Third-Generation Broker Embraces Next-Gen Solution

Dana Dattola, CIC, CRM, and Principal at Weaver & Associates, grew up in the insurance business.


As a child, weekend afternoons were often spent in the offices of the agency that was founded by her grandfather in 1959. Ownership eventually passed to her father., and Dattola, who started officially working at the firm in 2007, began the process of purchasing it this year.

“It’s certainly an interesting time to start doing that,” said Dattola, acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic. “But our agency has been through all kinds of crises over the years, and I’m confident we have the talent and experience to weather this one, too."

With a client roster that includes construction, hospitality, entertainment, and property developers, the agency is hard at work managing customer needs during these challenging times. Some clients are pivoting or broadening the scope of their core business, and Dattola’s firm has to respond quickly to ensure they have the right kind coverage if those plans come together.  

Dattola is relieved the agency had already been making it easy for employees to work from home, well before COVID-19 forced the issue. Technology has been critical to that effort, and the cloud-based Broker Buddha platform has been a key part of making remote work as efficient and productive as possible. 

Commercial Insurance and the Customer Experience

An essential element of navigating these choppy waters? Providing the kind of customer experience that solidifies relationships. Dattola, with her years spent immersed in the industry, understands the critical importance of the broker-client connection—any technology she introduces needs to make it even stronger. 

“This is a people business, but the industry can be so archaic,” she remarked. “I knew that streamlining renewals and applications would resonate with our clients, who have enough on their plates without spending a bunch of time working through an outdated process.”

Once Dattola introduced the Broker Buddha platform to Weaver & Associates, the southern California-based agency saw immediate gains in efficiency. Filling in PDFs had been a slow, time-consuming process, while sending blank supplementals led to seemingly endless back-and-forth between agency staff and clients. 

So far, even the most tech-resistant clients are embracing the Broker Buddha platform and value the time it saves them. 

“The prefilled forms are so easy to use—they set us apart from our competitors who can’t offer them,” Dattola added. “And everything happens so much faster—I actually got an Employee Practices Liability application back in five minutes.” 

The evidence that clients appreciate the easier process through Broker Buddha isn’t just anecdotal. Dattola has made the Net Promoter Score survey feature a part of the renewal process, and the results indicate that customers value both her agency and the time they are saving because of the switch to online smart forms. 

“I also love the automated email reminders—that has saved all kinds of time for the entire team and it’s one less thing for me to worry about.”

A new business tool for commercial insurance lines. 

The gains, however, aren’t limited to an enhanced customer experience. As Dattola and her team explore the platform more and expand their use of it, they’re discovering it also helps generate business. 

“We’ve started using the Upsell feature when we send out renewals,” she said. “That’s been really great for us when it comes to cross-selling other lines, like cyber security and employment practices.”

Web Links have made the process of securing new clients more automated and turnkey.

“We’re a Dave Ramsey-endorsed provider for the LA area, so we get a lot of inquiries through that,” Dattola commented. “Now we can make the process a lot more automated—just send the prospect the link to the application. That gets everything started.”

Time is a precious commodity. 

With an agency purchase underway, the COVID-19 situation, and a busy family life—Dattola is married with three young children—using time as efficiently as possible is more important than ever for this industry leader. Technology that lets people get more done, faster, is something she really values. 

“I’m always striving to balance work and family. And with almost our entire team working remotely, I want to make sure everyone has the tools they need to make the most efficient use of their time. Broker Buddha helps make that happen.”

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Published on:

Thursday, May 7, 2020