Cloud-Based Insurance Applications Put Agents on Cloud Nine

Cloud-Based Insurance Applications Put Agents on Cloud Nine
By: Michael Miller, Smart Choice® State Director

Gone are the days when insurance agents had to invest in expensive hardware and software to quote, issue, and place policies. Updating software was tiresome and time-consuming. And when a computer went down, your production ground to a halt.

Cloud-Based Tools Are Cost-Effective & Efficient

Fortunately, those days are now behind us. Today, the best quoting and policy placement tools are all online. Instead of buying software, you buy monthly subscriptions to cloud-based applications. A single subscription can allow all of your agency’s producers to access the application. This saves you money in software and hardware in the long run.

It also makes your agency more efficient. You can access cloud-based tools anywhere and anytime as long as you have an internet connection. Log in from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone, whether you’re in a meeting with a client or enjoying some time at the cabin.

My Favorite Cloud-Based Insurance Agency Applications

There are many online tools out there for insurance agencies, from comparative raters to agency management systems. One of my favorite raters is Applied Rater, formerly SEMCAT. Applied Rater lets agents compare quotes from more than 500 insurance carriers. It can integrate with your agency management system and your website so you don’t waste time duplicating data.

My top two choices for agency management systems are EZLynx® QQ Catalyst®. Both of these cloud-based agency management systems allow you to access all of your agency data from a single dashboard. Manage your prospects and clients and keep tabs on how your producers and CSRs are doing.

When you become a member of Smart Choice®, you receive significant discounts on my favorite agency applications. Quote, issue, and place policies from anywhere with no additional investment in hardware. To discover why a partnership is the smart choice, connect with Smart Choice® today!

3 Key Considerations When Choosing a New Agency Management System

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3 Key Considerations When Choosing a New Agency Management System
By: Michael Miller, Smart Choice® State Director

There comes a point in the life cycle of every insurance agency when it’s time to grow or die. It sounds harsh, but without investing in the right tools, there comes a point when it’s no longer possible to keep your agency growing.

Successful insurance agencies recognize the value of a robust agency management system. There are several wonderful products on the market today that allow your entire team to stay on the same page as you sign on new clients and maintain your existing book of business. Here are three key considerations to make when you choose your agency’s new management system.

  1. Your Agency’s Current and Future Needs

Agency management systems are all a little different. Most scale with your agency as it grows. Before picking your next system, consider the needs of your team and your agency. Here are some key questions to ask:

  • How helpful would it be to have your clients’ policies, quotes, and documents accessible all from one place, and who needs access to part or all of that information?
  • Do you need your management system to double as an accounting system?
  • Should your system integrate with your current contact relationship management (CRM) system or provide its own CRM platform?
  • Is your team tech-savvy or will they require training and ongoing support?
  1. Software versus Cloud-Based Applications

Agency management software is installed on your agency’s computers or server, while you access cloud-based agency management systems using the Internet. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Software is convenient if you already have the necessary hardware at your office, have your own IT staff, and don’t need to access your system while you’re away from your office.

Cloud-based systems are great if you have a mobile office and need to access your system from the road. Cloud-based systems require minimal investment in hardware. Instead, you pay a subscription fee.

  1. Security

Your clients trust you with their most personal and sensitive information, so your agency management system needs to have strong security features. Ask vendors if their systems are built with security in mind and how they handle ongoing security concerns. Listen for buzzwords like “encryption,” “maintenance,” and “security updates.”

 

Whatever agency management system you choose, it will be an investment in the success and growth of your agency.

 

Sources:
EZLynx
Property Casualty 360
QQ Solutions