Grow and achieve more with agency automation

March 1, 2024

In a rapidly evolving world driven by innovation and digital technologies, staying ahead of the curve is paramount for businesses—specifically in the insurance industry. Insurance agencies face high volumes of paperwork, complex processes, intricate regulations, risk management, and the consistently growing demand for smooth customer service. Today’s competitive market requires independent agents to use tools that take on these challenges while improving operational efficiency, simplifying tasks and ensuring a competitive edge.

Agents can achieve these benefits by investing in automation software for their agency. From employee workflows to customer and prospect outreach, automation software creates a better experience across your agency and helps to increase revenue.

What is agency automation?

Automating your operations sounds great on paper, but some agents may ask, “What exactly does agency automation mean?” Agency automation happens within the agency management system and simplifies repetitive, labor-intensive tasks and processes, including policy administration, claims processing, customer service, billing, and marketing activities. Automation has the capacity to improve several areas, such as allocation and monitoring of daily responsibilities, sale and service protocols, and customer engagement methods. In fact, a McKinsey report suggests that by 2025, several insurance operations could be fully automated, resulting in a 40%-60% potential reduction in operations and claims costs.[1] Because automation can help streamline agency operations, it allows employees more time to focus on their customers and build revenue, making it an increasingly integral part of the insurance industry and a tool to consider for the future of your agency.

How automation can help your business

Now that you have a better understanding of what agency automation is, we can dive into how embracing automation can have enormous benefits for your agency. Insurance automation has the power to solve many of the challenges agencies face in today’s market, from tedious, paper-based claims processing to long wait times for customer support, and that’s just scratching the surface. There are numerous possibilities for automation in the insurance industry—but here are the top 6 reasons agencies need automation:

No. 1: Helps improve client relationships. As insurance professionals, we all know the importance of establishing and building our client relationships. However, it can be overwhelming to meet daily responsibilities, complete all tasks, and provide superior customer service that your clients deserve. This is where insurance automation software steps in. Instead of having staff members spend time monitoring client milestones, you can use automation to track and send out timely communications. Automating touch bases with insureds regarding important dates and updates—from birthdays to renewals and policy change notices—increases client satisfaction. Automation software also enables easy, personalized communication for clients based on their history and preferences, leading to better engagement. This way, you can let clients know you care and communicate policy changes promptly without diverting resources from more revenue-generating projects.

No. 2: Simplifies document management. Insurance professionals deal with a large volume of documents daily, including policies, claims, and reports. As agencies transition from manual document management processes to a tech-driven future, it can be daunting to know when and how to simplify document management.

Automation software dramatically simplifies document management by digitizing paperwork. Policies, clients’ claims, quotes, invoices, and more can be stored in a streamlined, accessible, and searchable database. Automation reduces the risk of losing documents or data, eliminating the need for physical storage spaces and the time-consuming task of manual filing. It also allows for easy retrieval and sharing of data, with optimal data security measures in place. Insurance automation software supports real-time updates for constant system information, and can produce accurate reports quickly, saving resources and time. Locating and sharing documents also is faster and easier so you can deliver the correct paperwork every time to both carriers and insureds.

No. 3: Boosts agency productivity and sales. If you are an agent who wants to increase your agency’s productivity and boost your sales, then insurance automation is the solution you need. Automation software simplifies tasks such as claims processing, underwriting, policy administration, payments, and reporting. Automation can perform simple, repetitive, but essential tasks faster and more dependably, giving your staff extra time in the day for other assignments while reducing human error for greater accuracy.

Increased productivity also leads to increased sales opportunities. Automation software can help you never miss a sale by creating automatic reminders to identify past prospects and indicate the ideal time to reach out. It also can be incorporated into your system, allowing you to generate leads from your quote data and book of business to take advantage of all cross-selling and recapturing opportunities.

No. 4: Increases client retention. Now more than ever, client retention should be a focus of every agency’s strategy because acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing customers, according to a HubSpot report.[2] Automation allows you to engage with all renewals, assuring maximum retention. It also can assist in analyzing policies during renewal download and prioritize them based on risk. Then, you can concentrate on the clients who are most likely to leave. Meanwhile, customers who are likely to renew will receive automated messages, reassuring them that their policies are in line with the current market and that you are available for further discussions.

Automation enables effective communication through automated emails, texts or online portals, allowing you and your agency to provide timely policy updates or respond quickly to customer inquiries. This improved communication fosters stronger relationships with clients and ultimately increases your client loyalty.

No. 5: Ensures carrier compliance. Frequent dependence on manual procedures can make an agency susceptible to errors and potential issues with compliance. To help adhere to the regulations and industry standards and avoid the stress of accidentally being noncompliant, utilize insurance automation software. Insurance automation streamlines the process of maintaining compliance with industry regulations and carrier standards by updating rules and procedures as they change automatically. Automated systems monitor regulatory changes in real time, and they adjust compliance rules accordingly—saving you from manual tracking and updating.

Insurance automation software often includes built-in features specifically designed to address compliance. These may include pre-programmed rules, templates, and review processes that recognize and incorporate new regulations and standards from various carriers.

Automation also ensures the consistent application of these rules across an organization, eliminating the risk of human error that could lead to noncompliance. You can put your mind at ease as automation helps you keep track of the small details that greatly impact compliance and adhere to necessary compliance procedures.

No. 6: Collects reviews and referrals from clients. Whenever people are interested in trying a new restaurant, what is the first thing that most people do? They go online to check out the reviews and recommendations of others who have visited the establishment to see if the restaurant is worth the time and patronage. Your customers do the same thing. Reviews and client referrals are key ingredients to growing your agency, but manually prompting your clients to write reviews or referrals can be time-consuming. Insurance automation can help you obtain reviews and referrals easily.

After a client has a positive experience with your agency, automation software creates designated triggers that instantly request referrals or reviews. The quantity of positive reviews, from engines like Google, enhances your agency’s brand in terms of trust, awareness, and search engine optimization. Client referrals also translate to high-quality new business leads. According to a survey by Constant Contact, 82% of small-business owners cite referrals as the primary source of new business.[3] Your independent insurance agency can boost its reputation and credibility with customers by leveraging the power of positive reviews and referrals through automation.

Agency automation is a transformative tool that offers significant benefits for agencies aiming for swift, affordable growth and enhanced efficiency. Its versatility covers a broad spectrum of operations—such as customer retention, ensured compliance and simplified task management—making it an all-in-one solution for growth. The increased productivity gained via automation not only improves operational efficiency but also bolsters profit margin, a major advantage for any agency. The absence of this tool could indeed mean missed opportunities in optimizing potential and growth. Thus, agency automation is an indispensable tool for any business looking to grow. Quite simply, if your agency harnesses the power of automation today, you will be better equipped for the business landscape of tomorrow.

[1] Insurance 2030—The impact of AI on the future of insurance, 2021

[2] HubSpot Annual State of Service in 2022, 2022

[3] Constant Contact Technology Pulse Survey, 2023

Vijay Rengarajan
EZLynx | + posts

Vijay is the director of product management at EZLynx. His passion is delighting customers with intuitive products that drive efficiency and growth for agencies. He holds an MBA from Texas A&M International University, with a specialization in strategic management and he holds his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation. He is an innovative strategist and effective product leader with over 16 years of experience in product management in the IT industry and property/casualty insurance domain.

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