Don’t let manual speed bumps slow down your automated compliance superhighway

November 8, 2023 by Verified First

For insurance carriers, agencies, MGAs, MGUs, and everyone else across the insurance distribution channel, “compliance” is often a four-letter word. With a reputation for being slow, manual, and tedious, it’s no wonder insurance license compliance doesn’t have most people jumping for joy. But, with new technology solutions, it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Whether you’re just starting the journey towards automated compliance or you’re well on your way and trying to remove those last few roadblocks, we’ll explain how and why you’ll want to add background checks into your modern insurance workflow.   

The manual nature of insurance producer and dually licensed broker-dealer compliance management

Keeping your insurance producers and dually licensed broker-dealers compliant with all state and federal regulations can be a slow and manual job. It often leads to high operational costs, unsatisfied employees, and can even cause otherwise great insurance agencies to lose talented new producers midway through a tedious onboarding process.

And, lest you think that compliance isn't really "your problem," the truth is that each member of the insurance distribution channel – from carriers to agencies to MGAs and MGUs – is responsible for playing a role in compliance.

If dealing with insurance agents and adjusters wasn't enough, the complexity of dual insurance and securities licensing creates an even bigger burden for any carrier or agency working with dually licensed broker-dealers across multiple insurance and financial products in multiple states.

Luckily, modern compliance solutions have the potential to make this process more efficient, cost-effective, and worry-free for everyone, from insurance carriers and agencies to individual producers, adjusters, and broker-dealers. Unfortunately, many insurance industry organizations aren't taking advantage of these solutions. Even for companies modernizing other parts of their operations, like customer service or billing, producer license compliance management remains largely manual.

The cost of sticking with slow and manual processes

Getting producers licensed and appointed, and renewing their licenses each year (or alternate schedule) in each state that requires it is no small task. Many insurance carriers and agencies have at least one person dedicated full-time to manually checking each producer, adjuster, or broker-dealer's license status, background information, continuing education requirements, and more.

Doing this manually, or (best case) with outdated technology like spreadsheets and home-grown workarounds, costs insurance businesses more than they realize.

For example, what's the cost – in both dollars, time, and reputation – for each of the following?

  • Wasted and inefficiently spent staff hours used to log into multiple state websites and to enter and re-enter information by hand in multiple places.
  • The risk of human error that comes with manual data entry and re-entry.
  • High internal turnover and difficulty recruiting new staff, particularly of a younger generation, because the highly manual nature of the job is unappealing to them.
  • The potential to lose talented producers midway through their onboarding because they're being asked to do too much time-consuming and manual work.
  • The risk of information security incidents and the cost of repairing your company's reputation if doing things "the old way" leads to unauthorized access to sensitive information.

These are just a few of the many costs and risks that come with managing compliance by hand or by spreadsheet, PDF, Google Drive, shared network drive, or any less-than-ideal method still used by much of the insurance industry.

Modern compliance solutions take the pain and cost out of producer onboarding and license management

Living in the 21st Century has its benefits: Streaming services, same-day grocery delivery, and modern cloud-based insurance compliance management solutions, just to name a few.

Take AgentSync for example. It creates modern insurance infrastructure that connects the entire industry, automates the most important parts of producer compliance management, and reduces the costs and risks associated with legacy methods.

"When we started looking for a solution, our goal was to get the agent onboarding process down from two-and-a-half or three months to a couple of weeks. That would have been ideal. After implementing AgentSync, we saw brokers being turned around in two days."

  • Kara Johnson, Director of Strategic Growth Initiatives at Security Health Plan of Wisconsin

With AgentSync, insurance carriers, agencies, and everyone in between can stay informed of real-time producer compliance statuses with state regulations baked in. Agencies can offer their producers a personalized, user-friendly experience for onboarding and license renewal tasks. And, for both agency and carrier staff and downstream producers, agents, and brokers, a two-way data sync with the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) provides a single source of truth about each producer and their compliance status.

With a modern compliance solution like AgentSync, the producer license management process goes from tedious, costly, error-prone, and painfully slow to automated and nearly instantaneous.

But not so fast! There's still the background check to contend with.

The background check speed bump

If you're a new insurance producer lucky enough to be onboarding at an agency that uses AgentSync to automate and streamline the experience, you might be surprised when the otherwise efficient process comes to a grinding halt at the background check stage.

Just when you thought you were on your way to being ready to sell within a couple of days, it's time to enter your information again into more systems and then hurry up and wait for the background check process to complete.

A typical background check process looks like:

  • A producer answers questions
  • Wait
  • Need more info
  • Wait
  • Etc.

This slowdown is a major speed bump, which no one likes. And it's even more problematic when a company invests in modernizing the producer onboarding experience only to have a glaring gap in the process.

On top of the time it adds to obtaining a producer's license initially or at renewal, background checks can be an expensive piece of the licensing puzzle.

Integration is key: Add automated background checks to your producer management workflow

Thankfully, there are ways to remove background checks as a major obstacle to a fast and efficient producer experience. Plenty of companies provide electronic background checks, but the real key is integrating this step into the larger picture.

Integrating automated background checks into your producer management workflow can be the key to providing a smooth onboarding process and removing manual speed bumps.

Because AgentSync can seamlessly incorporate background checks by Verified First into its workflow, there's no slowdown when a producer reaches that point.

Insurance organizations that have implemented both AgentSync and Verified First see an average cost savings of 68 percent compared to performing traditional background checks. Better yet, these savings can be realized quickly because it only takes minutes (not weeks or months) to connect AgentSync and Verified First. 

Time and money savings aren't the only benefits, either. When you automate your producer onboarding and license management process and integrate background checks into it, compliance managers get a transparent, 360-degree view of the status of each producer's licenses across multiple states and lines of business. Instead of a black hole that requires countless follow-up emails, the person or team managing compliance can see exactly where each producer is in the process and what, if any, necessary information is missing or causing a hold-up.

Don’t pay the price of slow producer onboarding for another minute

The manual process of managing producer license compliance is tedious, time-consuming, and costly. Without a modern solution, it requires collecting data from numerous sources to verify each producer's status in every state. And then there's the waiting, the following up, the re-entering information: The cycle repeats over and over again.

The costs are too high, whether it's costing you time, money, wasted effort, security risks, regulatory risks, industry reputation, or any other way. Instead, you could be providing staff and producers with a modern and seamless experience, building a reputation as a great place to work (or do business with), and reducing hard dollar costs and regulatory risks simultaneously. You can do all of that with AgentSync, but even more when you pair it with Verified First for your background checks.

See how AgentSync can transform your producer experience into an automated compliance superhighway and how Verified First can remove the background check speedbump along the way. 

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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