Acting as general managing agent for one of the country’s largest and most innovative life insurance underwriters is a demanding challenge for The Tassey Group of Berlin, New Hampshire.
The agency serves as the sole representative for the insurance carrier over a wide swath of territory that includes New Hampshire, Vermont and parts of Maine and Massachusetts. In essence. the Tassey Group is the “face” of the insurance company for the 300 independent brokers that sell the policies, providing a host of marketing, education and application processing services which brokers need to be effective.
The Tassey Group installed DocStar to gain greater control over their volumes of paper. The system electronically files and retrieves key documents, including signed policy applications and medical reports.
Its powerful, automated search and retrieval capabilities – accessible through easy-to-use Windows®-based software – allow agency staff to locate and view documents within seconds. Through the facsimile function, copies can be distributed quickly to brokers or applicants. The system is connected to the agency’s office network, so that multiple employees can use the system simultaneously.
According to Michael N. Chambers, a principal of the agency, “An incredible amount of followup goes on during processing policy applications. We’re always going back to the broker for more information, such as medical records and child ages, and they’re calling us to check the status. So we’re always referring to the application file, and a day rarely goes by when we don’t pull 20 to 25 files.”
Before DocStar, The Tassey Group navigated this mound of paper by hand. Applications and other information were photocopied and filed, with original documents sent either to the insurance company or back to the applicant. Files often included large documents, such as medical reports up to 80 pages long. Many documents consisted of hard-to-decipher handwriting and poor-quality photocopies.
With the help of DocStar partner PIF Technologies, Tassey’s redesigned process, signed applications and other original documents are now scanned into DocStar and the originals stored randomly in a box for bulk shipping at a later date. Copies of these documents are sent immediately via fax to the insurance company, without the manual steps of printing hard copy and dialing the fax machine.
“We immediately saw how DocStar saved time in responding to customer requests, as well as headaches,” Chambers said. “While competitors boast about one-day turnaround, we can deliver quotes by fax within two to three minutes.”
DocStar has produced substantial increases in efficiency and reduced operating expenses. Simplified filing enabled the agency to eliminate one clerical position and shrink copying expenses-previously running at an annual volume of about 40,000 copies-to almost nothing.
Perhaps the greatest benefit is the ability to respond quickly to customer inquiries, which builds further momentum behind The Tassey Group’s customer service-oriented business strategy.
“If someone calls to check an application status, we electronically search for the information and give the person an instant answer,” Chambers said. “We used to sift through the paper files, which took an average of three minutes.”
“Most of the time, we wouldn’t keep a customer on hold while we looked – they’re busy people so we’d take a message and call them back after we found the information. Sometimes, this resulted in ‘phone tag,’ so the customer didn’t get an answer for a couple of days.”
Installing the DocStar system and migrating to new filing processes also was painless for the agency.
“I learned how to use the system in a couple of hours. ” says Chambers. “Everyone’s job is a little bit easier.”