A Commercial eDocs Leader in Port Alberni, BC

Grant Patten, Digital Media & User Experience Specialist | BC Broker, June 2016

A small independent brokerage in Port Alberni, BC, is a stand-out leader in the use of eDocs for commercial lines (CL). Currently, MacDermott’s Insurance Agency is the second highest volume receiver of CL eDocs in the province of BC.

Brian Carriere, Producer & Systems Manager at MacDermott’s spoke to CSIO about why and how his brokerage implemented eDocs for commercial lines:

CSIO: “eDocs adoption in personal lines (PL) has been tremendous with a majority of brokerages across Canada benefiting from the substantial time and cost savings eDocs offers. However, CL eDocs adoption has been much slower. For example, in 2016, CL eDocs represent less than 2.5% of eDocs volume in the province of British Columbia. What do you think it will take to get more brokers and insurers to adopt CL eDocs?”

Brian: “As more companies offer CL eDocs, it will be more attractive because there will be similar workflows rather than different ones for each company. And, of course, there’s always the acceptance of change. The commercial side in particular has many people who still rely on the paper copies, but I think everyone could accept CL eDocs fairly easily with some minor process adjustments. A lot of brokers are still scanning the paper to send off, so why not have it automatically in electronic format instead?”

CSIO: “When eDocs are used to their full potential, sending, receiving, sorting, scanning and destroying paper is no longer necessary. How much has your use of CL eDocs thus far allowed you to cut down on those paper processes?”

Brian: “We’ve cut down as we don’t receive many paper documents from the companies anymore; we haven’t had to print policies. We give our clients the option of having their policy delivered electronically in full, or if they request it, they can have a printed copy. But CL eDocs have reduced our printing of those commercial policies by around 85-90%.”

CSIO: “What prompted you to implement CL eDocs?”

Brian: “Around October 2015, I received a call from one of the Business Development staff at Intact Insurance; they were rolling it out and wanted us to try it for them, so we signed up right away. We’re always interested in reducing costs and enhancing workflows to be more efficient and CL eDocs have been helpful in both those areas. By having the eDocs renewal already in the system, we’re able to see the terms that the company is offering ahead of time. Having the full eDoc gives us every extension and exclusion available, which makes it much easier to discuss with the client exactly what changes they might need.”

CSIO: “You mentioned Intact. Which other insurers have you been using CL eDocs with?”

Brian: “Intact is our largest insurer. CNS also sends CL eDocs. Gore has a portal we can download CL eDocs from, but it’s not automatic yet. Of course, we’d like to see all the companies offering CL eDocs. That would increase our productivity because we wouldn’t have to look at different systems to receive each company’s policies.”

CSIO: “What would you say are the main benefits of CL eDocs?”

Brian: “We’ve benefited the most from time savings. Being able to have the renewals in and see the documents in our BMS immediately, not waiting for mail, not having to process mail – it all adds up. Cost is another big factor, including printing and mailing – when processing an endorsement or change, sometimes we’d have to return the paper copy and the postage was quite expensive. As well, eDocs significantly reduce our E&O exposure. By having the full wordings, extensions and coverages right in front of you with the eDoc in your BMS, you’re able to make sure that nothing is omitted.”

CSIO: “Are you using dual screens to take full advantage of the eDocs workflow efficiencies, such as having the dec page on the left screen and the BMS on the right screen?”

Brian: “Yes, we’ve had dual screens for about five years now. I have my calendar and email on one screen, and the BMS (Keal’s sigXP) on the other. When I bring up an eDoc, I can have my BMS and my eDoc on one screen, and the communication from the client on the other. Dual screens is definitely the way to go; I wouldn’t do eDocs without them.”

CSIO: “Can you tell us about a specific time when CL eDocs made a real difference to an employee or customer?”

Brian: “Being able to send relevant wordings in a single document, with the dec pages, rather than scanning and sending 5-10 attachments of different wordings makes for a better customer experience. They’re able to open one document and see everything. For employees, it reduces scanning, which ultimately saves a lot of time. We’ve already saved 30-40 minutes a day, for that employee who was doing the scanning.”

Brian’s experience clearly demonstrates the efficiency gains and customer service improvements that can be realized with eDocs in both lines of business. MacDermott’s Insurance Agency deserves applause for being among the first movers for CL eDocs in BC, and we hope to see more brokers and insurers across Canada adopt 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 the insurers that have achieved CSIO Certification for CL eDocs, please visit www.csio.com.