Grant Patten, Digital Media & UX Specialist | Atlantic Insurance Broker, October 2016
Bluenose Insurance Brokers, an independent brokerage in Sydney, NS, is a stand-out leader in the use of eDocs for commercial lines (CL), with one of the highest volumes of CL eDocs received from their insurer partners among Nova Scotian brokerages. Jody Dakai, Owner/Manager at Bluenose, spoke to CSIO about why and how her brokerage implemented eDocs for commercial lines:
CSIO: “When eDocs are used to their full potential, sending, receiving, sorting, scanning and destroying paper is no longer necessary. How much has CL eDocs allowed you to cut down on those paper processes?”
Jody: “Using eDocs for both lines of business, we’ve been able to achieve an almost 100% reduction of paper. Most of our insureds are accepting eDocs now, and I would say less than 10% of them still prefer the paper copy. So it’s a bit of a misconception in the industry that commercial clients tend to prefer the paper copy. We’re not doing much scanning anymore; in the past we were scanning documents into our system and attaching them manually, which took time. But with eDocs, everything is at our fingertips in seconds, including both the insured’s copy and the broker’s copy, and this frees up so much time for other tasks.
“The biggest savings because of eDocs would definitely be time and efficiency – we receive our documents and changes almost instantly from the companies now, enabling us to send them back to our clients very promptly. Specifically, sending confirmation of Commercial General Liability policies electronically to clients has been a big asset. Being able to forward that copy to clients in seconds while we have them on the phone has been appreciated by many of our clients so far.”
CSIO: “Would you be able to give us an estimate on the specific amount of time you’ve saved through the use of CL eDocs?”
Jody: “In terms of specific time savings, you’re talking days. Waiting for documentation to come by courier would take a day or two. Then the time to stamp and receive the documents after they arrive at your front desk. Then it would need to be sorted and brought to the commercial representative, who would have to scan it into our system. So, altogether, I would estimate the use of CL eDocs has sped up our process by 4-5 business days.”
CSIO: “Which companies are you using CL eDocs with and when did you connect with them?”
Jody: “Every company came on board with CL eDocs at different times. We’re currently using CL eDocs with Portage Mutual, Intact and a few other insurers. It’s just so convenient having the commercial policies automatically attach to the client file in our BMS. Ideally, I’d like to see all the companies I do business with offer CL eDocs.”
CSIO: “Can you tell us about a specific time when CL eDocs made a real difference to a client?”
Jody: “About a year ago, I was in this client’s office and we were in discussion about an insurer with respect to limits and operations. He needed to see the policy document but didn’t have his computer with him, so he thought it would have to wait. But then I reminded him that I had emailed him his policy eDocs. We logged into another computer in the office and he was able to retrieve the document electronically within about 10 seconds, getting all the answers he needed about his policy.”
CSIO: “How has using dual screens helped with the eDocs workflow?”
Jody: “Dual screens are especially useful when creating letters from renewal documents, so we can have the policy up on one screen and the Word document on the other. We can create the letter and review the policy at the same time without flipping pages, printing, etc., so we have everything at our fingertips. With respect to CL eDocs, two monitors I think are very necessary when you’re paperless.”
Jody’s experience clearly demonstrates the efficiency gains and customer service improvements that can be realized with eDocs in both lines of business. Bluenose Insurance Brokers deserves applause for being among the first adopters of CL eDocs in Atlantic Canada, and we hope to see more brokers and insurers across Canada implement CL eDocs. By leveraging technology to improve the consumer’s ease of doing business, there is no doubt that the independent broker channel will maintain its commanding commercial lines market share. For more information and to see a list of insurers that have achieved CSIO Certification for CL eDocs, please visit www.csio.com.