NetVU Newsflash - tips, tricks, and events for users of vertafore products

1/10/2019 | facebooktwitter

 Ideas: Working Together to Enhance the User Experience

Advocating on behalf of all Vertafore users has been a pillar of NetVU’s mission since its founding in 1978. More recently, Vertafore and NetVU have been working together to enhance the user experience for Vertafore’s products through a collaborative effort called Ideas. IDEAS on My Vertafore

Ideas gives NetVU members a way to submit suggestions for improving Vertafore solutions. Users can log into Ideas through My Vertafore. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see existing ideas that have been submitted by fellow users.

The Ideas tool allows you to comment on these ideas or suggest your own.

“When you submit ideas through the My Vertafore portal, everyone benefits,” says Vertafore CEO Amy Zupon. “Other users get to see and vote on your idea — the first step in what may ultimately become a product enhancement that helps the whole community.” NetVU’s volunteer driven-work groups review Ideas and present the top ones to Vertafore’s product management teams. The work groups are composed of volunteer users, just like you, and usually meet twice a month by conference call.

To see which Vertafore products have their own work group, go to the Committees and Work Groups tab on NetVU’s website. NetVU Chairman Mike Foy is a big believer in Ideas and helped get the program started. “The purpose of Ideas is to take good ideas, build on them and make them great,” he says. “We do this with open conversation and collaboration with other NetVU members and Vertafore product managers. Our goal is to maximize efficiency and productivity for all users.”

submit an idea on My Vertafore Ideas is only as effective as NetVU members make it, says Foy. “The more ideas, the better. While not every idea will become a reality, the only bad idea is the one that we never share,” he says. Melissa Bond, NetVU’s member relations manager, says the platform works best when members follow a few basic guidelines in submitting their ideas. Here are a few pointers that can make a good idea even better:

  • Clearly and precisely identify the issue or problem your idea addresses; for example, how often does the problem occur and how does it affect your firm? Is this a regulatory issue mandated by your state?
  • Give your submission a title that other users will understand.
  • Describe how your idea will help other users, how it will fix a problem or how it simplifies the steps it takes to complete a task.
  • Describe your role, how often you use the product and the business need it fulfills.

“Ideas allows Vertafore and NetVU members to work together to enhance the user experience,” says Zupon. “Our goal is to put people at the heart of our solutions. One way we do that is by creating win-win relationships between our product managers, developers and our users.”

For more information, visit the Advocacy–Ideas section of NetVU’s website where you will find helpful links and tips, or contact Melissa Bond at

The Leader’s Circle: Practicing the Discipline of Listening  

By Joe Clabaugh

Practicing the discipline of listening

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my years of working in customer service is to listen — really listen — to what others are saying. Along with listening comes honesty, empathy and kindness — qualities that seem to be in short supply these days.


Peter Drucker called listening the first competency of leadership. “Listening is not a skill,” he said, “it is a discipline. Anybody can do it. All you have to do is keep your mouth shut.” Or put another way in Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

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Making Work-from-Home Really Work

Making work from home really work

It’s more than taking your work home — being productive and reliable as a remote worker takes knowing what works best for your situation.

Who doesn’t dream of working from home? Since the evolution of the home computer and internet connectivity, workers everywhere have dreamed of conducting business without the commute. And according to the "State of the Remote Job Marketplace" report by FlexJobs, more than 3.9 million Americans are now working from home at least half the time.

For businesses, employing older workers could be a real benefit. According to the same FlexJobs survey, over 60% of workers in both millennial and older worker segments say they could be more productive in telecommuting positions. The evidence proves that to be true: a study conducted by ConnectSolutions found that 77% of remote workers get more done in fewer hours than their in-house coworkers.

As a retiring or retired insurance professional, how can you ensure that you make the most of your work-from-home arrangement?

Define your best work hours. Not everyone is their best (or available) in a regular nine-to-five timeframe. You may be better at 6 a.m. than you are at noon, or you could be able to get a lot accomplished in just five hours a day without distractions.

Stick to your routine.
Once you know your best hours of the day, make it a habit just as you did when you were commuting to an office. Get ready for work and start at your regular time (as much as you can).

Establish a quiet work area. If you can dedicate a space for your daily work hours, do so. If not, find that one area where you can work undisturbed and with minimal distractions.

Invest in and learn new technology. Trying to work with an outdated computer will handicap your efforts from the outset. Upgrade where you need to, and look into what programs you may need to be most productive.

Communicate regularly with coworkers. Just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean you don’t need to talk with anyone. In fact, it’s more important to communicate with your coworkers on a daily basis. Email communication works, but don’t be afraid to use message programs or video chats to stay in touch throughout the day with your colleagues.

Check in with your employer daily. Work with your employer to establish goals, both project-related and communication-related. Then create a daily list of things you’ve accomplished, things you’re working on, and questions you may have. Also, attend staff meetings, and let your employer know those areas where you may need additional help or guidance.

Schedule your activities. Each day before leaving your work behind, schedule your next day’s activities. If you’re working on large projects, break them up into segments and allot time to each of those segments. Your schedule is also part of the daily list you’ll send to your employer each day — sharing that schedule with your employer gives you the accountability needed to stay on task.

Simply Easier Payments

Can Making Payments Be a Great Customer Experience?

Simply Easier Payments

How can giving someone your money be a great customer experience? When both the buyer and the seller receive the results they want with the least amount of effort. Simply Easier Payments has redesigned payments to move from being a stand-alone action to a seamless part of an insurance transaction.

The Three Steps in an Insurance Transaction:

  1. Insured signs a document or statement,
  2. Insured makes a payment,
  3. Agent sends binder or certificate or other proof of insurance

Until now, these three steps have required three emails. By combining all of the steps utilizing rule-based intelligence enables sending just one link to your customer. The link puts each step in the proper sequence with no additional actions on your behalf.

  • Upload any document or documents to our payment system,
  • Add a certified e-signature to the document,
  • Require one document to be signed before a payment can be made,
  • Accept an electronic payment for an amount you require,
  • Finally, emails the second document you uploaded as proof of insurance, accompanied by a copy of the first document signed and a receipt.

Simply Easier Payments also:

  • Improves processes including voice invoicing, same day funding, and reverse billing.
  • Enables sending payments to anyone allowing better management of cash flow by delivering payments on a defined date and schedule.

Payments are much more than a link on your website or a screen for your CSR’s to use.

Learn More


Tips and Tricks from NCOM

Surplus Lines Filings

Which AMS360 report do you use to gather information for state surplus lines tax filings?

— Laura A. Meadows
OceanPoint Insurance Agency | Middletown, RI

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How Do You Enter Multi-Year Rate Guarantees?

Where are you making note of multi-year rate guarantees in BenefitPoint, since there is no specific field for it?

— Heidi Wamsher
Hylant | Toledo, OH

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Laptop Encryption

Can you recommend an encryption software solution for laptops used by traveling employees?

— Audrey Warner
Coldbrook Insurance Group | Grand Rapids, MI

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