Seattle -  Safeco has launched online technology that enables independent agents to make instant changes to clients' commercial auto policies. The real-time capability cuts a one-week process into a two-minute drill--saving agencies time and enhancing their customer-service experience.Safeco agencies in 10 states have received access to Safeco's enhanced policy change tool. The rest of the company's more than 9,000 independent agent partners will receive access during rolling state launches that run through November 9. All agencies can use Safeco's single intake system for commercial endorsements, a simple policy change Web form introduced this spring that eliminates agents' need to call, mail or fax.

"Our real-time policy change tool for commercial auto helps agents deliver results on the spot," says Bill Miele, vice president of Safeco Risk Services. "We've introduced a once-and-done transaction for agents, allowing them to provide better customer service while increasing operational efficiencies."

Commercial auto is the first business line to be included with real-time processing in policy change. More commercial endorsements will roll out the capability in 2007. Most of the company's personal lines products already offer real-time policy change, including auto, home, fire, motorcycle, off-road recreational vehicles, umbrella and watercraft.

Policy change resides on Safeco Now, the company's online sales-and-service platform. Safeco Now is best known for its real-time quoting and issuing of more than a dozen personal and commercial products. The site also hosts policy administration tools designed to reduce a lot of the costly busy work for independent agencies.

"Today's introduction is just the latest step in Safeco's continual drive to improve operating efficiencies inside agents' offices, giving them more time to sell and grow their business," Miele says.

Source: Safeco

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