A Digital Technology That's Really a Win, Win, Win: Why Insurance Carriers and Agents Need ACORD eDocs Now
By: Stuart Durland, Seely & Durland, Inc.
Paper...a mountain of paper - that is what I saw when I walked past the receptionist's desk this morning. It turns out, we had just received a delivery of policies from one of our carrier partners. Driven by curiosity, we weighed the paper - it was nearly seven pounds. And by our calculations, that's approximately $11 in shipping fees.
That's just a hard cost. Then there's the soft cost of producing the paper, box, not to mention what it costs my agency to deal with the paper, by digitizing the information, getting it into our systems and storing the paper.
I started thinking: how much money could our partner save by switching to ACORD eDocs?
Eleven dollars might not seem like a lot, but remember my agency is just one of this carrier's partners. I assume the carrier is sending boxes like this to agencies throughout its network, which could amount to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in shipping costs every year.
Then consider the soft costs. The carrier must have staff that is responsible for printing, copying, packaging and sending all the documents. And at my agency, personnel must scan the documents, attach them to the right files in our agency management system, manually enter the data, and file the paper hard copies. These tedious processes take valuable time for a team that's already stretched.
That's where ACORD eDocs comes in. Switching to ACORD eDocs can be a win for the carrier, win for the agent, and ultimately, a win for our clients. ACORD eDocs would allow us to securely share documents, including policies, endorsements, and client information directly from our agency management system. The information is automatically downloaded from the carrier's system to the agency management system where it is attached to the client or policy file. And documents can be shared in real-time, so there is no two- or three-day lag period as we wait for a package to arrive.
ACORD eDocs also saves money. Consider the seven pound box. For fun, I asked IVANS to estimate the cost of using ACORD eDocs to send the same information. According to IVANS' estimate, it would be less than five dollars on eDocs, reducing the carrier's shipping cost of $11 by more than half. When you consider the thousands of boxes getting shipped by carriers every day, ACORD eDocs could save a significant amount of money every year.
ACORD eDocs also eliminates the need to re-enter data into a management system saving time and reducing manual entry errors. Most importantly it improves customer service enabling agents to quickly access policy and claims information so they can respond to requests in a timely manner.
Don't you think it's time that our industry conquers the paper mountain?
I'd love to hear from you about your own battles with paper, and how you think ACORD eDocs can help your business.