We Need to Talk About Certificates. It’s Time for a New Approach.

Brenda is a Sales Support Specialist at ReSource Pro with over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry.

Behind-the-Scenes Challenges of Insurance Certificate Requests

Certificate of insurance requests are a unique blend of high stakes and rote work. They tend to be viewed as little more than a data entry task and, as such, are often assigned to entry-level employees. But dig a little deeper into that growing pile of urgent requests and you will begin to see just how complex certificates really are.

The Costly Price of Errors

Keeping experienced talent engaged in certificate management and issuance isn’t easy. As a result, many insurance organizations turn certificate requests into a training ground for entry-level employees.

However, requests often demand a high level of insurance knowledge in order to successfully review requirements and contracts, and to evaluate whether the coverage is appropriate. Certs on their own cannot extend coverage.

If an employee does not have the appropriate knowledge and experience, they may issue a certificate that misrepresents what is available on the policy. Insurance Journal reports that the typical E&O case costs an insurance organization a hefty $40,000. But even if a mistake doesn’t result in an E&O case, you may still face reputational damage, friction within the agency, and even loss of a valued client. Are these risks you are willing to take? 

Account Managers vs. Centralized Unit

In order to mitigate the concern of unqualified employees issuing certificates, many agencies expect experienced account managers to handle certificates. The problem? Certificate requests can come in at any time throughout the day, diverting an account manager’s attention from other important tasks.

Research by the American Psychological Association shows that multi-tasking can result in as much as 40% loss of productivity. People often minimize the impact of certs as it’s often a two-hour per day issue, but that adds up to 40 hours a month. This loss of productivity impedes account managers’ ability to perform more client facing, revenue generating activities that can grow an agency. Certificates, while vital from a customer service perspective, are a costly interruption.

Many organizations attempt to resolve this issue by moving certificates to a centralized unit. But if this unit is staffed by entry-level employees, there can be a significant investment in recruiting, hiring, and training, as these positions are notorious for having a high attrition rate. It can also be challenging to triage requests that come in from a variety of avenues, such as calls, faxes, individual email accounts, and others, with some agencies resorting to the use of complex Outlook folder structures, flagging, or color-coding to sort requests.

Consider Your Current Solution

If you believe your organization could be handling certificates better, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your account managers struggle to juggle their client servicing responsibilities, causing them to miss deadlines or work overtime to keep up?
  • Are you missing out on revenue-generating new accounts because your Account Managers are too busy to handle them?
  • Do you have entry-level staff taking care of urgent, complex certificate requests that, if not completed correctly, could lead to E&O and/or the loss of a client?
  • Do you constantly rehire and retrain for certificate work because it’s not considered a long-term assignment?
  • Do you face quality control issues with certificates?

Find a New Approach

If you aren’t satisfied with the answer to one or more of these questions, consider the ReSource Pro solution to certificates, the Certs Center.

  • Reporting and Insight – Our certificate-specific tracking system provides unrivaled insight into turnaround times, costs per account, and complexity of every certificate request.
  • Standardization and Centralization – Achieve best practice certificate management process across all offices with white labeled service.
  • E&O Risk Reduced – We assume limited E&O risk for all certificates that we issue.
  • Quality – We have strict quality standards for all employees and regularly audit to ensure compliance.  All service team members are provided with rigorous certificate-specific training.
  • Guaranteed Service Levels – We work with you to determine appropriate turnaround times that meet your needs and can deliver certificates within 2 hours during US business hours.
  • Flexible Pay-Per-Use Model – We match our capacity to your workload fluctuations.  

Ready to change your approach to certificates? Let’s talk.