Planning Websites For Your Insurance Agency

Insurance will forever be a requirement, either to protect personal assets, or the business entity as a whole, and we will all buy insurance at some point in our lives. Whether you purchase insurance from one agency or another will often depend on just how well they present their products and services. People want to feel comfortable knowing what they’re buying, as well as how quickly and easily they’ll be able to file claims and get results.

When building Insurance Websites for your business, one major factor should come to mind, and that’s conversions. This is best accomplished when an agent gets people to come to their website and submit their contact information (or make contact via telephone). In either case, the site is generating interest, and this helps put the agency in position to make sales.

A professional is best at building a proper website

There are designers and developers who are quite capable of helping to create a well designed website that suits your needs. Take time to evaluate other sites and decide what looks good to you and also how user-friendly the site is in terms of being easy to navigate.

Make sure to keep the consumer in mind

When someone visits a website and finds it difficult to find something as simple as your contact information, you’re likely to have problems. Simply make this a priority. Ensure that contact information is easily accessed, include an email address and phone number on the home page (and on every other page of the site), and remember that the header or a sidebar is probably the best location for this information.

Chances are that you aren’t the only game in town, so if you aren’t doing something unique to set your site apart from the competition you won’t be leading the pack. You must give the consumer the added confidence that comes from knowing they’re dealing with the best in the business, and also knows everything there is to know about the products being presented. Insurance Websites for agents don’t have to be overly complex – they just need to be properly designed.

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Commercial Property and a Commercial Lines Rating System

A Commercial Lines rating System provides the insurance industry with a convenient way to formulate the costs for coverage in a variety of different segments where pricing is competitive. It allows for several quotes at once, which allows for a choice between carriers based on cost and coverage options.

In the case of rating commercial property, there are seven factors that control the premium development for commercial property:

  • Coverage form (building, contents, business income, etc)
  • Cause of loss form (Basic Form, Broad Form, Special Form)
  • Construction of the building
  • Occupancy of the building
  • Location of the property
  • Amount of insurance being written, and
  • Applicable coinsurance requirement

Specific rating versus class rating

For property that is not eligible for class rating, the property loss costs that apply specifically to a building and its contents are provided by WSRB in publications by street address. In addition, loss costs are developed as the result of an on-site inspection, and generally larger businesses or those involving more hazardous operations are specifically rated.

However, most businesses can be rated on a class basis, in which case similar businesses have similar exposure to loss and similar probabilities of sustaining damage. Exposures and probabilities are statistically analyzed, and loss costs are produced that reflect the chance of loss for a typical business in each class (CSP codes).

With class rating, loss costs can be modified to reflect how an individual business may differ from others in the same class. This information is essential to a Commercial Lines Rating System when determining the proper rates.

Special Form

“Special Cause of Loss” provides coverage for risks of direct physical loss unless excluded or limited. It’s important to understand that when rating a policy with special form, specifically rated properties as well as class rated properties are eligible. The amount of insurance and the coinsurance percentage must be the same for each cause of loss rated. Property in offices may be written as a separate item under “Special Causes of Loss” and the remaining property may be written under “Basic or Broad Causes of Loss” forms.

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Factors for Determining ISO Commercial Property Rating

Insurance companies evaluate business owners who wish to purchase coverage in terms of the risk of loss that the type of operations they’re conducting may pose. Businesses having a relatively higher level of risk will generally pay more for insurance coverage, as where businesses with a relatively lower risk will pay less for insurance coverage and also find that it’s easier to obtain.

Class rating versus specific rating

ISO Commercial Property Rating is done in one of two ways. Commercial property can be either class rated or specifically rated. The rating mechanics are the same for both. Most businesses can be rated on a class basis. Similar businesses are seen as having common exposures to loss and therefore have an equal probability of sustaining damage.

Specific rating is designed for risks that are not eligible for class rating. Loss costs are developed as the result of an on-site inspection. Property loss costs that apply specifically to a building and its contents are provided by WSRB in publications by street address. WSRB is Washington’s premier source of property underwriting and rating information for the insurance industry.

Construction, Occupancy, Protection and Exposure (COPE) are the same four basic elements of underwriting data that real property underwriters have been using for nearly 300 years. Commercial property applications are designed to capture most of this basic underwriting data as specified by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

Fire rating helps establish premium costs

The construction of a building establishes the basis of its fire rating. Using fire-resistant materials throughout a structure can make a huge difference in insurance premiums. In order to receive the full benefit of a good rating, builders must use fire-resistant materials throughout construction. Adding-on to an existing structure could possibly hurt its fire rating.

A relatively hazardous occupant affects the fire rating for an entire building, so if a business shares space with a more hazardous occupant, premiums will tend to be higher. For example, a restaurant presents greater fire risks than a travel agency for obvious reasons, but a travel agency adjacent to a restaurant will experience higher premiums than one that isn’t.

Location is also vital for determining fire rating, while exposure measures the extent to which a structure faces external or unusual internal risks. ISO Commercial Property Rating factors all of these issues in when determining rates for every type of business.

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Automated Systems Takes Insurance Processes to the Next Level

Whether one is a program administrator, managing general agent (MGA), or an insurance carrier, if you are striving to be among the best in the industry, you are no doubt relying on an automated insurance rating system to function at the core of your operation. What do these marvels of modern technology accomplish? Just about everything in the lifecycle of a policy, for one thing, from the application submission to the creation of a declarations page and generating a statement; renewals, endorsements, or policy rewrites; claims filing and management, data reporting, and more–these systems are typically modeled after the workflow of an actual insurance company (and programmed by professionals who have many years of experience in the Property/Casualty insurance industry), yet taken light-years beyond in terms of automation and integration with other systems.

Systems are flexible, far beyond default settings

Many of these products offer a variety of cutting-edge business solutions, with myriad capabilities such as:

  • Flexibility to migrate to and grow with increasingly larger hardware platforms to match company growth
  • Seamless connectivity with operating system software, complete with drop-down selections for simplicity and auto-filled fields to streamline inputs and reduce errors
  • Customization opportunities to tailor to fit the specific needs of a program administrator, managing general agent, or insurance carrier
  • Affordable, flexible pricing to fit most any budget, reflecting modules selected, lines of business used, and the size of the organization

The road to quality has many entrances

Whether one is a program administrator, managing general agent, or an insurance company, it is vital for your organization’s survival to ensure your processes reflect both efficiency in the short term, as well as effectiveness in the long run–which means that it is vital to make sure that, at the hub of your operation, is a robust automated insurance rating system. Contact a quality provider of these products today to learn more. The best in the industry are ready to take your operation to the next level, with policy management systems for both property and casualty lines of business as well as commercial lines of business. Contact a quality provider today.

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Insurance Rating Software is the First Step in Innovation

In a competitive market such as insurance sales, insurers are always looking for an advantage. Gaining an edge over your competitors means increased revenues, added sales and more stability as a whole. Many insurers have been able to gain such an advantage through the use of Insurance Rating Software. Carriers, MGAs and Program Administrators leverage the use of rating services to automate ratings processes. This software is able to deliver specific industry quotes efficiently, helping brokers to present proposals to their prospects.

In addition, for insurance carriers, custom rating packages also provide a platform to analyze market opportunities and existing policy portfolios, enabling them to identify new opportunities and enhance business results.

A rise in the level of competition

Many insurers are providing rating systems to agencies either in the form of software to be used on the agency computer, or in the form of online access to systems on an insurer’s computer. While the concern used to be beating industry rivals and traditional peers to the punch, the challenge is now also coming from challengers for a share of the market who weren’t originally in the business of selling insurance. There are now outside companies that are exploiting their capability to collect and apply data as well.

Although just entering the personal auto market, Google is a leader for innovation in the data-strategy realm and, with its strong market presence, it could lead the revolution in the evolving of insurance marketing and distribution, possibly leaving many of the biggest traditional companies in the lurch. Google and other interlopers are driving customer engagement, customer demographics, digital models, data use, capital access and deployment, and new and exciting innovation in a way that many in the traditional product-creation and distribution channels have not dreamed of, much less planned or financed for.

For clients, it’s a no-brainer; they simply want accuracy, speed and ease of interaction. This can be accomplished through the use of Insurance Rating Software along with a visionary approach to what the future holds for the insurance market.

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