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While the broker management system (BMS) is the most essential piece of software in the brokerage technology arsenal, there are a few other software programs that help to ease broker workflows.

For example, quoting software, such as Compu-Quote for personal lines business, and Policy Works, a quoting program used to manage commercial lines, have become essential tools in a broker’s day-to-day business.

The newest piece of the broker software arsenal is iClarify, says Rick Orr, vice president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO).

iClarify is an insurance-to-value (ITV) calculator that uses inspection tools and databases that are able to access street-level photographs of homes, satellite images, and neighbourhood profile data of Canadian homes. With this data, brokers can select the proper premiums for a home by confirming the square footage, year built, construction, interior and exterior finishes with a client. It will allow all insurance companies and brokers to use consistent data to give accurate quotes for premiums.

SCM Risk Management Services (RMS) and the IBAO made iClarify with the help of Compu-Quote. They unveiled it to the insurance industry at the MaRS Innovative Centre in Toronto on November 23, 2009.

“Whenever I ask brokers about it, they say they just can’t wait for it,” Orr says. “They are really excited.”

Because of a new pilot study launched March 10, 2010, brokers in Ontario won’t have to wait. The project is a joint effort between the IBAO, RMS and Compu-Quote. The ITV calculator will be used within Compu-Quote’s rating application, ezITV.

After the three groups tested iClarify for three months, the new ITV calculator was distributed to 30 brokerages throughout Ontario to test its effectiveness in the industry.

“This is an important step towards the release of a working product into the hands of our brokers,” stated IBAO CEO Randy Carroll, in a statement released in early March. “iClarify will provide brokers with a data valuation tool that will assist them in providing more accurate valuations, and the addition of streetscape imagery is an added bonus and a great use of modern technology.”

The pilot is expected to run 45 days before iClarify will be available to brokerages throughout Canada.

© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the April 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.

Transcontinental Media G.P.