ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 30, 2009 — The Independent Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) recently introduced a new web-based agency resource called the Big “I” Virtual Risk Consultant (VRC) powered by Rough Notes to help members better serve their customers, generate increased sales and lower their exposure to E&O claims.
“One in five claims that we see with the Big ‘I’ Professional Liability Program are a direct result of recommendation or risk assessment errors alleged against the agent,” says David Hulcher, Big “I” director of agency E&O risk management. “The VRC will go a long way to help agents avoid these types of claims and will increase the professionalism of agency staff.”
The VRC offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help agency staff better understand customer operations and to identify risk exposure with business specific questionnaires and checklists that also provide solid customer file documentation should a claim arise. This powerful product allows members to create more professional customer proposals and effectively explain complex insurance coverage. The VRC also provides invaluable content to assist the agency in successfully promoting its services in the way of pre-written business letters and hundreds of articles for use in customer communications and marketing.
“The VRC was created at the direction of the volunteer member agents who realized we had not only found a great E&O risk management and file documentation tool but also a tremendous enhancement to agency productivity, professionalism and profit,” says Jack Sherrill, chairman of the Big “I” loss control working group and founder and senior partner of Sherrill & Company in Savannah, Ga.
“The VRC is a culmination of a diligent search of the marketplace for an affordable and easy to use risk analysis tools that will help agencies grow their business. It is thorough, affordable, and easy to use. The product is supported by a strong partner in Rough Notes and their 130 years of experience providing technical insurance content to agents. I strongly believe that member agents will see a positive return on investment, whether it is in growing their business or avoiding the cost of their E&O deductible, by subscribing to the VRC,” Sherrill adds.
“Helping in the development of VRC has been a great opportunity for me to participate in creating the most dynamic sales tool and technical resource available to the independent agent,” says Peggy Ogren, Rough Notes vice president of sales. “Knowing that every agent in the nation will benefit from having it on their desktop has made this the most worthwhile experience I’ve had in the insurance business. Rough Notes and I are especially honored to be partnered with the Big ‘I’ and VRC.”
Members can learn more and purchase the VRC directly at www.iiaba.net/VRC. An annual subscription for an agency with 15 or fewer users is $250 per year, per state. The fee for agencies with over 15 users is $500. A four year subscription for the price of three at $750 and $1500 depending on agency user count is also available. This compares very favorably to similar products in the marketplace.
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 and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.