Michigan Insurance Boosts Service to Customers And Agents
Client:Michigan Insurance Company
- Become more competitive and make it easier for agents and policyholders to do business with the company
- CSC’s Agency Link software with a full range of online services for insurance processing
- Increased agent satisfaction with real-time services
- Introduced customer portal and online payments
- Improved customer service and retention
Michigan Insurance Company decided that to better compete with larger companies, agents needed a more convenient way to do business with the company. The company wanted to enhance customer service and give both policyholders and agents a way to get faster services over the Web.
Michigan Insurance, which writes both personal and commercial lines in the state of Michigan, conducted a thorough evaluation of the Internet solutions available in the marketplace. “Many promised a lot but delivered very little,” said Mike Paulin, IT Service Unit manager, Michigan Insurance.
A long-time IT CSC client using older versions of CSC’s policy administration software, the Grand Rapids-based company talked to fellow clients and determined that CSC’s POINT IN and Agency Link software met its goals for boosting service. In addition to the features of the systems, CSC’s offered a Continuous Delivery approach to the release upgrade process, allowing the company to always stay current on the software.
Improving Customer Retention
CSC’s Agency Link software lets agents logon to a secure Web site to check policy information, submit new applications, obtain underwriting decisions and perform other online tasks. Having used Agency Link inquiry for agents for years, the company implemented the Agency Link insured payment portal in January 2009 enabling policyholders to pay premiums by credit card or directly from bank accounts. With more than 50 percent of the payments coming in after hours or weekends, the new portal was a welcome enhancement.
The company originally planned to gradually market the new online capabilities to users; however, the new portal took off right from the start.
“Before we officially announced the portal, customers began using it, and it’s received ever-increasing use since,” Paulin said. “Before we knew it, we were receiving live payments from customers and we’ve seen it grow month after month.”
Plans are underway to enhance the portal to give customers the ability to schedule payments, manage email notifications and access proof of insurance documents. “It’s a natural extension of what Agency Link already does for our agency,” he added. “Why not give some of that directly to a consumer? Providing customer-facing tools is crucial to our success.”
Agents Quite Pleased
Agents warmly received the rollout of the new portal.
“Agents were quite pleased that we already had intuitive processes built in,” Paulin said. “When we let them see the application and provide feedback, we had most of the things they wanted included. That’s a testament to our development team’s thoroughness and our internal staff’s design as well as CSC and other customers’ input. It’s an intuitive application that’s going to greatly reduce our administrative time and open up additional business from our agencies.”
Another key new feature of Agency Link is real-time rating, which lets agents perform more once-and-done services for policyholders.
“It lets us to do pre-binding, submission of payments,” said Paulin. “We can generate quote letters for customers so agents can service a client right there in their office. Today, we utilize bridges from the AMS and Applied management systems as well as bridges from two personal lines comparative raters. The bridge process allows agents to enter the core application data into their system, then complete company-specific details within Agency Link. Once this is done, we can retrieve an accurate and up-to-date rate from the POINT IN application.”
Benefiting from Full IT Support
Michigan Insurance plans to expand the use of Agency Link beyond personal lines new business for homeowners, auto and package policies.
“We have a commercial package very similar to other companies’ BOP products, and we plan to move that through Agency Link,” he said. “We have commercial auto, workers’ compensation and a package similar to BOP that we plan to offer through Agency Link. Our goal is to review each line of business we write and offer the agents access to those processes, features and functions that allow them to streamline their submission process and provide exceptional service to our insureds.”