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Sep 21
Agent, Carrier Communication Key to MFA Success

When it comes to maintaining successful relationships, communication is key. This has always been true of the agent-carrier relationship, even as the industry's dependence on technology has evolved and increased.


Now, as the industry moves toward full adoption of multi-factor authentication (MFA), agent-carrier communication will be more important than ever.


MFA creates a more secure connection for the sharing of sensitive data between carriers and agents. But as with any new technology, MFA implementation presents challenges for both carriers and agents.


Throughout my 30-year career in the insurance industry working to improve digital interfaces between agents and carriers, the goal has always been to make business more efficient, which ultimately provides a better experience to customers.


Communication has always been a key component of this process.


When I worked for carriers, I traveled across the country getting to know many different agencies and learning about their workflows, as well as their pain points with company interfaces. A consistent theme I've heard from agents over the years is that carriers don't realize how complicated it has become for them to work with multiple carrier systems, all of which require different information of agents and different processes.


One of the biggest advantages independent agents provide is choice, which means they work with an average of 12 to 15 carriers at a time. That translates into numerous website logins for agents to keep track of plus numerous workflows to learn and manage.


Agents are becoming increasingly bogged down as carriers now beef up their cybersecurity. Nearly half of the agents that responded to the Agent Council for Technology's 2022 MFA survey said their carrier partners are requiring the use of MFA to access agency-carrier portals.


Carriers that implement MFA requirements without considering the agent impact run the risk of further complicating the agent workflow and alienating agencies from their books of business.


There is no question that agents want carriers to deploy better technology and take advantage of MFA; more than 70% of agent respondents to the ACT survey said they see value in secured authentication like MFA and were open to carriers implementing it if done in a similar way.


But agents are looking for carrier support and proper preparation of MFA changes. For consistency, agents would prefer to utilize MFA through SignOn Once by ID Federation rather than implement a new process. For carriers, supporting SignOn Once reduces the risk of new technology because agents are invested in their agency management system. As with any technology changes, agents must communicate with carriers what is and isn't working, and what carriers can do to simplify the process, such as using a streamlined option like SignOn Once by ID Federation.


ID Federation is also here to help, and has urged the industry take a consistent approach to the rollout of MFA. SignOn Once was developed to allow agents to connect with all participating carriers through one sign in, eliminating the need for them to keep track of multiple interface credentials.


Both carriers and agents have a responsibility to talk, listen and learn about the new technology challenges they face, and to identify solutions that make the agency-carrier portal process easier, not more complicated.


Alvito Vaz is newly appointed business development manager for ID Federation in charge of leading its industrywide rollout of the SignOn Once single-sign-on identity management solution. Throughout his career, Alvito has participated as a member of multiple industry organizations, to include ACT. In his role with ID Federation, Alvito succeeds Irv Kantar. He can be reached at



Big I Agent Council for Technology Multi-Factor Authentication Survey Report


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