How OpenPhone helped Coterie Insurance bring services in-house

Industry
Insurance
Use cases
Customer support
Founded
2018
Headquarters
Cincinnati, Ohio
One of the things I love about OpenPhone is the upgrade mindset. They’re not complacent; they’re always looking for ways to improve their product.
Brian Thomas

Coterie Insurance represents the most underrepresented sector in commercial insurance: small businesses. Their Cincinnati-based team helps complete all the legwork for small businesses around getting an insurance policy. 

Coterie Insurance serves as a managing general agent (MGA) by writing the policy, completing the underwriting in-house, and handling claims on behalf of businesses. A core part of their offering is simplification. Coterie Insurance also streamlines the process of purchasing business insurance by integrating with the tools entrepreneurs and business leaders already use.

The challenge

When Brian Thomas, Director of Claims Experience at Coterie Insurance, joined the team, he was looking to build an internal claims organization. At the time, a third-party administrator handled claims. “As we had an internal claims mindset, a phone system was something we definitely needed,” says Brian. 

A traditional desk phone wasn’t a fit for Coterie as they have remote team members. Coterie then tried a business phone solution that Brian found “just didn’t tick all the boxes of what I wanted.”

There were so many features we were looking for and so many features I didn’t even know existed that it was a win/win situation when we started with OpenPhone.
Brian Thomas
Director of Claims Experience at Coterie Insurance
brian

Brian recalled coming across OpenPhone in a Google search. Then he spoke to one of the co-founders, Daryna Kulya, and discovered OpenPhone as something they could use for their business.

“There were so many features we were looking for and so many features I didn’t even know existed that it was a win/win situation when we started with OpenPhone.”

We can obtain the information we need to close the claim quicker.

The solution

Coterie Insurance started the rollout of OpenPhone with three team members including Brian and his supervisor working on claims. Since then, “it’s ballooned through to our marketing, product, and claims teams,” Brian shares.  

Using multiple business numbers

Coterie’s claims department has two shared numbers: 

  • A first notice of loss (FNOL) number that is a 24/7 line for anyone reporting a new claim (this connects callers to an outside vendor who can provide 24/7 support)

  • A claims team line for any claims previously called in

The claims team line distributes calls to Coterie’s claims team round-robin style. That way, calls go out in small batches until someone picks up — and they don’t miss calls during working hours. 

Coterie Insurance’s product and marketing teams each have phone menus with their department numbers to easily route calls to the right team members. 

Each person at Coterie Insurance also has a direct line.

As a remote team, Coterie Insurance can see when teammates are away or on lunch. “Instead of needing to ask, I can see the icon next to their name if they’re on a call. My communication takes a backseat until they are done with a customer,” says Brian. 

Streamlining insurance claims

Text messaging is also a big part of their daily communications. 

“One of the huge things here is we have to meet customers where they are. Text messaging is key,” says Brian. 

By meeting customers where they are, they can also speed up their claims process. “We can obtain the information we need to close the claim quicker,” says Brian.  

Brian’s claims team has claim numbers added to each contact’s profile in OpenPhone. Then when someone calls, they don’t have to ask for it and can provide more personalized customer service. Under each contact’s profile, they have:

  • Their name

  • Phone number

  • Email address

  • Claim number

Reviewing conversations and KPIs

Coterie also can quickly catch up on conversations. “I don’t have to click in one tab for calls and another tab for text messages. If I send a photo, a voicemail,  or have a recorded phone call, everything is in the same conversation, making it a lot easier,” says Brian.  

Speaking of productivity, Brian uses OpenPhone analytics to monitor his direct reports’ KPIs.

“This helps me be a more effective leader. For example, if you look at voicemail length time, voicemail length time should be 15-20 seconds on average. If you see their voicemail length time is 1-2 minutes on average, that’s probably so they can say everything they need to say in a message without having to talk to them later,” says Brian. “Then I can ask, ‘do you not have time during your day to call people back?’” 

As Coterie Insurance grows, Brian knows OpenPhone will continue to be a major part of their tech stack — and grow with them. 

“One of the things I love about OpenPhone is the upgrade mindset. They’re not complacent; they’re always looking for ways to improve their product,” says Brian.

Bottom line

OpenPhone allows Coterie Insurance to be more responsive and provide customers with a tailored experience, despite the many moving parts that make up their marketplace business.

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OpenPhone helps Coterie Insurance ensure they provide their customers the best experience possible while still saving time on their end. That’s a win/win.

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