ALEXANDRIA, VA, Sept. 6, 2016 — The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) Small Commercial Rating work group has released “Carrier Bridging Best Practices” recommendations. This project’s intention is to assist with increased Bridging adoption among agents in using carrier portals and ultimately help carriers become the ‘carrier of choice’ of their agents.
“Bridging” is the process of an agency transmitting existing quote data from its agency management system where data is exported (‘bridged’) from the management system, then ‘bridged’ into the carrier’s agency portal to complete the quote in fewer keystrokes.
“These recommendations are an important step to reaching the ultimate goal of Real-Time Comparative Rating but, even more importantly, give our distribution channel the strategic template needed to implement consistent, intuitive workflows,” says Ron Berg, ACT executive director. “Ultimately, we hope the Small Commercial Rating work group’s hard work will lead to an increase in return on investment in bridging and carrier portals.”
The guiding principles for these recommendations were provided by Best Practice carriers for the development, testing and rollout phases. As one example, bridging development should focus on the following as guiding principles (listed in order of priority assigned by surveyed carriers):
- Agent ease-of-use (overall intuitive flow and integration into workflow)
- Minimal field entry
- Data prefill functionality wherever possible
- Intuitive error messages (guides correction on edit mismatch, or missing field entry)
- Good training & support (dedicated team to handle training & support)
- Minimal underwriting questions
- Speed – returning a result quickly
- Interview’ process (screen dedicated to confirming accuracy on required fields)
- Quote accuracy (returning a bindable quote)
- Use of ACORD XML
The work group is co-chaired by Jim Armitage, owner of Arroyo Insurance in Arcadia, California, and Susan LaBarre, Liberty Mutual Insurance director of agency automation and quoting.
Additional detailed insights on the recommendations as well as the full working document is available on the ACT website.