Learn how you can streamline your commissions processing efforts.
As a life and health insurance agency, you and your team have a lot of tasks to juggle. Because of this, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to make time-consuming tasks–like commissions management–easier.
As an agency owner, you likely have several goals regarding commissions:
- Save time without compromising accuracy.
- Save money.
- Learn from your data to make smarter business decisions.
- Avoid missing commissions.
Some of the ways that insurance agencies track commissions can make achieving the above goals difficult. Here’s how you can improve your commissions management process and protect your bottom line.
What Life and Health Insurance Agencies Use to Manage Commissions
Commissions processing and tracking is an integral part of the insurance industry. And though it’s something most agencies do, many still don’t have an efficient process.
We’ve found that agencies tend to use one of these three ways to manage commissions:
- Spreadsheets. Using spreadsheets to track commissions requires you to maintain the sheet’s organization and upkeep as well as ensure accuracy in the calculations. This is a line-by-line tactic that takes time and continual effort, which is why many agencies avoid using them.
- Third-party commissions tool. If an agency is using a CRM without commissions tools, they’ll have to find an external resource, like third-party commissions tools, to fill the gap. However, using third-party solutions can be expensive and time-consuming.
- Industry-specific agency management system (AMS) that has a Commissions Processing Module, like AgencyBloc. This is the best-case scenario for insurance agency commissions processing software. You have all of your important, relevant data (individuals, groups, agents, policies, carriers, AND commissions information) in one system. When it’s in one central location, there's less you will have to do manually. Plus, you won’t have to deal with pesky, inconvenient data silos!
As the #1 Agency Recommended AMS for life and health insurance agencies, our Commission Module has everything you need to set your agency up for successful, efficient commissions management.
Setting Up AgencyBloc’s Commission Module
With AgencyBloc’s Commission Module, some initial setup is necessary to process commissions with our software. You won’t need to repeat steps one to three once they’re completed–except for any new data that you have in the future.
Step 1: Set Up Policies
The first step is to set up your clients and their policies. This can be done through our data import process or manually.
Note: This is the minimum amount of information necessary to process commissions. Typically, agencies will track additional information to support customer service efforts and cross-sell opportunities.
Step 2: Set Up Rate Tables
The next step is to set up rate tables that can be referenced by multiple policies. Rate tables can be configured using:
- Percent of premium
- Percent of commission received
- Per life
- Flat amount
- Percent of remainder
They can also specify payouts based on carrier, coverage type, or carrier product. If compensation adjustments need to be made, rate schedules offer a convenient way to quickly adjust payouts for hundreds of policies.
Note: Rate tables can be simple or complex depending on your needs. At AgencyBloc, our team can assist you in establishing the right structure for your agency.
Step 3: Tie Payees to Policies
Then, you must connect all of the necessary people to the correct policies to ensure they get paid correctly for each specific policy. Policies may have many agents assigned for commissions.
Typical payee scenarios include referral fees, trainer fees, manager overrides, or agency overrides. Each of these people can be paid differently. Typically, a rate table will be utilized for each payee. However, a manual amount can be specified if a unique payout is required.
Payee schedules allow you to add more than one payee to a policy. Add payees to a hierarchical pay structure, each with their respective commission rates/amounts, and then add them to a group. Finally, add whole groups to policies.
Processing Commissions with AgencyBloc’s Commissions Processing Module
Once the initial setup is complete, you’re able to move on to processing commissions.
Step 4: Import Carrier File
AgencyBloc’s Commission Module was built to save you time and improve accuracy. With these two goals in mind, one of the most appreciated aspects of our system hinges on carrier imports.
If your agency receives electronic commission statements, we can build import maps to directly import that information into our Commission Module. When we upload the files, our software matches the information to the policies you have set up and automatically calculates commissions. This import process significantly reduces the amount of time spent manually inputting data–and minimizes the risk of errors.
Plus, if some carriers can’t provide you with electronic statements, we have a “Standard Import” that can assist you.
Note: Once your account has been configured, the import and payment calculation will take only seconds. Our clients have carrier imports containing tens of thousands of records; it takes less than two minutes to process these files.
Step 5: Calculate/Reconcile Commissions
Calculation and reconciliation are simple and straightforward with AgencyBloc’s Commission Module. When your commissions are imported, you’ll see which policies were linked to the carrier’s statement. You’ll also get a quick snapshot of total premiums, total commissions payable, and net commissions.
In addition, you’ll be able to see each payment that was calculated and any policies that didn’t match–we’ll highlight any exceptions that require further investigation.
Step 6: Generate Commission Statements
Once all your carrier commissions are reconciled for the payment period, you’re ready to generate commission statements. Statements can be run monthly, bi-weekly, or daily, and can be generated in spreadsheet or PDF formats. They can even be organized by sub-agency in order to facilitate paying multiple companies under your agency.
Agent statements show the premium paid and the amount owed for each policy. You can organize your statements by carrier or policyholder.
- Basic policy information (number, name, coverage type, etc.)
- Premium paid (if the carrier file provided that information)
- Commission period
- Any adjustments and balance carryovers (you can also note what those are for)
- Total commission paid
Customize your commission statements to fit your agency’s needs.
With our software, you can brand your statements with your logo and address. You can also choose which data to show (or not show), like premium, month, lives, commission received, and commission received with percent.
Analyze Commissions Performance with Reports & Real-Time Graphs
In addition to streamlining commissions management, AgencyBloc’s Commission Module has real-time graphs and robust reporting tools that allow you to view, measure, and evaluate business performance.
Dashboard Analytics Tools
Graphs and charts in AgencyBloc are updated in real-time based on the activity in your book of business. From a commissions perspective, you’ll see things like:
- Top commissions received by carrier and by agent
- Net commissions by carrier
- Net versus received commissions
- Actual versus projected commissions
Use these graphs to get a quick view of commission activity in your agency.
Standard & Custom Reporting Tools
We also provide standard commission reports that allow you to view particular data for a specified period of time. We have templated reports available, which include:
- Broker Compensation Disclosure: Identify which of your clients require the Broker Compensation Disclosure to meet these requirements
- Agent statements: View premium paid and amount owed for each policy.
- Commission totals: View the total premium and commission paid to an agent or agency.
- Commission not received: Uncover missed commission payments from the carrier.
- Commission payments: See how much commission the agency earned, who received payment and how.
- Agent adjustments: See all adjustment details and balance carryovers for each agent
- Agent balances: Gauge agent performance based on current and historic agent balances
- Carrier deposits: Find all the deposits you’ve received across all carriers
- Commission received/paid: See the commission paid to the agency and agents, and the net commission left over.
- Commission received by policy or by group: View what dates commission payments were received by policy or across all policies for a group.
- Actual vs. expected: Compare what you received with what you projected.
- Projection tables: Find which policies are connected to what projection table. Make sure you have the right table for each policy.
- Policy commission payees: View which payee is set to get paid commission on each policy.
- Commission projections: Find what commissions are projected on each policy.
If you’re in need of something else, use our Custom Reporting feature! With this, you can filter down to only the data you want to see and choose which columns you’d like to include in your reports.
From initial setup to end reports, AgencyBloc's Commission Module has helped countless agencies save valuable time and money. In fact, we’ve helped some agencies cut processing time by 75% and have found tens of thousands of dollars in missed commissions–one agency was able to reinvest $30,000 usually spent in processing commissions back into their business.
Ready to see if AgencyBloc’s commission tools are right for your agency?
Learn more by scheduling a live, one-on-one demo to chat with someone on our team about your agency’s specific needs!
This blog was originally published on March 19, 2019 and updated on January 31, 2023.
by Kelsey Rosauer on Tuesday, January 31, 2023