Read originally published article at Insurance CIO Outlook.
Insurance CIO Outlook – Today, fast-changing customer behavior, new market dynamics, and increasing competitiveness define the radically changing insurance industry. Along with the growing trend towards online sales and disintermediation, these factors are disrupting major marketing channels—both independent and exclusive agency systems. Amidst the lack of technological advancements, legacy systems, and channel conflicts with distribution, an agency’s best bet is a single key entry solution to input their insurance applications and submissions to the carriers they want to access. An industry veteran and innovator with over 20 years of experience in business ownership, entrepreneurship, and direct sales, Bryan Baird, the president and CEO of xagent—realized that it is an uphill task for the agents to learn and go to the websites of multiple insurance carriers and repeatedly recreate data to get competitive quotes for their insureds.
He founded xagent with a vision for a faster, better, more effective method of quoting and binding property and casualty insurance for independent agents. The cutting-edge, cloud-based xagent platform provides insurance agents with unprecedented access to numerous business lines and multiple carriers in all 50 states. “Our company is built on a philosophy to empower the independent agency network of America, and the main goal is to make the processes between the agencies and the insurance carriers much easier,” explains Baird.
xagent’s Single Entry, Multiple Carrier Interface (SEMCI) solution serves agencies much more effectively than the traditional quoting and binding process. xagent’s platform is built on a modern cloud-based architecture on the Force.com platform using tools from Informatica, a software development company that provides leading data integration software and services. xagent has developed its data integration, data quality, and data governance processes utilizing Informatica Big Data Management.
Based on his first-hand experience in the insurance industry, Baird made sure the platform has an innovative, user-friendly interface that serves its purpose irrespective of agency size. It provides insurance agents with easy access to insurance carriers and eliminates all the conventional labor costs, paperwork, and overhead of multi-carrier, multi-line rate, quote, and bind with its fully automated system.
xagent is free for agents to use and saves time by speeding up the quote turnaround time exponentially. It eliminates duplicate entry and reduces dependency on wholesalers while providing single-entry market access to a variety of standard and surplus lines carriers. Insurance agents can submit and bind insurance with multiple carriers and get quotes instantly through xagent’s Universal Submission App (USA). The USA enables agents and CSRs to access, edit, and submit client records and process renewals without rekeying. xagent transforms the way carriers distribute products by providing a broad group of independent agents instant online. As a licensed managing general underwriter improving efficiency and productivity, the xagent platform stands out as a solid fit for the best of both worlds, delivering a seamless online experience backed by the local independent agent—the need of the hour for all agencies.
Further advancements in the Universal Submission App will focus on helping agents and carriers work together to standardizing and improve their end-to-end rate quote bind processes. Looking ahead, xagent is developing a complete solution combining aggregated application data with supporting data from third-party sources to improve the P&C underwriting process on more objective and data-driven models. “We are building a database to help the insurance carriers compare real-time data with the clients’ data by incorporating predictive modeling and Al,” concludes Baird.