Red eyes, blurred vision, headaches. These are the signs of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). With so much time in front of a computer, your eyes are literally straining to focus on the screen.
Luckily, there is relief: prescription computer glasses. These are not the same as reading glasses or the progressive lenses you may already have. Computer glasses improve your intermediate zone of vision. They can also cut down on glare and ensure that you are comfortable, so you don’t strain your neck or shoulders.
Mark Belden, CPIA, recently wrote on the NetVU Community forum that by mid-day, his eyes are strained from looking at his computer. Belden is the agency manager at Speiker & Company Ltd in Prior Lake, Minnesota. He uses two monitors in his office and asked if anyone had tried computer glasses.
As it turns out, a number of NetVU members use the glasses, and they highly recommend them. Lynn Bull, vice president of benefits at WIS&G Insurance in Turlock, California, notes that her agency offers computer glasses as an employee benefit and will pay up to $250 every two years to cover the expense.
“Computer glasses do relieve eye strain,” she says. “They help tremendously, and I have fewer headaches.”
Cathy Hall, CPRM, CIC, AAI, AIM, CPIA, CPIW, vice president at Forest Agency, Forest Park, Illinois, says her agency has purchased computer glasses for all of its employees. “Most everyone reports less eye strain and fewer headaches,” she says.
A few tips before visiting your eye-care professional:
Our partners are special. They're a fundamental part of what keeps NetVU fueled and running. They're always offering our members exciting new, innovative ways to improve their firms’ bottom line. In this video, you'll get to know four of our corporate partners, what they offer, and the special relationship they have with our organization.
Want to learn more about these and other partners? Visit bit.ly/netvupartners.
Interested in upping your company's exposure and influence by becoming a NetVU corporate partner? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With so many big-name data breaches in recent times, your eyes may have glossed over the recent Equifax consumer data breach settlement. The numbers were big: 147 million consumers had their sensitive information exposed. The penalty, $700 million (or about $5 per person). Source: New York Times, Krebs.
The price of the worry? $125. You can request $125 cash from Equifax or 10 years of free credit monitoring.
So what is this $10 billion bet Equifax is making? They are assuming almost no one (about 2%) of people pay attention to these things. If 2% claimed their $125, and the attorneys that fought for the consumer protection get their portion, the $700 million settlement target is hit.
The $700 million penalty includes the extra perks that consumers can request, compensation for time spent dealing with the breach and worrying about what might happen for the next 10 years.
What would happen if half claimed their $125 cash value of the credit monitoring? It seems Equifax would be on the hook for $10 billion in cash payments. That is substantial for any company (other than perhaps some of the FAANGs, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google).
Why should you care? If you are in business and work with clients, and have to communicate their sensitive information, there may be no need to worry. After all (assuming you believe the Equifax and consumer lawyers are savvy, and their assumption sound), only 2% of people will care and take action — not 50%.
But, if risking the wrath of 2% of your clients is too much — if every one of your clients is important — we recommend you install the free and easy RMail for Outlook or RMail for Gmail add-in that offers the simplest way to send encrypted email, share large files securely, and even send registered email certified e-delivery proof or e-sign, all with encryption.
RMail is free to use forever if you only want to protect the 2%. It’s only a few dollars a month if you want to use it a lot — to protect 100% of your clients and not worry about who the 2% are.
RMail try it FREE – click here.
To learn more about RPost products, visit www.rmail.com or www.rsign.com
By Doug Mohr, Vice President, Industry Partnerships
A dizzying array of new insurtechs promise effective ways to improve your customers’ experience while increasing your agency’s productivity. You need those solutions, but it’s daunting just to consider all the choices. And the problem of integrating an insurtech plug-in with your agency management system or comparative rater can be nothing less than overwhelming.
This is why Vertafore created the Orange Partner Program. It provides you with a curated resource of insurtech solutions while also enabling our partners to continue to innovate for you.
Orange Partners now offer solutions that integrate with Vertafore’s AMS360, Sagitta, BenefitPoint, ImageRight and QQCatalyst. Those companies that qualify can tie their products into your Vertafore system seamlessly, uniting your entire Vertafore product suite under one streamlined partner program.
To find innovative solutions that will integrate with your system, visit the Vertafore partner page.
It’s really that easy! You will maximize agency efficiency and optimize customer experience.
App-based insurance companies (Lemonade, anyone?) are devouring larger and larger portions of the market share. More traditional insurance companies must evolve technologically or fiscally starve.
Your agency’s survival depends on improving the customer experience with digital, says agency consultant Chris Burand of Chris Burand & Associates, in a recent interview with Insurance Journal.1 “It’s so critical to move early and fast and move intelligently,” he advises.
Whether you need to improve your workflow or offer customers a mobile app or on-demand services, agencies must identify and integrate the insurtech solutions that will best serve them — and not leave those decisions to carriers, Burand advises.
Every insurtech vendor depends on application programming interfaces (APIs). Simply defined, an API is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating disparate application software solutions.
Vertafore partners will have unparalleled access to the full range of APIs available for each product and the ability to provide their solution across multiple Vertafore products.
Open APIs are becoming the standard, according to the World Insurance Report 2017, which reports that more than half of insurers say “open APIs have a substantial impact on scalability, new revenue stream generation, and cost efficiency.2
But the bottom line for your agency is that Vertafore shoulders the burden of integrating any Orange Partner insurtech solutions with your Vertafore system.
The integration between a voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) phone system and the agency management system is a real-world example of how two solutions that are built on different technology can communicate via APIs provided by Vertafore.
Many of our customers have migrated to VOIP telephone providers and may not be taking advantage of the integration available. The agency management system contains all the information about the insured — including contact information (name, address, phone, email) as well as the information on the policies that are active for the policyholder. A small subset of this information may be contained in the VOIP phone system (which can be done via the web service API in AMS360 as an example). But since it does not make sense to store the same information twice in two different systems, the phone system may only keep basic contact information while the agency management system will store all the details about the active policies.
Phone call comes in,but caller ID does not show enough information to allow the agent to identify the caller.
Agent: This is Doug Mohr at Winterburn & Associates. How may I help you?
Unknown caller: My name is Fred Miller. I have a policy with your agency and would like to add a new driver to my auto policy.”
Agent: OK, Fred, I am happy to look up your information. Give me a minute while I access your account.
The agent must make the customer wait while he brings up the customer’s information.
Through API integration, however, we can shave off minutes of waiting and improve the customer experience.
Phone call comes in with caller ID, and via reverse phone lookup, the API identifies the caller as Fred Miller. The software provides the CSR the caller’s contact information and list of active policies with a hyperlink to go right into the agency management system.
Agent: This is Doug Mohr at Winterburn & Associates. Is this Fred Miller I am talking to?
Fred: Yes, this is Fred! I would like to add a driver to my auto policy.
Agent: Great, Fred. I have your policy up on my screen and can initiate that process for you now. By the way, I see that your son Dave just turned 16. Congratulations! Will we be adding him today?
In a single moment, Fred Miller feels known, cared for, and immediately served. The agent is empowered to help him without barriers to information. Imagine the extraordinary impact such an experience will make in the lives of your clients, the efficiency of your employees, and your business’s revenue.
It’s in an insurtech’s interest to partner with Vertafore. The Vertafore Orange Partner Program provides participating companies with:
Do you have a solution that would meld beautifully with a Vertafore product? Find out more about becoming a Vertafore Orange Partner here.
Vertafore is always looking for partner suggestions. If you use an insurtech solution and think we should partner with the company, please email me at email@example.com.
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Can someone help me figure out how to pull $1MM+ home values using Target Lists?
— Nick Landavere,
Dulles Insurance, Leesburg VA
Does anyone have recommendations for an accounting drawer setup in ImageRight that have worked well for you?
— Carl Schlotman
CAI Insurance Agency, Cincinnati, OH
Does anyone have any AMS360 tips or tricks?
— Mindy Teqach
First Insurance Group, Defiance OH