New TechCred Program Could Help Agencies Gain Valuable Training for Employees

Gov. DeWine recently signed House Bill 2 (H.B. 2) creating a program aimed at helping Ohio employers with filling existing workforce vacancies within their own company, as well as helping to “upskill” their current employees. The program, called TechCred, allows businesses to join training partners (such as universities, community colleges, Ohio technical centers, and private training providers) to apply for up to $2,000 in reimbursement for employees who receives a credential. While the TechCred program was rolled out last September, H.B. 2 codifies the program process and provides more guidelines as to how the program will be administered.

During the first grant window that was open last fall, the state approved applications from 234 employers resulting in 1,576 credentials being awarded to workers.

The second grant application window is currently open through the end of January. Businesses can join training partners to apply for up to $2,000 in reimbursement per employee who receives a credential via the TechCred program through Jan. 31.

With technology evolving rapidly in the insurance industry, programs like TechCred may help agencies gain the training needed to thrive in the future. Notably, credentials can be earned in the areas of information technology, business technology and cybersecurity.

TO Learn more about the TechCred program and apply:


ACORD Begins Charging Users: What Agents Need to Know

On Jan. 1, 2020, agents, brokers, carriers and others who use ACORD forms will need to begin paying to use the service.

But there’s good news for agents who access the forms through their agency management systems.

Big “I” National, OIA’s national affiliate, has negotiated an agreement with ACORD to cover the cost of End User Licenses when forms are accessed through an agency management system. This means that as long as you maintain an active OIA membership, you have access to a complimentary End User License for your agency.

If you currently use ACORD forms through your management system, you should experience no change in your workflow, with the exception of an initial, and then annual, validation of your membership.

But What If I Don’t Use a Management System?

If you don’t use a management system, your system doesn’t have a specific form you need, or you don’t use another authorized ACORD forms redistributor, there are two subscriptions available based on agency revenue.

Learn more 

Questions or need further help?

 Find more information on ACORD forms subscriptions and licensing requirements 

 Contact ACORD directly at or (845) 620-1700

 Read more about Big I’s agreement with ACORD 


Sales training for CSRs, Account Managers and their Leaders

We’re excited to bring you live, remotely-delivered sales training specifically for CSRs and account managers!

Designed to help increase cross-selling, up-selling and account-rounding skills, the program will help CSRs and account managers close business more confidently and more frequently. Plus, owners and managers get private “coach-the-coach” sessions to ensure successful implementation – all without leaving the office!

[Picture of Sheldon to the left] Delivered by Sheldon Snodgrass, acclaimed IACON19 speaker, the one-year CSR Sales Habit Builder program delivers engaging, live web-video coaching to build powerful habits that lead to a great company sales culture.

The CSR Sales Habit Builder program will teach CSRs and account managers to:

  1. Easily transition service calls into sales conversations

  2. Turn account review calls into account rounding and up-selling calls that are welcomed by clients

  3. Ask questions using an emotive sales process to sell beyond price and improve closing ratio

  4. Generate more referrals between departments and customers

  5. Stop wasting time remarketing policies every time a customer says, “My rates went up!”

  6. Create air-tight follow-up habits in response to “I’ll send it to you…” or “I’ll ask my spouse and call you back.”

  7. Confront fear-based, limiting beliefs that people hate to be sold or that they only care about the lowest price.

After working with Sheldon, one agency owner remarked, “Over the course of his coaching we saw a 73 percent increase in net new PL policies.

Get started!

To learn more or begin working with Sheldon, contact him at (413) 244-2294 and be sure to mention you’re an OIA member. He offers a 100 percent happiness guarantee – if after the first session you don’t believe the program will deliver on its promised results, you get a full refund and can keep all the program materials.

Learn More

Introducing OIA Technology Advisory Solutions

Planning technology changes next year, OIA can help…here is what to consider

OIA and Agency Insurtech have partnered to provide members with a dedicated CIO who navigates technology decisions with you. 

Our suite of services includes

  • a free technology consultation call,

  • an annual membership that provides on-demand insurtech support and quarterly insights,

  • strategy planning workshop that results in a tech blueprint for your team,

  • measurement plans to hold future solutions partners accountable, and

  • a complete vetting and diligence process that empowers you to make objective decisions for future growth and retention.

Do you want to know what solutions are best for you?  Which accountability questions to ask?  Who is the perfect match to meet your tech expectations?  

Visit and schedule a free consultation or fill out the contact form at the bottom of the homepage, reference OIA, and briefly describe your needs.


The Season of Giving and Nurturing is Upon Us

As we approach the holiday season, take the time to identify your key clients and reach out to them with a handwritten note, letting them know how much you value their business and relationship.

Taking 5 to 10 minutes and collecting your thoughts can pay significant dividends for your agency and adds another differentiator to your business. 

Even if you don’t have the resources to fully apply The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, which states that, for many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes) to your client base, select your top 10 and go from there.

To make your gesture even more impactful, record your efforts in a CRM and start sending notes outside the regular holiday season.

This is effective because it’s unexpected and will catch the attention of your insureds and not get lost in the shuffle of all their other holiday cards.

If you want to track your ROI, it can be as easy or as complicated as you would like.

We recommend keeping it simple to start and using the activities in your CRM or agency management system to compare renewals between those that have and those that have not received any cards.

As you get more creative with your nurturing strategy, start recording and building up a strong baseline so you can tweak and optimize your efforts in 2020.  

As you continue to invest in value-offering services such as chatbots, app portals, and digital payments, don’t forget to invest in your relationship with your clients.

Learn more about ePayPolicy

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Todd Sorrel is the co-founder of ePayPolicy, a digital payment processor founded by insurance experts for the insurance industry.  Being an entrepreneur at heart Todd is always improving processes and operations around the office and at home. When he's not speeding up receivables, securing payments, or working on his short game he loves spending time with his wife Meghan and their three awesome kids Paige, John, and Redford.

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