Seattle-based Safeco Corp. has launched Safeco Now for property/casualty insurance--an online sales platform that integrates personal and small-commercial insurance product. Safeco Now is a streamlined Web site for independent agents and brokers that gives them access to 90% of their daily online work tools with just one click.The highlight of the system, according to Safeco, is the single-platform sales tool that enables distributors to quote and bind--in just minutes--seven major lines of P&C and surety business: personal auto, homeowners, business owners policy (BOP), commercial auto (fleet and non-fleet), workers' compensation, business umbrella, and surety (notary; license and permit bonds; court bonds; public official bonds).

All major product lines--from personal watercraft to commercial multi-peril--will come online by the end of 2005. Commercial multi-peril will begin its rollout during the fourth quarter of this year.

The single-platform interface is an expansion of the carrier’s small-business sales tool introduced last year. That new-business interface proved so easy for agents to use that BOP sales in 2003 jumped 50%, according to Safeco. Commercial auto climbed 39% after its summer introduction onto the sales tool.

More than 650 independent agents and brokers played a part in designing Safeco Now, advising the company on everything from the design of the sales platform to the streamlined home pages. Their requests contributed to the company developing a platform that enables agents to cross-sell more easily, the company claims. As agents shift within the six P&C products, customers’ personal information automatically shifts too.

"Independent distributors’ ideal customers, local small-business owners, will now be able to buy a full insurance package--BOP, workers' compensation, commercial auto, surety bonds, as well as their personal auto and homeowners insurance--in as little as half an hour because the single underwriting platform stretches across all P&C lines. That’s a time savings to agents of anywhere from 30 minutes to 5 days," says Dale Lauer, president and chief operating officer of Safeco Business Insurance (SBI). 

Source: Safeco Corp.

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