There are tremendous benefits in establishing an annual account review process. These include:
- A positive touch with your client.
- Uncovering potential coverage gaps.
- Finding ways to enhance and improve existing policy coverage.
- Protection against a “failure to provide proper coverage” E&O claim.
The benefits of an annual account review process are well established. The question is, do you have a yearly account review process in place? Moreover, how often do you review every policy in your office?
Annual Renewal Review Process
Over the last few years, I have seen multiple ways that agencies attempt to systematize the process of reviewing and updating customer information and insurance exposures. These include:
- A form letter mailed out to the policyholder 60 days before the policy expiration. In some cases, data that is already known prefills on the form through mail merge. In other cases, a blank form is sent, and the policyholder is expected to fill in all existing and new information.
- An email to the policyholder informing them of the impending renewal and asking them to call the office at a convenient time for them so you can take 15 minutes to review the policies.
- A proactive outbound phone call to the client asking to take a few minutes to review their existing coverages to make sure there are no gaps.
Each of these processes is fine as far as it goes. When I ask agents the success (defined as reviews completed and returned) of each of these processes, they generally tell me the responses are very low.
If you believe, like I do, that Speed is a Value, then it is essential to consider other options for the annual account review process than those identified above.
Speed is a powerful way to enhance your customer experience.
Chatbots to the Rescue
A chatbot is a computer software program that can communicate with people using machine learning techniques.
Personally, I prefer the name “guided conversations.” Based on the interaction with the person in the conversation, the chatbot program guides the conversation based on their response to questions and prompts. Think of a chatbot conversation like a flowchart. If the individual answers the question with “yes,” then the program will automatically take them to part C.
We are seeing examples of chatbots developed and deployed in many industries including banking, social platforms (Facebook messenger), and other organizations that want to provide a faster response to questions and answers.
There are a small but growing number of insurance agents who are utilizing chatbots on their website to help people find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. The largest insurance companies are also creating a chatbot conversational experience for their policyholders.
The EchoSage Platform
I firmly believe in the value of annual policy reviews. And acknowledge the difficulty — at least up to this point — of getting customers to interact with you to review their insurance coverages.
I have been working with EchoSage for the last two years providing advice and support as they develop their chatbot platform.
Personal Lines Renewal Review Package
They have developed a Personal Lines Renewal Review Package that any agency can use to automate the annual renewal review process.
The basic personal lines package currently includes review processes for the following lines of business:
- HO 3 HO 5 Homeowners Renewal Review
- HO 4 Renters Renewal Review
- HO 6 Condo Renewal Review
- Dwelling Fire Renewal Review
- Personal Automobile Renewal Review
- Motorcycle Insurance Renewal Review
Review questions can be customized as part of the setup process for your agency.
An agency in the Northeast has been testing the homeowner’s renewal review process for over ten months. Following are the benefits of implementing this process within the agency:
- Positive client touch.
- Created conversations with existing policyholders for upsell and round-out opportunities.
- About 16% full review completion.
- About 40% of reviews were completed on a mobile device.
- On average, each review takes less than five minutes to complete.
- Uncovered four major home renovations not reported to the agency.
- All interactions are documented, so the agency has better E&O protection.
See for Yourself
The best way to explain how this works is to let you see a review process for yourself. Here are two reviews from the personal lines review renewal review package:
You can also experience a conversation when you click Why Buy EchoSage.
A one-time setup fee of just $750.00 and a monthly fee of only $99.00.
The $99.00 monthly fee gives you up to 5,000 unique customer renewal reviews. If you go over 5,000, the additional reviews are just six cents each.
The agency can Add/Delete/Change a limited number of questions without incurring additional costs.
As a TechTips subscriber, I have been able to negotiate a $100 discount from the $750 setup fee. Be sure to mention TechTips or my name if you decide to contact EchoSage for more information.
I suspect some agents will object to using an automated platform to engage with current clients in their renewal review. I would just ask, “How successful are you being in engaging with clients? How many clients do you have now that you have not touched in multiple years?”
Yes, some people will still want to talk to you. Are there are a growing number of your clients who would find this type of process fast and easy? Isn’t it worth experimenting?
How does your agency handle annual account renewal reviews? How successful has that process been? Leave a comment below.