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No Paper In Your Agency's Future? Don't Bet On It!

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No Paper In Your Agency’s Future? Dont Bet On It!

Agents have been hearing for years the promise that their agencies will be paperless. One agency says it has managed to achieve a sense of that vision, but a consultant disagrees over whether this is truly a paperless office.

In Clayton, N.Y., Thousand Islands Agency has become a paperless agency, says owner Ed Higgins. With equipment already on hand, and within three months after creating the system folders for all his paperwork, the agency has gone paperless.

For an investment of less than $1,000, Higgins set up a couple of scanners at his employees work stations to allow them to scan, then throw away paper documents of any form. However, organizing it took a little tweaking of the software, and the chairman of the Independent Insurance Agents of America Agent Council for Technology admits most agents have only a novices interest in technology.

“The paperless agency, like the paperless office, is never going to happen,” says Judy Johnson, vice president and insurance industry analyst for the Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group, a technology research and consulting organization.

While Higgins has developed the file system on his computer, Johnson observes that paper still needs to scanned into the system.

This, Johnson points out, is an imaging system. While it works for Higgins, it would be too cumbersome for the average agent more used to leafing through a document than scrolling through a series of computer files.

Mark Ruquet is an assistant editor for NU’s Property & Casualty edition.

Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, August 13, 2001. Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.

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