December 15 2016

Why Small Accounts

“Small accounts drive less than 20% of my income, but account for 80% of my account volume.”

“I can’t give my largest accounts the resources they need because I have to spend too much time servicing small accounts.”

“I wish I could shed these small accounts, but because of legacy relationships and political issues, it’s not possible.”

These are all statements our clients have made referring to the nearly universal challenge of managing small and select accounts profitably.

Patra’s Small Accounts Managed Service (SAMS) is the latest evolution of outsourced services for the insurance agency industry. SAMS delivers profitable small accounts, minimizes over-allocation of resources and provides customers the high level of service they expect from their agency.

Small Accounts Managed Service

  • A guaranteed margin returned on small/select accounts
  • Reduced labor costs while maintaining client service continuity
  • Increased capacity to service larger key accounts
  • More face time with all accounts, large and small
  • Reduced errors

About Small Accounts Managed Service

SAMS becomes an agency’s “virtual” small accounts department, generating up to 50% return on commission while the agency retains input on account management staffing, control over servicing standards, and a single point of contact with Patra, acting completely under the brand of the agency.

How It Works

  • Agency contracts with Patra to utilize SAMS for all accounts under a commission threshold.
  • Patra works with agency to determine optimal onshore SAMS staffing model.
  • Patra hires onshore account staff. Frequently this means the “re-badging” of a current agency employee, hired by Patra at agency management’s suggestion. Patra documents all agency processes and trains account manager(s) and India-based processing teams to meet agency standards.
  • Small accounts are transitioned to SAMS while agency retains a percentage of commissions.

A Case Study

In Winter 2012, Patra was asked by a leading regional agency’s management team to develop a solution that increased the profitability of the agency’s select accounts book of business and allowed for the reallocation of resources to support larger key accounts.

The Challenge

Our client is a $12M agency with more than 70 employees and two locations in Texas. The agency handles a variety of policies, including personal lines, commercial P&C and benefits business.

The agency’s small accounts book of business was made up of nearly 1,000 accounts under $2,500, driving nearly 5% of total agency revenue.

With three and one-half full time employees sharing the workload of account management and back-office processing, agency leadership reported a return of between -5% and break even.

The Results

Within three months, the agency:

  • Increased margins on small accounts, up from -5% to an average of 35% in under three months
  • Reduced agency labor costs WITHOUT affecting customer relationships or losing locally-based account management
  • Transitioned an employee to Patra’s staff
  • Increased volume of accounts served by SAMS by 30% in the first year
  • Increased “relationship development time” with small accounts without affecting larger, key accounts
  • Reduced policy error rates significantly

“I think the beauty of this is now I’ve got a place to put small accounts. We get a piece of the income while our people don’t have to spend any time on it. What can be bad about that? We’ve got a built-in profit margin.”
CEO, Patra SAMS Client