The Best Software For Insurance Agency Management
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A daily deluge of paperwork is expected for anyone working in the insurance industry. Stacks of documents are created for every policy, claim, and new customer that makes up your practice.
Still, taking care of paperwork is only a small part of what an insurance agent must accomplish daily. As an agency grows, managing agents, sales commissions, leads, and client data becomes increasingly challenging.
There is no way to eliminate the necessary documentation associated with insurance coverage. However, with the right insurance agency tools, agents can streamline processes and automate tasks to reduce those stacks of documents and get back to serving customers. An insurance agency management system can digitize nearly every part of your business to streamline daily operations and allow agents to focus on the bigger picture.
What Is an Insurance Agency Management System?
An insurance agency management system (AMS) is agency management software customized for the insurance industry. AMS software for insurance is software as a service (SaaS) provided to automate multiple work processes performed by insurance agents on several levels.
Insurance agency management software manages financials, contacts, and daily tasks. It can also be further customized to meet your agency's unique needs and workflows.
Other functions of agency management software include simplifying internal communication, increasing employee productivity, and eliminating human error.
An insurance agency management system can help an insurance business manage clients and provide tools for payroll and billing. Most importantly, an agency management system enables you to save time so you can focus on high-level tasks.
There are a variety of AMS systems available on the market. By carefully considering the features that will most likely benefit your agency, you can find a management system that will streamline every process from lead generation to claims and renewals.
How Much Do Agency Management Systems Cost?
Agency management systems are typically cloud-based and provided as SaaS billed monthly. Depending on the features your AMS includes, the cost can range from $30 per employee per month to $300+ per employee per month.
A start-up fee may apply, meaning an up-front investment of several hundred to a few thousand dollars. Since these systems are highly customizable, many vendors will set up a consultation to provide an accurate price range. While your price range will depend heavily on the features you choose and the level of customization you need, it's essential to consider an AMS as an investment for your company that will save money in the future.
What Other Types of Software Do Insurance Companies Use?
Insurance agencies use various tools to streamline manual processes and eliminate human error. Insurance agency software can help you run different aspects of your business.
Insurance software can be implemented on a standalone basis, but it's common for agencies to use an integrated suite of software to establish seamless workflows and automate multiple tasks. Some of the most common types of software used by insurance companies include data collection and quoting, agency management systems, claims processing software, and customer relationship management software.
Agency Management Systems vs. Customer Relationship Management Software
Agency management systems and customer relationship management software are commonly used to streamline insurance agency processes. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different systems specializing in different functions.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a platform designed to help manage the data and interactions associated with customers and leads. Basically, a CRM is a management system that supports the workflows related to marketing, following leads, communication during claims management, and customer service.
An agency management system is a platform that provides insurance agencies with the critical functions they need to run their organizations effectively. An agency's AMS is usually designed to manage the agency's specific needs, with functions centered around company management. An AMS will likely focus on back office tasks like financials, administration, internal communication, and payroll.
While many AMS platforms include some CMS capabilities, it's important to remember that customer management is not the main focus of an AMS. This is why many agencies depend on both systems.
Data collection and quoting are some of the most time-consuming tasks for an agent. Often, agents must contact prospects multiple times to get all the information necessary to provide an accurate quote. Data collection and quoting software automates these processes to help agents improve productivity and eliminate human error during manual data entry.
InsurGrid gives agents a personalized platform to collect information from clients, such as prior coverages, birth dates, driver's license information, and policy declaration. Instead of sitting on long calls or playing email tag, agents can have the information they need automatically delivered in seconds.
The software allows agents to collect dec pages by simply sending a link to clients using email, text message, or QR code. The process can be completed in seconds and is convenient for agents and customers. InsurGrid lets agents gather dec pages in half the time and increase close rates by 50%.
The Benefits of Using Insurance Agency Management Systems
The insurance industry is heavily regulated and requires precise documentation. Agents maintain hectic schedules requiring them to manage multiple workflows daily. While insurance tasks can be completed manually, this approach is time-consuming and can be prone to mistakes.
Insurance agency management systems help businesses streamline their processes by automating certain tasks. While the cost to set up an insurance AMS is prohibitive, the investment offers many benefits.
Enhanced Customer Experience
From the outside, it can seem like insurance is all about selling policies. However, insurance policies offer a form of risk management. While no customer wants to be in the position to file a claim, they need to know that their policy will deliver if disaster strikes.
This is why customer relationships are vital for insurance agencies. An insurance AMS automates time-consuming tasks like data management, business reporting, and task management. Since AMS features include document and policy management for new and existing clients, it can help agencies improve customer relations.
Although it's not directly designed for customer management, many features of an AMS can help agents manage client relationships. The back office features provided by your AMS free up time for agents to spend more time with customers. Meanwhile, the client-centric information managed by the system can help you automate customer communications for a more personalized customer experience.
Process Commissions Faster
Most property and casualty (P&C) agents make their income through commissions. Yet, keeping track of all sources of commissions can be challenging.
An AMS uses detailed records of various policies to allow insurance agents to track commissions effortlessly. While manual tracking requires an agent to access specific files and manually enter data into a spreadsheet or similar document, your AMS can automatically provide you with information like commissions from specific carriers, how much the agency gets, and how fees are split with agents.
An AMS works in several ways to automate data categorization and prioritize leads. With this information, agents can get a clearer view of potential sales from various sources. For instance, automated prioritization of leads indicates which prospects are most likely to convert with immediate action.
Automated categorization and communications can also highlight cross-selling and renewal opportunities. When analytics and reporting are coordinated with these features, it's easy for agents to determine which methods offer the highest returns.
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Reporting for Leads
Lead generation is vital to keep an insurance agency running and growing. Yet, without effective follow-up, quality leads can quickly be rendered useless.
Data collection related to leads is time-consuming and repetitive, making it impossible for agents to create a real-time report manually. When customized to your agency's workflow, an AMS can create a reporting structure to categorize and prioritize leads for efficient follow-up activities.
For instance, agency management systems can keep track of sold and renewed policies and settled claims. It can also keep detailed records of new leads based on inquiry, location, and other parameters. With these functions, the AMS can eliminate complex tasks, monitor the agency's overall performance, and streamline efficiency.
Policies are the lifeblood of an insurance agency, and keeping them up to date is crucial for success. An insurance AMS can track individual and group policies, highlighting important information like application status, renewal dates, and client information. By automating these processes and integrating your AMS with existing software, agents can identify policies that need attention and send corresponding communications directly to customers, making policy purchases and renewals more convenient.
Upselling and Cross-Selling
Many consumers prefer to work with a single agency to maintain coverage across multiple sectors. This practice is convenient and lucrative for insurance professionals and their clients. Once you have a loyal base of customers, these clients are a vital source of sales through upselling and cross-selling methods that provide customers with the extended coverage needed.
Manually mining information that can help you upsell or cross-sell is an intimidating task. It requires searching customer data for relevant details that could provide information about their lifestyles and potential coverage gaps.
An AMS can streamline the process by grouping potential customers by policy type, client details, and relevant data for cross-selling. The system can be set up to provide automated renewal alerts and customized marketing automation based on the data provided within these categories.
Selling insurance policies requires agents to perform time-consuming and monotonous tasks repeatedly. An agency management system can automate task management and complete many of these tasks without human interaction.
A sales automation procedure can send automated emails to prospects, provide agents with potential leads based on their inquiry and location, and analyze sales performance based on reports and relevant data. By tracking client actions, the system can automatically prioritize leads to provide agents with an effective system that is most likely to get results.
Customized Customer Journey
Modern consumers seek personalized interactions from the companies they do business with, and insurance is no exception. In fact, 50% of insurance customers rank personalized digital communications from their insurer as a high priority. Personalized marketing in insurance is especially effective since it can provide consumers with immediate access to information about products they need.
An agency management system automates many data collection and categorization tasks to provide easy access to customer information that can support a customized customer journey. For instance, with automated alerts about customer activity and policy information, the system can automatically send out correspondence that directly speaks to the customer's need to renew or purchase a policy. This type of interaction allows customers to experience uniform coverage conveniently that requires little effort to maintain.
What to Look for in Insurance Agency Management Software
While it's clear that insurance agency management software can provide many benefits for insurance agencies, choosing the right option for your agency can be a challenge. AMS platforms come in all shapes and sizes; not every solution is ideal for the insurance industry. That's why knowing exactly what criteria to look for in an insurance agency management solution is important.
Digital Document Management
Documentation is a major reason why insurance processes can be slow. Digital document management provides agencies with automated services to categorize all forms and documents for easy accessibility and use. When important internal and client documents are automatically stored within the system, there is no possibility of losing important paperwork or overlooking essential requirements and deadlines.
Growing agencies pass tasks out to many agents while in the field. An AMS that includes scheduling features can alert field agents to scheduled appointments, unexpected changes, and tasks that need to be completed within the workday. When these features are supplied in an easy-to-use app, agents can stay updated and complete necessary tasks when and where they're working.
Reporting and Analytics
You can't fix what you can't see. Without effective analytics and reporting features, it's impossible to understand your current productivity levels to determine how to improve. Reporting and analytics features measure the productivity of field agents and include hundreds of relevant reporting features for analysis of workflows and processes in and out of the office.
Best Agency Management System for Businesses
Searching for the best agency management system for your insurance agency can be challenging. After all, there are hundreds of available options, and comparing each would take a significant amount of time. Therefore, choosing from vendors preferred by other insurance agencies can help you narrow down your options. These agency management systems are among the best for insurance agencies.
A next-generation, cloud-based agency management system, ZyWave helps insurance agencies drive growth by streamlining and automating agency processes. Key features include a configurable workflow engine to automate agency processes, scalability to adapt to the needs of growing agencies, and customer management features.
ZyWave is highly customizable and provides agents with a wide range of features to help manage all aspects of your agency, including real-time analytics. However, the multitude of features can make the user interface challenging to get used to.
EZLynx is a cloud-based agency management system known for its suitability for all agency sizes and ability to help build and maintain healthy business relationships through communication features. Key features include document storage, automated marketing, and customer management tools.
EZLynx provides agents with a wide range of popular features and is known for its CRM functions. However, it requires a longer learning curve compared to other CRMs, which could diminish the value of those features.
Known as an all-in-one solution for small and established businesses, Hawksoft is a complete agency management system known for its powerful features. Key features include the ability to monitor trends, a Book of Business that makes reporting and accounting easy and efficient, and a real-time connection with carrier websites.
While Hawksoft is a popular platform, the software has a steep learning curve that requires users to invest in an expensive training course. It can also make it difficult to navigate commercial lines, which could be a critical issue for some insurance agencies.
Insurance Software Streamlines Processes to Free Up Time for Agents
An insurance AMS is a powerful tool that can help insurance agencies improve processes and better handle critical data. When integrated with agency workflows and existing software, agents can use the system to manage all aspects of their agency.
InsurGrid is a powerful data collection tool that allows insurance agents to collect dec pages in half the time of traditional methods. The software can provide seamless data transfers that improve customer service and internal efficiency. Learn more about how InsurGrid can help you collect customer data, close more deals, and save time with our convenient free trial that lets you get started immediately.