So, you've identified what you need from your next insurance software solution. After doing your research, you've chosen a vendor. Finally, you've made your buying decision. Congratulations!
Now it's time to cover the most common post-purchase tech decision pitfall: the assumption trap.
1. Assuming they know
First on our list of common assumptions is simply that "they know." We're talking about the process breakdown that happens when you and your vendor fail to communicate, because each party thinks it goes without saying.
You can steer clear of this trap by articulating your business needs early, as clearly as possible.
How does every step of your current process work?
How do workflows play out for each department?
What are your underwriting rules?
What third-party data verification integrations do you require?
2. Assuming one size fits all
Next is the “it worked for them” assumption. Insurance software sales are often driven by referrals. If you know a colleague who's happy with their solution, you may be inclined to go with the same software. Peer recommendation is strong. If it's working for them, it'll work for you too, right?
The problem is, sometimes it doesn't. Insurance software solutions can be highly specific; not all lines of insurance come with the same needs. Even if your colleague is operating in the same line of business, there's no guarantee that their fit will transfer to you. Sometimes the difference isn't in the software's inherent capabilities, but in your own preparedness.
If your colleague took the time to identify their needs, gather documentation, and prepare themselves for development, then it's no wonder their solution is a fit: they set their vendor up for success.
Now let's say another colleague witnesses that success story and chooses the same vendor, hoping to replicate the results – but in this case, they don't do their homework. They provide the vendor with very little detail on their processes, underwriting rules and workflows. Their goals and needs are vague. The point-people they make available to the vendor are generalists. And they end up with a catastrophe. Same capabilities, different approach: the difference being that in this case, they set their vendor up for failure.
The moral of the story is the same, regardless of whether you choose the same solution as your colleagues: give your vendor great input, so they can create great output.
In other words, do your homework. Clearly identify your needs. Vet your vendor's capabilities; ask for demos. If you take this approach, you'll set yourself up for success no matter which solution you decide is best.
After the decision is made
We recommend dedicating a full month to discovery after hiring your vendor. This is the period of time in which your vendor will develop a clear understanding of your processes and requirements, drilling deep into the details: your business model, the markets you serve, the products you offer, how your current system came to be, where the challenges and inefficiencies lie, what's manual, what's not – and the list goes on.
Those questions need to be answered decisively before the programming can begin. Once you've worked through all that, the coding can progress quickly.
The FedNat Insured Web is a great tool for our insureds!
They like having a centralized location to view policy info, make payments, upload policy documents, and elect to become paperless to receive a discount.
The insureds also can file a First Notice of Loss for a claim and access exiting claim info. Silvervine recently enhanced the site which allows insureds to upload policy documents directly to their policy. The uploaded docs go directly into our workflows and save a lot of manual effort on our part.
From my visits with agents, the agents appreciate the app for the amount of time saved on having to download and attach photos directly to the policy.
The app can also reduce the amount of staff required for a busy office to fulfill underwriting requests for photos.
When training agents they are amazed at how quickly the photos attach directly to the policy. After taking photos using the app and before they make it back to their desk, the photo is already attached to the policy. They also like the ability to attach additional photos for pre-existing damage.
Customer Service is seeing an improvement with retention as the text message definitely triggers phone calls from insureds to make payments.
The insureds love the fact that we notify them on their phones because they state that sometimes they don’t receive their mail for various reasons.
The insureds are paying more attention to the texts then to their actual mail. We try to set all of our customers up on that option if we notice that they are not currently enrolled, as it builds great customer relations as well as retention.
As a company we have adopted the use of Policy Scan for all our policies, and our agents have adopted the use of the app as well.
Not only is it easy to use, there is also no more worrying about losing photos, having to store photos or photos being attached to the wrong policy.
With Policy Scan we have increased efficiency in our workflow and reduced our exposure on the risk.
Silvervine’s core administration solutions easily handles multiple carriers within multiple states, including accounting, payment processing, immediate policy issuance and endorsements.
What started out writing one product, one line in one state has now grown into mulitple products, multiple lines and writing in multiple states. We have over $95 million in annualized premium in-force and we expect to grow by 20% during the next year all serviced by Silvervine.
Silvervine was our insurance software system of choice when we started the company in 2006. Silvervine enabled us to begin business within a few months of licensing the company. Today, we are one of the top 20 homeowner’s writers in Texas and SIlvervine’s solutions have been an integral part of our success.