Increase Operations Efficiency in the Insurance Industry

After the economic challenges of the past decade, many companies are looking to streamline processes but are often not reaching their expected savings or fully commit to their proposed changes.

Operational efficiency is integral to maintaining profitability in a volatile market and economic climate, but it also responds to increased calls for transparency and faster access to important information. As communications become more dependent on the Internet over in-person calls, operational efficiency can also help companies meet their clients where they are at: online and researching their next major purchases.

Today’s insurance consultants strive to make insurance companies more profitable and agile, here’s how to do this with employee and operations management.

Four Effective Ways to Manage Your Employees
Operational efficiency starts with your employees. That makes operational management dependent on how you manage your employees. The right management can encourage your staff, get them better equipped for change and increase your profitability.

Encourage idea management: Your staff are your most knowledgeable and immediate resource into your business’ ins and outs. The best ideas will often come from your own staff. Working to ensure that your employees feel comfortable and encouraged to bring their ideas forward is a key to modern success, a strategy that has led to important changes in organizations like Toyota and GE.

Prioritize motivation and engagement: Employees who feel heard and engaged often show a 15-20 per cent increase in performance. So how do you engage employees? Focus on motivation, incentive programs and, of course, clear and open communication.

Incentivize your staff with fair and motivating rewards: Monetary compensation is just one way in which you can motivate your employees, but never underestimate the power of a pizza party and mentions of success in the company newsletter. These are often more cost effective and always appreciated by your team.

Change cost allocation: Flat, equal cost distribution is one of the least effective ways to improve operations, yet it is still a popular strategy. Instead, allocate costs based on consumption. It encourages people to use the resources in the organization and it saves money on expensive third-party solutions.

Four Ways to Achieve the Most Productive Organizational Structure
Look for inside hires: It pays to bring in an outside perspective, but always promoting from without instead of from within the company will leave your team feeling like they need to go elsewhere to grow. Growing leaders in-house and taking the time to mentor promising employees can help you retain valuable assets just when they may look to move, and will save you on hiring a more expensive expert from outside.

Streamline compensation: What people earn is quickly becoming more common knowledge and, with it, tensions around compensation. By streamlining your levels of compensation, you can ensure equal pay for equal work while rewarding those who deserve more for their efforts.

Reduce management layers: Modern businesses need to be flexible, agile and quick to respond to change. Having multiple levels of management can lead to the opposite: bureaucratic inefficiencies and communication structures that lose vital information. By reducing levels of management, you can increase your efficiency and better plan for those quick changes.

Get the right number of people: Too few or too many employees both present problems. One will burn out your staff, increase turnover and lead to operational “bottlenecks.” Too many employees unnecessarily increases costs while insufficiently leveraging your collected talent. This is where operations, contact centre and back-office benchmarks can drive operational efficiency.

The Assessments & Benchmarks Insurance Companies Need
If you are curious about how your company is operating and want to understand how to better streamline your operation, The Burnie Group has may assessments and benchmarks that can help your organization run better. They are even available across multiple channels, including:

Call/phone (including IVR)
Online (including chat and bots)
Mobile
Branch
Insurance benchmarks and assessments are also available across different business lines, such as:

P&C insurance
Individual life insurance
Group life insurance
Retirement
Investments
Insurance benchmarks and assessments can also help across different functions, including:

Sales
Services
Claims
Complaints
Loyalty and retention
Shared services (e.g. Workforce management)
Contact The Burnie Group today to learn more about how to drive operational efficiencies in your company to achieve better profit, happier employees, and streamlined process.

What You Should Know About Shipping Claims

Most people do not want to think about what will happen to their things, so not many will know how to submit an insurance claim when something goes wrong. Shipping claims are those submitted to an insurance company because of something that happened during the shipping process. For example, if your item arrives broken, and you had insurance, then you can file a claim with the insurance company for the cost of replacement. The specifics of submitting your claim will depend on which insurance company you are working with, many will allow you to submit claims online or from a mobile device.
Have the Right Insurance

The shipping claims filing process will be very different depending on which insurance company you have. For instance, not every company will allow you to file claims online. Your insurance policy may also not cover everything that you may need to claim, so your first step is going to be to make sure that you have the right insurance. It is not really possible to think of everything which may happen to a package as it is shipped, but this is why you work with an experienced agent and insurance company. You can usually find a list of things which are covered by each plan online so that you can compare policies side-by-side before purchase. The biggest question you are likely to need to answer will be whether this is a one-time policy or an ongoing business relationship.

Know Who to Call

The best time to know how to file a claim with your insurance company is before you need to file it. This means determining how to file claims and who to contact with questions as soon as you purchase your plan. You can usually find this information online and some companies will even have an easy online claims form to help you get started when you need it. You can also narrow down your choice in insurance company by how well past customers rate the claims service. For instance, if you read a series of reviews saying that customers have a hard time finding answers to their questions, then you know that you might want to try a different company. The most important part of purchasing insurance is knowing how to get ahold of the company if you have questions or concerns, or if you need to file a claim. Luckily, more and more companies are putting that information prominently online and may even have forms on their websites to apply for coverage and file claims.

Submitting shipping claims to your package insurance company can sometimes be a hassle. However, some companies are putting forms to do this online. This means that you can more quickly submit a claim and not have to wait until normal business hours to do so. It also means that you can use this feature to compare insurance companies before you purchase a plan. It is a good idea to know who to call with questions and concerns, as well as how a claim needs to be filed, before you purchase a plan.

Tips And Tricks To Help You With Your Car-Buying Decision

There are many people that are fantastic with cars,a long with knowing the values of each model and make. Others break out into hives just by thinking about the process of shopping for a vehicle. If you’re not properly informed, you will find these tips to be of great use.

Don’t let salesmen talk you into anything that is unaffordable. Sports cars look nice and you can be sweet talked into such a purchase. Keep your budget in mind and stay in control of the situation.

Get your financing in order before shopping for autos. Talk to either a bank or a credit union about it. This can often result in better interest rates. This can allow you to visit a dealership with the knowledge of knowing the amount of money you can afford on a vehicle.

Do not pay sticker price for a vehicle. Sticker price is an over-inflated amount they don’t think anyone will pay. If you don’t think you can properly negotiate, bring along someone who can. Make sure you research the car you are interested in first, however, so you have some idea of what to offer.

Always test drive a car before you buy it. This will give you a feel of how good the car drives. There could always be something which makes you hate driving the car.

If you are looking for a new car, you need to find one that is safe. The car should have ABS or anti-lock brakes. Airbags are also crucial, and your vehicle can never have too many. It is vital that your car is safe.

As you shop for your car, think about fuel economy. For instance, you might think a big V-8 engine, paired with a towing package, is a great idea. But, is that really a need or simply a want? Are you actually going to use that feature? If not, it may not be the wisest investment.

Talk to your bank beforehand to ensure you are eligible for a loan. This is simply for safety. Often times a dealership will get you a better offer than your bank, however it’s always good to have a backup plan.

Shop for a car towards the end of a month. At most dealerships, the salesmen are trying to reach a certain quota for the amount of cars they have sold. At month’s end, the salesperson may still need to meet his quota, and he will be more conducive in giving you a better deal just to make a sale.

Shopping for new cars can be fun and exhausting. You can take some of the stress out of the process by doing much of your shopping from your home computer. Many websites offer side by side comparisons of various vehicles. This lets you narrow your options.

Plan your budget before going out and trying to buy a car, regardless of whether it is new or used. You need to have a firm idea of how much car you can afford. You need to be aware of what you can afford on a payment. Shop for a car loan before shopping for a car.

Never sign any type of auto contract until you read it. Before you blindly start signing contracts on the dotted line, read the entire contract start to finish. Whenever you sign a contract, then legally, you are bound to it. Take a copy of the contract home or have a professional look over it with you if you’re having difficulties. You might be able to ask them for a photocopy of the contract.

Research properly when you want to buy a car that is used. This can give you a better idea of what you should be paying. Kelly Blue Book is a great resource to determine the value of a car. If the dealer is selling a car for more than what these two sources price the car at, then go elsewhere.