Morton Insurance & Risk Management is an agency that knows a thing or two about building relationships with clients. With a client-retention rate of 97%, the agency is dedicated to communicating proactively, addressing the total cost of risk for clients, and gaining negotiating leverage to control insurance costs.
Morton wanted to continue their exceptional client service and simplify insurance for business clients. However, the manual tasks made it harder to maintain and scale the agency. According to Allan Morton Jr., CIC, CRM, “We were forced to have really labor-intensive processes to maintain an amazing client experience.”
These manual tasks included the following:
- Sorting through forms. When clients asked for previous year applications, Morton personnel spent significant time sifting through their document management system to find copies of old applications and forward to clients. They would print applications and “white-out” and/or scribble updated answers. It looked very unprofessional and was difficult to decipher (e.g., “Is that a seven or is that a nine?”).
- Explaining questions/sections. Applications are often lengthy, and clients had multiple questions that personnel would answer via email if the client remembered to ask before sending the incomplete application. Employees also are often tasked by clients to find old applications providing documentation explaining renewal premium increases to customers.
- Sourcing application signatures. Once an application had been updated, Morton agents still needed to secure client signatures (a difficult activity if more than one person’s signature was required on an application). The agency wasn’t satisfied with its current e-signature platform and was looking to make a change.
Completing these tasks manually was not only frustrating but also inefficient, and it hindered the agency’s ability to efficiently interact with clients.
“We go to very great lengths to service our clients; it’s an ongoing commitment of our agency,” Morton says. “However, we were spending too much time completing applications and pestering our clients for updated applications. From an E&O standpoint, getting fresh signatures on updated exposures was a significant loss control requirement for us.”
Morton Insurance was on the hunt for a solution that would reduce the labor-intensive process for employees while allowing them to continue offering a superior client experience. Indio’s features caught the agency’s eye.
Indio’s platform provides access to thousands of digitized smart forms, which eliminates the need to find old applications. And these smart forms auto-map common answers from the previous year’s applications, so there’s no difficulty deciphering client information (which reduces E&O exposures).
Rather than a client having to go through page after page of an application to search for applicable sections, smart forms give agents the ability to mark certain sections and/or questions of an application “Required.” Agents and clients can also go back and forth via comments on forms instead of through email for different questions. E-signatures are built within smart forms, so clients can sign off immediately at the end of the form — a feature that eliminates printing, signing, scanning, and passing around forms for signatures.
“The fact that I could access virtually any application and pull in last year’s information into a renewal application, it was a game-changer,” Allan Morton says, “Having e-signatures was just the cherry on the top. When discussing Indio with my associates, we all agreed that the platform would save us so much time.”
Through the Indio platform, Morton personnel spend less time on administrative labor and can focus on what really matters: the client experience. The time frame for receiving applications has been significantly reduced relieving agents from shouldering the load.
According to Allan Morton, over half of the clients that he typically sends a reminder to no longer require one, thanks to Indio. Applications are being received quicker than ever, thanks to Indio smart forms, comments/sections, and e-signatures.
Digitized smart forms reduce manual input
Agents can now go straight into the Indio platform — an online database that offers access to an expanding repository of 5,000+ already-digitized insurance applications and forms. As Morton explains, that’s a strong foundation on which to build.
Digitized smart forms have a significant advantage over paper and PDF applications. Rather than scanning, attaching, and sending via email, smart forms can be updated in real-time. And not only are they easily accessible to both agent and client, they automatically auto-map (or prefill) common answers (e.g., client contact information) from applications that the client has already filled out.
For example, Morton would select a form from a carrier for executive risk (e.g., D&O, EPL, fiduciary, crime). This application would be sent to the wholesale broker to solicit terms. However, often the carrier that comes in with the best terms and pricing requires the information to be in their application.
Instead of asking the client to fill out yet another form with similar information, smart forms easily auto-map that information into the carrier’s application to meet the requirement.
Comments and sections speed up communication
Before using Indio, when a Morton client had a question about an application, Morton agents had to respond via email or a phone call. Agents would get a phone call or an email from clients expressing that they didn’t understand certain questions. Clients would send the application back to the agent, who would have to open it and go through the concerns before the client could start working on the application again. Especially for multiple questions and concerns, this process could be slow and tedious.
With Indio smart forms, questions can be asked directly within the form via comments.
The number of people using the comment feature has allowed Morton Insurance to eliminate time-consuming email trading. Agents are actually able to address questions while they’re still in the application, virtually in real-time which has streamlined the process.
Morton says, “Client questions now hit my email box, and I’m able to reply on the system usually while the client is still in the application completing questions. We also use in conjunction with the live chat on our website, so we’re answering questions back within a couple of minutes.”
In addition, Morton personnel would have to unprofessionally make a line through sections to alert the client, “Don’t worry about this section. It doesn’t apply to you.” Indio’s smart forms give agents the option to mark certain application sections (or questions) “Required” and to hide others. Eliminating certain pages or questions from an application helps simplify the process, remove confusion, and clients can now enjoy their coffee while filling out their insurance applications.
These features have also increased proactive communication for Morton. “If I don’t like the way a carrier asks the question, I’ll put a line through and rephrase it. And if there’s a question that I know is habitually misunderstood, I’m able to make comments on it before clients even get the application. It’s shortening the application time frame and making it easier for people to complete applications,” he says.
E-signatures are easy to acquire
Morton Insurance was already ahead of the times, using e-signatures with their clients instead of scanning/sending paper or PDF applications. But the agency wasn’t happy with their e-signature provider. One of the main reasons that the agency chose Indio was the connected e-signature feature with the smart forms.
Morton clients can now simply sign their application as soon as they’re done filling out the form. Best of all, other people can be tagged within the form when their signature is needed, which eliminates the need to send pages of forms via email.
Insurance is complex, and that gets clients nervous if they don’t understand questions. Having clear instructions both from agents and within the Indio platform helps put these fears at ease. All of this achieves a faster application turnaround time.
“Everybody in my office is using Indio with their clients. As a matter of fact, I had a client who I literally sent an application to them, and within 12 minutes I had back the completed application with it signed. And this was a typical three- to four-weeker client that I would habitually have to go back to and ask for stuff. All of a sudden, I got this unsolicited email from them after they completed the application that just said “done.”
Speeding up application completion
Implementation was not without bumps in the road, but the results have been worth it. Morton Insurance personnel are no longer investing inordinate time in this administrative process. Instead, they can rely on Indio and easily interact with clients through the platform. Agents can take care of different client issues, and clients can go through applications and renewals faster than ever before.
According to Morton, “I’ve had numerous people that have come back and said, ‘I really like the Indio interface. I can easily go back into it if I get interrupted or have to come back to an application.’ It’s a solution that’s both a win for agents and for clients.”