Duck Creek Blog
Blog Post

Streamlining Distribution Management

July 17, 2019

The agents and brokers who bring in and retain paying customers contribute enormous value to insurers’ continued growth. The longer it takes to set them up with the tools they need–and to ensure that carriers are working with the best representatives for their organizations–the less time insurers have for building valuable producer relationships. And the myriad challenges carriers face in maintaining their distribution networks can cause serious strain on daily operations. The amount of work required to keep all of these processes running optimally can be enough to have a negative impact on a carrier’s bottom line.

As the relationships between carriers and producers become more and more important, factors such as stringent regulatory regimes and increasing pressure on margins make the management of an efficient, effective, and compliant producer network a daunting task. What’s more, incompatible data silos and complex compensation structures can lead to costly errors that take needless time and effort to rectify. Fortunately, a modern solution exists to handle these challenges by automating the most onerous of the processes required to keep distribution channels well-regulated and profitable.

Onboarding new producers takes time away from initiatives that can add value for years to come–and from agents’ and brokers’ business development activities. It’s no secret that efficiencies in every aspect of a carrier’s distribution network are key to increasing profitability as quickly as possible, and in today’s digital world, any time spent on manual processes is time lost on developing business. With Duck Creek Distribution Management, key onboarding activities are handled automatically, saving your organization valuable time and getting your producers up to speed and booking business as soon as possible. Plus, the solution’s intuitive and completely secure training tools reduce the time your company’s licensing representatives spend getting up to speed on corporate policies and procedures, helping your producers hit the ground running quickly and easily.

Complex and flexible commission structures for both transactional and incentive comp programs are becoming more prevalent. Some carriers are beginning to pay commissions more frequently than the traditional monthly payment schedule as a differentiating feature to drive more business. Supporting these new structures with spreadsheets or legacy systems can range from time-consuming to impossible. Duck Creek Distribution Management removes roadblocks to non-traditional compensation structures, letting carriers choose when and how their producers get paid–and alter those structures at any time with simple configurations. Plus, the solution can interface with your payment systems on pre-defined schedules, letting you make payments via ACH and deposit them directly into producers’ accounts. Bank account information is kept secure under stringent protocols, and is accessible only to users with appropriate permissions.

Making sure the agents and brokers that represent your organization are properly credentialed and able to do business in the geographies you represent is a critical aspect of regulatory compliance. Reviewing all relevant materials manually can take days or longer. Duck Creek Distribution Management takes uncertainty and labor-intensive manual processes out of the picture, automating licensure compliance (leveraging industry standards like NIPR) and even letting your staff order background checks on all potential producers. The solution automates verification and renewal of producer licenses and reconciles your producers’ records with state-specific renewal appointments. Its compliance lifecycle dashboard displays all the information your organization needs to remain compliant with corporate, state, and federal regulations.

Historically, maintaining producer networks has been largely manual, relying on endless paperwork in the name of ensuring regulatory compliance, onboarding new producers quickly, and keeping compensation structures running smoothly. Thankfully, today’s future-ready carriers have a better solution.

To see what Novarica has to say about Duck Creek Distribution Management, read their 2019 Market Navigator report on Distribution/Compensation Management Systems here

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Ken O’Sullivan
Senior Director, Product Management
Ken O’Sullivan is a Senior Director in Product Management at Duck Creek Technologies responsible for Duck Creek’s Distribution Management and Digital Engagement products. He has extensive knowledge and experience with ACORD data standards and building systems for independent insurance agents. Prior to joining Duck Creek, Ken’s experience was with Vertafore and Prudential Insurance.