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.

Small Steps, Big Impact: Affordable Tech Solutions for Insurance Companies

Historically, the insurance industry has been known as more traditional and outdated when it comes to technology. However, with the covid pandemic, the rise of insurtech tools, and a more tech-savvy employee and customer base, insurance companies are adopting new ways of doing business. According to a McKinsey report, venture capital investments for insurtech surpassed $11 billion in 2021, doubling 2020’s number. The gap between modern companies and traditional ones is deepening.

Convenience now plays a significant role in people’s decision-making when purchasing insurance. People want coverage in quick, easy, and affordable ways – and insurtech tools aid in doing so.

Not all technology requires big changes, though. And we all know there are some tech tools all insurance companies already have, like a good management system. Sometimes, all you really need is to take full advantage of the current tools, instead of investing in new ones.

Here are four ways to do just that:

  1. Optimizing Your Management System (AMS)
    Management systems are the bread-and-butter of insurance companies, and they boast in being just that. This software is there to equip you with all the tools needed to manage policies, send quotes, and essentially give your customers a simple, one-stop-shop. Because of this, management systems have a wide-range of integrations that make life easier for your team and your clients. Your AMS might be the best place to find insurtech tools that are actually useful and easy to implement, since they integrate with a system you already have in place.

    Integrations facilitate instant data transfers between applications and your AMS, improving accuracy and eliminating repetitive tasks. By extending the functionality of the AMS, integrations empower insurance companies to remain flexible and innovative. Some integration examples that add to your AMS capabilities include online document signing (i.e. WeSignature), self-service kiosks (i.e. Pathway) and digital payment collection (i.e. ePayPolicy). Though some integrations come with added costs, it can be insignificant compared to the value they provide (examples provided start at just $15/month).

    It’s also important to have connections in the industry that can make processes from your AMS and integrations easier, like agencies partnering with carriers to transfer policy data or with premium finance companies to ease the burden of payment collection.
  2. Boost Your Marketing
    We get it, some of our customers operate on a small scale — you might not even have a dedicated marketing hire, let alone time to put out ads on social media or magazines. However, there are simple ways to make sure you’re reaching people who are interested in your business, or even upselling current customers.

    Email marketing tools like MailChimp and HubSpot allow you to add customers and prospects and send them automated emails. Instead of bulk sending an email and CC’ing all customers announcing a new product or feature, you can do it through an easy email tool in less time. Organize your audiences, utilize their email templates, and see data on opens and clicks.

    Another easy but effective tool is Google My Business (free). Through GMB, you can claim your business profile and fill out as many attributes as possible so that your business shows up when people are searching for you or your offerings. Google will prioritize search visibility for those that take advantage of the tools they offer.

    Note: before you do any of this, make sure your website is up to date! It shouldn’t just be easy to find, but also easy to navigate and understand. This is usually where your customer gets their first impression of you.

  3. Artificial intelligence Is Here to Stay
    Although artificial intelligence and machine learning are still in the early stages of adoption within the insurance industry, they will become indispensable as more companies utilize data-driven insights to price policies, assess risk, and more. Many predictions state that the emergence of AI will disrupt distribution, underwriting, claims, and service within the industry.

    Although the idea of incorporating AI might seem daunting for a small business, there are more accessible implementations available that do not require a steep learning curve or hefty budget. These technologies have the potential of automating simple but tedious processes, and hence simplifying the work of your employees. Chat bots, for example, are sometimes used by insurance companies to answer frequent questions or direct customers to the best available agent.

    Another trending tool is Open AI’s ChatGPT. This is a free AI tool that can help guide you in writing emails, social posts, website copy, or simply answering customer questions in a concise manner. Learn how to get started here. The rise of Generative AI tools like ChatGPT opens even more opportunities for chatbot solutions, enhancing new capabilities and improving accuracy of responses.
  4. Team Collaboration
    An organized team is an efficient team. Even if your business is just starting, you might benefit from an array of tools that can help you stay on top of projects. The first thing you might want to consider is a messaging tool, like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Slack’s most essential plan is free and Microsoft’s tool starts at just $4 per user.

    Another tool that some people overlook is a project management tool. These are great even for “teams” of one. Managing whole lines of business, customer follow-ups, renewals, etc. can be tedious. Having everything organized with due dates, checklists, and documents in one place is highly effective. No need to look back at notes or search your emails. Some popular examples of project management tools include Trello and Asana, both which have free versions.

The insurance industry is on its way to digital transformation. We often overestimate the short-term impact of new technology and underestimate its long-term effect. So what are you waiting for? Dig in deeper into the integrations your AMS offers, claim your business on the most popular search engine in the world, don’t let AI scare you — let it empower you, and expand the tools that make you and your employees’ work easier.

As the old expression goes, “Work smarter, not harder”. Technology is the crutch to help you achieve this. It’s not as daunting (or expensive) as it seems!

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

The Differences Between Independent and Captive Insurance Agents

Regardless of whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned insurance professional, it’s important to understand the terms often used in the industry. Within the insurance space, there are two distinct types of agents: independent and captive. Each operates in different ways and have their own perks and drawbacks. In this blog, we will discuss their key differences and provide clarity as to how each type of agent operates. 

Independent Agents

Independent agents work for themselves and are responsible for building their own book of business. They typically have more flexibility in their operations than captive agents, who are bound by the rules and regulations of the insurance company they represent. Independent agents have more control over their client relationships and can provide unbiased advice as they are not beholden to any one insurance company.  These agents typically work more based on commission than salary. 

Captive Agents

Captive agents work for a specific insurance company and are typically considered to be employees of that company. They are trained on the products that their company offers and are incentivized to sell those products to clients. They tend to have less control over their client relationships and are more restricted in their operations than independent agents. Many times captive agents are paid on a salary basis because they don’t have ownership in the book of business they are building, and they act as an agency manager rather than the agency owner.

Key Differences

One of the key differences between independent and captive agents is the range of products that they can offer. Independent agents have access to a wider range of products, as they are not limited to the offerings of a single insurance company. They can offer their clients a variety of options, and can work with clients to find a solution that meets their specific needs. Captive agents, on the other hand, are limited to the products offered by their specific insurance company. While they may be able to offer a wide range of products within that company, many times cannot offer products from other companies.

Another important difference between independent and captive agents is the level of control that they have over their pricing. Independent agents have more control over the pricing of the products that they offer, as they are able to  negotiate with multiple insurance companies to find the best rates for their clients. Captive agents have less control over pricing because they are bound by the pricing policies of their specific insurance company.

Customer Service

In terms of customer service, independent agents may be able to provide a more personalized experience for their clients. They are not tied  to the rules and regulations of a single insurance company, and can, therefore, work with clients to find a solution that meets their specific needs. Captive agents, on the other hand,  may be more limited in their ability to provide personalized service, as they must follow the guidelines set by their specific insurance company.

In conclusion, there are a few reasons why someone might choose captive vs independent or vice versa. Independent agents offer a wider range of products, have more control over pricing, and can provide more personalized service. Captive agents have a more in-depth knowledge of the products offered by their specific insurance company, but are limited in their ability to provide a personalized experience for clients.

Here’s a quick table to summarize the differences between the two types of agents:

Independent Insurance Agents

Captive Insurance Agents

Affiliated with multiple insurance companies   

 Affiliated with a specific insurance company

Provides a variety of options

Limited to the products offered by their specific insurance company

Provides unbiased advice

May be incentivized to push certain products

Has more experience and knowledge of the insurance market

Has more in-depth knowledge of the products offered by their specific insurance company

Has more flexibility to obtain better rates

Limited negotiating power

Provides personalized service

May have to follow specific guidelines set by their insurance company

7 Insurance Industry Predictions for 2023

For the insurance industry, 2022 was a mixture of positive and negative events. On one side, premiums increased for both personal and business insurance, largely due to rising interest rates, geopolitical crises, and natural disasters.

On the other hand, many insurance organizations made innovative changes to differentiate themselves and stay ahead of the curve. “We saw insurtech solutions disrupt, automate and enhance process efficiency and increase overall production across all channels of insurance,” said William Trainer, with ePayPolicy. “Organizations leveraged the power of data and analytics to better their forecasting and business modeling.”

We spoke with industry experts and leaders to see what they’re expecting and hoping to see in 2023. Here’s the best of what they said:

1. Social Inflation

Of course, inflation impacted the insurance industry in 2022 and it will probably continue to do so. Michael Fusco, CEO of Fusco Orsini & Associates, predicts that the most significant impact in the industry this year will revolve around social inflation which refers to the rising cost of insurance claims, particularly in the areas of liability and workers’ compensation.

“We will now see pricing increases in liability insurance across all lines. Specifically to litigation costs (litigation funding), increased jury awards (anti-corporate sentiment and nuclear verdicts), broad policy form interpretation, and tort reform,” said Fusco.

2. Carrier Rates Will Increase

Some experts are predicting a substantial increase in carrier rates this year. Because of the Covid pandemic and inflation, many carriers took very minimal increases in the past three years to help out customers.

Nicole Gonzalez, Enterprise Sales Executive at ePayPolicy, says carriers are taking a 10%+ rate increase in 2023. She believes carriers will try to grow by mirroring large insurance companies like Geico and Nationwide. “Call center [models] can pump in a ton of leads and write new business, with less overhead than a brick and mortar location.”

David Carothers, Principal at Florida Risk Partners, predicts, “we will continue to see more and more carriers require full financial underwriting to look at the viability of businesses moving forward.” They will look more closely at their financials and in many cases, “require collateralization against any deductibles/SIR,” says Carothers.

3. Consumers Will Shop Around More

The ongoing pressures of inflation, the possibility of rising unemployment, and dwindling savings may cause consumers to be more price-conscious in 2023. Robert Hartwig, President of Risk Management and Insurance at the University of South Carolina, believes “this will likely result in more shopping around for insurance given that this is a ‘big ticket’ purchase for many households.”

Nicole Gonzalez also predicts customers will be shopping for their insurance more due to the rising carrier rates.

4. Investing in Customer Relationships

The industry experts we spoke to mentioned the need to focus investments for the year in customer relationships and customer retention. Michael Fusco believes that “the technology that continues to evolve and enhance the client experience” will have the biggest impact on the market. When investing in ‘disruptive’ technology, Fusco considers that client experience “should remain the goal for all.”

William Trainer directed our attention to the importance of digital payment processing for customer retention as well as business process improvements. “The payments automation functionality will not only shorten the time to collect outstanding receivables and reconciliation time, but also can automate and track payables, and promptly adjust your ledger immediately,” says Trainer.

5. AI Will Become More Mainstream

As cost of operations increase, insurance companies are looking for ways to automate manual, labor-intensive processes. Mark Engels, CEO of ePayPolicy, predicts AI implementation will be seen “across the entire customer engagement lifecycle, from underwriting to onboarding, policy servicing and payment collection and claims disbursement.”

David Carothers also believes machine learning will be big this year. “With the further development of bots to handle normal service tasks, we may be getting ready to see the single biggest threat to underperformers in our industry,” says Principal of Florida Risk Partners.

6. Leveraging Partnerships

As the Enterprise Partnerships Representative at ePayPolicy, William Trainer spoke to us about the importance of strategic partnerships during these times. They allow companies to “collaborate and develop better customer-centric insurance solutions, much more quickly, and more cost effectively.”

Partners do not only improve the customer journey, but also make it easier for insurance companies to grow and expand their market reach. Ryan Bosworth, CSO of XDimensional Technologies, believes that in 2023 roles will merge between agencies, MGAs, carriers, and other organizations in the hybrid world of insurance. “Retail agencies are opening wholesale divisions, and growing wholesalers have been given complete underwriting authority by their carrier partners. In addition, we’ve seen carriers investing in revenue streams via in-house MGAs or retail agencies,” says Bosworth.

7. Resilience in the Industry

Economic challenges present difficulties to the insurance industry just like they do to other industries. However, Robert Hartwig explains that “insurers are organized and regulated in a way that ensures they can continue to function normally even under the most stressful of economic circumstances.”

In the previous years, insurers were quick to deploy technologies that allowed them to service customers in the best way possible despite the rapidly changing economic and political environment. Hartwig believes that the “continued resilience and disciplined operational approach” of the insurance industry continues to prove itself, “just like it did during 9/11, the financial crisis, and other challenging periods.”

“I have every confidence that [this] resilience will remain intact despite a recession that most forecasters believe will occur in the second half of the year. Growth in the industry will slow as a result but longer-term trends in the innovation and deployment of technologies will continue,” says Professor Hartwig.