Chicago — Attracting new business continues to top many insurers' lists of business initiatives. New business may come from independent agents and brokers, or from exclusive agents, and keeping that business may require insurers to invest in or improve existing technology. Three recent examples include Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), The Hanover Insurance Group Inc. and Zurich Financial Services.

MassMutual, Springfield, Mass., unveiled a new Web site that introduces career changers, industry veterans and college graduates to a career with MassMutual through the eyes and words of its agents.

The Web site features a MassMutual agency manager, sales team manager, experienced agent, career changer, new agent and intern who describe their careers and experiences in their own words. Visitors to hear and see agents describe the company's entrepreneurial business model, training and support services and the meaningfulness of their work.

The Hanover Insurance Group Inc., a Worcestor, Mass.-based super regional property/casualty company, launched an automated solution for processing book-of-business transfers using AgencyPort's BookSmart and AMS Services' Transit Server.

The solution was designed by The Hanover in an effort to help its agent partners streamline their internal operations and carrier management initiatives. Branded by The Hanover as PACTaccelerator, the technology systematically captures, edits, analyzes and exports book-level data from a participating agent's management system as part of the pre-sales evaluation process. The data is used to produce incomparable analysis that provides agents with revolutionary opportunities to improve coverage for their clients and can be used to pre-fill roughly 80% to 90% of point-of-sale fields required to quote. The Hanover's administrative users can modify policy attributes (such as deductibles, coverage levels, and more) at a customer or book level to help The Hanover and its partners align those attributes with underwriting or product requirements.

"The productivity demands of our partners continue to rise, and our job is to help meet or exceed them," says Jim Hyatt, president, personal lines at The Hanover. "Tools like PACTaccelerator help us provide value by illuminating opportunities for our agents while eliminating the costly burdens they previously had to endure during the evaluation or implementation of book transfers and dilutions."

Zurich Financial Services, Zurich, Switzerland, also has taken steps to ease its agents' business processes. Zurich's small commercial business agents in the U.S. now will be able to access real-time quoting via Zurich's new interface platform—ZPass.

ZPass, delivered by the SeaPass Hub technology platform that leverages existing systems and enables them to interact automatically with one another, enables Zurich agents to process quotes and proposals directly from their agency management systems without the need to re-key the data into a point-of-sale system. Agents can electronically upload client data, obtain quotes, generate proposals and issue policies in real-time for their customers purchasing a business owner's policy (BOP), and commercial auto, commercial umbrella and workers' compensation coverage.

"ZPass is part of our real-time services strategy to assist agency profitable growth by maximizing the workflow efficiency and productivity of our agents," says Laurie Kimmel, director of distributor and customer interface solutions for Zurich North America Commercial. "We are listening to what our agents need, and we are delivering it."

With the addition of quoting to its existing real-time inquiry and commercial download capabilities, Zurich is providing its agents with the ab lity to support their workflow from quote to policy issuance, and from download to inquiry transactions. Zurich plans to continue adding transactions to its real-time platform.

Sources: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Business Wire

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