ITC President Laird Rixford reveals the secrets behind how and why questions get added to a comparative rater.
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Who Decides the Questions Used in a Comparative Rater to Quote a Risk?
We often get asked who chooses what questions get asked on the comparative rater. And this is a very fine balance between working with the carriers and working with the agencies, both of them have very unique needs. Carriers want the questions that need their underwriting questions asked. Agencies want a quick, efficient interface where they can easily put in information and quickly get a rate. It's ITC's job to balance those two.
First, carriers will ask that a question get asked for underwriting reasons. That might be education level, no prior insurance reason, whatever it might be. And a lot of times, we put these in the rater as carrier specific questions. Often over time, those carrier specific questions can get migrated to the main interface of TurboRater because more and more carriers are asking those questions. A good example is education level, not many carriers ask that before and now they do.
The agency's need in a comparative rating system is completely different. They need to ask the minimum amount of questions to get a rate effectively and correct. A lot of times, the consumer that's coming in the door might not meet the needs of certain carriers. So an interface that allows you to not ask those specific carrier questions is a good interface. A good example would be if a risk comes in and maybe they have a DWI or a poor driving record, you're not going to ask questions related to a standard lines carrier.
The same holds true for standard line agencies. A lot of times you don't need to ask questions such as DWIs or lower limit offerings. That is where an interface that can meet the needs of every type of agent in every line of business is key. A web-based comparative rating system offers even more advantages over a desktop-based one, and that's the ability for us to change questions regularly and quickly based upon the carriers and the agency's needs. Therefore if all of the sudden a question now becomes your main [sic] to the underwriting process, we're now able to add that instantly to the interface. And the next time you refresh that page, it's there. There's no updates, there's nothing that needs to be done.
When choosing a comparative rating vendor, make sure that you not only choose one that has an interface that allows them to easily add and remove questions based upon your carrier's needs, but also one that has a healthy ongoing dialogue with the carriers to make sure that the questions that are getting asked meets your needs.