Insurers increasingly are choosing to direct bill insureds. But that can pose communication problems between insurers and agents.

The insurer/independent agent relationship has long been an important one, and when you add an insured to the mix, miscommunication and challenges are sure to arise. Such is the case with the billing process. Historically, agents were the ones who took responsibility for billing - as part of a larger customer service effort, agents were the insurer's face and ears to the insured. The past couple of years, though, have brought more sophisticated technology and complex products and combinations to the billing process. The industry reacted with direct bill, which changed the insurer/agent relationship.

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