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Checklist of Profitable Opportunities to Improve Agency Workflows

by Laura Nettles, Nettles Consulting Network, Inc.
 
1. Establish Workflow Guidelines Eliminating Unnecessary Steps
  • Evaluate effective use of diary follow up feature allowing enough time to receive and process each transaction
  • Eliminate redundant use of cover letters
  • Replace printing and mailing all correspondence and ACORD forms (certificates, binders, applications) with e-mail and electronic faxing
  • Implement download with all carriers if available - monitoring to ensure data integrity
2. Streamline Routine Processes
  • Stop paper with downloaded carriers
  • Eliminate traditional paper second requests – instead always call for follow up
  • Check and invoice policies and endorsements as received – do not hold
  • Process endorsement request on-line – eliminate hand-written notes
3. Evaluate Service Structure
  • Consider combining small commercial and personal lines into a Family Business Unit
  • Increase capacity in mid/large commercial unit by:
  • Moving smallest accounts from small commercial unit to a service center
  • Move smaller accounts currently in mid/large commercial unit to the small accounts unit (you actually increase the commission threshold for the small accounts unit)
  • Define the service and processing role by:
  • upgrading the role of the assistant to assume more of the routine processes like issuing on-demand certificates, policy checking, processing endorsements, audits, cancellations, etc.
  • freeing up the CSR (from routine processes) to be more service oriented providing quality support to clients and producers in the marketing process and dealing with complicated insurance issues
  • Consider centralizing processing by having all incoming routine requests (certificate request, endorsement requests, etc.) go to a central processing unit and distribute according to volume
  • Offer 24x7 service to clients
4. Implement Transactional Filing in All Departments
  • Personal Lines
  • Small Commercial Lines
  • Commercial Lines
  • Benefits
  • Claims
5. Define Workflow Guidelines
  • Integrate agency management system and practical insurance process
  • Create task forces to define guidelines
  • Define service standards
  • Establish workflow steps streamlining wherever possible
  • Establish monitoring guidelines to ensure compliance
6. Streamline Certificate Process
  • Implement client issued certificates on-line
  • E-mail or electronically fax all certificates to holders, client and carriers
  • Document source of certificate request on-line
  • Discard supporting documentation
7. Streamline Endorsement Process
  • Train clients to request routine endorsements via e-mail or fax
  • Eliminate second request – call carrier for follow up
  • Process and invoice endorsements as received – do not hold
  • Eliminate cover letters
8. Streamline Renewal Process
  • Establish a renewal time-line creating target dates for tasks including
  • Meeting with production, marketing, claims and service to determine renewal strategy
  • Guidelines for gathering updated renewal information
  • Submission guidelines for getting complete and accurate submission to markets
  • Submission guidelines for renewing with incumbent carrier
  • Tracking methods for conversations and follow up
  • Proposal guidelines
  • Binding coverage guidelines
  • Define ownership of renewal time-line by
  • Defining responsibility for each task in the time-line (producer or CSR)
  • Having the CSR make sure all tasks get done according to the time-line regardless of who actually does the task
  • Use system generated schedules and summaries to gather updated renewal information
  • Order loss runs on-line
  • Prepare and track submissions electronically
  • Implement integrated proposal system
  • Obtain policy numbers and payment plans from the carrier when binding coverage
9. Streamline Claims Process
  • Move clients to direct report
  • Establish guidelines for monitoring claims
  • Eliminate unnecessary carrier follow up – only follow up based on a request from the client or producer
  • Implement a client service schedule defining claims monitoring for each client – consider including a follow up with the client when the claim is settled
10. Define Document Management Guidelines
  • Use agency management system as primary electronic file
  • Define guidelines for storing third party documents outside the agency management system
  • Implement scanning
11. Be Prepared to take Agency Workflows to the Next Level
  • Attend User Group Meetings
  • Attend Industry Conferences (ACORD, High Tecc, Big I, etc.)
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​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556
email: info@iiaba.net

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