As independent agencies evolve to become more efficient in helping clients through the insurance buying process, commercial comparative raters are becoming an increasingly essential part of an agency’s technology plan. The ability to streamline the commercial digital distribution process poses both an opportunity for independent agencies who embrace this technology, and a threat to those who chose not to use it, yielding those advantages to competitor agents and direct-to-consumer markets.
Insurance distribution continues to evolve. Carriers have invested in small business submission systems that have improved quote speed and pass-through rates. As a result, the same commoditization trends in Personal Lines Insurance will affect Small Business Insurance. Growth opportunities exist for independent insurance agencies who respond by making small investments in technology to streamline their process, dedicating time and resources in training staff to use this technology, and increasing focus on effective target marketing that is in line with carrier appetites.
Commercial comparative raters will quickly become the primary way agents quote small commercial business. For those of us that have been doing this for a while, consider how personal lines comparative rater usage accelerated between 2007 and 2012. By comparison, commercial lines comparative rater utilization should grow at an even faster pace.
SIAA and SIA of Northern Ohio recently entered into a partnership agreement with Tarmika, a commercial lines comparative rating platform that allows member agencies single-entry submissions to get small business insurance quotes from multiple companies. Tarmika’s platform can be used for both directly appointed Strategic Partner Carriers (SPCs) and non-appointed SPCs through Access Plus. For agencies that use Tarmika, this will become the most efficient and primary way of submitting commercial line business through Access Plus for classes that qualify.
Tarmika’s platform gives the ability to quote BOPs, Commercial Package policies, general liability, and commercial auto. The single-entry platform returns quotes from multiple carriers while entering the data only once. At the end of the process the system will generate ACORD applications in the event that the risk needs to be submitted to other markets.
Tarmika has worked with SIAA and SIA of Northern Ohio to make it fit within a member agency’s technology plan for the following reasons:
- Tarmika is offering special negotiated pricing for SIAA member agencies, offering big savings that should fit within an agency’s technology budget. In addition, there is no long-term contract needed, so SIAA member agencies can sign-up on a month-to-month basis.
- Tarmika is actively working with many of our SIAA Strategic Partner Carriers to maximize quote submission opportunities from its single-entry platform. (As of July 2021, this includes integration with Chubb, Grange, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, State Auto, and Travelers. Tarmika is actively in discussions with additional carriers which will be added later this year).
- Tarmika has made integration easy, allowing its platform to work together with other agency automation (i.e., sales and marketing automation, agency management systems).
- Tarmika is supporting SIA of Northern Ohio’s efforts to help agencies onboard successfully and learn how to use the platform. Together we can establish a relationship that enables sharing of information and best practices for the benefit of participating agents.
- Tarmika has made a commitment not to be a disruptor to the independent agency distribution channel, but rather they believe in “empowering independent agents” by providing ways to improve upon our model.
SIA of Northern Ohio will be hosting a member webinar on Wednesday, August 25 at 11:00 am focusing on the features, advantages, and benefits of Tarmika’s Commercial Lines Comparative Rater. For those interested, you may register by clicking on the following link REGISTER HERE: August 25 CL Growth Webinar featuring Tarmika CL Rater. Upon completion, you will receive instructions including a calendar invite and Zoom webinar link to attend.