You are here:Home"Buy Button" Discussion Forum

"Buy Button" Discussion Forum

The Buy Button as conceived by PIA

The Buy Button as conceived by PIA is the ability for agents to bind a policy in a once and done fashion, in their agency systems, regardless of the point of engagement and/or policy sale. The Buy Button is a business concept, and technology capability. Currently agents must leave their systems, or bridge to the carrier system to bind the policy. This will empower agents to bind coverage in real time for prospects or clients that call on the phone, walk into the agency, meet, or visit online. This concept will apply to mobile technology for agents to use when meeting with prospects or clients offsite giving them the same real time binding ability when they are out of the office. Technology exists today to empower agencies. While not limited to a line or type of business, today this concept could be quickly adopted in personal lines in conjunction with an existing comparative rater or similar agency managed tool. This will allow agents to fully compete in a digital world.

This concept can also be extended by the agency to prospects and clients by empowering them to bind coverage on an agency website themselves, enabling agents to transact business however their prospect wants to transact business. Any policy that could be bound by a customer would be owned by the agency and subject to filtering of forms and limits, all set in advance and fully controlled by the agent. Technology does exist today to empower agencies. While not limited to a type or line of business this concept could be used in personal lines in conjunction with a comparative rater or similar agency managed tool.

 

Background

The topic of a “buy button” for independent agents has been discussed in our industry for many years, with no consensus being reached. PIA National called an industry-wide meeting in early 2016 at the headquarters of ACORD in Pearl River, New York.  PIA’s intention was to foster discussion and provide a forum for all views, with the perspective of agents at the center of the conversation. More than 50 agents, carriers and vendors attended the session.

The discussion began a movement of industry dialogue and growing support that includes the technology capability to bind coverage in real time without the need to bridge to the carrier system. This initiative will require not only industry participation from technology vendors, it will require industry participation from carriers to support the business concept to pull the necessary underwriting reports during this real time transaction, as well as support of the standardization of payment options.

By empowering agents to operate and bind coverage in real time, agents will be able to bind coverage instantly when a prospect calls on the phone, walks into the agency, or even when the agent is offsite at a client's physical location.

This binding ability could be extended to customers, too. This creates an opportunity for agents to reach a segment of business that independent agents currently don't maximize. Any policy that could be bound by a customer would be owned by the agency, and subject to filtering of forms and limits, all set in advance by the agent. Follow-up contact from the agency to customers who have bound a policy on the agency's website will enable upselling and cross-selling within hours.

While not limited to a type or line of business, this concept could be used in personal lines in conjunction with a comparative rater or similar agency-managed tool.

Working Group Minutes

August 29, 2017 meeting of the Buy Button Business Working Group

Additional Materials

 

For more information, contact Mike Becker at mikebe@pianet.org.