Guest blog by Mark Chibbaro, BackNine Insurance
Guest blogs are written by contributors outside of HawkSoft. The author's views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of HawkSoft.
A life insurance policy can be as valuable to clients as other products sold by P&C agents who hold a life license, but the sales process can feel time consuming and cumbersome. Fortunately, there are simple life insurance software solutions that can help your agency drive more life insurance sales without distracting from your core P&C business. This can help agencies whether they focus on personal or commercial lines, regardless of their level of life insurance expertise.
This article reviews the elements an agency should consider when choosing the right life insurance software for their organization.
In this article:
- What does life insurance software do?
- What are the benefits of life insurance software?
- Things to consider when selecting a software solution
What does life insurance software do?
Life insurance software enables insurance professionals with the tools and systems they need to sell, market, and manage each transaction from submission to commission without interruption of daily P&C operations in your organization. There are three main elements that a complete life insurance software solution should support:
- A consumer and agent-facing comparative rater
- A dashboard to manage quotes, leads, applications and commissions
- Marketing tools
Insurance consumers require quick, concise, and clear information. Online life insurance transactions have increased dramatically over the last few years. The most efficient life insurance platforms make the rating process available through the agency’s website, offering consumers a way to shop, compare, and apply in one simple journey without having to speak with an agent during the sales phase. Support by text and live chat is fast becoming the best way to insert the insurance professional into the process if the prospect elects to do so.
On the marketing end, many existing P&C agency management systems, raters, and marketing platforms can set up easy triggers such as policyholder birthdays, P&C renewals, P&C purchase thank yous, and many others to send ongoing messages to the consumer-facing rater to drive sales 24/7.
What are the benefits of using life insurance software for agencies?
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages that a good platform offers is that it allows even agencies with no previous life insurance expertise to easily drive leads and applications to licensed agents to complete the transaction for you. Today’s life insurance software solutions are scalable for organizations of any size, from a single practitioner to the largest distributors.
Many agencies struggle with hitting their growth and EBITDA goals. Life insurance offers a new avenue for growth, and commissions from life insurance sales are largely front-end loaded, allowing agencies to drive revenue faster while building incremental revenue from P&C renewals. Agencies can leverage life insurance technology to round out accounts, significantly increase retention, and add to their bottom lines.
Things to consider when selecting a software solution
Here are some of the most important areas to consider when evaluating potential life insurance software platforms.
Many providers are able to offer a full range of services with no charge. No need to be wary of this – it’s made possible because overrides are paid by the insurance carrier to the software provider, who acts as a GA. The carrier’s published street-level commission is passed on to the source agent writing the business, while the software provider retains the override to manage the technology and related operating costs.
Providers that charge fees often bundle services to include such things as custom website and marketing tools. We suggest you examine these items carefully, as you may already get these features from your current agency management system or marketing software. Don’t forget to ask if there are special offers if you are a part of a cluster, franchise, or aggregator.
Consumers need and demand choice with life options, just as they do with P&C. A good provider should include 10-20 term carriers that offer an array of permanent or whole life products. You may be wondering if your agency needs to have appointments in order to use the carriers provided in the platform, but no need to worry. Many platforms offer a one-time contracting process with the included carriers, and as applications are submitted your provider may handle these “just-in-time.”
Supported underwriting methods
As in the P&C business, life insurers target different demographics and classes of business. Providers that offer “quick issue” policies are typically priced well above fully underwritten business. Providers may offer quick issue policies to attract agents with an ‘easy button,’ but solely relying on quick issue policies could expose you to unhappy clients and potentially lose P&C business.
P&C agents know insurance is best served in the hands of an advisor who offers a tailored approach with protection services for all budgets, situations, and life stages. We recommend choosing a platform that offers a choice between quick issue policies and fully underwritten ones with medical exams, and letting the consumer decide what is best for them.
We suggest only working with a platform that is licensed in all states. Make sure the provider offers disability coverage, especially for your commercial accounts. Long-term care coverage is also now available on many platforms. Coverages that have long been avoided by most P&C agents are now within reach.
Staffing & scalability
See how the provider scales for your agency’s needs. For example, if your agency doesn’t have an experienced life agent, many providers offer their staff to complete applications for you. In this instance, there is typically a level of commission split. If you have multiple offices, branches, or enterprise needs, see what the provider offers in order to support the solution on a larger scale.
Agency management system integration
Many providers have integrations with agency management systems and P&C raters. See if the provider integrates with your agency’s system, which will help drive more business and efficiencies with automated cross-selling.
Dashboard & policy tracking
Ask the provider for a demo of the system so you can see the dashboard, rater, and marketing tools to ensure they support your needs. At a minimum, you should be able to track a policy through quote > lead > submission > commission with full transaction transparency, including complete case management support as the policy makes its way through to issue.
Expand your opportunities with life insurance software
Life insurance software opens the door for new clients and account rounding opportunities for any P&C agency – and there are solutions available at no additional cost for your agency. Remember the points outlined here as you review your options to find the best solution for your agency’s needs.
Add life insurance options to your agency's offerings at no cost with BackNine
BackNine makes it easy to attract new clients and round P&C accounts with a wide variety of life insurance options and carriers.