Hummel Group, Inc. is a regional insurance agency with six offices in Ohio and one in Indiana. The agency offers commercial and personal lines of insurance, health and employee benefits and financial planning and wealth management services. In the commercial insurance sector, the agency writes many lines of business, with specialties in niche markets.
The agency has made a systematic investment in InsurTech for the last 10+ years — always looking for ways to improve processes and efficiency, obtain better reporting and analysis and lead the way on technological innovations in the insurance industry.
The Demand for Electronic Payments
“Our original goal was to speed up receivables collection,” says Kevin Weaver, Accounting and Bonds manager. “As more insureds started asking about paying electronically or with a credit card, Hummel Group wanted to offer this payment method in a cost-effective and secure way.”
Finding the Right Partner
Kevin and his team started looking for a vendor that could handle the specific needs of agencies, brokers, MGAs and premium finance companies. “We were heavily invested in Vertafore, so we asked them for a recommendation. What stood out about ePayPolicy is that they were one of the first Vertafore “Orange Partners” for electronic payments,” says Kevin.
Integration as Catalyst
At a Vertafore conference, Kevin heard ePayPolicy co-founder Milan Malkani mention that the company was getting “very close” to an integration with Vertafore.
Hummel Group was sold on ePayPolicy, but decided to hold off until the integration with AMS360 was ready for implementation. “We wanted the payment process streamlined and efficient from day one,” Kevin says.
In July 2019 Hummel Group became the first independent agency to integrate ePayPolicy into their AMS360 management system.
How it’s Going
Kevin reports: “For being the first AMS360 integration customer, the integration—for both divisions—went really well. Milan and his team made sure our questions were answered and everything worked to our satisfaction.”
Hummel Group has seen:
- Time savings for the agency. “Having our systems tied together saves hours of emails and phone calls from customers and brokers inquiring about their balance due. With a few inputs on the payment screen, all of a customer’s open invoices are populated.”
- Convenience for their insureds. Kevin says: “We’re constantly asking what we can do to make it easier to do business with us. Electronic payment helps us accomplish that, especially with some of the current challenges accepting cash or checks. Hummel Group promotes digital payment (with payment links) on their website, in email signature blocks, on invoices and email reminders, and also during phone conversations.
Along with the Import Deposit feature, Kevin likes Invoice Notifications. The system sends out a reminder email to the insured, clearly branded to the appropriate division (Hummel Group or Energy Risk Advisors), and it includes a payment link. “Invoice Notification is a huge value-added feature,” he says.
Advice to Vertafore Users
Kevin views electronic payment as the way of the future. Many insurance carriers, brokers and MGAs already offer it, and insureds increasingly expect it.
Why ePayPolicy? “They were quick to partner with Vertafore. And they’re always adding new technologies and features—with input from users. Schedule a free demonstration. You will find their system very user-friendly.
He concludes: “I cannot stress enough how pleasant it is to work with ePayPolicy. Their customer service is friendly, knowledgeable, and has a “can-do” attitude. They stay in close communication with us and provide occasional tips and tricks to make sure we are getting the maximum benefit from their system.