Workers Compensation is a major expense for every business across all industries, even in an economy that has seen diminished payrolls over the last several years. At the same time, insurers have experienced deteriorating underwriting profitability due to increased losses, low payroll exposures, and low interest rates for premium investments, among other factors. As a result, since 2010-2012, Workers Comp reform has been underway in several states, and we're seeing premium firming along with tighter underwriting requirements among carriers to regain profitability in this line at the same time payroll exposures and wage income are increasing. This leaves agents and brokers looking for solutions that will provide them with access to Workers Compensation markets and competitive rates in addition to having the ability to respond quickly to insureds and prospects looking for coverage as more people are getting back into the workforce and new businesses are being formed.
"FastComp.com for more than 2,800 insurance agents and brokers nationwide is that solution. FastComp.com, one of our newest ProgramBusiness.com Storefronts, is an on-line platform that facilitates the quoting, binding and submission process for monoline Workers Compensation for agents and brokers looking to generate new business and retain renewals. We recently spoke with John Valko, CEO of FastComp.com, about the platform and how it's benefitting the retail agent and broker in delivering Workers Compensation solutions to their clients and prospects.
John has 22 years of experience in the industry, having started out as a commercial lines underwriter. Throughout his career, he formed several companies, including a wholesale operation, Apex Underwriters, which included the FastComp program. FastComp.com later became its own entity focusing exclusively on Worker Compensation. He and his underwriting staff have more than 100 years of combined experience in Workers Comp.
"We saw an underserved niche market where agents could not compete because of volume commitments," said John. "Our vision was to provide access to markets through a high-tech, personal touch approach that combined the industry's Best Practices and opened up a new opportunity for independent agents for additional business without a premium volume requirement. We facilitated this with proprietary software designed to streamline the selection and process of risks, providing agents with the ability to get online quote indications and submit and bind business via the Internet. FastComp.com maximizes the profit margin for agents and allows them to serve as the front line underwriter."
John explained that FastComp.com provides a better medium to submit business through advanced technology. "Agents don't have to use email and faxes to ask for quotes or submit business; they can use our platform to access a network of carriers. They will get an instant price indication from the system, so there is no waiting on the part of the insured or prospect. This is especially important as many potential insureds want to get a feel fowhat their premiums will be. With FastComp.com, an agent can provide a quick quote indication that is presented in a professional agency-branded proposal format. The agent doesn't have to use his agency management system to create a proposal, our system does it for him...again saving the agency time and money."
FastComp.com offers Workers Compensation across all lines with a focus on main-street business, including construction, manufacturers, and restaurants, among many others. The average premium size within FastComp.com's book is just under $10,000 in premium.
On-line quoting is currently available in 30 states, with plans to expand into other states in 2013. It usually takes five minutes to get a quote indication if the account fits the system's predictive modeling, and coverage can be bound within the same day. Additionally, traditional business is also available through FastComp on a national basis. "If an account does not fit within the "FastComp.com model, it will then go through the traditional underwriting process," said John.
Renewals are automatically issued for FastComp.com business and are based on prior-year information. If there is payroll adjustment or change in the experience modification, the renewal will be adjusted accordingly.
"FastComp.com can help independent agents obtain new business that may have been impeded by carrier volume requirements," explained John. This technology allows agents to enter class codes, answer a few questions, and receive an indication quickly," he added. It's that simple.
To get started, just register free online and begin using the system instantly.