September 18, 2020

DealerPolicy adds mobile feature

DealerPolicy, a digital insurance platform that allows customers to compare quotes for car insurance while still in the dealership, is adding a mobile option, the company said last week.

The expansion comes during increased remote and digital change in dealerships as the nation copes with the coronavirus pandemic. The tool, FastPass, allows customers to view insurance quotes with the dealership’s assistance at the store or at home.

The company’s goal is to connect customers to more affordable insurance policies as many struggle with monthly vehicle costs, and to help dealerships sell more finance-and-insurance products. Mike Burgiss, president of dealer solutions at DealerPolicy, said the mobile feature was tested at select dealerships in the spring and rolled out officially Aug. 13.

To initiate the process, dealership employees enter a customer’s cell phone number and vehicle identification number into DealerPolicy’s back-end software. DealerPolicy will text a secure link to the customer’s phone, which will launch the program in a web browser. From there, customers can compare insurance quotes from about a dozen providers. They also can video-conference with a DealerPolicy employee who will be an intermediary between the insurance company and the customer.

By allowing customers to use their own devices, “the FastPass feature fits with remote and virtual selling perfectly,” Burgiss said. “The person can be anywhere when they’re doing that.”

Ruben Arcila, general sales manager at DCH Kay Honda in Eatontown, N.J., a dealership that has worked with DealerPolicy for several years, said the new remote capabilities appeal to customers who are looking to finalize more of the vehicle transaction at home.

“We’re trying to expedite the customer’s visit. They’re hesitant. … We’ve adapted to the times,” Arcila said. “We do as much as we can prior to coming into the dealership for the sake of time management and also that we keep an eye on our capacity levels.”

On average, DealerPolicy says, its dealership partners save customers $63 per month on insurance costs, which can translate to 34 percent in additional F&I gross profit. Every time a customer renews insurance with the same carrier arranged through DealerPolicy, dealerships can earn additional money from the program through commissions, Burgiss said.

The process, which DealerPolicy refers to as its Digital Dealer Agency Program, involves establishing a separate LLC within the dealership and certifying an employee as an authorized seller of property and casualty insurance through the program. That employee becomes a licensed sub-producer of DealerPolicy but is not required to sell insurance outside of the DealerPolicy process. The program launched in July 2019.

“We have a legal team and a compliance team, and we shepherd the process,” for participating dealerships, Burgiss said. “That allows dealers to earn on a recurring income basis, and really it’s just a commission check.”