Agency Management System
A fundamental building block for today's successful Independent insurance agency is a good agency management system that provides a framework for all the necessary business processes. The most effective agencies have maximized the ability to operate as digitally as possible, minimizing double entry and handling paper. Agency management software can range in cost from less than $1,000 to $5,000 for a start-up operation with monthly fees of $60 to $600. It is advised that a new agency should not skimp on agency management software since it will pay in the long run to operate as electronically and efficiently as possible. With this is in mind you want to make sure the system "fits" your agency.
IIA of Illinois members are automatically members of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA.) The IIABA sponsors an organization made up of independent agencies, carriers and technology vendors called the Agents Council on Technology (ACT). The ACT website has numerous resources to help agencies. You will find vendor comparisons for both hardware, software and checklists to be used in making your decisions. Click here for details.
Workflow Procedures - Best Practices
It is estimated that one in five agents will be involved in an E&O claim during their career. One of the best ways to avoid this exposure is to create and develop a written Procedures Manual. The procedures should be adhered to by all employees. You must create "The Agency Way." This document should be concise and adaptable to meet the market and client demands but should also establish some structured guidelines to enforce the way you want your business handled.
In addition to procedures for Errors & Omissions Loss Control, agencies will be wise to have written workflows of the agencies processes. These will enable you to assess where you are as well as where you are going in the automated world.
IIA of Illinois members have access to Best Practices, a program developed by the IIABA to create opportunities for you to make real change to your agency as well as facilitate your overall success. Best Practices will provide self-assessment tools to give you a base from where to start as well as instruction on how to get to the next step.