Establish Workflow Processes and Loss Control Procedures
Having the right processes, workflows, and procedures in place not only helps in operating an efficient, growth-driven agency, but is also a valuable risk management tool for potential errors & omissions (E&O) exposures. It is estimated that one in five agents will be involved in an E&O claim during their career. But, one of the best ways to avoid this exposure is to create and develop a written procedures manual for the agency with which all staff is familiar. The manual should be concise and adaptable to meet changing market and client demands, but should also establish some structured guidelines to enforce the way you want your business handled. The procedures must be adhered to by all employees to be successful.
In addition to procedures for E&O Loss Control, you should also have written workflows of the agency’s processes for all agency transactions including: Prospecting, Marketing, Risk Evaluation, Application Processing/Signatures, Binding, Policy Delivery, Billing, Policy Changes, Documentation & Suspense, Cancellations and Renewals/Re-Marketing. You may also need to incorporate various online tools and standard forms into your workflow to help with the ease and consistency of documentation.
The Best Practices program from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America provides self-assessment tools to aid in your planning as well as benchmarks to help you compare your agency against others by revenue category. The annual Best Practices study, tool kits, and webinars are available here if you want to begin developing your agency’s workflows internally. There are also agency management consultants that can guide your agency through this important process if you prefer to go this route.
Building solid procedures and workflows in your agency is an investment of time and resources. However, it will pay off in dividends with long-term agency growth, easier onboarding/training for staff and solid risk management and loss control practices.
Hiring and Maintaining the Right Staff
Whether you need to hire staff immediately or later, you will find the agency in need of additional help at some point. Recruiting the right talent for the right position is not easy, but taking the time to build out a solid hiring process will help your agency tremendously in the long run. There are different options you can pursue, from the do it yourself route to outsourcing the process completely to a recruiting firm. There are even great options for to employ fully remote and highly experienced insurance professionals. Because this process can be very time-consuming and complex, we have developed a suite of staffing solutions in our Big “I” Hires program to help independent agencies find and train new employees more quickly and efficiently.