The E&O Risks with Non-Downloading Carriers

Nag Rao, EZLynx CEOOur world, whether we like it or not, has become always-on and fully connected. This is especially true for the insurance industry, which is so heavily dependent on accurate and timely information.

When we decided to build an agency management system into EZLynx, it was our goal to build a system that was more than the ‘glorified notepad’ offered by our competition. It was our goal to not only parse and process the policy information that comes from the carrier as part of their daily download, but also to do something useful for the agency with that information.

EZLynx Retention Center® demonstrates this design philosophy. Agents who are subscribed to our patented Retention Center can see an intelligently prioritized list of renewals to work on as part of their daily workflow. The way this product is designed, agents work down their list of renewals in Retention Center from highest priority to lowest priority, with the goal of clearing all the high priority renewals from the Retention Center as quickly as possible using our proven process – ultimately improving their overall agency and carrier retention rates along the way!

This brings us to the problem of carriers who don’t download. EZLynx Retention Center switches to complete manual mode for the policies from those carriers. Although it still displays the upcoming renewal based on the manually entered expiration date[1], it still means the agent is responsible for manually maintaining all the policy information, including renewals and changes, within EZLynx. This imposes a severe burden on agency retention staff, who are already stretched thin by trying to keep up with renewals.

From what we have seen in the real world with Retention Center, agents simply forget or don’t bother to update manual policy information, which pretty much makes it impossible to effectively manage the renewals. We regularly see manual policies slipping through the cracks during renewal time. Not only could this be a serious E&O risk for many agencies if they forget to check on the carrier site for non-renewals, but it’s also a terrible experience for the customer, who often chooses an independent agent for the personal touch!

Another big example of the negative impact of non-downloading carriers within EZLynx is the lack of full policy self-servicing support for these policy holders in EZLynx Client Center. EZLynx Client Center allows the agency customer to go to their agent’s website 24/7 and log in to their account. They can print their proof of insurance, ask their agent a question, request a change to their policies, and more.

The simple fact is that carriers hurt both their agents and themselves when they choose not to download information into an agent’s management system – especially a smart agency management system like EZLynx. If the agents are writing with carriers who don’t download to save money for their customers, they do so at a high financial cost for their business and a watered down level of service for their customers.

This begs the question as to why agents work with carriers who do not download, and what agents can do about it. As is clear from the above examples, if the agents are doing this to help their customers, the opposite may in fact be happening. Next time you want to write a policy with a non-downloading carrier, please think twice. Consider letting carriers know that you’re less likely to present their rate to the consumer due to the increased financial burden of servicing and renewing a manual policy. Carriers rely on independent agents to be their extended sales and customer service arm. At the very least, they could work to make sure you have the most up to date information and resources at your fingertips.

Learn more about EZLynx Management System, EZLynx Client Center, and EZLynx Retention Center

[1] The sentence was amended to point out that Retention Center still alerts agents of expiring manual policies.

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