ePayPolicy’s Year in Review: More Than Just Payments

Faster, easier online payments help insurance companies save hours of back and forth. But alongside the rapid pace of digital payment adoption, insurance companies of all sizes have been impacted by rising interest rates, talent shortages and high premiums over the last 2-3 years. This “hard market” has companies looking at their core processes to see where else they can find efficiencies and cost savings.

Beyond the immediate benefits of offering digital payment options, insurance organizations are looking for more. They’re seeking solutions that extend beyond payment flexibility for their clients—a need to optimize manual check processing, refine payables networks, and streamline premium financing.

Ultimately, we’re looking to build tools that give time back to our customers. And if we can, then our customers can devote more time to growth and retention-focused activities, improving the bottom line.

“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,” said CTO Nish Modi.

2023 was a big year for ePayPolicy. As our CEO, Mark Engels, likes to say, “ePay is not what it used to be”. We are proud to have evolved and transformed, introducing a suite of products and technology integrations aimed at serving insurance companies in the best, most efficient way possible.

New Products: CheckMate, Payables Connect, and Finance Connect

At the forefront of this evolution are three pivotal offerings—CheckMate, Payables Connect, and Finance Connect—each addressing distinct pain points within the insurance industry.

CheckMate: Revolutionizing Check Payments

Checks persist as a common method of payment within the insurance realm, prompting ePayPolicy to develop CheckMate. This solution streamlines the processing of paper checks, offering rapid, secure check routing, and automated reconciliation with accounting systems.

In the same way our digital payment pages are integrated with the most popular management and accounting systems (as well as custom API integrations), CheckMate uses those same integrations to reduce manual, double-work. CheckMate batches and processes checks every day, and uses the same ePay dashboard as our digital payments. Just one hub, for all your payments. Now, we not only have online ACH and credit card payments, but we’ve been able to digitize checks so that our clients never have to touch paper checks again.

One of our first CheckMate clients, a top 10 Broker in the US, said, “The rollout was agile enough for us to adopt it very quickly and for our teams to understand it.” The agency was able to redistribute over 50% of staffing resources dedicated to check processing.

Payables Connect: Payables Have Met Their Match

Another stellar addition to ePayPolicy’s arsenal is Payables Connect, an innovation that addresses the industry-wide challenge of managing paper-based documentation like carrier statements, checks, and invoices. By harnessing machine learning technology and existing integrations, Payables Connect offers a transformative solution that automates the reconciliation, creation, and payment of due payables.

The tool’s machine-learning assisted document scanning and matching capabilities significantly reduce the manual labor typically associated with reconciling market statements and invoices. Its continuous learning and improvement mechanism hold the promise of a future where such tedious tasks become a relic of the past.

Finance Connect: Premium Financing, Made Simpler

Completing the trio of ePayPolicy’s latest offerings is Finance Connect, a solution aimed at enhancing flexibility for payers. By integrating with companies’ premium finance partners, ePayPolicy enables payers to enroll in financing agreements effortlessly right at checkout.

This addition not only alleviates the cost of insurance payments, but also, eliminates manual aspects of financing agreements, and accelerates policy binding. Its ability to generate consolidated premium finance agreements (PFAs) and integrate with existing premium finance partners ensures a seamless experience for all parties involved.

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

Integration Revolution: The ePayPolicy Advantage

Beyond these new product offerings, ePayPolicy stands out with over 30 integrations, uniquely positioning itself as the insurance industry’s go-to payment processor. By seamlessly integrating with popular tools and management systems, ePay ensures your accounting team is just as delighted as your customers.

This year, we added a number of integrations to our tech stack, including: Datacrest, Trailblazer, MCI, Surefyre, Cogitate, and WeSignature. Integrations automate work, improve security and reduce manual, redundant tasks for both payers and accounting teams.

Our management system integrations let payers review and select which invoices they would like to pay directly from the online portal. They also enable invoice notifications and automatic payments. Integrating with tools like WeSignature also make the payment process more seamless and quick, by allowing documents to be signed and paid all at once.

Propelling Industry-Wide Transformation

These products aren’t just about ePayPolicy’s growth; they’re catalysts for broader industry transformation. They are tools that accelerate growth, automate tedious tasks, and, most importantly, pave the way for a more efficient, automated, and customer-centric insurance landscape.

Referral Programs: Unlocking Benefits and Boosting Business Growth

In today’s competitive market, businesses are constantly searching for effective strategies to attract new customers and expand their reach. One approach that has proven to be highly successful is the use of referral programs. By harnessing the power of satisfied customers and incentivizing them to refer friends and family, referral programs can yield substantial benefits for businesses. 

What Are the Benefits? 

  1. Trust and Credibility

Referral programs tap into the power of trust and credibility. When a satisfied customer recommends a product or service to someone they know, it carries significant weight because personal recommendations are perceived as trustworthy. By leveraging these relationships, businesses can gain a competitive edge by capitalizing on the positive experiences and strong relationships their existing customers have with their brand.

  1. Increased Customer Acquisition

Referral programs act as a powerful customer acquisition tool. Traditional advertising and marketing efforts can sometimes come across as impersonal, but referral programs rely greatly on word-of-mouth marketing, which is highly targeted and personal. Satisfied customers become brand ambassadors, actively promoting products or services to their social circles. By offering incentives, such as discounts or rewards, referral programs motivate customers to actively spread the word. This leads to a higher likelihood of acquiring new customers who are genuinely interested in the offerings and have a higher conversion rate compared to other marketing channels.

  1. Cost-Effective Marketing

Referral programs are usually cost-effective. In contrast to traditional advertising, which typically demands significant financial investment, referrals can be a cost-free alternative (unless you opt to reward customers who generate successful leads). A big advantage is that you only pay for leads once they have converted, unlike other marketing efforts where the conversion rate is uncertain. This is why referral programs have demonstrated superior ROI than traditional marketing methods.

  1. Enhanced Customer Engagement

Referral programs can foster a sense of engagement and community among existing customers. Customers feel appreciated, which leads to increased satisfaction and a stronger emotional connection to the brand as well as other users. As customers engage in the referral process, they become more invested in the brand’s success, which leads to increased long-term business and further customer growth. 

  1. Measurable and Trackable Results

Referral programs offer businesses the advantage of tracking and measuring results. Through analytics systems and referral software, businesses can monitor the performance of their referrals in real-time. This data allows them to assess the effectiveness of their program, make necessary adjustments, and optimize their referral strategies. 

Where does ePay fit in? 

ePayPolicy recently introduced our newest referral program with Referral Rock; through which our customers can easily sign up and refer qualifying businesses. Both the referrer and referee earn $100 for each successful referral, which is a strategy used by many companies leveraging referral programs. If you’re a current ePay client, we encourage you to test it out, earn some money, and maybe even implement it in your business.

In conclusion

Referral programs have emerged as a highly effective marketing tool that harnesses the power of satisfied customers to drive business growth. The benefits they provide, such as trust-building, increased customer acquisition, cost-effectiveness, enhanced customer engagement, and measurable results, make them a valuable addition to any business’s marketing strategy. By leveraging the influence of word-of-mouth and incentivizing referrals, businesses can tap into a powerful network effect that propels their growth and fosters long-term success in today’s competitive marketplace.



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.

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.



Let's Connect at The 2019 WSIA Marketplace Event!

Simplify your accounting, easily send funds, and receive your payments faster all with ePayPolicy. Created by insurance experts for the insurance industry ePayPolicy provides the simplest solution for MGAs, premium finance companies, brokers and agents to collect and send ACH and credit card funds across the industry. We reserved a table within The Club and will hold meetings Monday through Wednesday during the Annual Marketplace. Book a time now on our caladnar to schedule a time during the event! We look forward to seeing you there.   About ePayPolicy ePayPolicy is the nation’s foremost provider of payment processing developed exclusively for independent agencies, brokers/MGAs and premium finance agencies.  The company’s  innovative electronic payment processing portal enables clients to accept credit card or ACH without messy merchant accounts or hidden fees.  ePayPolicy sets up quickly, integrates seamlessly with leading management systems, and is endorsed by independent insurance associations nationwide. To find out more visit https://epaypolicy.com About WSIA Marketplace The 2019 WSIA Annual Marketplace event is in two months! The event will be held in San Diego, CA at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Marriott Marquis in San Diego Marina and is the premier event for the wholesale, specialty and surplus lines industry

A Business Guide to Surviving Any Natural Disaster

A Business Guide to Surviving Any Natural Disaster
2017 was a catastrophic year full of devastating storms. Harvey, Irma, Maria, Jose. The list of last year’s now-infamous hurricanes unfortunately goes on.

And as the rain and wind in 2018 continue to hammer down (many are still suffering setbacks of Hurricane Florence), it’s more important than ever to educate and prepare for inclement weather.

As a business owner, it can seem like spending time preparing for something out of your control is a waste of time. Or trivial. Especially in comparison to bringing in leads, serving customers, and improving general business.

But having a plan of action for natural disasters could be the difference between an organization sinking or swimming. Without a doubt, it is something any good business leader should have but hope to never use. Here are a few tips to help protect you from even the rainiest of days.

When it comes to being prepared for Mother Nature, checklists are your best friend.
 

1. Be Proactive
This is so important. Don’t wait until the eye of the storm is over your business to start reacting. Take charge. Make a preparation checklist. Check the weather reports regularly, especially during peak hurricane season. Purchase any gear or groceries you need BEFORE stores start to run out of everything and mobs of people begin fighting over bread, water, and generators.

2. Protect the Property
This one is a given. It’s in your best interest to do everything within your power to reduce property damage (and thus hopefully reduce repair costs). This can include sandbagging areas that have a high flood risk or installing shutters or plywood to windows and doors. You may also want to consider removing surrounding tree branches that could potentially fall on your building.

3. Protect the Gear
Inclement weather hardly ever equals good news for hardware. Whether you’re preparing for a flood, hurricane, tornado, or an earthquake, one thing remains constant: protect your gear.
Electronics are valuable, fragile, and expensive to replace. Take precautions as early as possible to avoid having to buy your whole staff brand new desktops. Move gadgets to an elevated area if you’re expecting floodwaters. Put them in the safest room in your office (one with no windows is ideal). Make sure to shut down computers and unplug machines, cables, and power surges.
Certain tech like external hard drives often hold lots of valuable and irreplaceable information and data. Which brings us to our next, very important, tip.

3. Back Up Data
Boy, is this a big one. Even if you are lucky enough to suffer no property damage, there is always a huge risk of losing important company data, customer insights, contact information, contracts, etc. And while it is challenging to recover from physical damage, losing crucial business documentation could be the end of your organization.

The easiest and most secure way to backup electronic data is by saving files to an external hard drive and then keep that hard drive with you. Do not leave it at the office. Wherever you go, the hard drive goes, too.

What data can your business absolutely NOT function without? Find out, then be sure to back it up on your hard drive.


4. Digitize Everything
Insurance is an old-school business. The industry is changing as insurtech continues to explode, but there will always be a few folks who still don’t do everything electronically. For the most part, this isn’t a problem. But where inclement weather is concerned it can be a huge issue.

If you have valuable paper documents, scan them ASAP and then save those files to the hard drive mentioned in tip #3. It’s still wise to place the physical documents in a Ziploc bag and store them in a dry area while you ride out the storm. But if they get swept away with the rain/wind/whatever, it’s not the end of the world…as long as you have a digital copy on your hard drive, of course.


Companies are constantly at risk. They are at risk of losing money, stagnant business, fierce competition, and on and on the list goes. Sometimes risk is outside of our control, but being proactive and preparing for the worst of Mother Nature is totally and completely within our power. There are no excuses.

According to an August 2017 article by the Associated Press, Hurricane Harvey damaged nearly 700 business in Texas alone. Each natural disaster means every business in the storm’s path is on the chopping block. So it’s up to you as your business’ leader to heed our advice and weather each storm before they arrive at your office door.

Higginbotham Insurance Makes The Switch To Digital Payments

ePayPolicy Case Study: Higginbotham Insurance

Executive Summary
Tony Haas, Controller at Higginbotham Insurance, noticed that customers were frequently asking for electronic payment options to pay their insurance policies. While Higginbotham did accept credit cards, it did not offer the choice to pay via ACH. Haas began searching for a more robust processor and finally stumbled upon ePayPolicy. Signing up, he said, was a must.

“We were getting requests from clients to pay electronically, and after seeing ePayPolicy’s demo, the ACH solution was a much better solution than a wire solution,” said Haas. “A client could either set up a wire account and send money to us, or they could just pull up ePayPolicy and pay us right there. It’s a much easier process,” he said.
“The simplicity of it made it a no-brainer.”

The Goals
Offer clients electronic payments
Integrate with management system, Sagitta
Speed up receivables
Bind policy faster
Streamline reconciliation process

The Results
ePayPolicy Co-Founder Todd Sorrel met Hass for the first time at NetVU 2017, and shortly after, the Higginbotham payment page was live.

After Higginbotham was up and running, it was immediately able to offer clients the option to make electronic payments. Now, the insurance company is able to accept both credit cards and ACH, with payments seamlessly integrating into its management system Sagitta (powered by Vertafore). The technology has allowed them to bind business much faster.

“As soon as customers make payments, we’re getting email notifications to let us know that a transaction is in process,” said Haas. “We can bind things immediately and move onto the next project, instead of waiting a few days.”

Haas said the processor has cut down the reconciliation process by two business days and that ePayPolicy & its ability to integrate with Sagitta has streamlined Higginbotham’s overall process.


“Anytime you can do electronic payments, versus sending an actual check, it makes the whole process easier,” said Hass. “Handling checks is old school.”

The Extras – Hig Helps Page
After Hurricane Harvey tore through Houston last year, Higginbotham reached out to ePayPolicy for help in setting up a donation page for those affected by the storm. Harvey had completely devastated the homes of several Higginbotham team members, and the organization wanted a way to help them through the rebuilding process.

“It was fantastic what ePayPolicy did to help us get that page up and running. We raised about $150,000,” said Haas. “It was a big help to get money and help out to our employees that were hurting.”


Higginbotham Insurance offers risk management and financial services, providing access to commercial and personal property/casualty coverage, employee benefits, retirement plans, life insurance, and executive compensation plans through more than 250 regional and national carriers. As of 2017, the company is ranked #18 on Insurance Journal’s annual list of Top 100 Property / Casualty Agencies. There are over 25 Higginbotham offices in the state of Texas.

Paradiso Insurance, a Yardstick of Quality

The value of good marketing cannot be overstated. If your marketing plan isn’t working (or worse, if you have no marketing plan at all), your organization won’t last long.

You can count on that.

The Internet and social media have made marketing more accessible. But they’ve also created a massive cloud of competition and a hailstorm of noise.

We live in a world of sensory overload. Every company is fighting for consumer attention. With millions of organizations vying for eyes and business 24/7, how do you make yourself stand out?
“Be a yardstick of quality.”

The advice comes from someone who knows a thing or two about marketing, the iconic CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs.

When I think about the insurance space and who makes a good “yardstick” of quality, one name in particular stands out – Chris Paradiso.

Paradiso started his own insurance business in 1998 with just three employees. Today there are over 15 team members and counting, and Paradiso has grown his company and brand into an insurance powerhouse.

Paradiso Presents, LLC is at the forefront of that powerhouse. It began as an endeavor Chris started in order to “teach small agencies how to survive in today’s complex online marketing world.” Since the LLC’s inception, it has grown into one of the most reputable resources for small agency survival.

One facet of Paradiso Presents is the popular industry magazine Be the Last Agent Standing. The publication is one of those tools that belongs in any agency’s survival kit. New and experienced insurance professionals alike will benefit from Last Agent. Readers can expect insight like marketing tips, tricks, and tools designed specifically to help insurance folks grow their business.
Everything from building a brand to search engine optimization to Google Analytics is discussed. Nothing is off the table. Nothing is overlooked. With so much information on the Interwebs these days, it’s difficult to sift through what’s valuable and what’s just fluff. Fortunately, Last Agent is chalk full of rich, valuable, pearls of wisdom from the man himself.

“What Chris does with Paradiso Presents and Last Agent is truly a testament to how well he knows the insurance landscape,” said Milan Malkani, my partner and fellow ePayPolicy co-founder.
“He’s been in this business a long time and still finds all these ways to keep things fresh and fun and current. I think a lot of agencies can learn from him.”


Digital marketing is undoubtedly a frontier that is overwhelming for many. There are a lot of new tricks to learn and insurance is an old business. One that has historically used more “traditional” methods.

For example, using print ads (instead of digital ones), and paper checks (instead of electronic payment processors). However, insurance has gradually been shifting towards a more tech-based industry. And while some are happy with this shift, many are not.

Luckily, there are organizations like Chris Paradiso’s that are dedicated to helping those who do feel overwhelmed. The goal is to elevate the industry and level the playing field. With Paradiso, even the little guys and underdogs have a fighting chance.

What the magazine represents is so much more than articles printed on paper. Be the Last Agent Standing is an integral part of a larger puzzle — a good marketing foundation for budding insurance agencies.

“Any agency worth their salt will pick up Chris’ magazine,” said Malkani. “Everyone can learn something from Last Agent.”

Do something great with the ePayPolicy InsurTech Award!

Do something great with the ePayPolicy InsurTech Award!

We’re less than a month away from closing applications for the ePayPolicy InsurTech Award!
ePayPolicy believes that great technology can change the insurance world. That’s why we are committed to recognizing the agency that has best adapted and leveraged technology to grow and improve their sales, marketing, and customer service in 2018.

Additionally, each applicant will receive an Insurance Technology Adoption Score (i.e. an “ITA Score”), a subjective measure of an agency’s tech adoption in the insurance space, along with comprehensive reporting including feedback, tips, and opportunities to improve that score.
If you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time!

Apply now to win $7,500 in prizes, including:

– A $1,000 cash prize
– $1,000 toward an insurance conference of winner’s choice
– Two FREE years of ePayPolicy’s Custom Plan
– Consulting time with Mike Stromsoe and Chris Paradiso
– Website services with Alicor Solutions
– A gift basket stocked with local treats from AustiNuts
– BRAGGING RIGHTS!

Do something great,
apply for the ePayPolicy InsurTech Award today.