Being an independent insurance agent doesn’t mean having to go it alone, especially when it comes to using technology to manage the client lifecycle and streamline agency tasks. One way your carrier partners can help you take full advantage of modern technology is by optimizing your digital connectivity through insurance data downloads and other carrier-supported automation capabilities to your agency management system (AMS).
After investing in an AMS and setting up automations, leaning on a carrier’s solutions to enhance digital connectivity means agencies can do more in less time, reduce errors and omissions risks, and deliver on customer expectations. This article explains how it all fits together.
Agent and carrier collaborations
Carriers recognize that having access to clean and accurate data is essential to insurance agency success. To support data connectivity, carriers provide agents with access to automation solutions that sync data and useful tools for running everyday agency activities. Whether it’s keeping account records current to gaining operational insights, there are numerous ways agents can use carrier automations to their advantage, such as:
- Insurance data downloads—Agencies tap into a carrier’s insurance data download automation to manage the flow of policy and account information from a carrier’s system to their AMS, ensuring data is fresh and accurate. By setting up automated daily updates through a third-party tool to your AMS, agency staff can efficiently manage renewals, endorsements, new business, cancellations, claims, loss run reporting, commissions and client communications.
- Electronic services—With electronic document automation, agency staff can conveniently access policy, billing and claims files from a carrier directly from their AMS without having to go outside their AMS for the most accurate and complete information.
- Quote integration—Researching a carrier’s appetite for specific lines of business, quoting and binding can all be streamlined with access to quote integration automation within an agency’s AMS. With the ability to set up comp rater functionality, defaults and other quoting preferences, agents can optimize the sourcing, quoting and binding process through carrier-enabled automation and third-party tools that support operational efficiency.
Available at no additional cost to agents, carrier data automations give agency staff access to current policyholder records plus access to tools and information to service customers, track claims, run operations, and quote and bind business more quickly and easily—all from one secure location.
Carrier collaborations with vendors
There are numerous third-party technology tools you can use to digitize sales and service activities, including the carrier-vendor automations that support data downloads to your AMS. Carriers collaborate with third-party vendors and system integrators to ensure their automation features provide agencies accessibility and data sharing efficiency. This means carrier automations are designed to sync a wide variety of data from a vast range of third-party vendors with the goal of providing data automation that’s compatible with an agency’s AMS software.
The benefit of setting up your agency’s AMS to accept automated carrier data downloads means your account records are always fresh and you can reduce risk with policy information built on ACORD standards. To enable your AMS to receive policy data updates, carriers collaborate with third-party vendors to build data paths from their systems to yours. You’ll set up a unique account with a third-party data integrator—Nationwide partners with Ivans—and configure your AMS to receive automated downloads from the carriers with which you write business. Updated carrier data files are pushed daily and either batched for your review before downloading or synced automatically to your AMS policy records so you can run day-to-day business based on the most accurate and up-to-date information.
In addition to data downloads, carrier collaborations with third-party vendors also add convenience to everyday agency activities with automation tools for finding markets, rating, quoting, binding and servicing customers.
Insurance agency software
For agencies keen on delivering personalized policyholder and client experiences, using real-time data from carrier downloads is essential. At the heart of data automation sits an agency’s AMS with carrier data automation and third-party software integrations that can support every phase of the insurance life cycle. Common automation features supported by carrier automations that agents rely on include:
- Rating and quoting—Comparative raters digitize the personal lines rating process and enable agents to present the most accurate and bindable rates to clients. Quoting engines automate personal lines policy delivery and commercial lines application submittals to a carrier to save time and gain efficiencies.
- Finding markets—Market-finder software enables agents to source carrier appetite for a specific business to write more business quickly and efficiently.
- Managing documents —Data download automation enabled through third-party integrators, such as Ivans, sends electronic documents, messages and claims information directly to an agency’s AMS, keeping quotes, policies and documents fresh, accurate and easily accessible from one place.
- Automating marketing—Email marketing automation nurtures leads and engages existing clients, replacing the need for manual, time-consuming marketing efforts.
- Running operations—Reporting based on accurate data brings meaningful information to the surface, such as new business in the pipeline, client lifecycle trends, agent productivity, policies by carrier and commission tracking.
Recognizing there’s a wide array of insurance AMS systems on the market, Nationwide’s automaton solutions integrate data from many insurance software vendors and are recognized among the most comprehensive in the industry. You can check out the full list of AMS systems supported, the data you can sync for each and additional automation services in this handy automation and integration reference chart. And for agents joining the Nationwide network, a useful book transfer tool to automate data policy record transfers is offered.
Implementing modern automation technology solutions enables agencies to spend less time managing information and more time servicing customers. Leveraging your carrier partners’ data automation capabilities helps agency staff manage customer inquiries and quote and close sales more quickly and efficiently without added costs.
Whether it’s helping agents optimize operations through technology or providing a cyber-safe environment to work in, Nationwide believes agent-carrier automation collaborations can be a differentiator to an agency’s success. We invite you to learn more about our comprehensive automation solutions and begin benefitting from all that digital connectivity has to offer by learning how we partner with you.