Theft is a serious issue with insurance agencies nationwide. Theft occurs most frequently with the agents who don’t spend a lot of time in the office and who have multiple locations. When the insurance agency owner isn’t participating in the management of their company, it generates the perfect opportunity for fraud and theft to occur.
One of the ways that employees commit fraud is by fabricating certificates and certificate holders. By doing this, they can easily pocket funds without the insurance agency owner knowing. Another easy way for theft to occur comes from the handling of money. When a customer comes in, the agent will post the payment to the carrier’s website but not to the management system. They continue to post to the carrier website because they know that failing to do so will result in the policy being cancelled and an alert being sent to the insured. Unless the owner is tracking these statements on a daily basis, s/he will remain unaware of the theft.
Theft can also occur through false receipts. Some insurance agents purchase a receipt book and tell the insured that the system is down and that they have to hand-write the receipt. The insured walks away with a receipt, but the agent does not put the transaction into the management system. One way to combat this is by having an example receipt posted clearly in the office. Showing customers what a receipt is supposed to look like deters fabrication of fakes, especially if you add instructions like contacting the management if the receipt given does not match the one posted.
Agency Matrix insurance software takes this idea a step further with its text receipt feature. You can print a receipt with a default message at the bottom asking the customer to sign if the receipt is correct. The client will sign the physical receipt acknowledging that they paid and that the agent has received it on behalf of the insurance company. As you can see, an excellent way to mitigate fraud is to have multiple contingency plans in place.
Further, by utilizing Agency Matrix’s sweep reports, insurance agency owners can see all the transactions with all of their carriers over several days. The sweep report shows the transactions, carriers and amount that each carrier is going to sweep from the account. By comparing the sweep report with the amount swept from the agency’s account, owners can see whether mistakes have been made or if someone is pocketing revenue.
A very common way in which agencies lose money is through the abuse of the company time clock. Time is a precious commodity. The cost of your employees’ time adds up quickly by the end of the month. Fortunately, Agency Matrix can report any oddities that occur on the time clock.
One Agency Matrix client who used this feature learned that one of the agency’s employees had accumulated an extra 240 hours to their normal amount. This report helped to reveal that the employee’s boyfriend, a manager at the agency, had been feeding her extra hours to increase her paycheck at the expense of the agency owner. This feature helps owners remain aware of what is happening inside the agency while still being able to attend to other important matters.
Ultimately, there is no known foolproof way to stop risk. The best thing an agency can do is limit its exposure to risk. A great way to minimize this risk is by having software in place to detect the discrepancies that occur when theft happens. Management systems, when utilized properly, track your client database and protect your book of business and information.
The myriad types of investigative reports and security measures that Agency Matrix implements can massively reduce your agency's exposure to theft and risk. If you are interested in diminishing employee risk, Agency Matrix can help.