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When Good News Could Be Bad News for MGAs, MGUs and Broker

Posted on January 25, 2017 by Kyle Heiser in Carrier

When Good News Could Be Bad News for MGAs, MGUs and Broker

According to Conning Insurance Research, there is good news: MGA market premium growth rate has far exceeded that of the commercial lines sector for the last two years. In fact, Steve Webersen, Managing Director and Head of Research for Conning, declared that “more insurers are entering and expanding their commitment to the MGA space. This greater competition for quality MGAs and programs is welcomed by distributors who can best serve this market.”[1]

It’s always good news to be part of an industry that is on the rise. Isn’t it? Or can it spell trouble down the road? We looked at four different perspectives and found the answer might be: “it depends on your technology.”

Now, the Less Good News

Maybe you already spotted it hiding behind the words “quality MGAs” in the opening quote. What does that mean? Like all things, it depends on who you ask. We asked your peers and your carriers, and were surprised to find them in agreement.

We found your peers’ answer in the most recent whitepaper of the American Association of Managing General Agents. In it, the AAMGA identified the ability to use technology to benefit both you and your carriers as “instrumental” in differentiating yourself in the marketplace.[2] To find out what insurers are thinking, we turned to Accenture’s most recent carrier study. We found that not only was technology their top concern, the majority of them explicitly stated that they expected the brokers and agents they worked with to adopt technologies that would improve productivity, sales, and service.[3]

Finally, the Not-at-all Good News.

That’s not so bad, you may be thinking. You know how important it is that your technology serves your people and your business.

However, recent Insurance Journal research revealed that you may not know what you think you know, due to the gap that exists between what managers believe to be true versus what is actually happening in their business. These gaps, which spanned multiple critical areas, recorded variances as high as 40%. One of these areas? The degree to which inefficient processes and systems are decreasing staff’s ability to focus on revenue generating activities.[4]

This all begs the question: is your management technology really serving the needs of your employees, customers, and carriers?

So What Can You Do?

Take a look at the technologies used by MGAs of all sizes. Don’t be surprised though, when you find AIM and ImageRight.

You’ll find AIM because 8,500 users rely upon it every day. You’ll find AIM because it is the ongoing result of an unprecedented collaboration between our engineers and designers and leading MGAs, MGUs, and brokers. You’ll find AIM because it makes it easy for these companies to manage and track virtually every aspect of their fast-paced ever-evolving business, including quoting and binding, policy issuance and management, policy and general ledger accounting, and interactions with agents and carriers.

Whether as a standalone, or seamlessly integrated with the enterprise content management and workflow tools of ImageRight, AIM dramatically increases productivity and profitability, while reducing the cost and time required to manage complex operations.

News You Can Use

We were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with a busy regional vice president for one of the MGAs. With more than a decade of experience using AIM and ImageRight at both small and large organizations, he shared his view on why AIM has been the platform of choice for more than 20 years.

To him, the first/greatest value is the focus it brings to building the business. “By helping us eliminate time spent worrying about things like files or system procedures,” he said, “AIM enables us to focus our energies on building relationships, meeting the needs of our agents and their customers, and making it easier for them to do business.”

He also praised its ability to be easily customized by its users, whether a larger organization needing to add new features or a smaller one scaling functionality to better match their more limited needs.

Ultimately, though, the greatest reason just might be the least exciting: “It’s about consistency.” Being an industry technology veteran, he’s all-to-familiar with the “overpromising and under-delivering” that often happens with software. That’s why he feels that the reality always wins out over the hype: people stay with AIM and ImageRight because “you can rely on them to do what they’re supposed to do.”

Is Your System Doing What it’s Supposed to Do?

We’ve got one last piece of news for you: We think AIM is worth a look. We’ll skip the hype, and let you see for yourself how it will help your people spend more time building your business by spending less time managing it.

[1] “Managing General Agents: Superior Growth in Specialty Markets”, Conning, 2015.

[2] “Raising the Standards:  Refining the Professional Trade Association for the Wholesale Insurance Marketplace”, American Association of Managing General Agents, 2013.

[3]  “The Digital Insurer: Accenture Digital Innovation Survey 2014 - Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation,” Accenture, 2014.

[4] “Insurance Operations Best Practice Survey Results,” ResourcePro Analytics and Insurance Journal, 2013.


kyle heiser bio

Kyle Heiser

Kyle Heiser is a member of Vertafore's Carrier marketing team. Mr. Heiser is dedicated to helping Carrier's, MGA's, and MGU's get the most out of their relationship with Vertafore.


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