A turn-key solution for commercial insurance pre-renewal operations.


Hilb Group automates policy renewal with Broker Buddha.


For Tonya Westfall of Hilb Group in Charleston, West Virginia, moving commercial insurance clients through the renewal process has always been a challenging, time-consuming endeavor. Even the most loyal customer is not thrilled about completing forms year after year, providing essentially the same information each time. At nearly every company, renewing your insurance policy usually winds up being pretty low on the To-Do list.


After getting familiar with Broker Buddha and the seeing the efficiencies it creates, Westfall knew it offered real advantages to both her agency and her clients. It also fit perfectly with the mandate at the agency to automate more processes throughout their business, and she knew that the opportunities for saving time, money, and human resources during the pre-renewal process were enormous.


Automation versus tradition.


Still, Westfall was cautious about Broker Buddha when the agency first introduced the platform. In her part of West Virginia, many still appreciate doing business the traditional way — a phone call, a handshake, a cup of coffee.


“I was excited about the prospect of a speedier policy renewal process with Broker Buddha,” Westfall said. “But I wasn’t 100% optimistic that our client base — one that could be categorized as a tougher class of business — was ready to embrace a technology-driven change.”


She realized her challenge was making her customers see the same value — less time, more efficiency, fewer headaches — that she did. She also knew that if she simply tried the platform, it would return benefits right away, and that those benefits would compound in the future as the policy renewal process became faster and easier with each passing year.


Many clients realized the benefits immediately — no more scanning documents, no faxing paperwork back and forth, no more cumbersome PDFs without any fields automatically filled — and embraced Broker Buddha from the outset. While not every client was initially comfortable with a change, the team at Hilb Group discovered that resistance disappeared once they simply walked their clients through the process the first time.


“If we introduce something new and it’s not well-received, you can bet we’ll hear about it,” added Westfall.  “We knew our clients were happy when the applications came back  and without a peep.”


Time saved with every policy renewal.


How much time does Broker Buddha save Hilb Group?


Start with the process of completing a single application. Previously, each one would demand at least 20-30 minutes of an agent’s time, and the time to finish would often stretch even longer. With Broker Buddha, applications can be completed in just a few minutes.


What’s more, turnaround times for policy renewals are far shorter. Agents at Hilb Group used to expect to wait about two weeks before renewal information was returned — and sometimes that was optimistic. Now? Clients who use the Broker Buddha platform return required information in as few as one or two days.

Constantly updated to meet evolving customer needs.


The development team at Broker Buddha utilizes feedback from its customers to enhance the product. One especially popular new feature is View As.


This addition gives agents the ability to see exactly what the end user — the Insured — is viewing on their screen, making it easy to guide them through the policy renewal process in real time. For many agents, it’s proven extremely valuable and makes introducing even the most technology-resistant clients to Broker Buddha far easier.


“The View As feature solves a problem for us at Hilb Group,” remarked Westfall. “It makes it easy to walk our clients through the process when they need assistance, and significantly reduces the amount of back-and-forth that would be required without it.”


Expectations exceeded.


In a region that is largely rural and filled with many people who have genuine affection for conventional ways of doing business, the initial promise of an automated policy renewal solution seemed limited to Westfall. But after working with Broker Buddha for several months, she has quickly come to appreciate both the efficiencies it creates at her agency and the way it enhances customer relationships — even the most steadfast traditionalists are happy to find out they have a tool that will significantly reduce the headaches associated with insurance policy renewals. She has also come to appreciate the level of customer support the agency receives — when they need the assistance of a human being, the team at Broker Buddha is extremely responsive.  


Going forward, Hilb Group expects to see even more value through Broker Buddha. With one central portal for information instead of multiple files or a seemingly endless exchange of PDFs, it’s an important element of the agency’s push for increased automation.


“Business is about constant reinvention, and we’re always looking for ways to be both more customer-focused and efficient,” added Westfall . “Broker Buddha is a tool we’re definitely happy we added.”








Published on:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019