Agencies are constantly looking for ways to build and improve efficiency. However, many fall short. Why? The answer lies in which tools agencies are using – or not using – to streamline processes.

With so many out there, it can be hard to tell which are “worth it,” causing many agencies to hold off on adding to their toolbox. The prospect of investing time and money in new tools adds to this resistance. Yet there are some that stand the test of time, delivering a guaranteed return on investment and boost in efficiency. Two of those essential tools are personal and commercial lines insurance downloads.

The Why: Benefits of Personal and Commercial Insurance Downloads

Personal and commercial lines downloads allow agencies to connect directly with carriers and electronically download policy information. Once set up, these downloads automatically pull policy coverage, locations, drivers, premiums, etc. right into an agency’s management system.

As with any great tool, personal and commercial lines downloads require preparation and training. But, the benefits of this tool far outweigh any costs. With insurance lines downloads, agencies experience:

  • Consistent data entry, leading to faster processing time
  • Decrease in policy errors, boosting E&O protection
  • Better customer service through quicker response times
  • Less time devoted to data entry and more time devote to agency development

The How: Setting Up Insurance Lines Downloads

To gain these benefits, agencies should follow a few simple steps to ensure insurance lines downloads operate efficiently.

Step 1: Make a plan

Start by gathering information. Talk to your agency management system provider about personal and commercial lines downloads and find out what they provide regarding service. Then decide who in your agency will be involved in implementation. Pick someone with technical knowledge and skills as well as a member of your customer service team. Together, take what you know, and form a timeline for testing, training, and implementation.

Step 2: Certify and verify

Check with your agency management system provider to ensure the carriers you work with are certified for download. If not, your provider should work to add those carriers. Next, talk with your carriers. Make sure they are equipped to download and secure contact information from their tech support to go over details. Finally, verify data entry with your management system provider. Know where information will go: ideally into the data fields you choose.

Step 3: Test and tweak

Once you have everything set up, test the system with one carrier. Choose one you work with frequently, preferably a carrier with a large policy count for maximum impact. You should have a good relationship with this carrier, as you’ll be working closely with them during testing. Stay in touch with this carrier and your management system provider throughout the process. Work out any kinks, adjusting your process now so you won’t run into trouble later.

The Who: Finding the Right Provider

The process of syncing personal and commercial lines downloads can be tricky, but it is well worth the effort up front for the lasting benefits gained. To make things easier, it’s important to find a provider that is available to help throughout the process. Search for one you can trust, ensuring you can rely on their experience and expertise to bring about success.

Read more on what to look for in an agency management system provider.

The SIS team has walked dozens of agencies through the insurance lines download process with our Partner XE management system. We’re constantly working to make the processes as easy as possible, connecting with carriers, industry partners, and agencies to hear their experiences. We update our carrier list regularly, adding new lines of business and carrier contacts at the request of our clients.

To hear more about how SIS works with clients and the recent updates to our Partner XE system, contact us at 800.747.7005, Option 6.

Bryce Lee has been a part of the Strategic Insurance Software team since 2009, working in a variety of capacities including client acquisition and implementation, agency training and account management. As Partner XE Product Manager Bryce collaborates with the Partner XE User Community, industry partners, and business partners to set the vision and priorities for the Partner XE roadmap.

He organizes and leads product workgroups and manages the team creating product and user requirements. Bryce is an AUGIE Ambassador and highly involved with ACT. He also serves as an advisor to the Partner XE User Community Board.