By: Margarita Tapia

The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) Small Commercial Rating work group has released recommendations for carrier bridging best practices in order to encourage more agents to adopt bridging technology—and help carriers become the “carrier of choice” for agents.

“Bridging” is when an agency uses to complete a quote with fewer keystrokes, by transmitting and exporting quote data from its management system into a carrier’s agency portal. 

“These recommendations are an important step to reaching the ultimate goal of real-time comparative rating. But even more important, they give our distribution channel the strategic template needed to implement consistent, intuitive workflows,” says Ron Berg, ACT executive director. “Ultimately, we hope the Small Commercial Rating work group’s hard work will lead to an increase in return on investment in bridging and carrier portals.”

Best Practices carriers guided recommendations for the development, testing and rollout phases. Bridging development should focus on the following principles, in order of priority according to the surveyed carriers:

  • Ease of use for agents
  • Minimal field entry
  • Data prefill functionality wherever possible
  • Intuitive error messages that guide correction on edit mismatch or missing field entries
  • Dedicated training and support 
  • Minimal underwriting questions
  • Speed
  • Interview process to confirm accuracy on required fields
  • Quote accuracy
  • Use of ACORD XML

Co-chairs for the work group are Jim Armitage, owner of Arroyo Insurance in Arcadia, California, and Susan LaBarre, Liberty Mutual Insurance director of agency automation and quoting.

Additional recommendations and the full working document on carrier bridging best practices are available online.

Photo: Adobe Stock