Winning in a Hard Market: How Agents Can Adapt to Challenging Times

Change is accelerating all around us, possibly at a faster pace than in any period in history. Climate change, rising interest rates, and effects from the covid pandemic are propelling companies to transform their business models and offerings. The insurance sector is no exception. In reality, these factors might serve as the catalyst that triggers a reinvention of how the industry operates and the role it plays in the broader societal context.

For the third consecutive year, the non-life insurance industry continues to enhance its top-line growth by implementing above-average rate hikes across virtually all segments of business. Despite these efforts, increasing loss costs are proving to be a substantial obstacle, rendering bottom-line profitability a challenging pursuit for carriers and the industry as a whole.

Insurance companies need to remain resilient in the coming months and year to succeed in a hardening market. In this blog, we’ll delve into the ongoing changes to the industry and explore how companies can and are adapting.

Increasing Catastrophic Events

The increasing occurrence and seriousness of global risks, from climate change to cybercrime, are heightening the scrutiny on the insurance sector’s ability to serve as society’s financial safety nets. Insurers are looking for ways to prevent losses from happening in the first place; but when losses seem unpreventable and severely risky financially, insurers might opt to exit out of markets entirely.

The rise in natural disasters, from hurricanes to wildfires, has put immense pressure on insurance companies. Payouts for these events have escalated, straining their financial reserves. These events have caused carriers to reassess their exposure and price strategies.

Earlier this year, State Farm and Allstate, the top-ranked and fourth-ranked property and casualty insurance companies in the nation, announced their decision to cease issuing new home insurance policies in California. Other major insurance companies have also withdrawn from providing coverage in Florida. Hurricane- and flood-prone states are accustomed to getting these news. However, it does not make it any much easier for policyholders and insurers alike.

Regulatory Changes 

If it is becoming more expensive to cover payouts, why don’t insurance companies just increase their prices? Insurance companies in certain states are facing increasingly stringent regulations and standards, like constraints on premium hikes and prohibiting policy cancellations. 

Insurance companies are trying to find a delicate balance between ensuring financial stability and providing affordable coverage to policyholders. Some companies are investing in advanced risk assessment and pricing models, leveraging technology to more accurately underwrite policies. Additionally, many are expanding their product offerings or entering new markets to mitigate the impact of stringent regulations. Collaboration with regulatory authorities and industry associations is also common, as insurers aim to influence policy development and advocate for adjustments that maintain a fair market while allowing for sustainable profitability.

In California, the departure of major insurers might increase the urgency to loosen consumer-minded regulations that have maintained low insurance rates in the state for an extended period. While regulations have been acknowledged for delivering substantial savings to consumers, the insurance industry contends that it imposes limitations on precise risk assessment and pricing.

Escalating Costs

For those that are still able to increase prices, they seem to struggle to raise them fast enough to cover record growth in expenses. According to Deloitte, the price of single-family residential home construction materials soared 33.9% since the start of the pandemic while contractor services are up 27%. “The cost to insure new home customers in California is far higher than the price they would pay for policies due to wildfires,” Allstate said to ABC News.

Many insurance companies are opting for reinsurance as their own form of protection against risky scenarios. However, recent years have witnessed a rapid surge in reinsurance costs due to escalating expenses from global disasters. When these prices become prohibitively high, and insurers can no longer effectively transfer excessive risk, they find themselves “holding the risk.” These financial pressures can either force insurers out of business or compel them to exit specific regions, as exemplified in the cases of California, Louisiana, and Florida.

One area in which the industry could face a disruption is the opportunities in embedded insurance. There has been a substantial growth in insurance premiums integrated into various third-party transactions, circumventing traditional intermediaries like insurance agents and potentially sidelining legacy carriers. These carriers should proactively explore partnership opportunities before they face the risk of not having an embedded partner. Alternatively, they need to devise strategies for competing against those who do join forces with product or service providers.

The Prominence of Excess and Surplus (E&S) Lines

The U.S. excess and surplus (E&S) insurance market is anticipated to achieve a second consecutive year of direct underwriting profits in 2023. With traditional carriers exiting high-risk markets, E&S lines have become a crucial component of the insurance landscape. 

Recent growth can be attributed to admitted markets offloading business that falls beyond their risk tolerance to the E&S market, like in homeowners’ business in states like Florida and California. E&S insurance offers greater flexibility in tailoring policies to specific needs. 

Excess and surplus lines also operate under a distinct regulatory framework, providing more flexibility to insurers and consumers. It enables carriers to take on higher-risk clients without adhering to the same regulations that apply to standard insurance.

The Time Has Come to Adopt Agency Billing

In an attempt to control risk, carriers are relying more heavily on MGAs and wholesalers to take on previously placed policies. In many cases, these MGAs may require agents to manage billing, thereby transferring any payment-related risks. Agencies lacking the infrastructure for agency billing may face greater operational challenges, both in terms of handling payments and reconciling accounts effectively.

“It is imperative for agents and brokers to adapt and find effective solutions to manage client payments, automate payment reconciliation, and integrate premium financing into their workflows,” says Dan Maloney, Head of Enterprise Sales at ePayPolicy. “Agents that position themselves to help clients navigate these challenges will come out the winners.”

Many insurers don’t want to deal with taking payments and reconciling them. They also don’t want to pay the fees. Because of this, it’s important to find a payment processor that is (1) highly automated and (2) able to pass the fees to the policyholders. 

ePayPolicy set out to automate the agency bill process to support both insurance companies and their customers. We made collecting payments convenient by enabling insureds to pay digitally by credit card or ACH. ePay also allows the insurance company to pass the fees either partially or entirely to the insured.

In reality, consumers face credit card and ACH fees in everyday life. “If insurers ever want to do something that might be a bit unpopular for consumers but beneficial for the business, now is the time to do it,” says Maloney. Agencies that can efficiently handle agency billing will be better positioned to navigate changes and provide a seamless payment experience for their policyholders.

CheckMate Changes Checks for BSR

Microplastics. The smell in the break room when someone microwaves salmon. Paper checks. 

Some things linger, despite our hopes otherwise.

And so, we adapt.

The inefficiencies of paper check payments drove ePayPolicy’s founders to create their core platform for online payments 8 years ago. They saw how most other industries took payments, and knew they could help insurance organizations like theirs make the leap.

And now, agencies, MGAs, PFCs and carriers get paid faster. Problem, meet solution – right?

The Persistence and Pain of Checks

“There are still people out there who feel that a paper check is more secure,” says Vickie Harmon of Bailey Special Risk. “That’s their preconceived notion. And then there are others who tell us their owners don’t allow them to pay online.”

The combination of digital payment preferences in the 18-34 age bracket and the surge in online payments driven by the pandemic has proven to be lasting. B2C consumer preferences for fast, flexible and secure payments have bled into B2B transactions. And paper checks are anything but fast, flexible and secure.

“Just getting checks to the office is a pain,” said Harmon. “Someone could send a check from 2-3 hours up the road, and a week later, it might get to us. Then someone has to open it, scan it, and reconcile it back to (Vertafore’s) AIM.”

A 2022 McKinsey study affirmed what most already know – 9 out of 10 Americans utilize digital payments. Online payments are faster, more secure, and commonplace. But compared to most industries, the insurance space has an above average amount of holdouts still using checks. 

“We look at the amount on the check. If there’s a comma, we might take it to the bank today,” joked Harmon. “If not, maybe we’ll wait until the end of the week and see if another one comes in.”

“We know that our customers love the ease of online payments,” said ePayPolicy CTO Nish Modi. “But they’re still getting these checks – in some cases, despite their best efforts. We started thinking, could we make check payments as easy as their online payments?” 

More than a lockbox

Some large insurance organizations utilize generic bank lockbox solutions to offload the administration associated with check handling at the offices, especially with multi-location companies. But not all lockboxes are created equal, and many come with high and fluctuating fee schedules, long-term contracts and insufficient integration with insurance management and accounting software.

“We could have had a lockbox at any point, but then it would just be a matter of them emailing us the information,” said Harmon. “We’d still have to spend the time to manually enter all of that.”

Feedback like this led to the development of CheckMate – the first integrated, secure lockbox solution built just for the insurance industry. When it came to rethinking the lockbox concept, Modi’s team was adamant that CheckMate would be built to integrate with the actual management and accounting systems being used today.

“A lockbox without the (Vertafore) AIM integration doesn’t save me anything, other than maybe it gets to the bank a little quicker.” Harmon added. “But with CheckMate, there’s no manual entry.”

As an integrated insurance solution, CheckMate works in 3 simple steps:

Secure, Daily Collection – Checks are routed to the closest CheckMate lockbox location for daily collecting, batching and processing.

Dashboard Details – Check images and remittance details are viewable in the ePayPolicy dashboards, so there’s just one dashboard for all your payment types. No additional software required. 

Magic Invoice Matching – Customers that connect their accounting systems can utilize CheckMate’s intelligent scanning to match payments with open invoices, eliminating double work and repetitive data entry.

“With CheckMate, the deposits get to the bank faster – by at least 1-2 days, and what used to be 2-3 minutes per check to process has become 2-3 minutes per batch,” said Harmon. “We don’t want to have to spend our time processing checks, we’d rather spend it servicing our customers.”

CheckMate is now available for insurance organizations looking for an integrated solution for modern check payments and accounting.

The Myths of Check Payment Security

In today’s fast-paced digital world, where cashless transactions dominate, it may seem archaic to discuss the use of checks for payments. Yet, checks are still very much in circulation, and many insurance companies rely on them for various reasons. There’s a common misconception that paying with checks is a secure and foolproof method. In this blog, we’ll debunk these myths and reveal why paying by check can pose a significant danger for both the business and the paying customer.

Myth 1: Checks Are a Safe and Reliable Payment Method

One of the most persistent myths about checks is that they are a safe and reliable way to make payments. Many people believe that since checks are a tangible form of payment, they must be secure. However, this perception doesn’t align with the reality of the modern financial landscape.

The Truth: Checks Are Vulnerable to Fraud

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported roughly 300,000 complaints of mail theft in 2021, more than double the prior year’s total. Postal authorities and bank officials have warned Americans to avoid mailing any checks if possible. As cases of fraud increase, it is also taking more time for victims to recover any stolen money.

Checks are also risky for businesses receiving them as payments. Criminals can easily create fake checks or modify legitimate ones to redirect funds to their accounts. Once a fraudulent check is deposited, it can take time for banks to detect the fraud, leaving businesses to bear the financial loss.

Myth 2: Checks Offer a Paper Trail for Accountability

Another myth surrounding checks is that they provide a clear paper trail for tracking payments and holding parties accountable. This perception often leads businesses to believe that checks are a reliable way to handle transactions. Payers may also think that businesses must believe them when they say they mailed a check that hasn’t actually arrived.

The Truth: Checks Create Administrative Hassles

While checks do generate a paper trail, they also create significant administrative burdens. Businesses must manually process each check, which consumes valuable time and resources. Moreover, the paper trail can be easily manipulated by dishonest parties or the check can be lost by accident.

The sheer number of times a check must be passed from hand to hand while it is being processed means there is less and less security available. Tracking becomes complex and error prone, leading to potential financial discrepancies.

Myth 3: Checks Are a Cost-Effective Payment Method

Some businesses and payers view checks as a cost-effective way to collect payments because they don’t involve transaction fees associated with credit card payments or digital wallets.

The Truth: Hidden Costs and Inefficiencies

Accepting checks may appear cost-effective on the surface, but when you factor in the hidden costs and inefficiencies, the picture changes. According to a Bank of America study, the costs of processing one business check ranges from $4 to $20, when taking into account stamps, envelopes, reconciliation, etc. Businesses must invest in equipment like check scanners, which can be expensive. The time spent on manual processing and addressing issues related to checks can also offset any perceived savings.

Checks are also expensive and tedious for payers. Though credit card payments often involve fees, individuals (including business owners) often earn rewards for paying by credit card. And if they rather not earn points for a lower fee, an ACH option usually offers that.

Myth 4: Checks Provide Quick Access to Funds

Many businesses believe that when they receive a check, they have immediate access to the funds. This misconception is partly due to the fact that checks are often cleared within a few days.

The Truth: Check Holds and Bounced Checks

When businesses go to deposit paper checks to their bank, it takes time away from making those funds immediately accessible. Not only that, but banks may place holds on check deposits, especially for larger amounts or from unfamiliar sources. Furthermore, checks can bounce if the payer’s account has insufficient funds or if they close the account before the check clears. Bounced checks can result in financial losses and additional fees.

For the payer, it can be unclear when the funds will be cashed, making it difficult to plan and prepare for premium payment dues.

Myth 5: Checks Are Preferred by Customers

A lot of insurance companies believe that their customers are very traditional, and prefer paying with paper checks. “That’s the way we’ve always done it”, is what we hear often.

The Truth: Changing Customer Preferences

Customer preferences have evolved over time, and many now prefer the convenience and security of digital payments. Accepting checks exclusively may alienate potential customers who expect more modern and efficient payment options. The Federal Reserve has been tracking payment trends since 2001. Their most recent report states that debit and credit card payments have increased by 8.9%, while paper check usage has decreased by 7.2%

Avoid Risk and Inefficiencies

The primary goal of insurance is to manage and mitigate risks. Yet, many insurance providers still jeopardize their financial health by adhering to outdated payment methods. Modern consumers seek convenience without compromising security. While checks may have been a prevalent payment method in the past, the reality today is that they come with a host of security risks and inefficiencies.

Insurance companies should reassess their reliance on checks and consider embracing more secure and efficient payment solutions, such as credit card payments and electronic fund transfers. These modern options not only offer better security but also streamline the payment process, reduce administrative burdens, and provide a better experience for both businesses and customers.

About ePayPolicy

Over 6,500 insurance companies trust ePayPolicy to speed up inefficient payments with an easy-to-use, connected platform. We allow your business to collect credit card and ACH payments online while also offering an automated check collection and reconciliation tool that makes checks as easy as online payments (because some customers just can’t give up the checkbook). Our custom payment page is branded to your business, linked to your unique URL, and backed by PCI Level 1 Security. Learn more about how it works here.

Download the Check Security Myths Infographic here:

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Receivables with ePayPolicy

Your cash flow depends on prompt client payment. Ultimately, speeding up receivables hinges on changing client behavior. 

Today I’ll share five tips to get paid faster, and how ePayPolicy can help.

Accepting digital payments is a giant first step. But I want to make sure you’re aware of all the features ePayPolicy offers to turbocharge your payment collection (and reduce those boring process tasks).

Tip 1: Make sure clients know they can pay you digitally

Paying insurance premiums via ACH or credit card is easy, convenient, secure and instantaneous. Yet, some ePayPolicy clients tell us they’re still collecting too many checks! 

The key to getting more payers to break their check/cash habit is awareness. Here are some easy ways you can promote digital payment and increase client adoption:

  • Use the co-branded flyer in your dashboard to send out with your invoices and newsletters
  • Use the Client Tool Kit to access custom graphics and copy
    • Let your clients know you’re now accepting digital payments via social media
    • Send an email blast or include your new offering in your newsletter
  • Include a PayNow button in your email signature and on your website
  • Make digital the #1 payment option on your invoices

Tip 2: Make payment foolproof

Paying bills is a hassle, it’s no wonder people put it off. But, we have a solution. 

Our Prefilled ePayPolicy Payment Pages allow payers to pay with a click of a button (seriously).  This page contains your payer’s information already filled out to simplify the process -the hard work’s done for them! This is convenient for all clients, but even more valuable for those who need that “extra nudge” to complete their payments on time. 

Tip 3:  Promote payer-friendly features

As noted in tip #2, we want to remove obstacles to prompt payment; reducing (or eliminating) clients’ time and effort with features like “save payment information” and “autopay.”

When you pay the same vendor regularly, it’s a pain to re-enter your payment information every time and many policies require multiple payments per year. Let policyholders know they can securely save their payment information (we use tokenization). They can even store more than one bank account, credit, or debit card.

For clients paying a variety of invoices throughout the year, AutoPay offers the ultimate convenience.* Just set it, forget it, and wait for the e-receipt confirming the payment was made. 

*Only available for integrated payment pages.

Tip 4: Create positive client touch-points

Send automatic invoice reminders for due and past due invoices on your behalf.* When the client clicks the link, the page prefills with their due invoices. And you score points for being so thoughtful.  

*Currently available with AMS360, Sagitta, AIM & MGA systems. (More coming soon).

Tip 5: Integrate ePayPolicy with your management system

We typically think of management systems in terms of its benefits to agents and staff. But having everything in one place, including payment processing, creates a seamless user experience. Clients don’t have to search for invoices, they’re pulled directly from the management system integrated with ePayPolicy.  

Let’s review:

The key to speeding up receivables is to get more clients to pay digitally. Digital payments are easy and convenient for them, and they put money into your account right away — when they pay. ePayPolicy is designed to make the entire process a breeze. Payer-friendly features like prefilled payment pages, automated invoice reminders, auto-pay and more make paying you a positive, convenient experience — and almost impossible to be late. All of these factors combine to encourage prompt payment, leading to better cash flow and smoother business for you. 

Contact support if you need help setting up any of these features.

5 Benefits of Offering Insurance Premium Financing

Premium financing is a financing arrangement that enables individuals and businesses to pay for their insurance premiums over time, rather than paying for them in full upfront. It works by allowing the borrower to obtain a loan from a premium finance company to pay for their insurance premiums, with the borrower repaying the loan over time with interest.

Offering premium financing presents various advantages for insurance companies and their customers. Because premiums can cost upward of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, it’s become an industry staple for insureds to alleviate the cost of payment.

Why Offer Premium Financing?

  1. Attract New Customers
    Premium financing can be an attractive feature for potential customers who may be interested in purchasing insurance but are deterred by the upfront costs. By offering financing options, insurance companies can tap into a broader customer base and increase their sales volumes. This can also set you apart from competitors.
  2. Increase Customer Retention
    Premium financing can also help insurance companies retain their existing customers. It provides a convenient and flexible payment option, ensuring that customers can continue their coverage without financial strain. By offering financing, companies demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and create a sense of loyalty.
  3. Financial Partnerships and Diversification
    Insurance companies that offer premium financing can form strategic partnerships with premium finance companies. These partnerships provide a reliable source of financing for customers, as well as potential cross-promotion opportunities.
  4. Revenue Generation
    Premium financing can create an additional revenue stream for insurance companies. While policyholders repay their premiums over time, the insurance company receives the full premium amount upfront from the premium finance company. This can improve cash flow and generate interest income on the financed premiums.
  5. Mitigate Risk
    Premium financing can help insurance companies mitigate the risk of non-payment. By partnering with a premium finance company, the insurance company transfers the credit risk associated with premium payment to the finance provider. This reduces the likelihood of policy cancellations due to payment delinquencies and helps insurance companies maintain a more stable customer base.

What About ePayPolicy? 

ePayPolicy recently announced a new product that enables insurance companies to offer premium financing options. Finance Connect allows insurance companies to work with their existing PFC partners to offer easy financing at online checkout. This new product “is going to help insureds pay faster and bind policies sooner, helping both insurance companies and their PFC partners,” said CTO Nish Modi.

Finance Connect combines the ease of integrated online payments with financing at checkout to help improve conversion rates and eliminate back-and-forth with your PFC partners. Finance offers and terms are presented up front, and PFAs are auto-generated. Once enrolled, auto-payment and payment reminders make payments and communication with insureds effortless. 

Learn more about Finance Connect here.

New Product – Finance Connect

We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Finance Connect to our suite of insurance payment and reconciliation products for insurance companies. Finance Connect enables insurance companies to offer premium financing options – with their existing premium finance partners – at the point of online checkout for their insured customers.

“Premium financing is essential in our industry because it gives customers greater payment flexibility with financing options,” said CEO Mark Engels. “We’re combining the ease of integrated online payments with financing at checkout to help improve conversion rates for our customers and eliminate the manual aspects of enrollment in a financing agreement with their partners.”

ePayPolicy has over 6,500 customers in the insurance industry, including Premium Finance Companies (PFCs). Existing customers will have early access, with integrations to their existing PFC partners to ensure a seamless experience for all parties involved.

“As premiums increase, access to financing becomes more important,” said CTO Nish Modi. “Finance Connect is going to help insureds pay faster and bind policies sooner, helping both insurance companies and their PFC partners.”

Finance Connect is the latest integrated product for an industry in need of greater digital efficiency and automated back-office operations. ePayPolicy’s founders experienced firsthand the operational pains of check collection and manual reconciliation in insurance, which led to the company’s first product – secure, online payment pages that were fully customizable to match the insurance company’s brand. 

ePayPolicy recently introduced CheckMate, an automated check reconciliation solution that utilizes machine learning, and announced the Payables Connect tools for automating the reconciliation, creation, and payment of market payables.

Finance Connect is the next of several product releases, with the goal of continuing to streamline the accounts payable, receivables and disbursement experience for customers in the insurance industry.

“We want to be the place our customers go to reconcile their payables and receivables and to tie it all together with their existing accounting solutions,” said Modi. “We’re building an industry-wide network that allows money and the associated data to flow freely through the industry while saving time and providing security for our customers.”

Key Features

  • Allows insurance companies to work with their existing PFC partners
  • Premium financing options presented at checkout alongside option to pay in full via ACH or credit card
  • Auto-payment enrollment and payment reminders for enrolled customers
  • Simplified financing enrollment and upfront terms for insureds
  • Easily generates consolidated premium finance agreements (PFAs)
  • ePayPolicy is integrated with over 90% of the most popular agency management systems, saving time and manual data entry

How Digital Insurance Payments Can Optimize Your Business

A lot of people seem to have the misconception that implementing a digital payment option for their business is a big undertaking. In reality, not only can the process be easy, but it can also greatly enhance the customer experience. More and more consumers now have the expectation of being able to pay for services with credit card or ACH. Younger consumers, especially, don’t even own a checkbook.

Businesses that don’t offer digital payment options risk falling behind their competitors and losing customers. And if you feel like you have a more traditional customer base, you can still accept checks but also offer the option of digital payments for those who prefer it (and at ePay we even offer a way to make paper checks as easy as online payments).

Here are some ways digital payments benefit insurance companies:

1. Improve the Customer Experience
Many customers find the traditional payment process for insurance premiums to be time-consuming and cumbersome. By offering digital payment options, insurance companies can make the payment process faster, more convenient, and more secure. Customers can pay their premiums from anywhere, at any time, using their preferred payment method.

2. Reduce Manual Labor & Streamline Accounting
Traditional payment methods, such as checks and cash, require manual processing and handling, which can be tedious and costly. By implementing digital payment options, insurance companies can automate payment processing and reduce the need for manual handling. This also ensures accuracy of data and streamlined accounting.

3. Reduce Risk of Payment Fraud
Digital payment options, such as credit and debit cards, offer advanced security features that can help to prevent fraud. Additionally, digital payment processing systems can be configured to detect and flag suspicious payment activity, which can help to prevent fraudulent transactions.

4. Stay Competitive
In today’s digital age, customers expect businesses to offer a range of payment options. By failing to offer online payment options, insurance companies risk falling behind their competitors and losing customers.


In summary, implementing digital payment options is not a big change for most businesses, and it can provide numerous benefits for insurance companies. ePayPolicy is fully committed to simplifying the payment collection process for insurance companies. Our sign up request form takes 1 minute, and then our underwriting team reviews your submission and requests any additional details to verify eligibility. Once approved, our team sends final account signup instructions so that you can start collecting payments within 24 hours.

Easy sign-up with no contract, no signup fee, and you can cancel at any time.


30 Insurance Terms You Should Know

The insurance industry is an integral part of the modern economy, providing protection and peace of mind to individuals and businesses alike. With a wide variety of insurance products available, it can be overwhelming to navigate the terminology and concepts associated within the industry. That’s why we’ve put together a glossary of common insurance industry terms.  Whether you’re an insurance agent, broker, or policyholder, understanding these terms can help you make informed decisions and ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs.

The terms:

  1. Policy – A contract between the insurance company and the policyholder that outlines the coverage provided.
  2. Premium – The amount paid by the policyholder to the insurance company for coverage.
  3. Deductible – The amount the policyholder must pay out of pocket, in the event of a claim, before the insurance company pays their portion.
  4. Coverage – The amount of protection provided by an insurance policy.
  5. Claim – A request for payment made by the policyholder for a covered loss.
  6. Underwriting – The process by which insurance companies evaluate the risk of insuring an individual or entity.
  7. Risk – The likelihood of a loss or adverse event occurring.
  8. Insured – The person or entity covered by an insurance policy.
  9. Insurer – The insurance company providing coverage.
  10. Liability – Legal responsibility for something, such as an accident or damage.
  11. Umbrella policy – An insurance policy that provides additional liability coverage over and above your other insurance policies (protection against your assets if you were to be sued). You can have a personal umbrella policy which covers your home and auto, and then you can have a business umbrella policy which covers your business assets and commercial autos.  
  12. Endorsement – A change or addition to your insurance policy.
  13. Renewal – The process of continuing coverage under an insurance policy after the initial term has expired.
  14. Exclusions – Situations or events that are not covered by an insurance policy.
  15. Inclusions – Situations or events that are covered by an insurance policy.
  16. Benefit – The amount of money paid out by an insurance company for a covered loss.
  17. Agent – An individual who sells insurance policies and represents an insurance company.
  18. Broker – An individual or firm that acts as an intermediary between insurance companies and policyholders (can also be an agent).
  19. Indemnification – The process by which an insurance company compensates the policyholder for a covered loss.
  20. Actuary – A professional who uses mathematical models to evaluate the financial risk of insuring individuals or entities.
  21. Rate – The cost of insurance coverage, often expressed as a monthly or annual premium.
  22. Underinsured – A condition where the amount of insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the potential loss.
  23. Overinsured – A condition where the amount of insurance coverage on your policy is more than the potential loss (you are paying for more coverage than you can actually use).
  24. Cancellation – The termination of an insurance policy before the end of its term.
  25. Policyholder – The person or entity that holds an insurance policy.
  26. Subrogation – The process by which an insurance company seeks to recover costs paid out for a covered loss from a third party.
  27. Adjuster – An individual responsible for evaluating and settling insurance claims.
  28. Loss ratio – The proportion of premium dollars spent on claims and company expenses, compared to their profits.
  29. Insurance Fraud – Deception committed in order to obtain payment from an insurance company for a covered loss that did not actually occur.
  30. Solvency – The financial stability and ability of an insurance company to pay claims and meet its obligations.


We hope this glossary is a helpful resource for those within this industry. Understanding these terms can help you communicate more effectively with clients, evaluate risk and coverage options, and navigate the complex landscape of insurance products. As the insurance industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing market conditions, it’s more important than ever to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest trends and developments. By staying informed and knowledgeable, you can ensure that you’re providing the best possible service to your clients and protecting their interests for years to come.

Case Study: MGA is First to Launch Automated Check Reconciliation

Bailey Specialty Risks, Inc. (BSR) recently launched CheckMate, our machine learning powered check reconciliation solution, becoming the first customer to utilize every ePayPolicy service. 

As a wholesale insurance MGA that offers professional lines, their journey with us has been unique, and it continues to broaden and deepen.

An indirect route to digital payments

BSR has been offering digital payments since 2017. Vickie Harmon, Vice President & CFO, says, “Our customers were not coming to us saying ‘Oh, I wish I could pay online.’ They were saying ‘I wish you would offer direct bill.’ She categorically could not. She also wondered if offering electronic payment to her agents would meet with resistance. But she checked out ePayPolicy and some other payment processors.

Milan Malkani, ePayPolicy Co-founder, convinced Vickie to try it. He promised that If she liked it, we could go deeper and customize it for BSR. Vickie picked a few agents she knew were tech savvy and had the type of business that would benefit from digital payment. She had some good response, although there was some pushback at first about who pays the ACH and credit card fees. Because of ePay’s ability to pass fees or absorb them, they have found a solution that works for them and their partners.

Integration with AMS

BSR uses Vertafore’s AIM, and integrated ePayPolicy fairly early on. Fast forward to 2022. Vickie says, “I was on the hunt for a new agency management system. AIM is not an ideal fit for our specialty business.”

At a conference she found herself at dinner with an amiable payment processor rep. She says: “I agreed to view a demo, and at every step asked questions like” ‘Who pays the fees? What about integration? What about dunning notices? We can pay our carriers as outgoing payables?’” She reports: “They had nothing, and they’ve been in business almost as long as ePayPolicy! No one else in the marketplace is offering the breadth of services you do.”

In the end, she stayed with ePayPolicy, and also decided to keep AIM. Vickie talked about a deposit reconciliation problem she encountered shortly after the integration. Suffice to say it got resolved once she brought it to our attention and ePayPolicy introduced Batch Deposits. Another milestone in our relationship was when Milan suggested ePayPolicy could send out Notifications of payment due.

Automated check processing

Most recently, BSR became our first customer to use CheckMate, our automated check processing service that consolidates check payments and digital payments in a single dashboard. Vickie says, “We have to create the payment in AIM regardless. Before CheckMate we would create the check in AIM and go through several extra steps to mail it. Now I export it to ePayPolicy and it goes to a safe digital lockbox, and I don’t have to think about it.” She loves having the same process in CheckMate as she has for electronic payments. She only wishes more carriers would sign up for a recipient account to be paid via ACH.

Biggest business benefit to BSR

Vickie credits ePayPolicy with creating an “incredible efficiency.” The accounting people get notified and they can stay on top of payables. “ePayPolicy makes it easier for those in our agencies to pay us timely. Operations people like us. They say, ‘they are so easy to work with. I can pay them in no time.’ Vickie says anything that gets people talking positively about BSR is a good thing. 

Advice to others on the fence about digital payment

“Just try it,” she advises. “There’s a really low barrier to entry. It’s a whole other way of doing business. Automated payments free up your time. Even if it’s five minutes, that’s five minutes you can spend on other things that aren’t not payment related.”

About BSR

Bailey Specialty Risks is a specialty insurance wholesale broker located in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  BRS offers coverages that include Professional Liability, Management Liability, and Privacy & Security/Cyber Liability. All business is written with licensed/contracted Retail Insurance Agencies throughout the United States