting and servicing. If you believe the marketing rep isn’t prepared to answer technology-related questions, ask him or her to connect you with someone who can help. (Some companies provide a field automation person to travel with the marketing rep as required.) q Ask your CSRs if the carrier may not be getting enough business because they find it easier to work with other companies. To prepare, ask employees: q How long it takes them to process with the particular carrier. q If they process it through your agency system, on the carrier’s Web site, or a combination of both. q Which carriers make it easier for them to process business. q Use the AUGIE Timer to test with each carrier and secure your agency's report. The free timer is available at augie.artizan.com/Realtime/Index.htm. q Let employees know that a carrier marketing rep is going to visit. Ask them to compile a list of issues and questions pertaining to that carrier. q Since each CSR may have different issues, compile a unified list of them. (Note that technology-related challenges can touch all aspects of the agency. One agency owner/manager has CSRs list their own issues with particular carriers in one or more of these sections: accounting, automation/technology, customer service, management, marketing, and personnel.) q At least one week prior to the visit, e-mail to the carrier rep the list of questions or issues your staff wants covered. Ask the rep to come prepared to discuss each issue. q Use IIABA’s Best Practices Joint Agency-Company Planning Tool for ideas on topic discussion areas. Order online at bp.reaganconsulting.com/ uploads/100007_navigation/100024.pdf (see page 6).

Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008

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Establish Ground Rules q Create a list of employees with whom the carrier field rep and/or other carrier staff needs to meet (e.g., the head of personal lines). q Establish ground rules for meetings. Cover the permissible context of the subject matter with each staffer. For example, it may not be appropriate to talk about commissions and financial goals. Make sure your staff is aware of this. q Ask the marketing rep to bring a company toll-free support number to call when presented with a question, while on the visit, that he or she can’t answer.

During the Visit Educate, Compare, Demonstrate q Educate carrier representatives about technology enhancements you are making in the agency—such as implementation of Real Time and Download. q Ask the rep to give you an idea of how your firm compares with agencies of similar size representing that carrier. Ask, too, for best practices of workflows with that carrier. (In other words, if peer agencies are using a particular workflow or technology, you can as well.) q Communicate clearly that the carrier may not be getting enough business because CSRs are finding it easier to work with other companies. Demonstrate with facts from your employee research: q How long it takes CSRs to process with the particular carrier. (Use the free AUGIE Timer at augie.artizan.com/Realtime/Index.htm to test.) q If CSRs process business through your agency system, on the carrier’s Web site, or a combination of both. q How they process with other carriers. q Don’t end the meeting without getting the name and phone number of a company automation specialist who can answer a question involving the interface process. q Discuss the potential of seeking workflow-improvement consulting. For example, ask about the POWER of Change seminar (www.acord.org/Resources/power_change.aspx) to see if they will fund the cost of the facilitator. Many companies have special dollars to reimburse agencies for these related expenses; hiring a workflow consultant may be one of them. Find out what’s available from your carriers to help fund facilitator fees.

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


Follow Up Ongoing Training q If your agency needs more in-depth training on a carrier’s download or realtime interface applications, ask for help. For instance, what sort of Web or face-to-face help may be available from your carriers? q If a marketing rep is unable to answer a specific CSR’s question, make sure there is a follow-up conversation. q Invite carrier reps to AUGIE, ACORD and your national and regional user group meetings. q Ask your companies to permit CSRs to attend their agency automation councils along with agency principals, as they are often more familiar with the company applications and are more knowledgeable on what interface improvements are needed. q Add www.acord.org/augie/augie.aspx to your favorites. This is home to many agency-improvement ideas. q The Download Stakeholders Commitments document can be viewed at www.getrealtime.org. Industry Recognition q Ask your carriers to join the Real Time/Download Campaign. Encourage them to go to www.getrealtime.org for information about this all-industry effort. q Ask them to show you the awards they have received from ACORD. q Promote the annual AUGIE Marketing Rep Carrier Award given out at the ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum (held in May). q For standout company reps that you admire, pass their names along to your state or regional PIA affiliate association so the association can recognize them locally or nominate them for the PIA National Company Representative of the Year award.

Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008

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Agency Questionnaire Is your agency constantly answering various carrier requests for basic demographic and other information? Is it taking too much time to track down the same information repeatedly? This new ACORD form on the following three pages will aid the agent and carrier. The agent can use the same form for every carrier, therefore eliminating duplicate entry, and the carrier no longer has to devise its own form. Note that all ACORD static PDF forms are available to agents that belong to user groups or associations. If you do not have a user name and password today, use this link to register: www.acord.org/forms/forms_association.aspx. If you do have a user name and password, yet still don’t have access to the static PDF forms, then call ACORD at 800-444-3341. Press “2” to speak with Member Services. To secure access to the fillable version of the form, and any other form not currently in your agency management system, consider joining the ACORD Advantage Program at www.acord.org/advantage/joinrenew.aspx#joinadvantage.

‘If the CSRs don’t buy in to growing with a company, it likely won’t happen. Let’s say owners want to go with Company A, for whatever reason. If CSRs are comfortable with companies B and C and don’t understand the system of Company A, the growth is never going to get off the ground. That’s why the Company A rep needs to get to those CSRs and say, ‘Here’s how easily you access our company through your agency system.’ — Agent

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


DATE (MM/DD/YYYY)

AGENCY QUESTIONNAIRE AGENCY NAME AND ADDRESS

LEGAL ENTITY

INDIVIDUAL

PRIMARY CONTACT:

FISCAL YEAR END:

PHONE (A/C, No, Ext):

NATIONAL PRODUCER #:

FAX (A/C, No):

CONTRACT #:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

FEIN:

WEBSITE ADDRESS:

CITY POPULATION:

E&O

CARRIER:

LIMITS

EA CLAIM $

PARTNERSHIP

CORPORATION

COMPANY REQUESTING SURVEY

EXP DATE: EA OCC $ SUBCHAPTER "S" CORP

AGGREGATE $ LLC

AGENCY PREMIUM / MIX OF BUSINESS SUMMARY

SEND COMPLETED SURVEY TO:

TOTAL PREMIUM VOLUME

PERSONAL LINES PERCENTAGE

# OF AGENCY LOCATIONS

# OF AGENCY EMPLOYEES

$

COMMERCIAL LINES PERCENTAGE

%

%

LIFE & HEALTH PERCENTAGE

%

STATES

AGENCY PROFILE (PRINCIPALS, MANAGERS, CSRS, PRODUCERS) (Attach additional sheets if more space is required) NAME / TITLE / E-MAIL ADDRESS

HIRE DATE

PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATIONS

LICENSE NUMBER(S)

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

NAME:

P&C AGENT:

TITLE:

P&C BROKER:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

LIFE & HEALTH:

STATE

AGENCY / BRANCH OFFICES AGENCY #:

BRANCH #:

NAME AND ADDRESS

AGENCY #: NAME AND ADDRESS

ACORD 812 (2006/02)

BRANCH #:

PRIMARY CONTACT:

FISCAL YEAR END:

PHONE (A/C, No, Ext):

NATIONAL PRODUCER #:

FAX (A/C, No):

CONTRACT #:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

FEIN:

WEBSITE ADDRESS:

CITY POPULATION:

E&O

CARRIER:

LIMITS

EA CLAIM $

EXP DATE: EA OCC $

AGGREGATE $

PRIMARY CONTACT:

FISCAL YEAR END:

PHONE (A/C, No, Ext):

NATIONAL PRODUCER #:

FAX (A/C, No):

CONTRACT #:

E-MAIL ADDRESS:

FEIN:

WEBSITE ADDRESS:

CITY POPULATION:

E&O

CARRIER:

LIMITS

EA CLAIM $

EXP DATE: EA OCC $

Page 1 of 3

AGGREGATE $

© ACORD CORPORATION 2006


AGENCY PREMIUM / MIX OF BUSINESS COMPANY

COMMERCIAL LINES VOLUME

$ $ $

LOSS RATIO

INTERFACE (Check all that apply) DOWNLOAD

UPLOAD

REAL TIME

WEB SITE

% % % INTERFACE (Check all that apply)

COMPANY

DOWNLOAD

PERSONAL LINES VOLUME

$

%

$ $

% %

UPLOAD

REAL TIME

WEB SITE

INTERFACE (Check all that apply) COMPANY

DOWNLOAD

LIFE / HEALTH VOLUME

$ $

% %

$

%

UPLOAD

REAL TIME

WEB SITE

TECHNOLOGY INFORMATION AGENCY AUTOMATION SYSTEM VENDOR NAME

SYSTEM NAME

USER GROUP(S) MODEL (Local, ASP)

VERSION

# USER WORKSTATIONS

SERVER OPERATING SYSTEM

BROWSER

MINIMUM SYSTEM SPEED

BROWSER VERSION DATE LAST PATCH INSTALLED:

SYSTEM NAME

NAME:

ACTIVE MEMBER?

YES

NO

YES

NO

DO YOU PAY TECHNICAL SUPPORT? DESCRIBE OTHER SUPPORT

DATE LAST VERSION UPGRADE WAS INSTALLED:

AGENCY AUTOMATION SYSTEM VENDOR NAME

NAME:

ACTIVE MEMBER?

USER GROUP(S) MODEL (Local, ASP)

VERSION

# USER WORKSTATIONS

SERVER OPERATING SYSTEM

BROWSER

MINIMUM SYSTEM SPEED

BROWSER VERSION DATE LAST PATCH INSTALLED:

NAME:

ACTIVE MEMBER?

NAME:

ACTIVE MEMBER?

DO YOU PAY TECHNICAL SUPPORT? DESCRIBE OTHER SUPPORT

DATE LAST VERSION UPGRADE WAS INSTALLED:

AGENCY STAFF THAT PARTICIPATES REGULARLY IN DAY-TO-DAY USE OF AGENCY AUTOMATION SYSTEM FOR SALES AND/OR SERVICE

CSRs

PRODUCERS

CLAIMS

ACCOUNTING

MANAGEMENT

TYPE OF CONNECTION TO INTERNET

DSL

T1

FRACTIONAL T1

CABLE

DIAL-UP

RATING VENDOR NAME

RATING SYSTEM NAME

KEY AGENCY IT CONTACT(S)

E-MAIL ADDRESS(ES)

GENERAL INFORMATION YES

1. DOES EVERY EMPLOYEE IN YOUR AGENCY HAVE A WORK STATION WITH ACCESS TO: PLEASE EXPLAIN "NO" RESPONSES IN REMARKS.

a) INTERNET b) E-MAIL

c) AGENCY AUTOMATION SYSTEM 2. DOES YOUR AGENCY INPUT POLICY AND TRANSACTIONAL DETAIL FOR ONLY SPECIFIC TYPES OF BUSINESS? IF "YES", EXPLAIN IN REMARKS. 3. DOES YOUR AGENCY PLAN ON CHANGING YOUR AGENCY AUTOMATION SYSTEM VENDOR WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR? IF "YES", EXPLAIN IN REMARKS. ATTACHMENTS

REMARKS (Attach additional sheets if more space is required)

ACORD 812 (2006/02)

Page 2 of 3

NO


AGENCY LICENSE NUMBERS AGENCY #

BRANCH #

ACORD 812 (2006/02)

AGENCY / BRANCH NAME

Page 3 of 3

LICENSE NUMBER

STATE


Carrier Checklist for Agency Owners/Managers AUGIE recommends e-mailing this checklist to your carrier contacts one week prior to the next visit. The questions will help the carrier prepare for the meeting and create an agenda. Of course, please tailor the list to fit your needs. To:

________________________________________________________________

From: ______________________________________________________________ Re: Date:

Preparation for the call at our agency ________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________

Thank you for scheduling time to visit our agency. We appreciate that you value our time and need to plan the visit to ensure that our time is used efficiently. In the interest of continuing to provide you the high-quality business you seek in an efficient manner, please review the following items prior to our meeting: Topics for Review q Review typical business matters (e.g., premium volume, new product, rate, commission, contingency) and how your company will help us write more business. q How will your company make it easier for us to give you more business? q We would like you to set aside time to have you watch us demo our workflow and to show you how we work with a competitor or two. q We are interested in process improvement within our agency and we would like to discuss how using technology will impact that workflow with your company. Attendees q We would like you to meet with specific employees who need to know how to write more business with your company. They would like to show you our workflow with your company—using a sample piece of new and/or renewal business—walking through the steps from our agency management system to your company system. (They can’t use your technology if they don’t understand it.)

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


Carrier Checklist for Agency Owners/Managers (cont.) q We understand that you may not know how to address all issues. Please be prepared to put us in contact with someone who can answer technologyrelated questions—or be prepared to contact your trainers on the phone if questions arise. Prior to the Visit q Please send us any materials that we should review to be prepared for our discussions. q Please investigate if your company has special dollars to allow agencies to be reimbursed for some of their expenses. Is hiring a workflow consultant one of them?

…And for an Even More Effective Visit q Please review your agent-carrier technology capabilities. Understand that the business reasons for efficient best practices workflows are increased sales, retention, and the quality and quantity of the agency’s business. It’s a “winwin-win” for the agents to close the deal quicker and move on to other sales or service. Carriers that help agents write quality business at a reduced servicing cost will also be valued by the customer, who will see reduced turnaround time. q If your company is not providing real-time capability or Download, please q Visit www.getrealtime.org to understand why your company needs to be more efficient. q Complete the contact information at www.getrealtime.org/ active/contact.asp for help on getting started. q Please visit at www.acttech.org to validate that your company is communicating their capabilities. Update your information, including download and realtime interface applications, prior to visiting. q Please show us where you update tech information on your Web site. We recommend that you designate someone at the home-office level for Web-based updates. (This is particularly important if you’re downloading and have cut off the paper.) q Please bring a checklist on your recent automation enhancements (e.g., realtime inquiry, Transformation Station, TransactNOW), as well as any on the horizon.

Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008

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Carrier Checklist for Agency Owners/Managers (cont.) q Helpful resources include: q IIABA’s Best Practices Joint Agency-Company Planning Tool at bp.reaganconsulting.com/uploads/100007_navigation/100024.pdf (see page 6). q Use findings from the AUGIE Technology Survey to determine strategies that align with agency needs. Visit www.acordadvantage.org/augie. q The Independent Agent’s Real Time Implementation Guide is available at www.getrealtime.org.

‘By providing technology training of our field reps, and with Download and Real Time, agents are choosing us. We are being quoted more. We’ve reduced the phone calls from agents. And if 100% of transactions are Real Time, the carriers would spend less time and resources making sure their Web sites are the best.’ — Carrier executive

2 AUGIE (the ACORD-User Group Information Exchange) is a forum for ACORD, agents, brokers, insurers, solution providers, and associations to gather information, share ideas and actively shape the future of the insurance industry. It allows collaboration on common concerns that affect the day-to-day and longterm operations of agents and provides agents with a voice in the ACORD standards process with the goal of improving agency efficiency and productivity. More information is found at http://www.acord.org/augie/augie.aspx.

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


-ORE INFO IN THE AGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM LEADS TO MORE SALES AND RETENTION

2EQUEST QUOTE 'ET RESPONSE -AKE AN INQUIRY REQUEST A CHANGE 'ET A RESPONSE

2EUSE DATA

$OWNLOAD  SYNCHRONIZE AGENCY  CARRIER DATA

Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008

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Participate in AUGIE The ACORD-User Groups Information Exchange (AUGIE) is a collaboration of agency user groups and ACORD whose mission is to: 1. Amplify the voice of automated agencies through their respective user groups. 2. Hasten the implementation of ACORD Standards throughout the industry. 3. Collaborate on any other industry initiatives of mutual interest to the participants. Joining is easy—just follow these steps.

1. Get Set Up • Get your user name and password at myacord.acord.org/HIP/ValidateImage.aspx.

2. Join the AUGIE Teams Working Group • AUGIE participants communicate with each other throughout the year using a network called teams.acord.org. The Teams AUGIE group lets you share documents and emails with those having a common interest. • Once you have as user name and password, send an email to workinggroups@acord.org and ask to be added to AUGIE on teams.acord.org. • Once you’ve been added to “AUGIE on teams,” you’ll have access to a lot of functionality. • Please note that you will need your user name and password to access these documents. If you forgot them, please click on www.acord.org/registration/ForgotPassword.aspx. If you still have a problem, please contact workinggroups@acord.org.

3. Using Teams • The group is located at teams.acord.org/apps/org/workgroup/augie and has a number of tabs. They include: • Group Home: This tab shows all the emails and documents that have been posted to this group. If you want to share an idea with the other members, send an email to augie@teams.acord.org. This will allow others to respond to the email trail, and it will be posted for all to reference in the future. • Roster: This lists all the participants in AUGIE. • Documents: This is where AUGIE posts documents for this group to review or access. To see what is currently posted, go to teams.acord.org/apps/org/workgroup/ augie/documents.php. • Ballots: This will be used if we need to take a vote on an issue.

4. Monthly Communication Calls • If you want to hear about AUGIE’s initiatives, join us on the call, held the third Tuesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time: • The dial-in number is (877) 326-2337; conference ID, 7386608; no pass code needed.

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


• •

If you need operator assistance at any time during the call, simply dial *0. Use *6 to mute your own line, and *7 to un-mute your line. For the WebEx portion, go to ACORD.webex.com and enter meeting number 351 293 455. Click “Join Now.”

5. AUGIE Priorities • Review the AUGIE Priority document posted on www.acord.org/augie/ augie_resources.aspx to learn more about AUGIE’s priorities and find out which AUGIE task groups to join.

6. Meetings • AUGIE holds face-to-face meetings three times a year: • February, in conjunction with the annual IVANS Conference. • May, in conjunction with ACORD-LOMA Insurance Systems Forum. • October or November, in conjunction with the ACORD Standards Forum.

7. Questions? • Contact AUGIE facilitator Cal Durland, CPCU at cdurland@acord.org or (845) 620-1700, ext. 411.

‘I know another regional carrier that has field people who go out and work with agencies specifically on technology issues. And they’re light years ahead of us on new business.’ — Carrier representative

Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008

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Additional Resources ACTtech The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) has designed www.acttech.org as a place for independent agents and brokers to learn what real-time and download transactions their carriers have available for various agency systems. From the home screen, select “Carrier Possibilities” and look for your carriers on the list. Review what they are capable of doing, the method used and its status. If a carrier is not on the list, please complete the contact information on www.getrealtime.org/ active/contact.asp so we can work with the carrier to engage their representatives into an “ease of operations” philosophy.

ACORD Advantage ACORD’s coordinating role for AUGIE initiatives is supported and funded by ACORD Advantage members—more than 10,000 insurance agencies nationwide. For information, go to www.acord.org/advantage/advantage_main.aspx.

AUGIE Video Watch a new video that discusses projects designed to improve carrier-agent communications at www.acord.org/advantage/advantage_main.aspx.

Joint Planning Tool To access the Big I’s Best Practices Joint Agency-Company Planning Tool, go to bp.reaganconsulting.com/uploads/100007_navigation/100024.pdf. See page 6. Note there is a fee for this resource.

Real Time/Download Campaign The Real Time/Download Campaign brings together independent agents, carriers, technology providers, user groups, national and state agent associations, and industry associations—all dedicated to increasing usage of download and real-time interface applications. The campaign encourages agencies already using the interface application available in their agency management systems to increase their number of real-time transactions. The campaign also encourages agencies that aren’t using the technology to implement it through their agency management system.

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


Also, the campaign urges carriers to implement real-time interface applications with appointed agencies; and encourages carriers that already use it on a limited basis to expand it to all transaction types with independent agencies. Resources available at the Web site (www.getrealtime.org) are: • The definition of Real Time as well as an insightful implementation guide specifically for independent agencies. • Links to information from carriers, major automation vendors and user groups concerning their download and real-time functionality, automation vendors (or carriers) they work with, implementation and installation information, troubleshooting guides and contact information. • Links to resources, including the AUGIE Workflow Tool and the AUGIE Real Time Time Study Report, and a link to www.ACTtech.org, a site that enables agents to run reports on the specific download and real-time capabilities—by carrier, by management system vendor, and by line of business. • A link to the AUGIE Commercial Download Policy Detail Agency Start-Up Guide. • Information about Real-Time Stakeholder Commitments and links to documents that help various stakeholder groups, as well as campaign materials, such as logos, ads, stories, speeches, presentations and more.

‘Although we had trained our CSRs a few times, they still needed help. The marketing rep (who is very tech savvy and a great advocate of Real Time) conducted another training, and the carrier’s interface rep was available by WebEx. In addition to the training, the marketing rep asked the CSRs how they processed new business, quotes, etc. This proved most valuable because he observed their workflows and reported to us what was really happening. This was valuable information we would not have otherwise gained. In this way, in addition to training, we used the marketing rep to conduct an audit of our agency’s system usage. We’ve turned off some non-desirable workflows.’ — Agent Productive Agency Visits for Insurance Carriers © 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008

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Assistance in Workflow Improvement: POWER of Change® Seminar The POWER of Change® (Performance-Oriented Workflows Ensure Results) training helps eliminate the anxiety many independent agencies face when trying to adopt new technology-based workflows. Agency principals and staffers learn about the new workflows and technologies available today and how these can help their businesses more efficiently process business and become more profitable. They also see how to help their distribution partners implement change. The updated POWER of Change is built around five points: focusing on the customer, finding the costs, getting the costs out, streamlining the workflow, and ensuring results. The updated program incorporates a video, workbook, implementation book, facilitator manual and PowerPoint presentation. During the presentation agency principals and staffers are urged to immediately change their workflows to incorporate Real Time and Download, to capture this "found" time and put it to use for better purposes, such as implementing programs for cross-selling/up-selling, client retention and new-business development. Attendees also are urged to engage all their agency’s staffers to identify problems, workflows and to brainstorm solutions. Carriers and agent associations can support the program by sponsoring sessions for their stakeholders and reinforcing the role positive change can have on agency perpetuation and prosperity. For information about hosting a session: www.acord.org/Resources/power_change.aspx.

‘We’re going to do everything we can to get more agents on board, so individual agents as well as the entire industry can truly reap the benefits of using Real Time.’ — Carrier executive

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© 2007-2008 ACORD Corporation – All Rights Reserved AUGIE – ACORD User Group Information Exchange Updated March 2008


www.acord.org


Productive Agency Visits For Insurance Carriers