Libke Insurance Associates was an early adopter of digital payment processing. The agency had been using Simply Easier Payments for about 3 years when they switched over to ePayPolicy in 2017. Agency Principal Jeff Rounds explains, “Point blank, we were using them because they were free.” ePayPolicy had come onto Jeff’s radar screen at a conference and he asked his bookkeeper to do some research. As with any financial investment, the agency did thorough due diligence, including product demos and checking ePayPolicy’s reviews/reputation.
The Switch to ePayPolicy
What drove Libke to select ePayPolicy? For Jeff, ePayPolicy had a more professional look, especially because they were able to use their branding on their payment page and had a unique URL. “I know some agencies do anything they can to cut costs”, says Jeff. “For us, client-facing technologies are worth the investment. I would rather pay for something that brings value than get a free product that doesn’t help our “client-first” brand.”
At the time of the switch, Jeff had partners, and they were trying to take the agency national. He decided to split from the partners and used ePayPolicy as a way to differentiate his agency.
In addition to presenting a more professional look to clients, Jeff appreciates the portal’s ease of use. He sees client convenience as a main benefit. “Clients have responded really well. Most have been thrilled,” Jeff says. “They like that we are not holding up binding policies. Once we get the yes on the policy, we don’t want to create hurdles. It’s one shot and done. We have the money faster. And they don’t have to think about it or run their payment down to our office.”
Jeff’s Favorite Feature
“I don’t deal with it directly but my favorite feature is the ability to embed a link on our invoices and on our website”, says Jeff. “That, and the ease-of-use factor. It makes payment processing easier for us, and for our clients, wherever they may be.”
“Giving our clients an avenue to make their payments quickly has been huge—especially during COVID lockdown.” Libke was ahead of the Covid curve, where other agencies had to scramble. Jeff notes it felt great to be able to tell clients, “We are sorry we can’t open our doors, but we have invested in the technology to be able to serve you remotely.” He continues, “During that time, all we did was file claims and reduce commissions. But there were no hiccups with people making payments.”
Jeff says proudly: “We did not shrink. We kept growing through Covid. I was hiring through Covid! ePayPolicy was (and is) a partner that allows us to keep going forward, not backward.”
He concludes: “Having this technology lets me make better business decisions. We have simplified our footprint and can still service all of our communities from our central office.”
Integration with AMS
Jeff is looking forward to integrating ePayPolicy with their Applied Systems AMS. “That’s on my to-do list.” He’s heard that Applied is developing their own financing/funding system, but isn’t interested. “We have turned other vendors down cold. We’re staying with ePayPolicy. Other people might say they are the easiest. But ePayPolicy really is. It works. No hurdles.”
Advice to Other Agencies
Jeff advises, “Give ePayPolicy a shot. Once you do, you will never want to go back.”
Furthermore, he predicts, “We are going to a digital footprint. If you’re not doing this, you will be out of business in five years.”
And finally, he semi-facetiously offers: “If you are still having trouble deciding, I’ll be glad to buy your agency!”
About Libke Insurance
Libke Insurance Associates, Inc. has been protecting clients and communities throughout eastern Washington state and beyond since 1917. The agency works with top insurance companies to provide a full suite of protection solutions that serve the needs of individuals, businesses and farms. Currently, Libke’s business mix is approximately 10 percent employee benefits, 50 percent commercial and 40 percent personal lines.