Providing insurance for “everything weird and wonderful that makes other insurance companies cringe,” says Susan Etter, President of Professional Program Insurance Brokerage (PPIB), “is how we thrive.” Susan helped propel this specialized insurance company to the success they enjoy today. Located in the center of wine country, Sonoma County of California, PPIB specializes in quality insurance for cannabis, body art, and pyrotechnics, which would normally send other insurance companies running the other way. It’s true, tattoo shops and body piercers need insurance too.
Susan gives her thoughts on how Covid-19 has affected her agency and insureds’ behaviors, and she discusses the transformation digital payments and technology have made on PPIB’s strategy for the future.
A Brief History
PPIB still remains a woman-lead organization; created by Susan Preston in 1993 and is now a subsidiary of Specialty Program Group (SPG). Today the company is led by Susan Etter, who started as a client service representative 11 years ago. Finding herself involved in almost every department, she rapidly moved up through the company. As President, Susan believes her experiences served to prepare her to take the company into the future using solid strategy with technology at the core.
“When the Pandemic struck in Spring of 2020, Insurance Carriers saw a sharp increase in client service calls and unhappy clients. Agencies were forced to adapt,” Susan remembers. Panic and anxiety overwhelmed the insurance industry, but PPIB was committed to maintaining the highest level of service to their clients. They focused on being able to process client payments when California companies had to close their doors during the lock-down. PPIB quickly realized Agave could provide the perfect solution for their company. “The ability for my team to input premium payments over the phone directly into a payment portal while working remotely from their homes was a life-saver,” Susan mentions.
Using Agave’s technology, the outstanding customer experience PPIB delivers did not miss a beat. With 25+ years in Insurance, Susan has encountered many partner systems attempting to simplify workflows in the industry. “Our previous payment vendor had limited reporting capabilities and a very unfriendly web-based interface. Agave gives us a much more user-friendly interface that integrates with our proprietary system, making the whole process so much easier,” Susan recognizes.
Getting It Done as Partners
“Whoever we work with, it must be a partnership, and not a take it or leave it solution. From the beginning, Agave has listened and really addressed our specific needs with tailored solutions – that’s unique. Not enough companies do that,” Susan declares. From the beginning, Agave treated the relationship as a true partnership. Agave worked side-by-side to help PPIB quickly and effortlessly integrate digital payments with their proprietary system.
Agave’s expertise in Payments and Insurtech helped PPIB:
- Get digital payments up and running effortlessly
- Provide a seamless experience for their clients.
- Offer bold and inventive solutions that propelled them through the pandemic.
Tailored Solutions with Agave
Imagine how easy it would be if your client could quickly go online to your website to pay their premium from anywhere. Or imagine if you delivered a personalized portal your client can access anytime without you having to chase down their payment information over the phone. Agave provides just that! Like Susan, many of Agave’s partners love the flexibility and security of these self-service solutions for their customers.
Alternatively, you may have clients that prefer a more personal experience that requires a little more hand holding by calling in their Credit Card or Electronic check. Agave provides your team with solutions for these experiences as well. Our goal is to deliver solutions that meet your customer’s demands and create great experiences.
“It’s so easy and painless to offer these services which greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to process paper checks – for the client and for my team. We don’t have to chase down money or wait for mailed checks,” Susan voices.
“I would recommend using Agave to anyone in the industry. They are a great Partner!”