Real-time technology adoption has increased more than 32 percent over the last 18 months, according to a new survey of nearly 2,200 agency and brokerage professionals in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.

"We're encouraged to see increased use of these tools," explains Stu Durland, Real Time/Download campaign co-chair and VP and co-owner of Seely & Durland Insurance. "With strong competition on many fronts, it's important that independent agents and brokers have — and use — tools that can help them remain strong."

Personal lines workflows are seeing the greatest rates of adoption, including download (95 percent) and real-time rating (83 percent); both are less broadly used in commercial lines. Still, commercial lines download is used by more than three-fourths of respondents, and real-time rating for commercial lines is used by 50 percent of agencies and brokerages.

Real-time inquiry and service activities are performed by three-fourths of respondents, up considerably from roughly one-half of those who reported using them in 2011. Those who use them reported saving, on average, 53 minutes per employee per day.

According to the survey, agents and brokers find personal lines download to be the biggest time-saver, reportedly freeing up nearly an hour and a half per employee per day.

Personal lines real-time rating saves agencies and brokerages roughly an hour per personal lines employee per day. Commercial lines download saves nearly an hour per commercial lines employee per day, while commercial lines real-time rating yields just over half that amount of time-savings.

Respondents also indicated benefits beyond that in the survey. "These include improved information accuracy, better activity documentation, easier password maintenance and other efficiency gains," said campaign co-chair Joyce Sigler, VP and corporate secretary at Jones & Wenner Insurance Agency.

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