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Is Your Agency Due for a Documentation Audit?

Posted on May 17, 2016 by Guy Weismantel

Digital Insurer blog header

In our world of increasing exposure to risk, insurers and insurance organizations are more aware than ever of their need to have well-trained employees. 

Let me rephrase that, “world-class” employees. It's crucial after all to remember: you’re not just competing with the agency down the street anymore.

Don't forget that.

Highly trained staff don't just help with compliance and decrease risks that might arise from errors and omissions, well trained staff also improve the customer experience. This improvement to your business processes is of great benefit to your agency, both short and long term time-frames.

How do I know? Why am I so sure that happy, well trained staff benefit your bottom line? Because we did the research.

And the research tells us that by providing your staff with better technology they’ll be more efficient, more engaged, and in turn, pass that cheery attitude on to the customer which hopefully results in better profits for your organization.

In a world of digital disruption where we know exceeding customer expectations is a must, you need to consider your technology decisions from all angles of the business as you build out your growth strategy and look to stay competitive.

Where do you need to invest to stay competitive? In your people? Your products? In your customer experience? Your technology? Smart executives will figure out how they can solve as many of these issues as possible in one fell swoop by investing in technology that will maximize employee performance and engagement while also protecting the business from risk that is specific to our industry.

That’s why NOW is the time that you should be evaluating the experience that your employees have, from training to ongoing reporting and continuing education.

Managing Your Workforce e-book

One of the sure-fire ways of ensuring your firm is in compliance is to have well established policies, organized training for new employees, and mandatory continuing education available to your current agents. 

In our e-book on Managing your Agency Workforce in the Digital Era, we've built a quiz that helps you evaluate whether or not your firm is ready to survive a documentation audit. While you can download the e-book by clicking the link above (or at the bottom of the post), the questions and answers below can serve as a guide to ensuring your firm has up-to-date and accurate documentation that will aid in keeping you compliant.

1. Do you have documented workflows in place for your agency's everyday processes?

Yes: Excellent. It's crucial to have a common point of reference for all employees for how work gets done in your agency

No: When every person in your agency does things their own way, you introduce inefficiency and increase the chance of errors and omissions.

2. Does your software dictate how your agency performs tasks, and influence how your staff handles work?

Yes: Your processes should ensure the best outcome for the customer and your business, not the best outcome for a computer program.

No: Good news. People like you decide the best course of action for your business; software helps you get there.

3. Have you reviewed or updated your procedures in the past 12 months?

Yes: It sounds like you're up to date, but keep an eye on opportunities to refine and clarify your current processes - particularly as business realities change.

No: A lot can change in one year; it may be time to review last year's processes to see if they still apply.

Continued employee enducation

4. Are you training new employees with up-to-date materials?

Yes: Great! You're setting your staff up for success. To keep skills current, consider additional online training, seminars, and user groups.

No: If your new employees are learning from outdated documents and materials, they're less productive, efficient and accurate.

5. Have you adopted new software or started writing new lines of business in the past year?

Yes: New carriers, products, or tools change and impact your agency's processes, sometimes in subtle ways

No: Even if your agency hasn't changed much in the past year, it's best to periodically review or audit your agency's documented processes.

Employee engagement

6. Do you have an accurate baseline for performance?

Yes: Great! You have to know where you are before you can determine where you're going

No: It's important to understand how your workers are performing now so you can measure the success of solutions in the future.

Why was this exercise important?

Remember, there are two important factors that you’ll need to consider as digital disruption continues to change the landscape of the insurance industry:

1. Does your software help facilitate insurance specific workflows and processes that will safeguard your organization from risk?

2. Does your software enable your employees to be more efficient while also helping them engage with their work (which has been proven to lead to increased productivity)?

If you found yourself on the wrong side of the above questions, all is not lost. Keeping abreast of how the industry is changing and adopting new technology so as to not be left behind will help you get back on track.

You Can Start Here

You can download the e-book we've written about managing your agency workforce in the digital era below. Our hope is that we can drill into what's happening in today's digital climate for insurance professionals to ready ourselves, as well as our customers, with an understanding of actions you need to take. 

Download the eBook

See you next week.

Mr. Weismantel is the Vice President of Marketing at Vertafore. With 20 years of marketing and financial leadership in companies such as Microsoft, Business Objects, Baxter HealthCare, Caremark International, and Expedia, Guy’s career has focused on bringing differentiated products to market and providing the “compelling reason to purchase” for customers and prospects alike.

Guy has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


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