Marshall & Sterling boosts efficiency, manages 7,000 hurricane claims with WorkSmart

Vertafore's WorkSmart helped Marshall & Sterling respond to and process over 7,000 claims in the wake of hurricanes.

Marshall & Sterling Insurance logo

Company snapshot

Founded in 1864, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc. is among the largest privately-owned insurance agencies in the U.S., with total written premiums in excess of $700 million. This highly regarded agency is employee-owned by more than 450 insurance professionals and is well-equipped to serve the entire nation and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Marshall & Sterling is an industry leader that specializes in public entities, offering personal, commercial, and employee group benefits.


In 2017, just 14 days apart, Hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc on the U.S. Virgin Islands. Marshall & Sterling, with offices on St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John, dealt with the aftermath by providing dedicated people who worked with specialized technology. 

Dealing with catastrophes is a massive challenge for the entire insurance industry. When disaster strikes, carriers and agents deal with claims surges and anxious clients, which can become overwhelming. Add the stress of damage to the agency, and things can quickly seem out of control. 

A much-needed helping hand

Jim Dahoney, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Marshall & Sterling leaned on his staff and technology to get through the tough times. The agency leveraged WorkSmart to respond to and process more than 7,000 claims in the wake of the storms. "I’m glad we made the switch to a tool that enabled us to track our processes, report in real-time, and automate the crushing flow of information."

“Vertafore’s WorkSmart enabled us to provide additional support both onsite and remotely to share the workload, give some relief to local staff, and meet our customers’ needs.”

Jim Dahoney
   SVP, CIO, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc.

Marshall & Sterling ensured they took care of clients in their time of need without overwhelming the staff. It came down to having a solution that could distribute work across different departments and locations, organize vast amounts of content, and manage bottlenecks. 

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Proven results

  • Processed over 7,000 claims in wake of the 2017 hurricanes
  • Increased visibility into workflows to effectively manage bottlenecks
  • Boosted growth without increasing headcount



Right work, right place, right time

For Marshall & Sterling, WorkSmart is an operational game-changer. “We have the documentation, phone calls, emails, whatever it is, coming into one system. We can route the work to the right people that need to handle it,” Dahoney explains. “People like the ability to see what they need to do and have that all in front of them without having to work out of their email or an activity list.” 

With the massive influx of claims a natural disaster brings, most agencies would be buried in emails, phone calls, and other customer communications—not to mention the incredible amount of work that follows each initial conversation. This results in unproductive employees, massive bottlenecks, and a slow claims process leading to dissatisfied clients. With WorkSmart, Marshall & Sterling managed the chaos. “We could see how much was coming in, who was getting what, and where people may have been falling behind so we could quickly move those tasks to another team or individual to help out.”

With the ability to quickly reassign work to people with more bandwidth, the Marshall & Sterling staff stayed caught up. In the past, management relied on employee self-reporting to understand capacity and bottlenecks. As a result, the agency would overcorrect or fail to recognize inefficiencies.

We’ve grown and haven’t had to add staff because we’ve realized the efficiencies of WorkSmart.”
Jim Dahoney


A perfect fit

Last piece of the puzzle. A perfect fit.

When Marshall & Sterling started looking for a content management and workflow solution, they needed something that was out-of-the-box yet fully customizable.

Dahoney appreciates having their workflows built into the system. “The ability to modify WorkSmart for our needs or use it out-of-the-box was a nice feature,” he says. “We have our group We even use it for their accounting, billing, and approvals with custom workflows that are built specifically for Marshall & Sterling."

CSR workflow before WorkSmart

CSR Workflow before worksmart

CSR workflow after WorkSmart

CSR workflow after WorkSmart

Manager workflow before WorkSmart

Manager workflow before WorkSmart

Manager workflow after WorkSmart

Manager workflow after WorkSmart

Adopting new technology isn’t helpful unless it seamlessly integrates with a company's existing solutions. Dahoney points to WorkSmart’s ability to integrate with its entire suite of Vertafore products and its internal processes and programs as a key benefit.

He also appreciates Vertafore's partnership mentality. "There’s that openness and willingness to have an open platform and integrate with the additional programs and functions we needed.”

We needed to have a partner that had all of the solutions that we could utilize and know that they would integrate and talk to one another."

Jim Dahoney

Effective workflows designed for insurance

Operating efficiently can be challenging when your employees manage large volumes of work. To prioritize clients and increase profitability, you need to align work with your staff’s areas of specialty and manage documents in a way that makes sense for an independent agency.

As the only file-centric content management and workflow solution designed for insurance, WorkSmart uses role-based processing, empowering agency employees to spend less time looking for information and more time with clients.

With WorkSmart, you can:

Distribute work more effectively
Optimize content management
Manage bottlenecks

Make your staff and your customers happy by offering a superior experience and improving productivity in your agency with WorkSmart.