Managing Data in a Changing Insurance Environment

In the past, the reliable broker who was friendly and knowledgeable had enough going for him that his book of business would grow over time. That’s no longer the case. Competition has changed the insurance industry to the point that performance and service dictate to whom clients turn to for coverage.

Understanding market forces, business processes AND how to value property are all necessary to get ahead these days. But how can an agent expect to process the amount of information available and still do his job? It’s tough.

Data drives our business and the most critical data we have is on our clients. Our lists have to be accurate and up-to-date or we risk losing business. It used to be normal for each agent to know everyone with whom they wrote a policy. Now the numbers have grown (good) to the point where matching a name and a face with an insurance product requires a computer (bad).

So, what’s the best way to fix this data overload? Leverage the same technology that allowed you to collect the data in the first place – computerize your data management.

According to an Experian report last year, the ways in which data gets corrupted is directly attributable to the way insurers treat it. The report – referenced in this Insurance Networking News article – says only 27% of businesses in the study use in-house software to help correct contact data.

So, what can the smart insurer do? Here’s a quick list…

1 – Use software to more completely cleanse contact data.

2 – Verify addresses and email accounts

3 – De-duplicate these data records to save time and file size.

4 – Standardize the data you collect – but make sure it’s complete enough to assist your team (don’t collect info you don’t use).

5 – Take the time to regularly check your data for accuracy – don’t rely only on the software to fix your files.

By being smart about how you collect and manage data, you can write more business more efficiently. You’ll be able to spend more time with clients and less time chasing down bad information.

We’re in a new age of insurance, where the technology we use to run our business is almost as important as the care with which we treat our clients. Almost.

How do you manage your book of business? What tips would you share with your colleagues around the country for being more efficient in data management?

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