by John E. Cantwell and Edward F. Cammarato
It's no secret that insurance is an intensely competitive business. The property/casualty industry spends more than $4 billion annually in clever advertising campaigns vying for consumers seeking lower rates, better coverage, or better service. But enticing prospects into making that first call for an auto or property rate quote is only the beginning of the challenge. The market leaders have also learned that streamlining the quote process can yield measurable competitive advantages in terms of a better customer experience, lower operational expenses, and improved premium accuracy.
Complicating matters is the amount of information necessary to rate a policy. Realistically, most people don't know offhand their automobile VIN numbers or how far their house is to a fire station or hydrant. "Data Prefill" at quote can help to "fill in the blanks."
The prefill concept involves moving much of the data acquisition up-front to the point-of-quote, in contrast to traditional approaches of ordering third-party data and reports only when customers makes purchase decisions. Some typical prefill information for automobile includes existing coverage verification, existing policy limits, claims history, vehicles and drivers, vehicle use and annual mileage. On the property side, data sets include existing coverage, prior claims, fire protection class, and other location and property specific attributes and features.
Prefill has become a hot topic with auto and property writers. The rationale for prefill is simple: it provides faster and more accurate quotes benefiting policyholders, agents, and insurance carriers. There are several forces at work driving the prefill movement:
Better customer experience
Prefill makes it easier and faster for consumers to get an accurate quote — whether via web, call center, or agency channels. Up to 50 percent of consumers abandon a web quote because the process is too long or too difficult. Many consumers simply don't know their current policy limits and coverages or whether their car model is the "LX" or "EX." And homeowners may not know their protection class or how many feet they are to the coastline.
Sales conversion lift
Reducing callbacks for missing information is a time and cost saver. Prefill can significantly trim down the number of callbacks necessary to complete the quote and sales process. Fewer callbacks should result in more sales.
Faster quotes translate into more productive agents (whether at call center or in the field). Therefore, with the same marketing and operational expense, more sales can be generated. Alternatively, to reach a given sales target, a carrier should need fewer sales agents. Prefill also can reduce post-issuance follow-up by the carrier to chase missing or incorrect information.
Prefill can improve quote accuracy and reduces premium leakage — whether or not the error was intentional, an honest mistake, or an instance where the customer simply doesn't know. These categories include vehicle details, property location information, vehicle annual mileage, claims details and dates, and other. Prefill improves rating accuracy at the point of quote because errors are reduced and post-issuance policy changes can be minimized.
Most carriers recognize the measurable retention value associated with a multi-line account. As a result, cross-selling is an important sales strategy. Prefill can provide several important data elements in support of a successful cross sell program. For example, a carrier can run certain property searches in the background while the agent completes the automobile quote. Distance to coast or fire protection class might be underwriting considerations that lead to a pro-active cross sell attempt or not.
QuickFill® is a prefill offering from Verisk Insurance Solutions. QuickFill data is available for personal automobile and personal and commercial property.
For more information . . .
. . . about QuickFill — or to get in touch with a sales representative — contact Verisk Insurance Solutions. You can also call us at 1-800-888-4476.
QuickFill offers a complete prefill solution. By integrating auto and property data, Verisk Insurance Solutions makes it easy for you to improve the customer experience. When customers get faster, more accurate rate quotes, they're more likely to buy a new policy and keep it. And you can integrate QuickFill into all sales channels, including agency, web, and call center.
Edward F. Cammarato
QuickFill Product Manager
Verisk Insurance Solutions