Irene Herman, President and CEO of Riskguard Insurance Solutions, has always been a fan of technology. Her agency was one of the first to get onto the Cloud with Applied Systems’ Epic eight years ago. She does not like paper, preferring to store and access documents on the web. She laughs, “Since the beginning, I’ve only ever had one filing cabinet in the office!”
Until recently, Riskguard Insurance used two different vendors to facilitate digital payments. It was not an ideal solution. Irene says, “We were using Vcheck since 2014. We could accept clients’ check payments by phone, fax or online. We could take their ACH payments.” This offered some convenience for clients, but left quite a bit of manual work for Irene. Essentially, Vcheck’s technology documented the client’s bank routing number, account number and business number—while she did all the rest. She still had to buy blank checks, print them out, and personally take them to the bank to deposit. In addition to Vcheck, Risk Guard used Xpress-Pay to process credit card payments.
One day she asked herself, “Why am I doing all this extra work?”
In April 2022, Irene found a solution that works much better for her needs: ePayPolicy. Riskguard is a member of Pacific Interstate Insurance Brokers (PIIB). She met Jonathan Wilkinson, ePayPolicy senior product specialist, at a PIIB panel. She saw the product in action, and she liked it. She talked to other brokers using ePayPolicy, and they recommended it. Riskguard switched to ePayPolicy a few months later—and they haven’t looked back.
According to Irene, the transition was simple and seamless. Her producers really like it and promote it to their policyholders. Everyone likes the ease of use. “There was no pushback. That is amazing!”
Irene considers the price reasonable, and she’s had no complaints about passing along the fees for ACH or credit card transactions to clients. The agency is on PayPolicy’s “Essentials” Plan, because they don’t use the ledger in their Epic AMS.
Biggest Business Benefits
Although it’s only been a few months, ePayPolicy has made a huge difference. “They’ve delivered on every performance claim,” Irene says.
A primary benefit is the more streamlined, efficient binding process. Instead of waiting for a check to clear, or get lost in the mail, Riskguard enjoys seeing payments validated and processed through ePayPolicy in just a few days. “The way I know for sure the payment is coming is because ePay does it for us,” Irene explains.
She continues, “I especially like the security of ePayPolicy. People have confidence in us that our system is confidential and private. We let them know, if they are skeptical, that ePayPolicy is PCI Level 1 compliant. The money goes straight into the bank. We don’t even know the client’s account number.”
Irene explains that though some people will always want to pay with checks, a lot of work and time is saved with ePayPolicy. “I no longer have to print checks and physically take them into a bank branch.”
Advice to Other Agencies
Irene says, “If you are reluctant, what are you comparing it to? What is your control factor? Would you rather have your time spent at the bank, or on customer service and growing your agency? Would you rather wait two weeks for a check to come, or get instant confirmation that the client has paid?”
She concludes: “There is no downside. It’s a very simple learning curve. It’s easy to use. My conscience is clear when my clients pay through ePayPolicy.”
About Riskguard Insurance Solutions, Inc.
Riskguard Insurance Solutions, Inc. is an independently owned and operated agency located in San Francisco, with remote sales offices in the East Bay and South Bay Areas, and serving clients in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, New York, Texas and Colorado.
Using a variety of preferred and non-standard, surplus lines carriers, Riskguard provides coverage, policy options and programs that meet virtually any personal and/or commercial needs. This includes speciality coverage for hard-to-place businesses and unusual risks.