If you are an insurance agent, you know that Loss Runs are an important (yet painful) step in obtaining commercial insurance quotes for customers and prospects. A report on the claims history of a policy is a big factor in the underwriting process as it can impact the rates. Therefore, if you are going to quote, you need to obtain loss runs to include in your submission for a quote to carriers. It is as common of a process in commercial insurance as X-rays are to a dental appointment. Thriving agencies that are getting consistently new leads and requests for quotes are burdened by this the most.
So why is it so burdensome to request loss runs?
The shortest answer, is one that in a moment of fatigue we might tell our kids when things are complicated to explain and we need to move on to the next matter at hand… “because it just is”. The longer, but better answer, is that although a loss run report itself is straight forward, the process of obtaining them is tedious because it isn’t a standardized process in the insurance industry. There are there are thousands of carriers in play. Do you know all of the carriers and all of their contact information? Probably not, you are human after all and need to reserve some time for remembering your 17846 passwords. Also, the information needed to include in a loss run request isn’t always easy to come by. Additionally, each agency has their own processes in place for requesting loss runs.
So how do agents go about obtaining loss runs?
Fundamentally, it isn’t that complicated. Let’s say you need to request loss runs for a prospect, here is what the process looks like. One lucky volunteered person, has to get written permission from the prospect to request loss runs on their behalf. Then, put together a letter with their intent to request loss runs which will include the specifics on the policy in question and the insured’s approval. Next, find the carrier’s contact information (cross fingers that it isn’t by carrier pigeon or fax) and off the request goes. Then, remember a few days later to follow up with the carrier (and maybe again a few days after that). However, who the “lucky volunteered person” is, what goes in the letter, how they find the carriers contact information, how the process is tracked and managed, etc.. all vary at each agency.
For some agencies, the lucky volunteered person may not even be employed at the agency, it may be the insured. In theory that makes sense, after all, that is one less thing the agent or CSR needs to worry about and who knows more about their business and claims than the insured, right? Well, yes, but the insured may not know how to obtain loss runs, which may lead them back to their former or current agent. RED FLAG! The former agent will work really hard to keep them as a customer and your new shiny prospect is now DOA.
Other agencies simply deal with this on a case by case basis. As the request comes in, they do the manual work each time to compose the loss run request letter and find the carriers contact information. Some may take it a step further for efficiency sake and build an Excel sheet of all of the carrier loss run contacts, one by one as the requests come in. I can only imagine the look of the Excel document that a 20 year veteran agent must have for this, something that more resembles a fancy mathematical equation than a list that they reference daily.
On luckier days, an agent may need to request loss runs from a forward thinking, tech savvy, industry leading carrier that they happen to have an appointment with and they can just jump on their fancy websites type in some information and pull the report.
For high volume agencies, they don’t even bother with this laborious loss run requesting nonsense, at least not in house. Instead, they source this and various other tedious tasks out to a company overseas to do.
There is a way for an agency of any size to bring this process in house at the most cost effective rate, and that is by leaning on technology. Although some say the insurance industry is one of the last to advance to the digital age, most agencies seem to understand by now that increasing efficiencies means increasing margins and there is no way to do that without InsureTech. By purchasing a loss run requesting tool, loss runs can be requested, managed, and processed seamlessly.
One of the most popular loss run requesting tools comes out of one of the first and longest-standing InsureTech companies called, Appulate.
Appulate is a Submission, Application and Renewal platform that allows agents to work smarter, not harder. LossRunner is not just one of the many tools included, it happens to be a fan favorite because it:
- Is easy to use.
- It is all electronic, including signatures!
- Manages the carrier contact data. No need to look this up and build a list.
- Gives them access to templated loss run request letters to ensured they are formulated properly.
- Creates an audit trail.
Since 2005, Appulate has been committed to propelling the insurance industry to the modern age. Appulate has partnered with hundreds of markets, has a network of over 30,000 agencies nationwide and is used by 9 out of the 10 top independent insurance industries. Appulate’s agent facing product suite, ProducerConnect Premium, boasts dozens of tools and features from automatic forms filling to populating carrier websites for quoting, all of which saves agencies thousands of valuable minutes and dollars each year!
Want to learn how to automate your loss runs? Schedule a personalized product tour HERE.