Agency Performance Partners


Insurance Procedure: How To Create an Insurance Procedure Manual

Posted on June 5, 2024 by Kelly Donahue Piro

How To Create An Insurance Procedure Manual

Many insurance agencies have a burning desire to have a beautiful procedure manual. In addition, when we do our Agency Assessment team members also strongly advocate for written assurance processes and procedures. So, why do so few agencies have an up to date and fully used insurance procedure manuals in the agency? 

There are a few reasons the insurance procedure manual can be a challenge. These reasons include:

  • It takes a large investment of time and resources to build them
  • Many team members have only worked in 1-2 agencies so they may not be the most qualified
  • We struggle with how to set one up
  • It’s hard to write down something that you do on muscle memory 
  • Agencies struggle with different opinions on the actual process
  • We aren’t sure if we invest in creating it if anyone will actually use it
  • No one has any time to create the procedure manual 

So what we do instead is complain and provide excuses on how hard training can be, that our reports are not accurate and no one is doing the same thing. So the question is – how can your agency thrive without clarity on how you want the work done? 

Here is an example that may happen in your agency. A new lead comes in. Depending on the salesperson I get, I may have someone use a quote sheet, maybe not or everyone is asking different questions. In all reality, based on this I may get three different quotes – different carriers, discounts, and coverages. All simply because someone likes their own quote sheet or because they prefer a certain carrier. 

Indeed, in insurance agencies we operate with a great deal of independence and trust of each team member. The challenge is your customers are getting a different experience based on who they speak with. 

Now, let me take this concept out of insurance. Imagine you go to Starbucks for your favorite drink but the person follows their recipe, not the standard operating procedure. You get a drink that is way too sweet and not what you wanted. 

You now have had a bad customer experience. Give me one more opportunity before we get into how to create an insurance procedure manual. When you work with your underwriters and two underwriters at the same company give you different responses, you are infuriated. This is why we all need insurance processes. 

How An Insurance Procedure Manual Helps Your Agency

Creating your procedure manual will take time and effort. Since you will invest resources into creating one, it’s important to remember how and why a procedure manual will help your agency succeed:

  • You can train and onboard new team members faster and better
  • Clarity is kind – you share with your team exactly your expectations
  • Limit confusion between procedures and account managers – the work gets done based on the agency’s way not individuals
  • Holding accountability is so much easier with a written document
  • People don’t remember what we say –  they need a document
  • You can review and audit the team when you have procedures
  • If there is backlog or friction points you can review the process for updates
  • It’s easier to insert new technology into the process when a process already exists

The investment of time will pay you back in time saved by effective use of the insurance procedure manual.

How To Get Started On Your Insurance Procedure Manual

Creating an insurance procedure manual will require you to have a clear project plan. Processes can go in a lot of different directions. We will share a few traps to watch out for when you create your processes in a bit. But let’s start by sharing with you how to get your procedure manual started. 

Identify Your Insurance Process Captain

You will need someone who will be in charge of this project. If there is a team in charge, no one is really in charge. Also, you do need a tie breaker if team members do not agree on this process. This person sets the pace, deadlines, and ensures you get the project across the finish line. 

Identify Your Process Team

Next, you will want to identify a few team members who can work together on the processes. Different points of view and experience should be valued in building the best process. Again, they all may not agree, but the idea is working together to get the best process will benefit everyone. In addition, you get a team of process experts that can help with the rollout. 

Identify Which Insurance Processes You Need To Create

Every agency can be different, so you want to outline every process you need. Now, there is the “Keep It Simple Silly” concept. Someone will not remember or use 89 different processes. Try to start with the core processes. For APP with our 10 Ridiculously Amazing Processes we outline the following:

  • Answering the Phone
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Payment
  • Endorsements
  • File Documentation
  • Cancellations
  • Rewrites
  • New Business
  • Renewals
  • Claims 

Now you can create these processes for each department. Once you outline the processes you will want to prioritize them. 

Poll Your Team & Identify Insurance Process Pain Points

Don’t go it alone! Make sure you get some feedback from the team. Identify what is working and what is not working. This will allow you to solve problems with the problems and achieve more process buy-in for your team. In addition, common feedback we see on processes is that the  whole team was not engaged in the process. This allows you to engage the entire team without putting too many cooks in the kitchen. 

Once you have everyone’s pain points we actually recommend you don’t dive into writing a process. You start with your process intention. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, not the team’s shoes. What will WOW your customer? Identify the list of challenges your agency is facing in this process and talk through it only from the customer aspect. 

The trap insurance agencies fall into is making a great internal process but it doesn’t impress the client – and that is who we need to serve. 

In the Agency Performance Partners 10 Ridiculously Amazing Processes Program, we have a whole list of considerations to talk about before putting pen to paper. So, if your agency is struggling, don’t recreate the wheel – let our program help you. 

Outline Your Insurance Process

After you have some healthy discussions, your next step is to complete a good old-fashioned outline. This will help you visualize the process and identify a timeline and who does what. A one page overview is also excellent for helping your team embrace a new process. Many times team members need a quick cheat sheet, so the outline will not only help you build the process but empower your team as well. You can see a sample of our one page overview of answering and transferring the phone here (note this is part of our 10 Ridiculously Amazing Processes so you can customize it for yourself!).

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