5 Hidden Costs of Using Spreadsheets to Manage Insurance Licenses

For years, agencies used spreadsheets to manage their insurance license and compliance obligations. As the regulatory landscape became more complex, many organizations migrated to cloud-based solutions, like Creative Compliance Hub. Still, we often hear spreadsheet users say, “We’ve decided not to do anything this year.”

Sometimes, management believes that there are no costs associated with using spreadsheets to manage insurance licenses. But that’s not really the case. Spreadsheets may seem easy and inexpensive, but they do come with some hidden costs for insurance professionals.

Choosing Not to Act Comes with a Cost

We’ve worked with many insurance agencies that have migrated from spreadsheets to our cloud-based solution for insurance licensing. Here are some of the key lessons learned from our clients who’ve made the switch.

1. It Takes More Time to Use Spreadsheets

After Starkweather & Shipley switched from spreadsheets to Creative Compliance Hub, Lacey Hudson, Licensing Coordinator said, "I now spend only 3-5 hours a month on managing licenses rather than 2-3 weeks." That’s a BIG difference.

Similarly, when Curo migrated from spreadsheets to Creative Compliance Hub, Dave Cone, Insurance Product Manager noted, “We’re managing more insurance licenses for more producers with fewer people.”

Plus, with a software solution, insurance carriers can access customized reports and track Continuing Education requirements - things you'd have to do manually with a spreadsheet.

You may feel very comfortable and familiar with your current insurance license management system. But there’s no question that your insurance agency is leaking productivity when you choose to stay with spreadsheets.

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2. Spreadsheets Expose You to Compliance Risks

No doubt you’ve invested a lot of time and energy creating your spreadsheets. And they’ve likely worked for you reliably for some time while conducting business.

But over time, they’re prone to accidental deletions of licensing information, broken formulas, and keystroking errors. Consider Dave Cone’s observation about spreadsheets: “Our spreadsheet was good, but it had its limitations… when you’re tracking manually, you’re much more likely to miss something...”

Compared to spreadsheets, license management software with real-time connectivity to NIPR is the gold standard when it comes to ensuring organizational compliance with state requirements in all jurisdictions.

3. Spreadsheets Don’t Help You Keep Up with Regulatory Updates

Compliance management software platforms from reliable providers are continually updated to capture regulatory changes from all 50 states. That’s hardly possible for a busy license manager, and not necessarily a good use of time. Missing a regulatory change can result in delays that require extra work for your licensing team. And at worst, it can lead to late fees, statutory sanctions, or disruptions to a producer’s or entity’s ability to transact business in a particular state.

Contemporary insurance license management software makes staying compliant with changing regulations easy, while spreadsheets put that burden on license managers. 

4. Onboarding Using Spreadsheets Can Lead to Lost Revenue

The faster you get new producers onboard, the faster they can begin selling. That’s highly attractive to agency management. Processes that depend on spreadsheets and manual license filing may not seem slow now. But once you’ve migrated to a license management platform, you’ll discover how quick and easy onboarding can be. And how that can get producers selling faster.

Producers need to be producing. The Compliance/License Management function can make a meaningful contribution to the overall business by making the onboarding process faster.

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5. Modern Systems Aid Employee Retention & Recruitment

Employee retention is an ongoing challenge for agencies of all sizes. One thing that helps retain top talent is an environment that leverages technology to create a pleasant, efficient workplace. Using older technology can contribute to employee stress, burnout, and turnover. Meanwhile, organizations with excellent technology enjoy a reputation as a good place to work. Good places to work are able to retain top talent while reducing recruitment time and costs.

The connection between technology and employee satisfaction may not be obvious. But it’s real. Recruiting and training new employees is expensive. Making compliance/license management less stressful and more efficient can be a cost-effective employee retention strategy.


The Business Case for Acting

Sure, you can “get by” managing your license portfolio with spreadsheets. But in today’s hyper-competitive business environment, getting by isn’t enough. A good insurance license management solution like Creative Compliance Hub does more than help you get by, it helps you get ahead.

As a compliance/license management professional, you can help your agency operate efficiently, avoid compliance lapses, and contribute to a culture of excellence. Choosing to stay with spreadsheets can’t offer any of these benefits.

At 3H Corporate Services, we work with insurance professionals regularly to help manage their insurance licensing and provide cost-effective software solutions. Sign up for a demo of Creative Compliance Hub today and see how our platform can transform your business.


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