Victoria “Tori” Van Dusen-Roos is the Chief Operations Officer of Diversified Brokerage Services and Co-Owner. Tori currently serves on the LIBRA Insurance Partners Board of Directors as well as the NAILBA (National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies) Executive Board of Directors. She also sits on the advisory council for a few different Insurance Companies and has served on numerous NAILBA committees over the years.
As I look back on 2019, it’s with a sense of pride in what we were able to accomplish. Operationally, it was a year of investment in our people, what we consider to be our biggest asset. We hired additional team members, strengthened our training platforms, and restructured some of our teams. We hired a New Business Director to oversee all of case management, and we continued to perfect our workflows. All of this put us in a good position to not just survive but thrive as we saw significant industry changes come our way.
We saw a huge influx of business during the 4th quarter because of the required change for insurers to principles-based reserving and a shift to the 2017 CSO tables. This was something we predicted would happen so we were prepared for the opportunity, boasting our most successful year ever.
We saw the writing on the wall, and prepared our teams appropriately: we educated our team members and advisors, and put the processes in place to handle the changes coming our way. We turned challenges into opportunities, and took advantage of the opportunities presented to us.
This year, as I examine where we are as an agency and what we’ll focus on in operations, the overarching
theme will be all about electronic automation and continuing our push toward a completely digital experience for our advisors with more electronic submission and delivery options.
Not only is this a benefit to the agency because we’re able to focus on strategy and growth versus simply keeping up with our operational flow, but more importantly, this is a huge benefit to the advisor and consumer with faster turnaround time, a reduction in errors, and an overall better experience. It’s a win win for everyone involved.
The life insurance application process has traditionally been long, complicated and paper heavy. DBS, recognizing this, has historically been on the forefront, embracing change, implementing new technologies, and making a concerted effort to move toward paperless solutions wherever possible. This year we’re shifting into high gear and further pushing as much as we can. We are an advocate at the carrier level, frequently volunteering to serve on carrier advisory councils to help them develop their electronic processes. Additionally, we often elect to participate in test groups and pilots, frequently helping guide the carrier in a certain direction or influencing how they’ll proceed with a program.
Our goal is to be able to offer an all-digital experience, offering advisors a simplified and automatic application experience, faster underwriting and processing cycles, and e-signatures to eliminate paper, all to make things easier for the advisor and their client. Yes, the old life insurance process may have been complicated, but we’ve embraced the NEW way to do business. We currently have the following to offer advisors:
Many years ago we recognized that advisors needed a quick and easy way to submit their term business so we built FASTerm, a term portal where advisors can quickly and easily quote and drop a ticket with seven carriers that we’ve selected. FASTerm takes the advisor through the same process for any of the carriers, with no state-specific forms to manage, no client signatures required, and no intrusive health questions required of the client. Our mobile app enables advisors to quote and drop a ticket while on the go, enabling them to start an app during an appointment and finish it up back at the office. Learn more about FASTerm here.
Electronic applications, available for 12 of our life carriers, dramatically ease and improve the application experience and allow advisors to complete and sign a full application online. The tool has smart technology to recognize and auto-load all required forms based on advisor responses, and it highlights all the required fields. As the application is completed, various sections of the form are shown or purposely hidden based on client answers. Carrier specific rules are embedded within the forms preventing any data entry mistakes that could cost valuable time, and the e-signature and e-submission takes the advisor straight through to processing to avoid any back and forth on missing information. Learn more about iGO here.
Within the last decade, the industry has been driving towards making electronic policy delivery, or e-delivery the standard, and DBS has made great strides in adopting available carrier e-delivery options whenever possible. E-delivery saves paper, time and money. An advisor sends the policy out for review with the click of a button, dramatically cutting cycle times, speeding up commission payouts, and reducing time lost with things “in the mail.” Advisors can access case information, search for policies and updates, sign up for notifications, and send the policy out for review. The steps are handled electronically, and the process can be very fast, ensuring quick placement and faster commission payments. Five DBS carriers offer e-delivery, with more planned for 2020. Learn more here.
Seven of our carriers offer accelerated underwriting programs that make the underwriting process quick and convenient. Accelerated underwriting can turn weeks into days and in many cases, require no medical exams, labs or APS reports for those who qualify. All the various carrier programs differ slightly in what is offered and who will qualify, but we can help you better understand the different options. Learn more here.
Our goal is to make doing business easier and more profitable for the advisor, and quite simply, the more electronic, automated process we can adopt, the more we can ensure this goal is met. Watch for more in 2020!