Optimizing Your Agency Tech Stack For Your New Remote Workforce

There’s one lesson we’ll all take away from the coronavirus pandemic: remote work is here to stay. It’s a viable and even preferable way of conducting business. Why? Because it expands our productivity outside the physical office. Even with your agents and staff engaging from home during this time, your operations didn’t grind to a halt. 

Going forward, it makes smart business sense to plan for more, not less remote work. With or without social distancing, there are many good reasons to enable remote work. For example, team members inevitably get stuck at home with a sick child or spouse. Rather than lose those work days (or weeks), why not let them access their office files and bind policies using auto-sign? Why shouldn’t agents Zoom into meetings or launch an email campaign from their hotel room or backyard? 

Tools for Remote Success

The key to a successful remote agency is having the right tools that let your team work from anywhere. Note these same tools improve team productivity inside the agency, too.

When we say the “right tools” we mean InsurTech solutions because remote work is by nature technology-driven.You simply can’t support a remote staff with manual procedures or low-tech half measures. In fact, you could end up causing more harm than good. 

Ramping Up to Remote: Where does your agency stand?
We’re here to help you plan your strategy and move into full remote agency mode. Let’s start by looking at what technologies your peers are using now by analyzing data from the InsurTech Award. We’ve extracted some key findings from the application survey related to “remote work readiness.” 

 

Using Technology to Improve Organizational Efficiency

Almost one-quarter of agencies identified team/company organization as the top problem they want to address with technology. Specifically, respondents cited project and task management as the top concern in this area, followed by team communication. 

Task and Project Management
We found mixed adoption rates for keeping track of company tasks and projects. Almost three-quarters of respondents are using calendar tools (Google Calendar, Outlook). Yet only 22% use task management tools like Trello or Asana. Not everyone is good at prioritizing or managing their to-dos, and the potential for missed meetings, deadlines and business increases with remote work. We can tell you from our own experience: project management software makes a huge difference. ePayPolicy was already using Trello when the pandemic hit, and our team members were grateful as they began to work from home.

Instant Messaging
Instant messaging is another “must-have” to keep remote workers connected. Our survey found mixed results in this area. The majority (63%) are using instant messaging. However, 17% said it “doesn’t work” or “it’s not used often.” What’s the point of having a tool that you can’t or don’t use? If you are not already one of the 63%, you owe it to your team (and your business) to migrate to instant messaging. Trust us, it’s faster and more accurate than searching through email threads.

Virtual Meetings
The ability to meet with team members virtually is a pillar of today’s remote agencies. 

And now that we’re all pro “Zoomers,” it’s hard to imagine going back to all in-person meetings or conference calls without video. We found that only 12% of agencies polled are not using virtual meeting tools like GoToMeeting, Zoom or Google Hangouts. Over half said they use virtual meetings often, and 22% said they started using them due to the coronavirus situation. During this time, personal use has skyrocketed, as people seek to connect safely with family and friends. So there should be little to no learning curve for using virtual meetings for agency business. 

Next Steps for Your Independent Agency

We share this information for only one reason: to help you focus, prioritize and equip your team for ongoing remote work—or to take your agency to the next level of virtual teamwork.

Which technologies are you using now, and which areas offer the biggest opportunities for a seamless remote team? Note that 75% of respondents told us they’ve increased their budget for technology solutions since the beginning of 2020. Technology is an investment that helps teams work smarter—wherever they’re working!
The  2020 InsurTech Award is still accepting entries. Check out the judging criteria, submit your application and get a customized report of your agency’s tech adoption progress. You may even win a grand prize worth over $7,500!

ePayPolicy Named Preferred Payment Vendor by Big I New York

ePayPolicy Named Preferred Payment Vendor by Big I New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT:
Seth Nagle
512-200-2650
seth@epay3.com
ePayPolicy.com

February 27, 2019 – Electronic payment processor ePayPolicy adds Big I New York to its growing list of insurance industry association endorsements.

ePayPolicy now endorsed by 21 state insurance groups

AUSTIN, Texas, February 27, 2019 –ePayPolicy has been named electronic payment processor of choice by Big I New York, an association representing 1,750 independent insurance agencies and their 13,000 employees throughout the Empire State. ePayPolicy will enable Big I New York members to accept credit card and ACH payments online, with transaction fees passed on to the payer. Big I New York’s endorsement brings to 21  the number of state insurance associations recommending ePayPolicy to their members.

“Today’s consumers are demanding digital forms of payment for all their transactions, increasingly forgoing paper checks. ePayPolicy is dedicated to making online payments simple and seamless — for our clients and for their customers,” said Todd Sorrel, ePayPolicy co-founder. “By partnering with state associations such as BIG I New York and integrating with the leading account management systems, we broaden our ability to enhance the insurance-buying experience and support tech-enabled growth for agents and brokers nationwide.”

Lisa Lounsbury of Big I New York explained the group’s endorsement this way: “Big I New York provides members the resources they need to be their best and ePayPolicy is the best in its class, developed exclusively for retail agencies, brokers/MGAs and premium finance agencies. They truly understand our members’ business.” She continued, “Taking payments just got a lot easier. The platform facilitates collection of online payments without the hassle or expense of technical integration, hidden fees, or separate merchant accounts. It’s a win-win for our members and those they serve.”

About Big I New York
Big I New York believes independent insurance agents serve customers best with trusted advice and the right coverage options to protect what matters most. They exist to fulfill the educational, political, and business interests of more than 1,750 agencies and their 13,000 plus employees.
Big I New York members are independent insurance agents and brokers, which means they can provide consumers with a choice of products from more than one insurance company and in turn give consumers unrivaled service, and the best auto, homeowner, and business coverage to meet their changing needs. In addition, most Big I New York members proudly identify themselves as Trusted Choice® agents and brokers, a national consumer brand uniting more than 21,000 independent agencies across the United States.

For more information visit  www.biginy.org.

About ePayPolicy
ePayPolicy is the simplest way to collect digital insurance payments. Designed for independent agents, brokers, MGAs and their clients, their 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 over 29 independent insurance associations nationwide.

The company’s annual InsurTech Award recognizes independent insurance agencies/brokerages for leveraging technology to enhance their sales, marketing, and customer service. Call for entries for the 2019 award will be announced in May.

To find out more visit ePayPolicy.com.