Insurance is a necessary part of modern life. Having insurance coverage can be required by law for many activities, like driving a car or owning a home, depending on jurisdiction. Apart from these cases where it’s mandatory, there are many others in which not owning insurance would be simply foolish. When life presents you with an unexpected challenge, a good insurance policy is often the only thing that can save you from financial ruin.
Given all of this, it’s no surprise that consumers are very careful when they shop for insurance. It’s also no surprise that the insurance market is very competitive and that insurance agencies and agents compete fiercely for new clients. In such a competitive environment, the selection of internal IT solutions can be the factor that makes or breaks a company.
Thankfully, there’s a category of software designed to give insurance agents and agencies the upper hand. Insurance customer relationship software (CRM) is tailored to the specific processes and workflows used in the insurance industry. It can improve the efficiency of internal operations (saving time and money) and improve the client’s, or prospective client’s, customer experience.
In this buyers guide we look at customer relationship management software used in the insurance industry.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is insurance CRM software?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software for insurance companies is designed to automate and simplify the entire insurance workflow. Starting with lead generation and moving into application, policy rating and policy issuance and then reporting and referral management, an insurance CRM solution will reduce or eliminate data entry and the need to carry around physical case folders making for far more effective use of an insurance agent’s time.
This added efficiency has other benefits as well. Internal efficiency leads to improved experiences for external customers and clients. This in itself can become a competitive differentiator, helping your agency win more clients from your competition.
Common features of insurance CRM software
|Insurance workflow automation||Insurance CRM software is designed to make the sale and qualification process as simple as possible. Starting with standard lead generation and sales, an online application will plug directly into a quote engine, issue a rating and then the policy itself, eliminating the need to re-enter any data.|
|Policy tracking||This refers to an insurance CRM’s ability to manage the policy data, including policy type, price, payment status, change in risk and life change (e.g., birth of a child) that might trigger an opportunity for upselling.|
|Insurance reporting engine||Since all of the information is kept in one secure database, reporting on insurance sales, company growth and policy data should be easier than ever. The system should have standard insurance reports like risk and portfolio analysis, with the ability to create custom reports as well.|
|Agent management & activity tracking||Manage the sales activity of individuals and groups to determine performance and establish benchmarks. Tools will include phone call tracking and integration, instant reporting, lead tracking, commission calculations and administrative capabilities.|
|Referral marketing||Insurance is an extremely competitive market, and most insurance companies say that referrals are their number one source of leads. A good insurance CRM program will let you do more than just send messages to your customers to remind them to send you business—they’ll also have referral tree capabilities, letting you see who your best referral partners are and letting you leverage that information appropriately.|
Evaluating insurance CRM software
Insurance CRM software automates most of the lead generation, sales, application, reporting, policy tracking, and marketing processes, eliminating heavy and expensive paper use and letting the agent focus on business growth and customer service rather than data entry and mundane details. Since there are many different facets to the insurance industry, it’s important to select the right program that suits your individual needs.
When selecting insurance CRM software, ask the following questions:
- Does the software integrate seamlessly with accounting and other software systems already in use by your company?
- Will the system integrate with our existing customer service software or will it replace it?
- What type of insurance do you sell? Would you benefit from a system that supports upselling?
- Do you rely on paper-based applications and then re-enter the data? Do you have old records that you want to digitize?
- How much time and money would you save with an all digital solution?
- Do you want to be able to track your best referral partners?
- Do you have multiple agents and need to be able to track their sales information individually?
How is this software priced?
Customer relationship management software for insurance companies has pricing models that are comparable to other types of CRM software. Generally speaking, it can be purchased either through a subscription plan or with a perpetual license fee.
|Subscription-based||A monthly or annual fee is charged to use the system, typically based on the number of users who need access. Maintenance and updates are typically included; support and training may be an additional fee.|
|Perpetual license fee||A one-time fee, either for a single user or a single computer installation. Other add-ons, such as updates, training or support, often come at a separate cost.|
Additionally, customer relationship management software for insurance companies is sold in two deployment options, including as an on-premise installation or as a cloud-deployed service. While cloud deployment is the increasingly popular choice, both options have advantages and disadvantages. Buyers are encouraged to carefully examine all options before making a decision.