Bringing Agency Portals to Reality

Insurers are looking at how to grow their businesses in 2010 and take advantage of the economic recovery. And in this ever-growing competitive market, the demand to attract the best producers continues to climb.

Now one of the ways to accomplish this is to build an intuitive, self-service environment for their producers. This not only can help facilitate new business, but also gives producers the ability to better serve their customers. Agent Portals are not a new concept, but insurers have struggled with how to bring the concept to reality.

Part of the reason insurers have been challenged with this is due to a rigid technology environment and more importantly, a lack of staff in IT departments to support new projects. Many insurers are turning to Microsoft SharePoint and transaction-oriented content management to quickly bring this idea to fruition.

These insurers are beginning to use SharePoint to create external facing Websites that push transactional content and data stored within their core ECM application. This includes traditional self-service functionality like access to commission statements, policy holder information and electronic forms. By utilizing the transactional data being generated within their ECM applications, insurers are now providing processing information to producers. This allows producers to provide their customers with real-time updates on pending claims, quotes, change requests, etc.

This also extends the functionality of electronic forms by tying them directly into the insurer’s core business processes. This enables insurers to expedite these processes and improve the service levels for both the producer and the customer.

Bringing the best of these two technologies together is allowing mid-size carriers to compete with the largest insurers and become the carrier of choice amongst the agency community.

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