SeibertKeck is on a mission to change the insurance buying experience. The 100+ year-old, Akron-based agency offers personal and business lines, employee benefits, bonding and professional liability coverage through 17 offices.
EVP of Sales & Operations Tim Able says: “There’s a perception that insurance is hard. We constantly look for ways to make the client experience easier. We push our team to be on the edge of what’s coming, to be subject matter leaders in our field. We offer in-house 24/7/365 claims, and we’re always looking for new technology partners.”
Introducing Digital Payments
SeibertKeck introduced digital payments via ePayPolicy in early 2020. Tim explains the driving forces behind that decision.
- “We have a large book of personal lines, but most of that business is direct bill. As most agencies can relate, the pain was with our agency bill business clients paying by check.
- Technology has reached a point where consumers (including businesses) expect a digital payment option. It’s a requirement to compete in today’s environment.
- The third piece was our own business evolution. We’d grown to the point where we needed a controller. Kevin Speight (now VP of Finance) came in with fresh ideas and worked with our Systems Intelligence Manager. They did a high level review of our accounts receivable and what our clients and the market were asking for.”
Once SeibertKeck made the decision to go digital, ePayPolicy quickly emerged as the vendor of choice. The agency’s research included checking out OIA company partners. They also conferred with their Vertafore contacts and were pleased to learn that ePayPolicy integrates with AMS360*. Tim says their concerns about client privacy and transaction security were allayed by the agency’s IT vendor. “We made sure to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.”
With a quick, simple, and seamless installation, SeibertKeck began accepting credit cards and ACH payments — just in time for the pandemic.
Initially, there was some pushback. Some clients balked at paying the credit card processing fee. Putting on his sales hat for a minute, Tim describes coaching employees to overcome objections by emphasizing value. “Yes, there is a fee to use ePayPolicy, but it’s more convenient and more secure and faster than paying by check. And you know your policy’s not going to cancel.” Agents will even suggest that a client “try it this one time and see if you like it.”
Over time, SeibertKeck clients have steadily embraced paying digitally, with smaller businesses using it more than larger businesses. “ePayPolicy has made quite an impact. We’re definitely seeing fewer checks,” Tim notes. He adds that 93 percent of the firm’s digital payments are ACH and 7 percent are credit card.
Tim answers emphatically: “My favorite thing is that it’s SIMPLE. The interface is fantastic. It looks and feels like any other transaction we do on the internet. That’s what I like. We’re proud to offer a payment interface that’s as simple as Amazon or PayPal, not 100 questions.”
Tim also comments on payment flexibility. People can pay by logging into their SeibertKeck client portal, which integrates to the AMS. Or they can simply go onto agency’s website and pay from there.
Advice to Other Agencies
Tim shares his sales/client service philosophy. “Insurance, and the transaction of insurance, is more than just the premium. The transaction has to be part of the overall experience. Make it all as easy as you can.”
Specific to offering digital payments through ePayPolicy, Tim advises: “Make sure you are partnered with a solid IT vendor. And be transparent with your clients about how to use it and the fees associated with each payment. No surprises.”
Finally, “Make this a part of your sales process. It shows you are current with payment technology. It’s a benefit for them, and they are going to be very happy.”
*ePayPolicy also integrates with other Vertafore products and many other popular management systems.