Fenn & Fenn Insurance Practice Inc. recently became a Policy Works customer. Danielle Fenn, President and co-founder, agreed to share her brokerage's first year using Policy Works. Every month, different team members from Fenn & Fenn will share their experiences, from the initial decision to purchase all the way to completing their first renewals in the system.
Here is the first of twelve blog posts.
Fenn & Fenn Insurance Practice Inc. is a commercially-focused broker. In fact, 99% of their business is from commercial-lines business. But it wasn't always this way. Even though co-founders Danielle and Simon Fenn are commercially trained brokers, their initial business plan called for a mix of both personal and commercial lines. But fate had different plans.
The brokerage opened its doors in 2003. About 4 months into their new venture, Danielle landed a large chemical manufacturing account. And she made a discovery. "I said to Simon, 'We would have to do 141 homeowners policies to make the same commission as this one sale." From that point, the business partners focused on commercial files.
"The truth is, it's easier to do personal-lines because of the cashflow," states Danielle. But Fenn & Fenn decided to focus on commercial instead. Now, the forward-thinking brokerage views small package commercial lines as their replacement for personal lines and also targets on medium to larger commercial accounts.
"We looked at Policy Works when we started, but it was too expensive; we were just starting out as business owners and entrepreneurs," states Fenn. "Now, the (upfront) pricing is more in-line with our expectations; it's lower."
(Learn more about Policy Works pricing).
The biggest challenge for Fenn & Fenn as they grow has been operational - their tools were impeding progress. "The commercial components required are non-existent in our BMS and require too much "piece work" and repetitive actions to offer the smooth, repeatable, structured workflow."
"We lack consistency of documents and consistency of information. Yes, we can create templates in Word, but anyone can change those. You can tweak and modify those templates." The result is too much time being spent, by all staff, to format, edit and tweak documents.
(see a sample Policy Works submission)
"We hire people because they're good brokers, not because they're good at formatting documents or deciding on what information is important. We want to give them the tools to do their job better, which is helping our valued clients with their insurance needs."
How will Danielle measure success with Policy Works? In one word - efficiency. Looking to save time, reduce the friction of processing and producing documents at each stage of the lifecycle, helping her brokers write commercial insurance, not format documents.
"I told Debbie Summers (Policy Works Sales Executive), 'If I can save an hour on processing time and have my brokers focus on doing what they do best - advising about insurance - then the system will be of value. Show me how I can quickly recoup the costs of the licenses - then it's worth it."
Danielle called a number of brokers who use Policy Works. One comment stood out to her. The principal at this brokerage said, "I don't know how you guys are not using Policy Works if you are doing commercial."
How was Danielle's experience leading up to the decision to go with Policy Works? "I felt like Debbie was well aligned with us from a values perspective. I don't look at things from a price perspective but value perspective."
(For more Policy Works customer stories, click here)