You know that you need software of some sort to help you manage your insurance agency, but choosing the right one can be a challenge. It can be very tempting to consider free software, especially if you are on a tight budget as a smaller or independent agency. No matter how tempted you are to go with free software, however, it is a bad decision. Simply put, free insurance agency management software is likely to make your life harder and cost you more in the long run.
Take a closer look at why you should definitely pay for your management software.
Perhaps the biggest reason to skip the free management software is that it is unlikely to have all of the features your agency needs, let alone wants. You get what you pay for, and if you don’t pay for anything, you will miss out on incredibly useful features.
Even if you don’t currently think you need any of these extra features, you should think again. Many will save you time, letting you focus on other more important tasks. Others reduce your risk of errors, something that can save you time and money. Yet others help you attract more clients to your agency, whether that is via marketing features or something like a client portal.
For example, the following are all features that you can get with our insurance agency management system that you would be hard-pressed to find on free software.
- Client portal
- Email integration
- Automated email marketing
- Carrier downloads
- Commission manager
- Media files
- Customizable reports
Another significant hurdle with free agency management software is the lack of support. If a piece of software is free, it likely has incredibly limited support. You may have access to an FAQ or community forum, and that may be the extent of the support. If there is a live chat or number to call, it will have very limited hours and long wait times.
This means that if you run into an issue, you will have to figure it out yourself. That’s especially problematic considering that free software is less likely to be user-friendly.
By contrast, if you pay for agency management software, some of the money you pay goes toward the company paying a dedicated support team to help you. This means that you will be able to get any issues resolved quickly and with minimal to no effort on your end.
Because of the lack of funding for free software, there are also likely to be incredibly limited updates. You may think you don’t need updates because your chosen free software already has everything your insurance agency needs. But that’s not the case.
First of all, the industry is growing and changing, and new technological functions are being created to make your agency run more smoothly. You’d miss out on these without updates.
Security Is Especially Important
More importantly, updates improve the security of your software. This is important for any type of business, but it is especially important for an insurance agency because of the sensitive information that you keep in your system. You do not want to risk client data being hacked, as you could face serious legal consequences.
Safety and Security Concerns
Speaking of security, the software itself may be unsafe if it is free. In the worst case scenario, you think you find free software, but it ends up stealing your client information or infecting your computer with a virus. Or maybe it is legitimate but just isn’t secure, leaving your data vulnerable.
Hard to Use
As mentioned, it is common for free insurance agency management software to be harder to use than new software. This comes from the lack of resources that go into developing the software. That means that while the software is usable, there may be a high learning curve, and even then, it will be more time-consuming.
In addition to being hard to use, your free software is unlikely to come with training. By contrast, paid software will either include training or offer training via support. At the very least, the support team will be on-hand to answer your questions and help you use the software.
Its Future Is Unknown
One of the major often-overlooked considerations for insurance agency management software is its future. With free software, this is up in the air. If the developers decide they are no longer interested in it, it may develop bugs that go unfixed or just cease to exist. Or maybe the developers will decide to make it paid in the future. In that case, they may charge a very high rate based on the assumption that you won’t want to bother changing.
By contrast, paid insurance agency management software companies are better established. If you choose one with a good reputation and history, such as Jenesis, you can trust that they will be there for years to come and will not have any sudden surprises.
While free insurance agency management software may seem tempting, it will cost you more time and money in the long run. It can also expose your agency to security risks and mean you are missing out on crucial features to help you run your agency smoothly.