By Carrie Burns

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 HYPERLINK "http://www.parry-insurance.com/"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 percent for inquiries and 55 percent for personal lines endorsements). In addition, 43 percent 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 percent said they did not know the functionality existed within their system, and 14 percent 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 percent) find time savings of as much as 30 minutes per employee per day (45 percent in personal lines and 50 percent in commercial). An additional 28 percent (35 percent in personal lines and 19 percent in commercial) peg the savings at 31 minutes to an hour per employee each day.

This article was originally published on InsuranceNetworking.com.

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