Applied Net 2020 Session Recap: Applied Epic Certificates of Insurance
Insurance | Connections Editor | Feb 11 2021
Insurance professionals that work within Applied Epic understand the intricacies and comprehensive capabilities of the system. For our latest Applied Net 2020 session deep dive, we speak with Brenda Nevil, assistant vice president with Alliant, who provides highlights from her session, “Applied Epic Certificates of Insurance” to help users better understand the COI process and how to master this functionality.
Connections: Why is prep work so important when it comes to Certificates of Insurance in Applied Epic?
BN: Individuals should take advantage of the one input / multiple output opportunities Applied Epic provides. Below is an overview of the prep work steps within the COI process:
- Enter your Other Named Insureds and Addresses as Business Contacts on your clients; when you need to show this Other Named Insured on a Certificate Holder you simply select it from a pop-up list – there is no need to manually key in the information every time it is needed.
- Enter Liability limits in Application detail to create coverage variable options. (This helps eliminate potential E&O issues.)
- Mark Additional Interest on applications to get a Certificate which will automatically populate name and address when a template is created. Staff still need to select coverages, enter DOO information and associate attachments.
Connections: What are the major benefits of understanding how to create a Certificate Master and issue individual certificates of insurance?
BN: We have worked with Agency Management Systems other than Epic where they had system limitations that required staff to create “multiple” certificate templates so they could show (1) other Named Insureds, (2) various combinations of coverage and (3) various certificate attachments. With Epic, all of this information can be stored at the “certificate holder” level, eliminating the need to create and maintain multiple templates. This one item is a real time-saver at renewals.
Connections: Can you provide a breakdown of the different steps involved in the prep work phase (i.e., creating a Certificate Master, adding attachments, adding a Holder, etc.)?
BN: When a new client is acquired, staff may need to generate proofs of insurance “ASAP”, and it may be tempting to cut corners when adding a client. I discourage this. Staff should take the time to do the following:
- Add Other Named Insureds/Addresses the client uses as business contacts.
- Even if you don’t have time to complete full Application detail, enter the various liability limits (General Liability, Business Auto, Workers’ Compensation and Umbrella). In configuration, an agency or borkerage may have marked the box that prohibits staff from issuing a proof with limits higher than the Insured purchased — the source of truth for this number is the limit entered on the Acord Application. This is a great E&O deterrent, but only if the application limits are being entered.
- If Additional Interests are added to the Acord application and staff mark the “certificate” box on the application when they create a certificate master template, the name and address from the application automatically populate in the template saving time and keystrokes. Staff still need to enter holder details (e.g., coverage(s) that apply; description of operations wording; associate attachments).
- Attach certificate endorsement files that you will use at the Account level, ensuring you have a label that will allow you to quickly locate them when adding a holder that requires the document(s) be attached. We encourage a naming convention that starts with the policy term and then a “hook” so you can find the documents quickly (e.g., "21-22 Cert Att CG-2010 AI").
Whether you are adding a single holder manually or importing holders from a spreadsheet, it’s important that the client has been added, contacts added, policy details completed and attachments associated before you create the certificate master.
Certificate master coverage label(s) will need to be copied/pasted into the holder import spreadsheet. It needs to be an exact match for the import process to work.
When adding a single holder user, you can quickly select from the drop-down variables that are associated with the individual holder or have defaults prepopulate limits if they always apply.
Connections: Can you talk a little bit about the process of importing a Holder?
BN: Epic configuration comes with default import/export holder templates for the following:
- Certificate Holder List
- Evidence of Commercial Property (Acord 28)
- Evidence of Property (Acord 27)
Additionally, an agency or brokerage has the ability to make modifications that impact all staff:
- Add items to the spreadsheet (selecting additional variables from a drop-down list);
- Remove items they don’t want;
- Change the order that the items will appear from left to right on the spreadsheet;
- And, configuration tells users about space limitations and required formatting (most agencies/brokerages limit who can work with configuration, so staff won’t know these details unless someone shares it with them).
It is also important to note where users can retrieve a copy of the Holder Import Spreadsheet. Your agency or brokerage may opt to save a copy on a shared drive for users to access. Additionally, users can also go directly to their client in Applied Epic to secure a copy of the spreadsheet via the following steps:
- Locate account
- Click on Proofs of Insurance
- Single click on Certificates (or Evidence)
- Click on Actions / Export Holders
- In the pop-up window if a default file doesn’t populate select it from the File definition dropdown
- Under Export Options give it a name (e.g. Blank Holder spreadsheet)
- Click the Disable delivery options box (whether you print, fax or email the output file Epic will automatically put an Excel copy in the client’s Attachments view)
- Click Continue
- Holder list will be blank – click Export
- Click Yes to begin exporting holders
- The first of the Add Activity screens appears – if you have multiple structures for your client ensure that you select the correct agency/branch combination before clicking Continue
- By default, Epic presents an Exported Holders Activity – if your agency has closed/hidden or inactivated this option you won’t see the Activity. If you do see the activity screen, make appropriate edits before clicking Finish
- User is returned to the Certificate Master list
- Click on Attachments to locate the blank Import spreadsheet
Please note that it is important that you do not alter the column order or headings. By using the above, you are now ready to populate details and complete the spreadsheet preparatory to importing your holders.
Connections: In addition to importing a Holder, what are some other capabilities users should be aware of (i.e., updating templates, issuing a Certificate batch, etc.)?
BN: During the policy term, if changes are made to the policy limits, staff needs complete the endorsement process requesting policy changes from the insurance carrier. The changes made to the policy application do not automatically update the template coverage options. Staff must select a template / coverage and “reselect” the updated policy (e.g., when you first selected the Liability policy it was associated with “Service Summary Row 1”, showing limits of $2M/$1 from the application; but, now you have “Service Summary Row 2” with increased limits of $4M/$2. Staff often forget this step where they need to “update” the template which will impact all new certificates issued for the remainder of the policy term.
If policy endorsements change at renewal (new carrier or new edition date), staff can use the “Update Holder Attachments” functionality after associating the attachment to the client. The “Update Holder Attachments” feature allows users to:
- Add an attachment to multiple holders at once by selecting them from a pop-up list
- Remove an Attachment
- Replace an Attachment
When issuing a Certificate batch by default, Epic will put them in alphabetic order by certificate holder. For larger clients with multiple named insured or state locations, Epic does allow users to determine the order the holders will generate.
- In the “Issue Certificate” pop-up window on the “Holder Distribution” tab, users can click on the “Set Distribution Order” link where they are presented with several options, including saving a PDF copy of the Holder Pack on their computer.
To learn more about Certificates of Insurance within Applied Epic, click here for the full handout from the session.
Tags: Insurance , Applied Net , Applied Epic , Tips , Certificates