You typically begin reminding your customers about policy renewals ninety days prior to the X-date. This timeframe provides a safe window to perform a number of tasks that require updates from the customer and information from your carrier partners. As we witness an influx of marketing, prospecting, sales and servicing tools for agencies, you and your peers demand a similar focus in the renewal space. This article is meant to get a head-start on uncovering the rising capabilities that assist you with the intricacies of renewal.
Renewal Marketing Automation
Throughout our Navigating Technology series, we have highlighted solutions that perform automated communications. Whether you are following up with prospects during the sales process or customers to add value to the moments during the coverage period, technology can play an integral role during the lifecycle. Many of the referenced systems are used to conduct automated renewal messaging.
Ninety days before renewal, you are likely alerting your customer that it is time to update their risk profile so you can determine what has changed personally and/or professionally. Integrated with your agency management system, your agency can use marketing automation tools to automatically send alerts that notify you and your customers of the approaching X-date. In addition, messaging campaigns can be deployed that include links to embedded forms on your website that are intended to collect customer data regarding new vehicle drivers in the family, business expansion due to revenue growth and hiring, the addition of a home swimming pool and other similar life events.
Certificates of Insurance
Certificates of insurance (COI) are not relegated to renewals alone; however, when a commercial customer makes changes to its policy at renewal, they require a COI for their end clients . Certificate solutions pull policy updates from agency management systems and issue updated COIs in real time. Centralizing the process and providing a quick turnaround allows agency staff to redirect their skillset and efforts towards solving for the complex.
The necessity to obtain loss runs in the commercial space is undeniable. These reports provide insight into claims filed during the coverage year, helping formulate outcomes for the new policy year. On average, carrier partners are required to provide a loss run report in ten days upon request. That request originates with your customer and flows through your agency. In this scenario, you are the go-between entity that tracks the process, relying on your customer’s sense of urgency and a window of time where your carrier partner will release the documentation to your customer. Because this is a critical step in commercial insurance and one where you depend on others but are required to stay involved, technology firms have realized the opportunity. There are now standalone and integrated solutions that facilitate the communication flow between the customer request and carrier fulfillment. As the agency, you are able to essentially “press go” and automate the exchange so you can move on to other steps required to complete the renewal.
Nationwide’s Enhanced Loss Analysis tool provides detailed insight into loss drivers and enables agents to share hyper-customized information with their clients. Understanding the customer’s business profile, agents can use this insight to connect customers to specific risk-mitigation resources such as the ones found on Nationwide’s Learning Center page or Programs page.
The tool is available on Agent Center under the Loss Activity link on the Admin & Reports tab. Key features and benefits include:
- Provides a single reference for loss analysis, trends and heat maps that can inform an organization’s risk-management program.
- Combination of high-level and granular data empowers customers with customized information, helping them make impactful business decisions
- Digital self-service offering that allows data analysis reporting when it’s convenient for you to pull
- Loss information can be viewed at the agency or account level
- Loss history dating back as far as 10 years can be viewed
Small commercial innovation continues to grow in the renewal space with the introduction of contract review solutions. Your commercial customers are trying to obtain coverage for business-to-business relationships. To close the business, they must review lengthy contracts that define the engagement, including clauses throughout the document that identify the required business policies and coverage limits. Technology that automates the review of contracts is a growing solutions segment to speed up the identification of insurance needs. The software is able to read multiple document types—like Word and PDF—and isolate insurance language that allows you to quickly note limits and initiate the quoting process.
Similar to contract review platforms, policy review solutions are built to compare current year policies with proposed new policies upon renewal. The technology is built to uncover differences between the contents of the two documents and then surface those discrepancies for resolution before bind and issuance.
Understanding the risk profile of your customers at any given moment helps to educate record details in your management system and create opportunities to retain, upsell and cross-sell. There are a number of digital forms providers that enable customers and agents to automate data collection and feed that data into quoting platforms or submit to underwriters to receive rates. Whether you use ACORD standards or custom intakes for specialized, niche coverage opportunities, using digitized forms enables you to gather and submit efficiently.
The renewal technology space is growing. Traditionally, innovation occurred in the marketing, sales and service arenas, and renewal activities were somewhat supported by front-end lifecycle tools, including agency management, customer relationship management (CRM) and quoting. As agents demand attention around maximizing their retention efforts, technologists have realized the critical need for, and vacancy in, renewal enablement offerings. We expect to see this area continue to mature as agents and tech providers put their heads together and relieve the heavily manual labor and follow up that is required to ensure a healthy lifetime value.
Read more of our navigating technology series
Part 1: How to simplify technology decisions by asking four fundamental questions about your agency
Part 2: Controlling the conversation with providers
Part 3: How to measure agency technology
Part 4: Sales innovation that increases efficiency
Part 5: Quoting innovations that assist agency growth
Part 6: Agency management system capabilities for growth and retention
Part 7: Customer service tools for a reliable and rewarding experience