Dovetail: Creating a superstore for small commercial insurance

Small business shouldn’t mean small insurance solutions. For agents serving small commercial enterprises, getting the right policies for their clients should be easy and effortless from start to finish.

Enter Dovetail for Agents. Mike Ferber, CEO of Dovetail Insurance, said the relaunched platform aims to be the equivalent of Amazon for small commercial agents. Dovetail is part of global managing general underwriter Victor Insurance Holdings.

“It’s one place to get all the products that an agent is looking for to service a small commercial business,” Ferber told Insurance Business.

“Think of your beauty salons, nail parlors, accountants, or contractors like plumbers or electricians: people that have small storefronts and footprints but need insurance. They will go to their agent and that agent will utilize Dovetail to both quote and buy.”

Using the platform, agents can enter their client’s information once and get quote options for business owners’ policies, cyber, general liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation from multiple top rated insurance carriers.

With an intuitive user interface, Dovetail for Agents empowers agents to quote, bind, and issue policies within minutes. “What makes Dovetail for Agents different is that the agent can buy the policy from our site, right in the same place that they just quoted,” said Ferber.

“It truly is like buying something from Amazon. I go in, I see what products I want to buy, I get recommended additional products that maybe make sense for me. I put those things in my shopping cart and buy,” he added.

Value for agents and carriers

Ferber said Dovetail for Agents is unique among its competitors for several reasons. While some platforms charge agents a subscription fee or hold on to a portion of premiums generated through their site, Dovetail for Agents is a completely free service. There are no annual fees or broker fees.

“There’s really no barrier to getting appointed with us. Raise your hand, we’ll check your licensing, get you a login, and you’re free to quote,” he continued.

Dovetail for Agents also hosts its own service center. Users can call, email, or use an online chat feature to receive policy support or quoting assistance from licensed insurance professionals. Additionally, the platform helps agents manage the referral process with carriers.

“We have dedicated underwriters that are aligned specifically to Dovetail from our carriers. When an agent wants to refer something, they simply indicate this and we take over the process,” explained Ferber.

“We help the agent not only get educated on those products and how to sell them, but we’re giving them a platform to sell it through. We reduce their costs to acquire and to service those policies,” he added.

Ferber highlighted efficiency as a major value point for Dovetail. A single client data input to the platform rapidly generates several quotes at once, empowering agents to streamline their business and gain an edge over competitors.

Ferber added: “A tool like Dovetail for Agents will help [agents] provide better service to that potential policyholder. They’ll have better advisory service as to what insurance products new small-business owners need to be successful.”

For carriers, Ferber said partnering with Dovetail will give them access to Victor’s broader expertise: “We bring the ability for those carriers to not only do business with Dovetail, but to do business more seamlessly with other parts of our parent organization. As I like to say, if you build it once, we use it in multiple places.”

Growing Dovetail

Dovetail for Agents is currently available in all 50 US states. But Ferber indicated aspirations to expand internationally. “We’re going to perfect our footprint in the United States and be very opportunistic about moving internationally,” Ferber affirmed.

Dovetail also plans to expand its product offering and add more carriers to its current lines of business, widening its coverage.

“There might be a specific class code that we’re missing for a product, which means we’ll be looking for carriers to help us get that class code. We don’t want the agent guessing whether they’re going to get a quote when they come to Dovetail. We always want to give them a quote,” said Ferber.

The platform will also grow to embrace offers from its parent firm, Victor. “We have plans to bring all Dovetail and Victor products together into one platform where the agent can service all their clients in a Victor superstore,” added Ferber.

Michael Ferber is chief executive officer of Dovetail responsible for the company’s overall strategy, service, and product delivery.

He has over 25 years of technology, process-effectiveness and change management experience. Prior to joining Dovetail, Ferber was the chief information officer for ICAT, also a Victor company. As CIO for ICAT, his role was a business position with responsibilities in the areas of technology, digital and user experience strategies, as well as operational processes.

Prior to joining ICAT, he served as senior vice president of change management for Lehman Brothers’ mortgage division in Denver. Prior to Lehman Brothers, he spent five years with GMAC leading operations and technology within their mortgage banking division. Early in his career, he spent seven years with Ernst & Young, as well as technology start-up companies.

He holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Indiana University.

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