It seems that over the years, as automation has kicked in to a much higher degree, agencies have developed a corresponding higher level of trust on the quality of the work product from their carriers. It is almost like “it’s automated so it must be perfect”. Believing this is a slippery slope to disaster.
As the old adage goes “garbage in, garbage out”. As a member of the personal lines staff in your agency, you entered the information but does that means it is right? How stressed were you when you entered the information? How many other jobs were you trying to do “at the same time”? So, is there a chance that you uploaded incomplete or inaccurate information? Without a doubt, this situation has occurred oftentimes so if you entered the information incorrectly, the end product will now not be accurate. In addition, how confident are you that what you entered is the way that information will show on the dec page?
Recently, during a discussion with an agency I was working with, the manager of the Personal Lines division (a very capable person) admitted that when she entered the information on a change of auto for her own policy, she forgot to put comp and collision on her replacement auto. A very simple error because she was trying to multi-task and was in a hurry. Sound familiar?
The typical best practices on the issue of checking your personal lines downloads is to:
– Check all new business. The checking should be more than just a check of the premium. Are the named insureds / drivers correct, is the address correct, are the vehicles and the coverages for each of the vehicles correct? Are all the requested endorsements (and specific detail) included on the policy?
– Check all endorsement requests essentially addressing the same issues as with the new business check.
There is a key reason why new business needs to be checked. If it is not checked but the policy contains an error, what will happen when the renewal policy is generated? That policy will also be wrong.
Bottom line – don’t assume that because the policy issuance is automated that the information is correct. Agencies should have a checklist indicating those items to be checked. There should be an activity noted in the agency system to verify who checked the policy and what the findings were.