Grant Patten, Digital Media & UX Specialist | Atlantic Insurance Broker, June 2017
As an advocate for the adoption of cutting-edge technology within the broker channel, CSIO recognizes the importance of celebrating our industry’s successes. That is why we introduced the Technology Leader award program in 2016 as a way to identify and acknowledge those brokerages that achieve 100% on the CSIO Technology Scorecard. The scorecard tracks adoption of nine key technologies including eDocs, eSignatures, mobile-optimized websites and search engine optimization (SEO). At the time of this writing, 93 brokerages have been identified as Tech Leaders – including Wedgwood Insurance, an Atlantic Canada brokerage based in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador. CSIO interviewed Wedgwood’s President, Tom Hickey, about his brokerage’s adoption of technology.
On the decision to implement eDocs, Hickey said, “I think implementing eDocs is a no-brainer really… we had been scanning all that paper in for years, and then throwing it all away, and eDocs eliminated these steps of the workflow. Beyond that, there’s also the benefit of the documents going directly into the client file with eDocs, so that adds additional efficiencies to the team’s workflow. And we’re currently converting to paperless for our client communications also, so we’re able to just email these documents to the clients.”
Thanks primarily to eDocs, Hickey has also been able to clear up more office space at Wedgwood. “Right now, we don’t have any file storage space other than for some specific accounts,” says Hickey. “But there are no paper files in our office now; there’s just a bit of paper on some peoples’ desks, but there’s no filing room anymore. So, that allowed us to free up more office space and use that space more productively.”
Wedgwood Insurance has Transport Layer Security (TLS) implemented so email communications are strongly encrypted and secure, as long as the recipient is also using an email service with TLS enabled. Enter your email into CheckTLS.com to determine whether or not you have TLS implemented. Most major email services, such as Gmail and Hotmail, are now enabled with TLS by default. If you find that TLS is not enabled on your email servers, ask your IT provider about implementing it. It’s inexpensive and simple to implement.
When asked why he decided to implement eSignatures, Hickey replied, “We realized that those paper-creating scenarios were inefficient, e.g., sending correspondence to clients to be signed, and then having to get a scanned document back, or forcing clients to come into your office to sign. That whole workflow is unproductive, so it was also a no-brainer for us to use eSignatures.” Wedgwood also utilizes call recording in place of formal signatures, attaching call recordings to client files for easy reference.
“When you combine call recording with eSignatures, you’re giving people multiple easy options for doing business with you,” says Hickey. “For E&O purposes or even just for documentation – if someone is requesting a coverage to be removed, in the past, we’d always want it in writing because if a claim did happen, you’d have to have something to show. But, again, why force clients to go through this paper-creating process? With call recording, you just read the steps out to them, they say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, we attach that to their file and we’re done.”
Wedgwood has also implemented a mobile responsive website, which means its layout adjusts to provide a good user experience whether it appears on a desktop computer or a smartphone. “We have an integrated quote request form, a regularly updated blog, a live chat service and a client portal where people can login and look at their documents. So, we tried to build functionality in that would satisfy all those core requirements,” says Hickey. “For the portal, we’re using Applied – it’s the CSR24 product they have, but we branded it W/24 for our own needs. Thousands of our clients are using the portal now to do tasks like print their liability cards, check policy documents, and our next step is the mobile app, which should be released this summer.”
Wedgwood also has a very active social media strategy – their Facebook and Twitter accounts, in particular, are kept regularly updated with fresh content to build their brand and attract new customers. “Facebook is great for putting a face on your people and your company, so we view it more as a branding play. I don’t like it when companies do promoted posts that are selling me things on Facebook,” says Hickey. “We use Facebook more as a tool to educate current and potential customers, rather than sell to them there. I think doing a ‘hard sell’ on social media could actually damage your brand, so we don’t take that approach. It’s important to be on social in some form, though, and you have to be consistent with it once you start – and the benefits will eventually come back to your business from those brand building efforts.”
Is your brokerage a CSIO Technology Leader? Complete the Technology Scorecard on CSIO.com to find out! If you score 100%, email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to recognize your brokerage as the latest Tech Leader. Access the scorecard at CSIO.com/scorecard-tool.