EZLynx Employees Work Remotely, And So Can You

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, EZLynx employees were able to immediately work from home by leveraging the same technologies and principles that we have made available to agents through our managed IT and cloud virtualization service, EZLynx Virtual Office.

When it became clear that we needed to empty the EZLynx offices of most employees, very little structural changes were required. The reason for this is that we were already using cloud-based virtual environments for all our day to day operations – from an internet-based phone system (VOIP) to cloud-based desktop computing.

What is a Virtual Environment?

Normally, when you turn on your home or office computer, all your software and files are right there on that computer. If you have a document or a special program on your computer at the office, and you’re not in the office, you’re out of luck. Many users resort to emailing themselves documents or carrying flash drives around on their keychain. And worse still, if your PC or Laptop is damaged, lost, or stolen, you potentially lose everything, not to mention that you may have compromised the sensitive data of your agency and your customers.

EZLynx has already solved a lot of this with our cloud-based platform.  So, while you still need to be on your physical office computer to access your locally stored agency documents, your desktop icons, or your other software, you can at least access your EZLynx account from any computer, from anywhere.

However, what we do at EZLynx for each of our employees is to keep their entire ‘office computer’ in the cloud, as well as their phone too. This is what we mean by a cloud-based virtual environment.  Your physical computer, whether it’s in the office, at home, or a laptop that you take with you on the road, doesn’t have any software or documents on it.  It only has your Operating System (Microsoft Windows) and some special software that lets you securely connect to your cloud desktop. All you need is an internet connection, and you can connect to this virtual cloud PC and use it as though you were right there in the office. Likewise, to make and receive calls from your office number, all you need is a headset.

Welcome to your Virtual Office

EZLynx Virtual Office is a one-stop shop for Insurance Agency IT, providing agencies with full IT support, in a secure virtual environment, for one price per user, ensuring your agency can focus on what really matters.

​Our EZLynx Virtual Office solution provides IT Support, with Security and Business Continuity (like work from home or remote office). Whether it is a shelter at home order as a result of a global pandemic, a major weather disaster, or simply a CSR stuck at home with a broken pipe, your agency should be up and running. Be confident you have the technology in place for your staff to work and collaborate remotely, regardless of circumstances.

It takes a team of experts to tackle the challenges facing insurance agencies today:

  • Defending against phishing attempts and data breaches, where bad actors attempt to trick you into giving access to your systems or sensitive data.
  • Protecting against ransomware attacks, which can cripple your entire operations by holding all your data hostage.
  • Business continuation and data recovery, ensuring that even in the midst of a major event your business can continue operating without disruption.

Not to mention the technologies you may not be taking advantage of, including cloud computing and remote access to your agency, its workflows, and all your data.

EZLynx Virtual Office is like hiring a team of IT experts—all for much less than it would typically cost for even one dedicated resource.

  • Keep your business secure
  • Scale to keep pace with growth
  • Never purchase hardware again

Gain peace of mind knowing that your IT needs are being addressed by experts, so you can get back to running your insurance agency. Prepare for anything and get the most innovative solution for your agency with EZLynx ONE PLATFORM®.

You can learn more about EZLynx Virtual Office here.


EZLynx Expands Carrier Messaging to Include eDocs

EZLynx Carrier Messaging is expanding to include eDocuments (eDocs). This enhancement will go live in April to promote better and faster communication between agents, carriers and insureds. It will also streamline your carrier connections and provide your agency access to the most accurate policy documents throughout the insurance life cycle.

Carrier eDocs will automatically attach to your customers and Policies, making it easier for you to locate and share them with your insureds. Agencies will find this secure form of communication a welcome alternative to email, mail and faxes. No more manual routing, downloading, scanning, filing or shredding!

The eDocuments will include Declaration Pages, Policy Documents, Notices of Final Cancellation, Non-Payment Pending Cancellations, Non-Renewal Notices, Payments Overdue and Reinstatement Notices.

Carrier Messaging Example

 

Carrier Messaging Example

Faster, Secured Sharing via EZLynx Client Center

EZLynx Client Center facilitates fast, secure communication between agents and customers, and it serves as a perfect complement to this new Carrier eDocs capability. Share frequently requested documents such as Declaration Pages and ID Cards, or time sensitive documents like Non-Payment Cancellation Notices.

Carrier Messaging Example

Benefits of Automated eDocs in EZLynx

  • Improve Workflows: Documents and messages are automatically routed to the appropriate client/policy and CSR each day.
  • Save Time & Money: Automated eDocs eliminate the need to manually retrieve, open, scan, file, or shred.
  • Better Customer Service: Because your agency receives information before the client does, you can be proactive to everyone’s benefit.
  • Agency Efficiency: Once the system has been set up correctly, little manual intervention is required by your staff.

 EZLynx Carrier Messaging

EZLynx Carrier Messaging already includes critical notifications, such as Pending Cancellation Warnings, Billing Reinstatements, and Notices of Payments Received. When these messages arrive, EZLynx Workspace generates a notification to the agency, and the assigned user will be able to take action.

Carrier Messaging Example

Get Enabled for Carrier Messages and eDocs (IVANS)

If your agency is not already set up to receive eDocs and Messages, please reach out to carriers to enable this capability.  This new feature goes live in April, so you’ll want to be able to take advantage of it when it arrives.

Also This Month: Real-Time Messaging Now Includes Property Alerts

Earlier this month, EZLynx expanded the Real-Time Messaging integration with Travelers to include property alerts. These automated notifications arrive when a customer initiates mortgagee changes for property policies from the self-service portal. Travelers has been sending real time messages for Auto policies since April 2019. Assigned users for insureds can see these messages in the Notifications section.

Prior to Real-Time Messaging, independent agents would not be informed of policy changes initiated in the carrier’s self-service portal until after the change had been fully processed and the policy had downloaded into the agency management system. In the meantime, agents could find themselves in conversation with their clients, unaware of their most recent policy changes or what prompted them.

Carrier Messaging Example

EZLynx continuously promotes better transparency and communication between carriers, insureds and agents through messaging!


Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for Your Agency Today

With phishing and other password-theft scams on the rise, safeguarding your agency’s data has never been more important.

Of course, EZLynx continues to aggressively ensure that our system is secure. Cloud-based agency management systems minimize many of your operational risks by offloading your critical infrastructure, removing physical storage needs, and enhancing security.

But in the end, all it takes is a simple username and password for someone (hopefully you) to access all of your client data in our system.

That is why multi-factor authentication is so important, and we are encouraging you to enable this feature on your account, as it will soon be required for all EZLynx accounts.

What is multi-factor authentication?

You may have heard of this before, and you likely have already experienced it at your banking website. To put it simply, multi-factor (or two-factor, two-step, etc.) authentication ensures that just because someone has your password, they still cannot access your account until they complete another step to prove their identity.  They must also have access to a second means of authentication, usually in the form of your physical mobile phone, which most likely is never far away from your hand!

Enabling multi-factor authentication is easy.

If you’re an EZLynx Rating Engine or Management System customer, you already have multi-factor authentication available to you!  It just needs to be enabled.

EZLynx Multi-Factor Authentication supports sending a verification code to your email address or as a text message to your phone.  We recommend that you choose the Text Message option as the most secure and reliable method.

You can learn how to get started here.


EZLynx Statement on Coronavirus Preparedness

Updated 03/23/2020

As a business that provides mission-critical applications for the insurance industry, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak that has now spread to every U.S. state. Our thoughts remain with those affected by the disease.

Though the situation continues to evolve, you can rest assured that EZLynx will remain open for business and continue to provide the top-notch service and support that you have come to expect.

Uninterrupted Service

  • Except for a very small number of essential team members, all EZLynx employees are working remotely.
  • Our products and services have continued without disruption, and we have received reports from users that they have had no issues working remotely with our product.

Our Response to COVID-19

EZLynx took steps early on to ensure that we have contingencies in place so that our products and services will not be disrupted.

  • Ensured EZLynx employees adhere to best practices for limiting the spread of infectious diseases, including by moving all in-person meetings online.
  • Prior to our decision to completely close our office to most employees, we required employees who traveled through international airports to work from home for two weeks before returning to the office.
  • Implemented procedures for EZLynx employees to work remotely. Like many companies, we have aggressively pursued strategies for working from home, while also maintaining productivity for our teams and ensuring the service our customers receive is not diminished. At this point, almost all employees are working remotely.
  • Restricted company-related employee travel, as well as restricting office visits from our customers and partners.

Our priority is to ensure our platform and services continue functioning without disruption, and we will do our part to maintain the health and safety of our employees, partners, and customers.

More information on the Coronavirus can be found on the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/nCoV/

 

 


The Next Evolution of the Agency Pulse Report

Agency Pulse is the monthly report that EZLynx sends to all subscribed Management System customers, highlighting key data and trends for their agency and its growth.

We unveiled a brand-new format this month, and the customer reaction has been amazing!  The new graphical interface is the first thing customers will notice, but it’s more than just a new format.  In addition to the Agency Pulse report having a new look, it also has a lot of new data.

Agency Pulse - New Look

New features include:

  • Agency Health “snapshot”
  • Peer Benchmarking
  • Ability to drill down into the data
  • Branch Support

Agency Health

View the health of your Book of Business at a glance. The new Agency Health section highlights key metrics agents rely on to gauge the growth of their business. Previous months comparisons will show how these metrics are trending.

Agency Pulse - Agency Health

Peer Benchmarking

How is your agency performing compared with agencies of a similar size? Peer Benchmarking highlights metrics with a direct impact on the growth and profitability of your agency and compares the results with those of peer agencies.

Agency Pulse - Peer Benchmarks

Drill Down on the Data

We now provide much more insight into what the data means.  On top of the details highlighted in the monthly Agency Pulse report, agents can go another step further… and leverage the new EZLynx Reporting & Analytics platform to drill down on specifics.

Branch Support

For multi-tiered organizations, the Agency Pulse report now offers branch support.  For Market Access Providers, this means that member agencies can now see all this new data separated out specifically for them.  It also means that agencies with multiple locations can now see their data extracted out in the same way.

We know the monthly Agency Pulse report is vital to our agents. Our goal is to supply you with the critical information you need to make important decisions about the health and profitability of your business. We provide essential data, empowering you to quickly define opportunities to improve the effectiveness of your agency and better serve clients.


EZLynx Announces Life Insurance Quoting via Partnership with BackNine Insurance

LEWISVILLE, Texas (February 11, 2020) – EZLynx, a leading provider of software solutions for independent insurance agencies and the #1 Comparative Rater on the market, is excited to announce that life insurance quoting is now available through the EZLynx ONE PLATFORM, via partnership with BackNine Insurance. This means agents can now get a life insurance quote within seconds.

BackNine offers a vast portfolio of carriers and products including life insurance policies that don’t require a medical exam, making them an ideal source for agents seeking to complete policies for their clients while they have them on the phone. Agents will also be happy to know they can complete the entire application online.

This new integration leverages the client data already entered in EZLynx, saving valuable time by avoiding needless double-entry of data. Life insurance rates automatically display on the screens agencies already use to quote auto and home, with a quick-link to view additional products, providing agencies with a seamless transition into offering life insurance.

“As agencies look for ways to expand sales opportunities with their existing customer base, life insurance should be an obvious choice,” said EZLynx Product Manager Derek Armentrout. “However, many have been hesitant, either because of a lack of experience or the perceived difficulty of quoting. With this new partnership, EZLynx is breaking down those barriers.”

“Our platform was designed with the P&C agent in mind. The integration through EZLynx aligns with BackNine’s mission to simplify the selling of insurance,” said BackNine Vice President Reid Tattersall. “EZLynx users can now quote 19 insurance carriers for term, final expense, accidental death, universal, indexed and soon to be whole life. Better yet, the quote leads into an online application using DocuSign’s eSignature for a truly end-to-end solution.”

BackNine Insurance is the latest addition to the EZLynx Connect platform. EZLynx Connect provides third-party businesses an avenue to distribute their products and services directly within the EZLynx platform. We’ve opened the EZLynx framework and invited carriers and vendors to work side-by-side with our technologists to innovate and integrate solutions to better the agency workflow.


The Importance of Having a Responsive Website

In this digital age, one of the most important things your business should have is a website. However, just having a website is not enough on its own. You also need to make sure that you have a responsive website. One of the biggest problems your business can run into is losing customers because your website is not easy to navigate and responsive. Here are just a few reasons why this is crucial.

It Will Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Many people navigate the internet with their mobile device. You’re likely to have website visitors via the mobile website than the desktop version. People are constantly on the go and if they cannot easily view your website on their phones, they will likely move on to the next company that does have this feature. Having a mobile version of your website is no longer an option which makes this component of a responsive website so crucial.

People Will Spend More Time on Your Website

To go along with the previous point, not only will people stay long enough to learn about your company, but they will also likely stay on your website longer. Because they can easily navigate from page to page without having to struggle to change the size of the screen, they are more likely to do exactly that. This will eventually lead to more conversions to paying customers simply because they are able to figure out the information they are looking for and can learn more about your company in the process.

It Will Help Improve Your Rankings in Search Engines

Everyone who has spent a little time researching the goals of websites knows that ranking on search engines is everything. A lot of search engines are now looking to make sure that websites are mobile-friendly and responsive. Those that are will show up higher in search engine searches. This is a fantastic goal to work towards with any website but if you are not taking the time to ensure your website is responsive, your efforts will prove to be futile. It will not matter if you spend a lot of time trying to focus on specific keywords and strategies, your website could be held back by missing this crucial step. By making your website responsive, your efforts will not be wasted and you will increase where your websites show up in rankings, which means your website will have more success.

You Can Convert More Paying Customers

All of the points above lead to one major goal your website should be working towards – converting website visitors to paying customers. These key benefits of having a responsive website will actually help you to get more traffic on your website as well as more conversions. The math here is simple: the more people that can see and will spend time on your website, the more customers you have the opportunity to convert. You will not convert every single person who views your website but you have a much higher likelihood of increasing your number of conversions with a responsive website.

What Does it Mean to Have a Responsive Website?

Now that you understand the benefits of having a responsive website and why it is so important, you also need to know what you are looking to accomplish with this goal. A responsive website is one that does not show any issues with scrolling and viewing various pages on your website, whether it is the desktop version or a mobile version. It is one where your entire website can be viewed easily, not just half of the page because your website is not optimized.  To put it simply, it is easy to use no matter how people are viewing it. It will not appear to be awkward because of any issues that pop up when someone is viewing your website. It is a website that does not have any issues or hiccups for the end-user.

If you have found that your website is not responsive or you are not sure if it is, you need to troubleshoot what the issues are and then make a plan to figure out how to fix it. This is a crucial component of being successful in the online space.

Contact EZLynx today to find out how we can make your website responsive.


What’s New In EZLynx 4.19.13

EZLynx 4.19.13 is now available! Here are some highlights of the release:

New! Certificate Master Workflow

Certificates are perhaps the most time-consuming and costly activity imposed on agencies. Now EZLynx has redefined the creation, management, and distribution of certificates, streamlining the workflow and changing the way agencies think about getting them done.

Remarks made at the Master level carry through to all holders at once, and true asset association means that vehicles/locations automatically flow over with each holder. EZLynx has also simplified the task of sending certificates out to thousands of clients, with one-click distribution through the client’s preferred method — including online self-service within EZLynx Client Center.

This is a game-changer for commercial policies:

  • Dedicated Certificates work area
  • Completely revamped Certificate Master workflow
  • Master level remarks carry through to all holders at once
  • Easily add and manage certificate holders
  • True asset association
  • Attachments associated at the Holder level
  • Longer remarks automatically flow to the required ACORD 101
  • Certificate Distribution Reports provide a history of what you’ve generated

The new and improved Commercial Certificates is now available to all users of Level 2 and Level 3 EZLynx Management System. Look for the new “Certificates” tab on your Commercial Accounts.

Client Center: Certificate Self-Generation

Client Center is fully integrated with the new Certificate Master workflow. This means that Certificate Master Remarks you enter will be displayed on the Master Certificate you share to the Client Center.

Because Master Remarks now flow to the Client Center Certificate Master, this will save you (and the insured) needless back-and-forth communication to get the proper remarks added. Additionally, Supporting Documents now download with the Certificate Master in Client Center.

Documents can be attached to the Master Certificate, or to an individual Certificate Holder. When supporting documents are attached to a Master Certificate, they will stay associated with the Certificate. When the insured logs into the Client Center to “Download” or “Add Certificate Holder” to a shared Certificate, these documents will stay intact and download along with the Certificate.

Rating Engine Updates

EZLynx Rating Engine is receiving various updates with this release.

State-Related Updates:

  • Oregon ― Gender option X-Not Specified is renamed to Not Specified
  • Michigan ― Additional PIP deductible options ($1,000 and $2,500) for Auto Application

Updates to Various Field Options for Home and Dwelling Fire:

  • Frame Option is removed from the Exterior Walls field on Home Rating Application.
  • Added a new value of 10% to the Ordinance & Law endorsement option on Home Rating Application.
  • Under the Dwelling Fire Endorsements Tab, Replacement Cost Dwelling is renamed to Increased Replacement Cost Dwelling Percentage, with dropdown values of 125, 150, and 200.

For more information on any of these exciting new features, please visit the EZLynx Solution Center.


Important Announcement about ACORD Forms.

As of January 1, 2020, licensing of ACORD forms is changing. EZLynx will continue to offer forms as part of our software, so there is no change on our end. However, ACORD is now requiring you to also purchase a license directly from them. If you are a member of the National PIA or the IIABA, the new ACORD license may already be available to you.

For more information on ACORD licensing, please contact ACORD at (845) 620-1700 or by visiting https://www.ACORD.org/forms-pages/forms-participation-programs.

Official ACORD Statement

As of January 1, 2020, software vendors including, but in no way limited to, EZLynx, are unable to furnish rights to use ACORD® forms, any sublicenses issued by EZLynx (and other software vendors) expire on December 31, 2019, and ACORD form users must obtain a written license directly from ACORD in order to use the ACORD forms contained in EZLynx One Platform. Persons and organizations can obtain written licenses to use ACORD forms by contacting ACORD at +1-845-620-1700 or through the additional contact information available at www.acord.org. Users who fail to obtain a written license from ACORD are not permitted to use ACORD forms contained in EZLynx on and after January 1, 2020.


EZLynx Kicks Off Third AgentLynx User Conference For Independent Insurance Agents

LEWISVILLE, Texas. (October 21, 2019) – EZLynx, one of the leading providers of software solutions for independent insurance agencies and the #1 Comparative Rater on the market, today kicked off its third AgentLynx User Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, welcoming independent insurance agents, insurance carriers, and vendors from across the United States. At the conference, EZLynx will showcase innovative new software solutions that enable customers to transform their agencies for greater growth, retention, customer service, and efficiency.

AgentLynx takes place in Downtown Fort Worth from October 21 – 23, 2019. The three-day conference features interactive presentations led by industry veterans, keynotes by EZLynx leadership, hands-on innovation labs, insightful agency panels, live product demos, and engaging networking opportunities. Independent insurance agents will walk away with practical skills, knowledge, and technology that can help them transform their businesses to compete in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

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