Today, more than 140 insurers offer independent agents and brokers the ability to complete some kind of transaction in Real Time through their management system or rater, according to Real Time/Download Campaign co-chair Lisa Parry Becker. Becker, who also is VP of sales and marketing at William B. Parry Agency and a national director of ASCnet, the Applied Systems user group, says that’s not enough.

“More carriers need to implement real-time functionality and promote it to their agents, and agents need to use the transactions that are available from their carriers,” she says.

A survey of 3,200 agency staff members shows that agents will take advantage of real-time functionality. Presently, more than half of agency management system users tap a real-time tool to start an inquiry or service transaction (54% for inquiries and 55% for personal lines endorsements). In addition, 43% of agents are rating personal lines in real time through the agency management system or comparative rater, according to the survey, which was developed by the Real Time/Download Campaign.

Current non-users of Real Time gave these two main reasons for their lack of usage: 29% said they did not know the functionality existed within their system, and 14% said they don’t have time for implementation and training.

Use of real-time tools is saving agents and brokers a significant amount of time each day, according to the survey. Nearly half of those using Real Time (47%) find time savings of as much as 30 minutes per employee per day (45% in personal lines and 50% in commercial). An additional 28% (35% in personal lines and 19% in commercial) peg the savings at 31 minutes to an hour per employee each day.

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