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Make it simple for agents

Keep it simple for insurance agents

It’s a fact of life: People often make things harder than they need to be. We sometimes add extraneous, unnecessary levels of complexity to tasks, situations, and ideas and create frustrations for others.

That’s why there’s so much power in making things simple. Everyone likely knows someone who can take complicated ideas and concepts and break them down into uncomplicated, understandable terms. It’s a real skill that’s far too scarce.

Agents want fewer data inputs

Verisk recently surveyed a group of independent agents on how they work with and select insurers. Respondents told us that one pain point is that the insurer’s process is often too onerous and requires too much effort by the agent. Nearly 20 percent of the agents surveyed indicated that fewer data inputs at the outset would make their job much easier.

This makes a lot of sense when you understand that humans are naturally drawn to simplicity. Our brains are hardwired for it. It’s called cognitive fluency, which refers to the ease or difficulty with which the brain processes information—literally, how easy it is to think about something. When things are easy, the brain is satisfied, and a satisfied brain is more open to influence than one that is skeptical or bogged down by complexity.

Incorporate neuropsychology into the workflow

You can incorporate this bit of neuropsychology into the workflow of the agents with whom you interact. For example, the agent begins looking for quotes for a customer and finds one quote process that’s simple, clear, and requires five fields on a single screen. Another process requires completing 27 fields across four screens to return a quote. Which one do you think the agent will pursue? Make sure the easier one is your process.

The need for simplicity likely comes from the agents’ struggle to meet the demands of customers who want more efficiency. Today’s customer expects instant results and the ability to move seamlessly from quote to conversion. To get there, agents need insurers that make it easy to work together. That means a straightforward, streamlined application process and a quick, accurate quote.

It shouldn't be complicated

Requiring multiple inputs and forcing agents to provide a myriad of upfront information to return a quote is too complicated, time-consuming, self-defeating—and can cost you real money. Agents’ livelihoods are dependent on the volume of business they write, and they don’t have the luxury of investing significant time to get insurers’ information. A quote from an insurer is just one of many that an agent will present to the customer for evaluation. No matter how well your quote provides a competitive price and the right coverage, it means nothing if the customer never sees it. If your process is convoluted, your quote might not even be presented.

Insurers need to transform the agent relationship and regard agents not as outsourcers but as strategic business partners. Remember, your competitors are vying for agents’ business. Make your process simple, and you go a long way toward becoming an agent’s first choice.

For more information on tools for providing simple, fast quotes to agents, please visit our small commercial insurance website.


Rick Stoll

Rick Stoll is vice president for commercial underwriting products at Verisk. You can contact him at rick.stoll@verisk.com


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