Post Update July 25, 2012 – If you think the concept of “going green” is only a recent trend in the efforts of businesses and people to conserve precious natural resources and make our environment more sustainable – then think again! The fact is, car insurance company businesses both large and small have for decades tried to be forward thinking and to include what are now commonly called “green initiatives” into their business plans. It also makes good business sense, because “going green” does not have to be an either/or proposition. “Thinking green” can save money, increase efficiency, enable a business to serve customers better, and help the environment all at the same time!
Regardless of the common cry that “evil business empires” are ruining the United States’ pristine natural resources in their quest for profits at all costs, smart businesses have learned that adopting green technology helps the environment at the same time it helps to cut business overhead and increase the bottom line.
Car Insurance Company Says Going Green Benefits Everyone
In 1996, InsureDirect.com, a car insurance company, became one of these early innovators. As President of the largest tri-state car insurance agency in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio, I was very concerned with the amount of copy paper our Lansdale, Pennsylvania car insurance company office was purchasing annually. I wasn’t happy with either the price or the thought of where all the paper we were printing was going once we disposed of it. I estimated that we were purchasing over 50 Million Sheets of paper every year to print , truck insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance and car insurance company applications. All that blank copy paper was costing InsureDirect near twenty-five thousand dollars a year! We performed a utilization audit and discovered much of the paper we were using was utterly wasted on copying and recopying the same new insurance applications for the purposes of filing, reporting, and forwarding information to our car insurance company. A few year before, all the auto insurance companies we represented stopped providing us with blank auto insurance application. They provided us with rating software which incorporated an auto insurance application. Not only did we now need to print the application, we needed to copy the same completed and signed auto insurance application for our records. Of course, we mailed the original to the auto insurance carrier.
I shared my concerns with our Copy Machine vendor, and learned about what was then a new technology when. I was introduced to scanning. A business could scan any document into a computer and then have that same scanned document forwarded via Fax, sent by Email or stored as a permanent record on a computer hard drive. The technology could even convert the printed words on a paper form into searchable text so that even more efficiency and greatly enhanced customer service could be realized when searching for an important document or record of an auto or home insurance transaction.
So, not only were we able to use document scanning technology to cut our purchasing of copy paper by 80% (and save a good number of trees in the process), we also eliminated the need to constantly buy new filing cabinets every month to store new auto insurance applications. Not only did we end up saving $200 on the purchase of new filing cabinets each month, we were also able to cut the area we needed to heat – over 1000 Square feet of office space being used to house nearly 100 Filing cabinets – reducing what’s come to be known as our ‘carbon footprint’ by a significant amount. These changes also reduced our monthly expenditures has allowed us to repurpose those funds into hiring more customer service people. That not only provided our customers with a better experience, it also helped set up InsureDirect.com as a licensed insurance organization that excels in serving our customer’s needs in everything from getting the right auto insurance in NJ, PA, OH, the right Homeowners Insurance, Trucker Insurance coverage at the lowest possible price to resolving any service issues with industry leading efficiency.
Today, with these measures having been taken 15 years ago, I estimate that InsureDirect has saved nearly 100 trees and passed on the savings of what would have been over $100,000 in copy paper and filing cabinet purchases.
So, if you’re a business person, even if you haven’t really been thinking of ways to include Green technology in your business, taking your company paperless is a great place to start. The savings to your business and your contribution to helping the environment will be a plus for everyone in your community! And, if you’re a potential customer of InsureDirect, consider that our commitment to green business practices not only helps our business to run more efficiently and to keep our planet healthier, but also delivers a better buying and customer service experience to you at the same time. Going Green is one of those rare win/win opportunities where everyone can benefit!
Michael E. Dortch
President & Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
(800) 807-0762 ext. 602