Earlier this month, we released a new feature in our comparative rating system TurboRater. This feature dynamically determines which fields are required based on the carriers the agent has activated to rate.
We received many questions about this change shortly after the release. To help, here is some background information about the required fields feature in TurboRater.
For Insurance Carriers
It's important for carriers to develop rates that are competitive yet profitable. To do this, carriers must forecast the cost of future claims. This is accomplished by analyzing many risk factors. Through this analysis, carriers are often able to identify a correlation between certain factors and loss potential. So on the surface, there are certain characteristics about an insured that would seem to have no relevance to whether or not they will incur a future loss. However, when looking closely at the data, a carrier is able to see certain factors can prove to be strong predictors.
For example, what does occupation have to do with the likelihood of being involved in an auto loss? Yet, there are several carriers that have developed models that show there is a direct correlation between the two. Therefore, based on these models, carriers include occupation as factor when developing their rates. Subsequently, they request their agents to supply occupation when requesting a quote.
The Other Side of the Coin
However, consumers may be reluctant to provide certain information when asking for a quote. Consumers don't often understand how non-driving or property-related information can affect their insurance cost.
Plus, many consumers have privacy and security concerns about their personal information. These doubts and concerns can make it hard to get this information from your prospect.
We've been doing comparative rating for more than 30 years. It is our job to simplify the process of getting accurate quotes from multiple carriers. This is done by creating a standard set of questions for all of the companies the agent wants to obtain quotes from.
However, no two carriers are alike. Some carriers only require the usual name, age, violations and car to provide an auto insurance quote. Others have fine-tuned their pricing to include information like industry, occupation and education level. If that additional information is not provided, the company may not return the best rate possible.
For this reason, we can dynamically require fields based on the carriers you quote.
In other words, a carrier may tell us that certain field(s) can have a major impact on their rates. The carrier will want to ensure its agents get that information. TurboRater will then require agents to complete the field(s) to rate that carrier.
We realize some agents may not want to work all these questions into their current quote workflow. To meet their needs, our comparative rater has a quote template feature.
With a quote template, you can set a default answer for questions in a quote. So, if you don't want to ask a required question every time, you can set a default value using a quote template. It will then no longer be required to enter a value on every quote.
Of course at any time, you can override the default you have set. (How to create a quote template in TurboRater.)
A Final Thought
To all agents, we recommend you have a discussion with each of your carriers.
Learn about the information they require. Understand how that information helps them remain competitive and profitable.
You can then educate your clients on how providing a little more information can save them money. After all, that is why many consumers choose independent agents... to get the best coverage at the best price.
About the Author
AnMarie Bozick, CIC, manages ITC’s rating products, including TurboRater and TurboRater for Websites. She has more than 20 years of property and casualty insurance experience, including owning her own agency and serving as president of the Alliance of Insurance Agents of Texas. She joined ITC in 2008.More Content by AnMarie Bozick, CIC