With all the modern technology available one wonders why the majority of the companies issuing structured settlement contracts have not made use of an alert system to their appointed brokers.
When a case is submitted to the annuity issuer it often falls into a black hole after a faxed premium confirmation is received. Sometimes a broker will call and if they do not encounter voice mail the insurer representative may not have the information at their finger tips. Other companies require a sign in to a website, which is convenient if you are only dealing with one company, but not if with many.
A push rather than pull communication effort is sorely needed to increase the level of efficiency and shorten "the sales cycle" for all parties.
The first company I started with in the insurance business, Northwestern Mutual Life, has provided a form of electronic daily AND weekly status reports to its agents since at least as early as 1983. If the technology has been available for over 26 years (and possibly being used in other divisions of the companies) so why isn't it being more widely used?
I propose that each life insurer have an application in which the case status is pushed to their agents at regular intervals via email. This carries a minimal ongoing cost component. When I brought this up to a life insurer recently the response was that unnamed structured settlement "agents" or "brokers" didn't want to get a lot of emails. Do these people think that the system is efficient now?
Think about it...a solution which:
- Reduces the number of inbound calls to overworked customer relationship managers and understaffed departments requesting status.
- Reduces the time spent fielding one or more calls per issue and, if the information is not readily available to the customer relationship manager, having to call back the client one or more times.