Alexandria, Va., July 7, 2009 – The Retail Agent—E&S Market Initiative has released new guidance for managing general agents and wholesale brokers in a report titled, “Roadmap to Effective General Agent (GA) Web sites.”
“This roadmap establishes a directional guide to assist managing general agents and wholesale brokers (GAs) in building out their Web site functionality so that it responds to the needs of retail agents (RAs) and prepares GAs for future integration with RAs and GA back-end systems, raters and carriers,” says Eldon Hunsicker, an independent agent with NOEL Insurance Agency in Ottumwa, Iowa and chair of the sub-group that created the report.
The basic “Roadmap” outlines a four-step process for the evolution of the ideal GA Web site functionality:
1.0 GENERATION 1: basic marketing information
2.0 GENERATION 2: login capability with a quick quote or indication generator and view/request/report capability
3.0 GENERATION 3: straight-through-processing from the GA Web site to back-end GA systems
4.0 GENERATION 4: offers Real Time, straight-through-processing to/from the RA management systems (upload and download) by integrating with the GA systems so the RA can work from and not need to leave their agency management system environment.
For a copy of the full report, go to www.iiaba.net/act and click on “E&S Market Issues.”
“The Retail Agent—E&S Market Initiative continues to make excellent progress,” says Angelyn Treutel, independent agent, ACT chair and co-chair of the work group. “The work group and its three subgroups now involve over 300 industry representatives including ACORD representatives, retail agents, general agents, wholesale brokers, E&S carriers and vendors all working to improve how retailers and MGA/Wholesalers do business together.”
“The E&S community is equally excited about the efficiencies general agents, wholesale brokers, and E&S carriers can derive from more efficient data flows between all of the involved parties,” adds John Deibler, director, Scottsdale Insurance and co-chair of the work group. “Real Time, download and going paperless represent the next major advances in agency workflow and are key to automating processing and move from a paper-based model to an electronic one. This roadmap is a step in the right direction of making this process a reality.”
The report also supports the overall working group’s other goals of incorporating the ACORD standards, increasing the use of standardized ACORD applications and developing standardized supplements where necessary in the E&S market.
The Independent Agents & Brokers of America’s Agents Council for Technology (ACT), the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) formed the Retail Agent—E&S Market Initiative in 2008 to improve the efficiencies for retail agents interacting with managing general agents and wholesale brokers in the E&S market and to promote the electronic exchange of data between the parties and among the various systems GAs use.
ACT: Established in January 1999 by the Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (the Big “I”), ACT provides a candid, action-oriented forum to address the critical workflow and technology issues facing the Independent Agency System. ACT helps participants understand the perspectives of the other stakeholders in the process and provides excellent networking opportunities with the participants who are shaping the future for the industry on these issues. For more information about ACT visit www.independentagent.com/act.
AAMGA: Since 1926, the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) has served as the trade association to international wholesale insurance professionals, and as a leader representing the interests of its members before the federal, state and local governmental and regulatory agencies, to elected officials and other industry trade associations in the US, Canada and Europe. Through its focus on fostering relationships, conducting market-wide meetings and educational sessions throughout the year, the AAMGA has earned its trusted reputation by serving as the catalyst to industry practitioners focused on the wholesale insurance marketplace.
NAPSLO: Founded in 1974, NAPSLO is a national trade association representing the surplus lines insurance industry. Surplus lines is a specialized segment of the insurance business that is also referred to as non-admitted, specialty and/or excess lines. Risks are placed with the surplus lines market when they cannot be placed in the admitted/licensed market. NAPSLO represents surplus lines insurance agents/brokers and surplus lines insurance companies. NAPSLO has over 1,600 member offices in the United States, Canada, Germany, and England. NAPSLO is on the web at www.napslo.org.
IIABA: Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.