When the team at Propel Insurance (formerly Bratrud Middleton Insurance) reviewed all of the steps in their process of developing surety bonds, it discovered a number of steps and areas of duplication. The agency realized that it needed to automate its surety workflow process.

Founded in 1923, Propel Insurance, Inc. is the largest privately owned insurance brokerage in the Northwest, providing insurance, surety bonds, advisory, and other financial services to more than 50,000 consumers and businesses. Headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, Propel employs over 200 people in its network of branch offices and generated $30 million in revenue in 2004.

The team went through, line by line, the steps involved in issuing bonds, from the initial call to getting the bond out the door. There were so many duplicate steps within the office, and so much paper – the company researched a number of solutions, but chose iAutomate: Erlon Surety. iAutomate: Erlon Surety is a software application that automates the surety workflow process, and helps insurance agencies develop error-free surety bonds quickly and easily.

Because Propel specializes in surety bonds, its very common for it to develop multiple bonds for the same project on behalf of its construction company clients. It has multiple CSRs doing the same thing, and often has seven or eight contractors bidding on the same job. This mean the team was manually typing the same forms for each bond.

The company chose iAutomate: Erlon Surety primarily because, unlike underwriting-based products or generic automation software packages, it was designed specifically for automating the surety workflow. The entire program is based on specific job details, contractor information, and surety information. It incorporates the common workflow and basic information needed to issue bonds.

Before automation, the agency was spending between 15 and 20 minutes developing each bond; with iAutomate: Erlon Surety, it has slashed the time to five minutes or less. In addition, the product has enabled the agency to maintain the same staffing levels despite significant growth.

In addition to the time and staff savings, the solution’s ability to check for errors and omissions is a significant benefit for the agency. CSRs enter initial job information for a project bid; when another CSR accesses that job, iAutomate: Erlon Surety displays any discrepancies in information. Issues that can cause a bid to be kicked out, including that it has a different job number for a project, or that a job requires bidders to use an owner-provided bond form, are flagged for the agency. iAutomate: Erlon Surety is a checks-and-balances system for agencies.