Agent support in the insurance business

Carlos Gonzalez-Avila, Small Commercial Insurance Specialist at Bold Penguin, provides insights on support for agents in the insurance business in this issue of 3 Questions.

3 questions on insurance business agent support with Carlos Gonzalez-Avila

3 questions about agent support in the insurance business

In the insurance business, agent support is essential, especially when it comes to insurtech. We spoke with Carlos Gonzalez-Avila, Bold Penguin’s Small Commercial Insurance Specialist, to dig a little deeper. 

1. Can you provide an overview of the newly created Small Business Insurance Specialist role at Bold Penguin and how it will support agents in advancing small commercial insurance business on the Terminal platform?

This is an exciting new role at Bold Penguin, specifically designed to support our agents' success in the small commercial insurance business. As a Small Business Insurance Specialist, I aim to equip agents with the knowledge and tools they need to excel in writing small commercial insurance. I achieve this by co-hosting webinars with our carrier partners to familiarize agents with the platform and its benefits. I also play a key role in overseeing the profitability of business written by agents through the Bold Penguin Terminal, ensuring that any escalated issues are addressed promptly. 

Additionally, I'm piloting a new initiative to review pending cancellation policies to salvage the ones that can be saved and slow premium leaks, ultimately benefiting agents by increasing their success rates and profitability.

2. You have a lot of experience in underwriting. Could you share an example where misclassification issues affected the underwriting process, highlighting the importance of accurate NAICS business classifications?

I encountered a situation where an agent classified an auto repair shop as a car wash. After investigating, they discovered that the auto repair shop washed the cars after the repair work. 

That made the car wash an element of the service the shop provides, but different from the core of the business, which was fixing cars. Imagine what would have happened if the shop installed a part incorrectly and because of this, it caused a car accident, or maybe a mechanic was test driving a vehicle, and was involved in a car accident. These are exposures that the car wash policy does not consider, and more importantly, things the carrier is not aware of happening at this business. 

In the small commercial insurance business, agents who purposely do this aim to sell the policy and make the sale. Having worked as an agent, I am aware of the temptation to just write a policy without doing a proper investigation. However, if we think two to three steps ahead, this temptation puts unneeded risk on the carrier's book of business by opening the carrier to unknown operations and liabilities. It also risks the agent's Error & Omissions (E&O) and carrier appointments to make a sale. 

It's better to be 100% transparent with clients in the insurance business to provide the correct price and policy, even if that means losing the sale. If it's a pricing issue, then you focus as an agent on the carrier's value and why paying a little more is worth it to be with a better carrier rather than the cheapest carrier. 

3. With your background in delivering white glove customer service at Fortune 500 companies in the insurance business, how do you plan to elevate the support experience for agents on Bold Penguin, ensuring their success on the Terminal platform?

To me, white glove customer service means leaving no stone unturned and delivering on your promises. I co-host webinars with agents, and this is a fun experience because I get to interact with agents, answer questions, and have my ear to the ground around issues agents may face. 

Bold Penguin provides white-glove customer service by creating educational and actionable content agents can use to write insurance business through the Bold Penguin platform, which is the primary purpose of our webinars. We are developing best practice guides to walk agents through steps to write correct and profitable business. When dealing with escalated issues, I will listen to agents and use these opportunities as teaching moments so we can correct problems and get back to writing business.

The Bold Penguin Terminal is a leading small business insurance technology platform that allows agents to quote and bind the right coverage for the right customer at the right time in just minutes.

Have more questions about supporting agents in the small commercial insurance business? Join the conversation on LinkedIn or contact us to learn more.

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