I’ve been working with our partner agencies on the best ways to deliver insurance customer service for almost ten years. In that time, I’ve seen trends rise and fall, and some morph into the “new normal” for insurance providers. The latest in those trends turned expectation is the customer portal.
Why you need a client portal
A website alone is no longer enough for your policy holders. Your customers now expect your website to give them access to their account, anytime, anywhere they can connect to the internet. They’re looking for a portal that gives them access to policy and claims information, proof of insurance, and the ability to update their contact info among other elements.
I’ve encountered agencies who’ve won and lost business based on having (or not having) a client portal.
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What it should offer: Personal Lines
What’s worse than not having a client portal? Jumping into one without the right elements. When planning out your agency’s client portal, be sure to include access to:
- Policy lists with driver and vehicle information
- Claims information and statuses
- Auto ID cards and proof of insurance forms
- Company generated declaration pages
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What it should offer: Commercial Lines
Client portals aren’t just for individuals. Commercial lines customers are looking for this anytime access, too. They’ll look for the same elements as personal lines customers, plus:
- Ability to easily access policy information and generate auto ID cards
- Clearly defined claims information and status updates
- Quick access to agency contact information
- Access to certificates of insurance and certificate holder lists*
- Ability to create new holder certificates based off agency-approved templates
*This is especially important for large accounts and trucking companies requiring quick certificates issuing at all hours of the day.
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What it should offer: Your Agency
Because a client portal serves your agency too, there are also considerations to take on your end. The client portal should offer your agency a well-rounded list of permissions to allow or not allow certain users from being able to view/print/issue all of the different features above. And, as with any aspect of your agency that deals with client data, it should work well with your management system.
At SIS, we’ve been working on our client portal offering, focusing on how we can help our agencies better serve their commercial and personal lines customers. We’ve worked with our partner agencies to add the most essential client portal elements and are piloting the portal with a few agencies this summer. We look forward to hearing from these agencies as we work to roll out the portal to all Partner XE users later this year.
This is just the start. As we continue to connect with our users, we will have additional enhancements based on their needs. You can read more about what Partner XE can offer your agency here. Then, get in touch with us to talk about how we can partner with your agency for success.