An insurance endorsement is a notification that your client has changed their insurance profile. There are many changes that an insured has to tell you about (vehicle change, new driver), and there are some insurance endorsements they should say to you (address change, sale of a vehicle, new roof) that you cough up during a proper insurance renewal review.
When there is a change to your client’s insurance profile, it can be easy to fall into the fast and easy trap of insurance endorsements. Doing insurance endorsements quickly opens the agency up to a great deal of liability.
Just think of the following:
- What if you don’t ask all the questions you should – insureds don’t know what to tell you
- What if you miss a review at the time of the change, and this one change impacts other things
- What if you don’t check the endorsement when it comes in to ensure the change was processed accurately?
So many things can happen during what seems to be a simple endorsement process. Is your agency prepared with the right insurance endorsement process? In this blog, we will share your best tips for building an insurance endorsement process that can save your butt.
“If you quit on the process, you are quitting on the result.” ~ Idowu Koyenikan
The Struggle With Insurance Endorsement Processes
I’ve been around the process block a long time to know installing, training, and maintaining processes is hard work.
Then again, so is dealing with lousy reporting, getting fired by clients, and untrained staff. You choose the work that you make the hardest.
Here at APP, we’ve heard the following pushback that will likely sound very familiar when when you decide to install an insurance endorsement process. Especially if you follow our recommendation of making your process a checklist.
- I’ve been doing this forever. I don’t need a checklist: You know there is something comforting to me when the Delta pilot who has flown for 30+ years takes out a checklist to review the plane. We are all people, we all make mistakes. If you’re a pro, a checklist should be easy breezy.
- People don’t want to be on the phone that long: You’re right. Especially if you are as engaging as a paper towel. Part of being a service professional is the ability to engage your client. When someone is looking to change a vehicle they don’t have a stopwatch on you – they need you to do your personal best and that may take a few extra moments.
- We have never checked our endorsements before. Why now? The reality is, we make mistakes and so do insurance companies. The best thing we can do is make sure everyone did the right job for the client.
- The checklist is too long, why can’t it be 1 page: What is everyone’s obsession with one page documents? It makes no sense. We aren’t in the printing era any longer. Now is the time to embrace technology and use it to guide you and your process.
If you have a veteran team they still need to follow the same process as a greener team – that is the point – it’s a process!
I encourage us all to use checklists so that on Thursday at 3:30 when my brain is on the struggle bus, I don’t have to think that hard! Let’s make it happen.
Perfect Insurance Quote Process | Your Insurance Endorsement Process
We are breaking it down here for you in our recommended insurance endorsement process.
Endorsement Request is Received
Let’s use this as an opportunity when a new request is received. Too many agents handle an endorsement as a transaction, which should be an experience.
When any new phone call comes in, there should be a process to get the request to the best person. (We cover phone answering and transferring in our Process Program).
But let’s take a moment to outline the best process for answering a call and transferring it to the best person.
- The phone is answered in a maximum of 2 rings.
- The caller is greeted with a warm and welcoming answer (how about It’s a great day at AGENCY Name, how can we assist you today? Or Thank you for calling AGENCY Name. How can I make this the best call of your day?)
- Listen to the caller.
- Confirm the best contact information
- Identify who is the best person to take the call.
- This is only sometimes who the client requests.
- If the best person is not available, there needs to be cross-training.
- Warm transfer the call to the best person
- Warm transfer introduces the client and their request to the responding team member so the client does not have to repeat themselves.
- The agent who picks up the call provides a warm and welcoming greeting.
Pro-Tip: When the change is exciting, happy and positive – make sure to get excited with the client! Remember if they are buying a new car it’s fun and happy! We should congratulate the client and celebrate with them.
Open the Perfect Insurance Quote Process Checklist
This is where the rubber meets the road! You want your agency to have an endorsement checklist that covers all your bases.
Here are some things your endorsement process checklist should include:
- We prefer to make them fillable PDFs – you can streamline your process with dropdowns, and then you can save it right to the management system (no paper printouts)
- Start with contact information confirmation.
- Identify all the types of endorsements for that policy (here is an example of an auto endorsement)
- Adding a vehicle
- Replacing a vehicle
- Deleting a vehicle
- Decreasing auto coverage
- Adding a driver
- Divorce situation
- Ask the client, “While I have you on the phone, if I find any missing discounts or coverage weaknesses, may I bring them to your attention?” (Get permission for a review and cross-sell up front, so we don’t forget!)
- List out all the details you need to process the change
- Discuss changes (here are samples for auto)
- Loan Gap/Lease Gap Coverage
- New Car Replacement
- Aftermarket Alteration
- Vehicle Usage/Mileage
- Adding 5th car policy and or rental car reimbursement check
- Review coverages to make recommendations and or confirm coverages
- Cross Sale Opportunities
- Endorsement Processing Process
- Attach a print screen and attach to the management system
- Create a task to confirm you receive the endorsement confirmation from the carrier
- Alert the client to any premium difference
Setting Insurance Endorsement Process Expectations
While the bulk of the work may be done, the most important thing we can do is set expectations! When you’re buying a new car, you will most likely pay more for the loan and now your insurance.
The best thing you can do is be upfront about the premium change and talk to the client. Delivering the information generally goes much better than when your client gets paperwork in the mail.
Make sure you take a moment to set expectations for what happens next!
- Alert the client to billing changes.
- Discuss premium changes.
- Confirm any sign-offs the client has to send back to confirm the change – hint any coverage decrease should be signed off on.
- Let the client know when they will get any carrier updates.
- Remember to thank them for their business!
Checking the Endorsement
We find too many agencies are not in the habit of checking endorsements. Yes, it is an extra step, but it’s a very important one.
Let’s be upfront that people and carriers make mistakes. By checking the endorsements, you can ward off any potential issues. If we take a step back from checking the endorsement, we also want to ensure we get approval from the company! Keep an open activity to make sure you get the change, and the change is accurate!
Confirm the Change with the Client
We have one final step! Emailing the client what you changed. This is a great E&O avoidance issue! If you can send a quick email (we recommend with a template – to which we have our 10 Ridiculously Amazing Processes) you cover yourself and allow the client to catch any issues if there are any.
How to Roll Out A Perfect Insurance Quote Process Endorsement Process
You may love everything here in this blog and say let’s go! We hope you check out our resources to help you. But then you have to go out to the team to get buy-in. This is where things can get hard. But have no fear.
We wanted to give you a few tips on how to roll out new processes with ease:
- Establish a group to discuss the process
- Outline the process with the group
- Find a beta tester who can test the process for a few weeks
- Refine the process
- Send the process out for review and hold a meeting to discuss it
- Launch the process for 30 days and check in on how people are doing
- Let the bill become law – now it becomes how you operate
“It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t.”
~ Harvard Business Review
You may get some initial pushback on an endorsement checklist. But, after 30 days, people may like it. When the team starts to see how much more simple their life will be by not having to think too hard, adoption will become easier. We do recommend you watch people during the first 30 days. It generally takes 10 times before it becomes natural and they adapt to the process.