The need to improve processes to grow the business
Founded in 1972, Cooke Insurance is an established brokerage in the Atlantic region, with its head office in Charlottetown, PEI, and five other offices located in PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Cooke Insurance Group has carved out niches in construction, manufacturing and importing/exporting, as well as some specialty business programs ranging from the shellfish industry to seasonal cottages to hockey and skating arenas.
Though successful, Cooke Insurance was keen to grow its commercial lines business in an aggressive manner. “At one time we were a 75% personal lines brokerage,” says Jeff Cooke, president. “We made a concerted effort on the commercial side to get a more balanced approach.” Keeping Cooke Insurance from growing its commercial business, however, was its infrastructure: its internal systems and processes. “We had spreadsheets, Word® documents and programs all over the place. There was no consistency between our proposals, submissions and client communications.”
Applied Policy Works to help differentiate the business
Jeff Cooke began a due diligence process to find a commercial lines solution. “When I saw Applied Policy Works, I said ‘this just makes sense.’ And I have looked at many other solutions over the years. I believed this was the route we had to go to set ourselves apart, so we had it installed.”
The benefits of a full and complete commercial management system
One of the immediate ways Applied Policy Works helped Cooke Insurance was to get its commercial submissions to the top of the underwriting pile. “Underwriters have only so much time to go through the hundreds of submissions they receive,” according to Cooke. “So, they look for the applications that are most complete and easy to use – not those submitted on the back of a napkin. Underwriters know that with our Applied Policy Works submissions, all the information they need is right there. We get our quotes faster than other brokers, and we write more business.”
Using Applied Policy Works as a submission tool helped Cooke Insurance enormously, but there is more to the solution. “It is a full and complete commercial management system for all our policies,” Cooke notes. “We use it right from submission to binding to service to renewal. It allows us to be quick and nimble in the marketplace.”
From a workflow perspective, Applied Policy Works has helped Cooke Insurance on the service side. “All the information is right there in easy-to-use, pull down menus,” states Cooke. “If there is an account and there have been 10 changes over the past year, we don’t have to go looking all over the place for documents or photos. It’s all right there in one place and it is done in a professional manner.”
It really is a combination of things that makes this solution effective, concludes Cooke. “There is efficiency, ease of use and proper use of our people. With Applied Policy Works, you don’t have to be a high-tech specialist, but rather a businessperson. That may be what I like best.”
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