July 18, 2012

How to Shorten the Paper Trail

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Even with the rise in popularity of e-mail, many of us still are inundated with good old-fashioned mail–from advertisement sections, credit card offers to paper copies of bills you’ve already paid online, to your pet’s veterinary appointment reminder. If you leave your home or office for a week, you can practically count on becoming buried in paper. If you’re handling certificates of insurance, piles of paper can quickly become mountains. Luckily, there are some easy strategies to shorten the paper trail, and regain control over your desktop.

  • Use communication templates when requesting certificates of insurance.
    A quick way to cut down on the amount of time you spend communicating with agents, vendors, contractors, and more when requesting and verifying certificates of insurance, is to establish and use e-mail templates. If you ever feel like you’re typing the same thing over-and-over; you probably are. Most e-mail platforms allow you to save messages as templates. Simply type out the bulk of the message you are sending often, leaving spaces where you can fill in specifics as needed. Save each template with a name relating to its function, so you can easily find and use as many templates as needed. You’ll be surprised how much time this can free up to attack those piles on your desk or in your inbox.
  • Provide sample certificates of insurance.
    Whenever you issue a new contract or lease, provide a sample certificate that identifies your requirements. This quickly and conveniently communicates the most important and relevant information about required coverage, in a format that is easy to understand and recognize. Just like above, setting up digital templates on which you can fill in information can make it easier to complete and send off sample certificates immediately, allowing you to move on to the next task at hand.
  • Communicate by e-mail.
    Though there are many businesses that still choose to use old-fashioned physical mail, the facts are that e-mail offers many more benefits.. It is faster (almost instantaneous), cheaper, and simpler to track and store. By choosing e-mail, you’re actively shortening the paper trail for yourself and others; your vendor can easily forward e-mails related to certificate of insurance on to their agent to speed up the entire process and communicate more effectively. With the post office raising rates and considering dropping a whole day of service, if you haven’t switched to e-mail already, the time is now.
  • Tracking Certificates of Insurance.
    Anyone that has moved a file cabinet full of paper knows that it can be more than a chore. Fortunately, there are options to save time, space, and paper. Often, certificates of insurance and related paperwork can be filled out, filed and stored electronically. Just make sure you backup your files at an offsite location, or in “the cloud”, in case recovery is needed due to unforeseen circumstances. For additional peace of mind, you can have any insurance documents managed, filed, and kept up to date with myCOI’s certificate of insurance tracking services. You can save office space, time and reduce headaches by letting insurance professionals handle the insurance compliance documents that you need to track and retain to protect your business.

By using these simple strategies or outsourcing to an insurance expert, you can count on having a clean desk to work on, and streamline your communications so that you’ll have more time for all the other tasks that pile up. You’ll instantly feel better, and be more productive. Just remember not to shred or recycle anything too important!

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