Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


10:30 AM
Connect Directly

Q&A: Peggy Scott, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets

Liberty Mutual Agency Markets seeks to deliver easy-to-use capabilities that feature the flexibility normally associated with a regional carrier but that are backed by the strength associated with a national brand, says Peggy Scott, assistant VP and manager of marketing information services.

Accelerating Agent Ease of Use
Carriers Target Ease of Use, STP to Win Agents' Hearts and MindsQ&A: Peggy Scott, Liberty Mutual Agency MarketsData Quality is Key to Agency Portal Performance
Insurance & Technology: "Ease of use" can mean different things to different carriers. What does the term mean to Liberty Mutual Agency Markets (a business unit of Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group; $108.5 billion in total assets)?

Peggy Scott: For us, strategically, ease of use is an agency's experience with our tools and services. That is, it's their definition of "ease of use" [that matters], not ours.

I&T: Liberty Mutual Agency Markets comprises many regional companies. Is there a centralized strategy for ease of use, or does each company handle the issue individually?

Scott: We really operate under 12 brands now. Within our Regional Companies Group [RCG], which supports commercial lines, those brands all use a suite of systems. Part of the specific value proposition for Agency Markets is to be able to deliver localized, regional service and decision making but with the capabilities of a national backbone -- so that we can deliver top-notch capabilities across the board. We are very cognizant of giving each of those 12 brands the flexibility to manage their business within the context and the environment of their agencies. Different parts of the country do in fact operate differently.

I&T: What about your Safeco brand, which operates on more of a nationwide scale -- does it operate under a different model?

Scott: It's not a different model. Liberty Mutual Agency Market's personal lines business, which is operating under the Safeco national brand, is still similar to the RCG. ... Safeco is using a national suite of systems that provides a consistent backbone while still affording that regional flexibility. Our goal over time ... is to take some of the systems we have in play today out of the portfolio and further streamline our operation. Every operating company, whether it's a personal lines operation under the Safeco brand or a regional company for commercial lines, has the availability of that suite of systems to work with.

I&T: What are some of the characteristics of that suite of systems that foster ease of use?

Scott: I think about ease of doing business in three components. The first component would be our extranet, our agent secure portal, ... which gives agents access to underwriting appetite guides and our proprietary quoting tools. We also push notices and alerts back out to agencies through that mechanism.

The second component would be our comparative rating tools, which are more predominant in personal lines than in commercial lines. We are engaged with a number of the comparative rating vendors, so an agency can use that as a starting point to generate a quote and have that quote delivered back into their agency management system.

The third set of capabilities is what is commonly referred to as "real-time" [capabilities]. That would be policy inquiry, billing inquiry, claim inquiry -- all initiated through an agency's agency management system. We do have some real-time quote capabilities available in a similar manner.

And the download capability might be a fourth component -- the ability to download personal and commercial lines information back into an agency management system. We also do commission statement download [the data], commission download [the actual record] and claim download.

I&T: So how does the business partner with IT on ease-of-use initiatives at Liberty Mutual Agency Markets?

Scott: The business defines what capabilities, workflows and business processes require development, and then we engage our IT partners to build it for us. We look at it as a partnership. Business takes the lead on defining the strategy and the overall road map for developing business. Year over year, the business also decides where investment should be made in technology. Once we define what it is we need and how that fits into our technology strategy, then our IT partners do the "how." What are the right technology tools to solve this business problem? What does the development cycle look like?

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters