Database Management, Commissions Processing, & Automation Technology in 2019

Software for Insurance Agencies in 2019

Since 2016, we’ve been asking life and health insurance agency owners, agents, and staff at agencies of all sizes what technologies they utilize in their operations.

Every year, We publish the results in an eBook and a webinar so agencies can get an idea of what others like them are currently using and are planning to utilize in the next year.

This year’s survey was a 24-question survey asking questions regarding database management, commissions processing, and workflow automation. In 2017 and 2018, we asked similar questions, but focused the third part more on marketing automation. This year’s survey expanded that to focus on workflow automation as a whole, including marketing efforts.

Respondents this year were from agencies of all sizes and sell mostly health and life insurance to groups, individuals, and seniors.

Question: How many employees does your agency have?

How many employees does your agency have?

In this blog, we’ll cover the key findings from the survey. This blog will cover less than half of the great insights we have to share. To dive deeper, download the full eBook below!

 FREE EBOOK

In this eBook, we cover what agencies are currently using and planning to use in 2019 regarding contact and policy management, commissions processing, & workflow automation.

Download Now

Database Management

For the third year in a row, an industry-specific agency management system continues to be the software of choice for life and health insurance agencies.

Question: What does your agency mainly use to manage its book of business?

What does your agency use to manage your book of business?

Paper file use has dwindled from 15% of the industry still using them in 2017 to 9% today. Spreadsheet use remains relatively low, but stable at 14%.

The remaining ~20% stated "Other", and those responses were often typed in combinations of these technologies, like "CRM and spreadsheets".

This suggests that agencies have been realizing the benefits and industry-specificity of an insurance agency management system, like AgencyBloc.

If you’re wondering about the difference between a generic CRM and an industry-specific agency management system (AMS), check out our brief guide on the subject: AMS vs. CRM: What You Need to Know.

Question: In 2019, does your agency intend to:

Use to manage book of business in 2019

In 2019, 30% of the industry will be either adopting an AMS for the first time (9%) or switching to a new AMS (21%).

Knowing this, it begs the question: how will agencies research software vendors in 2019?

Question: Please rank the following in order of which you'd do FIRST (1) to LAST (5) to research new technology for your agency, like a CRM or AMS.

What agencies do first when researching insurance software

For the past two years, our survey has shown that a simple Google search and asking peers for recommendations are what respondents say they’ll do first when beginning their search for new software.

Once they’ve reached decision time, referrals remain the most important influence on the actual purchase decision, with 44% saying it influences them most.

Question: Please rank the following in order of which influences you MOST (1) to LEAST (8) during a technology purchase decision for your agency.

What influences agencies in insurance software purchase decisions

If you’re wondering how to effectively research vendors you’re thinking of doing business with, we suggest utilizing this tool: [PDF Download] Beyond the Product Vendor Research Tool.

Commissions Processing

For the third year in a row, insurance agencies are managing their commissions within their industry-specific AMS.

Question: What do you use to process and track commissions?

What agencies use to process commissions

To learn more about the benefits of commissions management within an AMS, check out this resource: [Free eBook] The Agency's Guide to Commissions: Efficient Processing, Uncovering Misses, & Analyzing Performance.

You can see that, unfortunately, a large portion of the industry still processing and tracking commissions within spreadsheets. This is why this next finding isn’t surprising.

Also for the third year in a row, identifying missed commissions from carriers continues to be the biggest commissions-related challenge for agencies.

Question: What does your agency struggle with most when it comes to commissions processing?

Agency struggles with commissions processing

Automated Workflow

Our survey indicated that insurance agencies are interested in automation tools, but aren’t super familiar or comfortable with the capabilities out there.

Question: How familiar/comfortable are you with automation tools?

With a scale of 1 being “very new to automation” and 100 being “using it daily/very comfortable”, respondents answered middle of the road with a 45.

How familiar are you with automation?

What’s interesting is that even though agencies aren’t extremely comfortable with it, some have been utilizing automation for several years.

Question: How long have you been using automation tools at your agency?

How long insurance agencies have been using automation

So, it appears agencies have understood the importance of automation for awhile now and are continually learning new capabilities as they go. Not surprisingly, 30% of agencies plan to increase use of automation tools in 2019, and almost 20% plan to implement them for the first time.

Database Management, Commissions Processing, and Automation

Our survey this year has confirmed that these three components are crucial for insurance agencies to have in any life and health agency management system.

Again, download the eBook and checkout the webinar that will dive much deeper into the survey findings. This blog covered less than half of what we have to share!

To learn more about how these three tools work together to make AgencyBloc The #1 Agency Recommended Management System in our 5-minute overview video.

Watch an overview of AgencyBloc now!

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Kelsey Rosauer

By Kelsey Rosauer on January 2, 2019 in Technology

Kelsey is the Marketing Brand Specialist at AgencyBloc. She plans and creates educational resources to help our customers organize, automate & grow their insurance agency. Favorite quote: "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." —Charles R. Swindoll  More articles

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