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November 12, 2015

Carriers: 3 Ways to Get Ahead in 2016

3 Ways to Get Ahead Banner

By: Sydney Beaudreault

With 2015 coming to a close and 2016 rapidly approaching, you have probably established your long-terms goals and you are working to finalize the near-term 2016 goals. You not only want these goals to improve business now, but increase your long-term success and competitiveness as well.

Let's start with the near-term goals.

How can you gain efficiency, enhance long-term success, and increase agent and customer satisfaction?

One key is adopting new technology solutions.

Especially with the increasing demand of convenience from millennials, it is more apparent than ever that carriers are looking to technology experts for their business solutions.

However, in the recent Core Operations Modernization in the Global Insurance Industry white paper, Ovum analysts state that the data "suggests that carriers lack confidence in the maturity of current offerings of integrated platforms."

Carriers continue to be concerned with the internal results of their integrated platform initiatives. They realize they would be less competitive without modernizing their internal systems, but as technology providers try to build broad, integrated solutions, they tend to dilute their core competencies and deliver weaker capabilities in areas they lack expertise.

Successful carriers now realize that the best approach to effectively leverage technology is a combination of core and special purpose solutions.

Carriers need to first ensure their core operational systems are technologically current and meet their business needs. They are also leveraging special purpose technology solutions, like producer compliance solutions, for credential and sales authorization management as well as distribution channel connectivity. The special purpose solutions are often best implemented as centralized, enterprise-wide service that can be integrated with the other core operational applications.

Here are three areas that you can improve with a clear and effective technology strategy in 2016 to improve your long-term success:

  1. Speed time to revenue
    • If you're still using paper processing and wet signatures for onboarding, you are not easy to do business with. Onboarding is the first impression new agents have of doing business with your organization. Technology today has the ability to get your agents authorized to sell in minutes or hours versus days or weeks.

    • In today's just-in-time, want-it-now world, speed matters.
  2. Improve data quality
    • Duplicate, inaccurate, and out-of-date information creates hidden costs and compliance risks that grow over time. Today, data cleansing and synchronization solutions exist and becoming more common in the industry.
    • This article advises 3 economical ways to get and keep your data fresh and accurate.
  3. Respond quickly and effectively to change
    • The rate of State regulatory changes continues to increase. In 2015 there were 50% more changes than 2013, for example.
    • However, it is harder than ever to keep track of changes, and to update technology systems to stay compliant. The regulatory and technical expertise required is substantial. Today, software delivered as a service allows carriers to leverage updates efficiently and effectively. In addition, knowledge resources such as e-PAL from Vertafore or the SILA digest are available to help keep you informed of current rules, procedures, and changes for all regulatory jurisdictions.

    These are three key ways carriers can improve their business near and long-term, while also delivering a better agent experience. Keep these ideas in mind as you finalize your 2016 plans.

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    Sydney Beaudreault

    Sydney Beaudreault is a Technical Writer – Marketing Specialist for Vertafore's Sircon solution set. Sydney graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Professional Writing and an emphasis in Public Relations. When Sydney isn't in Vertafore's East Lansing office, you can find her with her dog, Koda, or in the stands cheering on the Spartans.