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August 8, 2022

Insurance agency workflow procedures: Top processes your agency should be automating

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Insurance is a document-heavy industry subject to a variety of legal regulations and specific processes. As a result, many tasks are complex and time-consuming. Insurance agents must process huge volumes of data to generate physical customer forms, claims applications, quotes, and more. 

Daily tasks include generating and following up on leads, underwriting new policies, reinsurance, filing claims, customer interactions, and agency meetings. Without convenient workflow procedures and automated technology, you can quickly become overwhelmed with paperwork, scheduling conflicts, and mountains of reminders likely to go unfinished. By automating specific processes, you can improve workflow procedures and build higher-quality relationships with your customers.

What is an Insurance Agency Workflow Procedure, and Why Does it Matter?

In the insurance sector, it's common for a single action to set off a series of actions required to complete a cycle. When these actions are coordinated into a streamlined process, it's identified as a workflow. By designing an insurance agency workflow, you can streamline these activities to automatically be completed in the right format, so every step is recognized and no prospect falls through the cracks. By automating tasks in business processes, you can improve productivity and accomplish each task more effectively.

How Can Workflows Be Used to Improve Insurance Operations?

When specific operations are siloed in an insurance company, tasks are fragmented and deadlines can be overlooked. For instance, the difference in providing a quote in five minutes versus an hour could result in your prospect turning to another agency. When insurance agencies create defined workflows that automatically follow a certain pattern, employee productivity improves and agents have more time to communicate directly with customers. Furthermore, by designing and creating workflow procedures, you can highlight areas that need improvement and new ways you can improve customer service.

Processes Your Agency Should Be Automating 

While independent agents have some freedom in the way they operate, maintaining a business schedule is crucial to success. By creating automated workflows, you can ensure certain procedures occur at exactly the right time without interrupting important communications. Processes can be devised to automate requests for online reviews, send information requests to customers, and complete redundant manual tasks. If you're unsure of the tasks within your agency that can be automated, consider how these examples could improve your agency workflow.

Policy Review, Approval, and Application Process

Onboarding is one of the most vital periods in which you have the chance to make or break a customer relationship. Customers are seeking a personalized experience that doesn't sacrifice convenience. By automating emails for each step of the process, you can provide personalized communication that keeps your prospective customer in the loop.

Lead Form Submitted

Potential customers often research insurance agencies online and may seek information from your website or immediately request a quote. All too often, these prospects are researching multiple agencies simultaneously. Responding to all new leads, including web leads and those who leave full contact info immediately, is vital to starting a positive relationship. Automation can work in many ways to ensure new leads receive proper communication. Automate a thank you email confirming the details they provided and let them know how quickly you'll reach out. If possible, automate the assignment process, so an agent is already working on the details to present to the prospective client.

New Individual Prospects

You'll never get a second chance to make a first impression on a new customer. When consumers seek insurance coverage, they're looking for an immediate solution for a process already occurring. For instance, a customer considering a new auto purchase needs information immediately that inspires confidence in your ability to meet their needs. By automating your new business process workflow, you can generate a follow-up task with a specific agent as a high-priority request. Such a request can even be used to automate the sales process that follows.

Happy Birthday Notice

While it's true that many procedures in the insurance sector focus on lead generation and business growth, your existing customers are the heart of your business. Your current customers generate the funding to keep your business running and provide you with valuable sales opportunities throughout their relationship with your agency. To generate a positive customer experience, your communications should include more than sales and policy renewals. 

Insurance is a personal business. By reaching out to customers routinely, you stay top of mind and make them feel valued. Client retention can be as simple as reaching out with a personalized email to note special events. Automating a happy birthday email is simple and allows you to use customer information you already have on file. A simple procedure can improve customer communications without interrupting your daily workflows.

Agent License Expiration Notice

Part of agency maintenance requires you to ensure your license is up to date. Busy schedules make it easy to overlook important dates and crucial requirements. By automating reminders that indicate when licensing expiration is approaching, you can offer a helping hand to your agents and automate one of many agency maintenance tasks. Automating regulatory reminders can also help you avoid costly fees that can arise when license renewal is overdue.

Policy Renewal Notice

Your customers lead busy lives, and policy renewal is critical to customer retention. Maintaining communication with agents about policy renewal processes can help build awareness and allow them to prepare before a client's policy lapses. Automate policy renewal reminders to a client's agent before renewal time arrives. Send an automated email to the policyholder to remind them and allow them to assess any new assets they may need to be included in their coverage upon renewal. By automating these processes, your agent is more likely to schedule the renewal and have time to provide a relaxed environment to assess the customer's needs.

Cross-Selling Process

Selling additional products to your existing customers is a great way to increase your revenue and provide valuable services to your clients. Your agency's cross-selling process should include identifying a customer's need for new policies, gathering expiration dates on existing ones, identifying savings opportunities, customer communication, and closing the sale. Overlooking such opportunities can leave your customers with insurance gaps and severely limit your potential as a trusted advisor. 

Automation during the cross-selling process can include flagging potential policies that relate to your customer's lifestyle, creating an automated list of questions during the renewal process that uncover new coverage needs, and automating emails that notify customers of new products, discount opportunities, and sales.

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Re-Quote Follow-Up Process

Every insurance professional knows that not every lead equals a successful close. However, by maintaining relationships, you have an opportunity to provide products these professionals need in the future. Maintaining a relationship with a prospective customer who didn't close requires a gentle touch to avoid becoming an annoyance. To create an effective requote system, you'll need to have expiration dates top of mind and a specific form of communication to interact with warm leads.

Consider automating your lead generation system to flag important dates and send out a reminder ahead of the requote date. Before sending out the quote, add refreshed information as needed and include any available savings offers. For best results, send out an automated email from the original agent with the quote you provided in the past. 

Social Media Process

Social media provides an excellent opportunity for insurance agents to interact with clients and provide valuable information without pushing products. However, keeping up with multiple platforms can be a time suck and quickly become a chore. By automating your social media process, you can maintain your activity and use the same information in different formats across multiple platforms. Your social media process will require some flexibility since virtual trends and sales methods quickly become outdated. 

Tools to automate social media processes can allow you to automatically promote new posts from your blog across social media accounts or create a single piece of content to share across multiple social media networks. Other tools can train your social media to react. For instance, if someone posts with a relevant hashtag, you could set up an automated response leading to your Twitter account to connect with that person with a personal message. Once these actions are set up, they occur automatically without any prompting.

Claim Handling Process

Claims handling is one of the most critical parts of customer service in the insurance industry. As an independent insurer, your agency isn't the final decision-maker in charge of claims. Yet, you play a critical part in how satisfied your client is with the experience. Consider the claims process the ultimate moment of truth for your customer, and create a process designed to handle a crisis.

Insurance claims are long and detailed. To handle a claim, the claims specialist must have information about the policy and various third-party data in the form of reports from the incident. This information is rarely accessible in a single view, and a claim can be delayed considerably in the information stage. Automating your claims handling process should include ongoing communication with the client to address your customer's immediate concerns. To speed up the process, invest in claims processing software to bring all the information from a single claim together and automatically assign the claim.

InsurGrid-Dec Pages

A vital part of the claims process includes a firm understanding of the client's policy data. By adding your client's dec pages to the claim documents, the claims adjuster can have critical information on hand when examining the claim. InsurGrid makes it easy for you to get all client’s policy data including dec pages you need in one place without having to print, scan, or send emails back and forth. Pull your client's dec pages in seconds to speed up claims processing with crucial information about your client and the policy coverage details.

Referrals

Your agency's referral process describes how you request new business from your clients. Satisfied customers are one of the best ways to lead new leads to your agency. Yet, the process is complex for many agents. Some agencies prefer to completely automate the referral process because they're uncomfortable asking directly. No matter how you garner referrals, adding automated referral requests to your process can provide more opportunities. Use automation to request email referrals and promote your referral program on social media.

Automating Workflows Can Boost Your Performance

Various documents are used to handle every part of the insurance process. From generating and following up on leads to collecting customer information, processing renewals, and filing claims, there is ample room for missed steps and errors. Automating workflows allows you to create processes that work seamlessly when a single action triggers a series of events. Automated processes can be used to improve marketing processes and lead generation. They can also enhance the customer experience and ensure every communication is handled with professionalism. An efficient workflow process can improve employee productivity, improve customer relations, and boost your revenue.

InsurGrid is a valuable tool that agents can use to automate the process of collecting client policy data. InsurGrid gives you over 150 insurance carrier connections for clients to share their dec pages in just a few clicks. Use your InsurGrid with email, SMS, QR code, or embed on your website to collect dec pages. You can even set up automated reminders to notify clients you're waiting for their emails and get updates on their progress. Try InsurGrid for free to automate the onboarding process in a way that speeds up your workflow, improves the customer experience, and helps you convert more leads.