The results of a recent poll on www.agentsofamerica.org dealing with sales training were very interesting. The question focused on the degree that agencies use an Exposure Analysis Checklist. This is definitely an extremely powerful tool that should result in increased sales. It is also a tool that is considered by many the closest thing to a silver bullet in avoiding E&O claims.
– Approximately half use the checklist for all of their new commercial business, regardless of size. KUDOS to these agencies!
– 20% or so use it for accounts over a certain size
– 12% leave it up to the producer
– 23% either don’t use it or are not sure what it is
The focus of this article is going to be on the last group. What are the benefits of agencies in better understanding the power of an Exposure Analysis Checklist?
An Exposure Analysis checklist is software that most often easily integrates with your agency management system and provides a tremendous amount of knowledge / information on over 650 SIC codes and all of the applicable lines of business.
With a goal of providing your carriers with a full and complete submission, these checklists, when effectively used, provide a very efficient means of gathering and organizing the data. Some of the systems have the capability of developing a very professional customized proposal for your prospects.
They will enable the agency staff …producers and account execs…to significantly enhance their knowledge on virtually any class of business you can think of. For newer producers, this will allow them to get up to speed quicker and thus achieve greater success for themselves and your agency.
Within seconds, you are able to find the type of risk that you are targeting from over 650 classes and for each class, an industry overview including background of the class is provided to assist in better understanding this class of business. Within the overview, the general underwriting characteristics by line of business are provided. This is all information that by doing some homework before you make the initial sales call will help you demonstrate to your prospect knowledge of their operation and exposures.
Explanations and definitions of key industry phrases and coverages are provided and can potentially be exported to the proposal. This is very powerful and helps your customer understand the coverage and how it works.
While these checklists are ideal for commercial lines, there is also a tremendous benefit to use them for your personal lines accounts, especially in an agency’s cross selling initiatives.
An additional benefit that really aids in the defense if an E&O claim were ever to be made against your agency is the checklists, which when effectively used, will provide a record of your agency offering the various options of coverage and what the customer’s final decision was. If the customer rejects / declines certain coverages you proposed, the proposals will prompt you to secure the customer’s signature acknowledging their decision. This could be key if a claim were to arise in the future.
There are a number of these exposure analysis checklists…two of the more popular are the Producer Plus through Vertafore and Producer Online available from Rough Notes. It is best to review both programs before deciding which one is the best fit for your agency. I am in negotiations with both for a sizable discount for agencies and should be able to announce something within the next week or so.
These checklists are a tremendous investment in your future, are a great E&O prevention tool and will pay for themselves many times over in increased sales. Not a bad combination!