The Declined Coverage Form - An insurance agency's most important sales and retention tool!
By Billy R. Williams, Ph.D., President, Williams Family Investment Group and Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring Svc.
As an investor in numerous agencies and as a mentor to 100’s more I am often asked: “If there was only one marketing tool you could use in your agency what would it be?”
Without hesitation, my answer is always the same an E-Signature based Declined Coverage Form.
In 15 years of working in the insurance industry as a captive agent, an independent agent, a mentor to 1000s of agencies, and an investor in over 150 agencies, I have never seen one document that served as many purposes or drove as many results as a finely crafted Declined Coverage Form.
To be completely transparent, even a poorly crafted Declined Coverage Form will yield some pretty good results for an insurance agency.
The evolution of the Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring Declined Coverage Form
In 2004 when I opened my Allstate Insurance Agency, I started using a Permission to Contact/Optional Coverage Form (Here is a link to the P2C form that is still in use by many of the Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring member agencies - http://bit.ly/IANoptionalcoverageform)
While 10 - 15% of customers would complete the form, that still left up to 90% that didn’t. Of course, this was before everything went mobile so I was sending a DocuSign link by email that people would open on their desktop computer.
In 2008 I sold my Allstate agency and partnered with a small independent agency. That agency was using a variety of declined coverage forms for products such as Flood, Jewelry Coverage, Inland Marine, Loss of Income, etc.
We were mainly using it to cover our butts from an E&O complaint. (E&O is still the main reason most agencies use a Declined Coverage Form.)
What I noticed right away (and started to track) was how many customers would call back and want to discuss the coverages after they received a Declined Coverage Form DocuSign from the agency. It didn’t take long for me to see that the form wasn’t just covering our butts, but generating revenue for the agency.
In 2010 I created the Declined Coverage Form that the partner agencies of the Williams Family Investment Group use today, By reducing it to one page and allowing the sales team, account managers, and retention team to list multiple items on one form, it made it more efficient for the agency and easier for the customer to understand.
Here is a sample form of our current Declined Coverage Form:http://bit.ly/IANdeclinedcoverageform
We see the best response when we send the form:
● As soon as we sign up a new customer
● When we spot a policy weakness on an endorsement request
● When we conduct a Customer Policy Review
● When conducting a reported claim follow up call
● When conducting a Birthday Insurance Review
In summary, the Declined Coverage Form is a multi-faceted document that should be used to not only cover the agency’s butt but to drive new premium, drive cross-sells and up-sells, increase retention, and show the agency’s expertise as an insurance advisor.