What is a Comparative Rater?
The second system, I believe, is a 'must-have' for today's agency owner is a comparative rating system. Three of the most well-known are EZ Lynx, Turbo Rater, and PL Rating systems. These systems provide quotes from multiple carriers in one place with the input of basic customer and risk information.
The purpose and function of these systems are very similar, but not all systems are equal. Each has a different 'feel' when rating the customer risk, and some provide rating for different carriers than others. You certainly want to make sure that the rater you chose is compatible with the carriers you use most in your agency.
Why do I need a Comparative Rater?
One of the reasons this type of system is important in today's insurance world is that it is VERY difficult to determine the algorithms and thus appetites of many carriers in our current environment.
In the past, 10-20 years ago, it was fairly easy to eyeball a risk and determine which carrier would most likely fit best for the customer. With the broad implementation of technology in our industry, this has become close to impossible. You may find yourself quoting two home and auto risks located just doors from each other and one fit better with Progressive and one better with Safeco.
A comparative rater allows you to narrow down your carrier list to the top 2 or 3 carriers that 'want' a particular customer. You can then bridge directly to the carriers that are most competitive and finish quoting the risk. BONUS: The rating system should pre-fill the customer information in the carrier system and save you some time!
How much does a Comparative Rater Cost?
Costs of these systems can also vary greatly, but most fall in the range of $100-$300 per month depending on system structure and the number of producing agents in your office.
Functionality can also be different and may include some marketing and sales tools based on the provider. Some are able to be connected to your agency's website to help gather necessary customer data for quoting purposes.
It's Your Choice!
Do your due diligence, find a rater that works for you, and you will find it a valuable part of growing a successful agency.