Customization Key to Successful AMS Migration and Modernization

The commercial insurance market is competitive. Modern agencies and brokerages must have smart producers, the best products, and the technology with which to automate manual processes for speed, efficiency, and top-notch customer experience. Based in Santee, California, Hunter Insurance Services is the premier insurance broker for construction insurance, contractor bonds, and business insurance.

Hunter started 2018 in the same boat as a lot of other insurance agencies and brokerages, feeling held back by technology, or a lack thereof.

“Our existing management system, Applied Systems’ The Agency Manager, or TAM, wasn’t built with the technology available today in mind,” said William Rodriguez, general manager for Hunter Insurance Services.

It was imperative for Hunter Insurance Services to find a replacement agency management system. Unfortunately, Hunter Insurance Services’ search for a new agency management system was slow, in part because the company had well-defined parameters which outlined both wants and needs.

“Over the course of a couple years, we reviewed and watched endless demos, some even more than once,” said Rodriguez. “We knew what we wanted, but nothing seemed to be a great match until Veruna was personally recommended.”

“We actually tried to move off of TAM five different times, but things never turned out as expected,” said Mark Hunter, owner of Hunter Insurance Services. “We wound up switching back to TAM each time, and it caused a huge mess.”

Part of the reason Hunter was locked into an aging TAM implementation for 16 years was the size of the company’s database, and the difficulty involved in migrating such database to another system. However, the real driver to migrate wound up being the company’s need for automation.

“There is no automation in Applied, and you can’t change anything to make it automated,” said Hunter. “We weren’t asking for anything out of the norm. We wanted the ability to offer online certificates of insurance, implement a ticketing system, or reduce touches with automation by creating triggers and workflows.”

“We came to believe that Veruna was the right partner because the company seemed to follow the Salesforce model as trailblazers” said Rodriguez. “Basically, everything is possible.”

“We talked to Applied,” said Hunter, “and we talked to Vertafore again. We talked to a lot of people. I wanted our system to be pliable, like Silly Putty, but every system out there is rigid. It was easy for Veruna to look different. Every time we went into a meeting with Veruna, they showed us how customizable it was, plus, it was Salesforce-driven.”

Hunter was immediately impressed with the flexibility of Veruna.

“They are not content with making a good product,” said Hunter. “They want to be the best and they are always looking to improve and adapt to changes in our industry. That, for us, was the best thing we could hear after 15 years with a company that rarely rolled out significant improvements. Now, we can make changes to something in a matter of days or weeks if we really wanted to. We wanted open APIs and the ability to customize it ourselves. We wanted to be able to make it work the way we wanted it to, not the other way around.”

Hunter Insurance Services has gone on to customize Veruna significantly. Today, the company takes requests online for things like auto changes, additional insured certificates, and other policyholder requests which directly feed that information into Veruna. Veruna populates Hunter Insurance Services’ certificates before verification, runs the company’s ticketing system, and integrates with Pardot for outbound communication to policyholders and prospects. Plus, Hunter Insurance Services has been able to use it to eliminate all forwarding of emails as a value-add.

“Our customizations of Veruna primarily take advantage of triggers and workflow rules,” said Rodriguez. “It has improved our processes and eliminates human error. We are still looking into automating more processes. There is a lot more to come, that’s for sure.”

Going forward, Hunter Insurance Services recognizes that Veruna will play a significant role in achieving the company’s strategic vision for the next five years in terms of improving performance, efficiency, and revenue goals.

“Veruna is everything,” said Hunter. “I want us to be even more automated, and, Veruna is the basis for that. I want to take the manual work away from the agents so they can focus on selling and let Veruna do everything else. Veruna is definitely something we can continue to customize to make things easier and easier.”

Rodriguez agrees, and puts the near-term focus on continuing to customize Veruna to achieve an even higher level of automation and efficiency.

“It’s a big part of our plans,” said Rodriguez. “We feel it’s all connected – a better process or more efficient process, leads to more time for our sales team to quote, quicker service by our support staff, happier customers, better retention, and so on. Our workflows/process builder is eliminating the repetitive work and it allows our staff to be more efficient with their time. This helps our bottom line, and in return we are able to reward our staff with bigger raises as opposed to hiring more staff.”

For Veruna and Hunter Insurance Services, Veruna’s first large commercial insurance agency customer, the partnership is working well and it’s a testing ground for both companies in terms of ideas to implement for the future.

“Bottom line, Veruna is awesome,” said Hunter.