Unisource Insurance and it’s 20+ employees have been a southern Wisconsin staple for close to 40 years. Founder Paul Brunner started out selling life insurance after hours and grew it to a full-time operation. As the agency continued to develop, Paul hired on his brother and other family members to keep up with expansion. When Paul’s daughter Andrea Nelson and her husband, Bob, took ownership of the family-run business, Andrea saw a new opportunity to grow: upgrading their agency management system.
Moving from a 25-year legacy system wasn’t easy. But, Andrea saw the potential for updated technology, better value, and improved service. After big-name providers fell flat, Andrea found Partner XE and SIS. She sat down with us to talk about why SIS was the right fit. Our conversation covered:
It took Matt Derrenberger and his agency, Ann Arbor Insurance Associates, three years to find their new agency management system provider. What took them so long? A determination to find the right fit.
Matt and his team were looking for two things: a system to improve operations and a provider that listened. They found both in Partner XE and SIS. “We didn’t just want somebody new; we wanted the right fit. In the end, it was a total team choice to go with SIS,” Matt said.
Best practices for choosing a new management system
What to look for in a provider
Key click-saving agency management features
Hear from other Partner XE community members on our client stories page. We’re proud to serve these agencies with a management system that streamlines operations and improves their ability to do business. Find out more about Partner XE, its capabilities, and our team by contacting us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!
Online marketing, like all marketing, is about standing out. It’s differentiating from the crowd – showing off what makes your business and product unique.
Online insurance agency marketing demands time and resources to achieve this, yet agencies too often neglect marketing efforts. Independent agencies have distinct value points and culture, yet their online branding efforts take a backseat. With over 38,000 independent insurance agencies in the U.S., communicating your value proposition is critical. But, all value is lost in a cookie-cutter, template-based website. You’ve worked so hard to build your agency’s brand – why let it get lost in a sea of sameness?
Take a moment to make your agency website stand out.
Start by clearly defining your value. What is it that makes you stand out in your industry and locality? It could be a niche market, like serving small business owners or emergency service vehicles. Maybe you pride yourself in utilizing the latest technology, or you have great customer service stories. Whatever it is, make it front and center on your website.
Next, show your agency’s personality. Add elements to your site that show off not only what you do, but who you are as an agency. This can be candid photos of staff or even quirky “About Us” descriptions for your leadership. Show off your local team spirit or share a joke – something to show prospects that you’ve got a distinct company culture.
Once a prospect or customer finds your agency website, they shouldn’t have to fumble around to get connected. The first step is optimizing your site for all devices. Web searches are no longer confined to a computer: phones, tablets, and other devices now display web pages, too. Make sure your website is easy to read on each.
If you have a social presence (and you should!), integrate social media with your website. Have links to your social profiles on the footer of each page and include social sharing buttons on any relevant content.
Your agency website should also include intuitive, easy to find forms. Prospects and customers alike will appreciate simple, straight-forward methods to request information. Include ways to file a claim, request policy changes and ID cards, and access certificates of insurance. These easily accessible services not only streamline your operations, they boost your customer connection.
Get tips on how to organize your site for ease of use here
Nothing is worse than a static site. The nature of the online world is that it’s always changing. Stay relevant with new content. Whether it’s sharing industry news or managing a blog, keep things fresh. Switch out photos and mix up your homepage’s featured content. These little updates show your agency is present and dynamic.
It’s also important to use the latest technology. This doesn’t mean you need a cutting edge, highly stylized site. Focus on elements like modern design, navigation widgets, and sticky menus. Look around at other agency sites for ideas and start integrating what works for you.
Agency websites may be a common thing, but doing the common things uncommonly well is critical to your insurance agency website success. Give your virtual storefront the time and care it deserves. The payoff will be huge.
At SIS, we know and value taking time to craft a quality product that is uniquely “us.” That’s why we continually connect with our clients to improve our Partner XE management system. Each Partner XE update is full of enhancements requested and tested by our clients.
Want to find out what makes SIS and Partner XE unique? Check out our about us page or contact us at [email protected] to get connected today.
Your agency management system is a staple of operations, but is it living up to its full potential? Don’t get stuck in the routine or afraid to test out your system’s capabilities. Go beyond data entry to make the most of your management system and boost agency productivity.
Check out all the ways to utilize your system in our latest infographic, My Agency Management System Can Do That?!
In 1997, Bill Bishop got his start in the independent insurance business when he purchased an insurance agency with one location and a single employee. Almost 20 years later, Associated Insurance Agencies has grown to seven locations with over 50 employees. We recently sat down with Bill to talk about one of the most important aspects of agency operations: an agency’s management system and provider.
In our discussion, we covered:
Which capabilities matter in an insurance agency management system
How to evaluate an agency management system’s ease of use
What to look for in an agency management system provider
When to know it’s time to switch providers
Find more information on what to look for in a system and provider through our many resources. Think Partner XE may be a fit for you? Contact us to set up a demo.
Automation plays a significant role in many industries, and insurance is no exception. The rapid innovations of insurtech have thrust data and automation into the forefront of ways to improve and enhance agency operations.
One of the most prominent data automation uses is in the underwriting process. Due to digitized automation processes, agencies are seeing loss ratios decrease and overall premiums increase. According to Willis Towers Watson, over 60% of agencies surveyed say the predictive analytics of automated underwriting have reduced issues and brought down expenses.
Underwriting automation has great value, but the wealth of data and required processing power can be daunting for the average agency. Yet, if your agency can put in place the right processes and people to gain and manage underwriting data, you can see a big change.
A lot has changed over the past few years due to the unexpected disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. All industries felt the impact, and the insurance industry is no exception. One of the most notable disruptions is the speed at which changes took place, especially around customer expectations and marketing.
What Your Agency Needs to Know About Insurance Marketing
Changes in insurance agency marketing that were projected to solidify in 5 to 10 years ended up evolving rapidly in just two. Chances are you’ve already made some of these adjustments to keep up with immediate demand, but there are other more “behind the scenes” adjustments agencies are making that you should note
The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 left a lasting impact on the world, including how we do business. Quarantine and frequent lockdowns forced us to stay home, and the changes in customer expectations, work environments, and operations remain today.
Insurance agencies that weathered these changes have a few things in common. For one, they had the right insurance software to make the quick transition to remote work and service. Secondly, they have an enduring attitude of being open to change and a readiness to adapt. While we cannot predict what will disrupt the market next, we can use these markers to prepare with the right mindset, tools, and systems for the next unexpected interruption.