February 17 2017

How does the submission service work?

“When MGAs, carriers and wholesalers receive submissions from agencies, we assist them with that process. For example, an agency puts together a submission which includes an ACORD form, any supplemental applications, loss runs and a narrative describing their client and target pricing. The MGA, carrier or wholesaler then receives that submission and Patra does a number of different things on their behalf.

“First, we look for the customer in their system for that specific program to see if it’s been submitted by another agent. If it has, we send a declination letter to the agency advising we received that submission from someone else. If it hasn’t been submitted by another agent, we enter it into a CRM and set up everything for the underwriter. We then enter it into the agency management system and the carrier’s website so nobody else can submit it to the actual carrier.

“Sometimes our customers will ask us to do an additional step, which entails starting to fill out their underwriting rating spreadsheet. We enter information about the named insured, what their business is and what their losses are. Patra sets up the shell for them so the underwriter just has to look at it and start rating it so they can get a quote back to the agent.

“There’s also a portion called clearance, which is clearing the submission from the carrier. Some clients don’t ask us to do that. Other optional tasks include filling out a documentation, sending a response to the customer advising that we received their submission and the underwriter will be in touch with them soon, or a note that says we received their submission but are not going to take it because another agency has submitted it.”

How much additional time would your client have to spend if they weren’t using Patra?

“It would probably be one to two full time people just clearing submissions. There’s no real decision-making taking place, so it’s typically a more entry level employee, like a receptionist, temp or underwriting assistant doing it. Agencies hire Patra to do this service so they can train their underwriting assistants and receptionists to do other tasks. Or if the receptionist leaves, they may decide not to refill the position because they can move that task somewhere else.” 

What are the other benefits of this service?

“It saves our non-retail clients money because our hourly rate is less than what they would pay in house for someone to do it. It also gives underwriting assistants more time to learn how to support underwriters, which in turn takes more tasks off the underwriter’s desk. At the smaller shops I work with, the underwriters were clearing their own submissions, which was taking time from them actually writing business and talking to their brokers. Working with Patra has been a huge help for them because now they have more time to actually write business.”