The request from an agent to grant a book excerpt is often at the end of a contract relationship between the agent and the company. This end is often not characterized by peace and harmony. Even though it cannot be contractually excluded by both parties, companies often view the legal claim to a book excerpt as leverage for the agent. That is why this fundamental right often causes legal proceedings in all instances. These are expensive and cost a lot of time. However, it primarily is affiliated with the loss of reputation in the sales channels from the company and on the market. And this damage can very quickly end up costing much more.
When creating the book excerpt, insurance companies are subject to requirements regarding the content and design. The BGH judgment from 21.3.2001 - VII ZR 149/99 must be considered when doing so. The following information must be included in the book excerpt:
- Name of the policyholder
- Insurance policy number
- Type and content of insurance agreement (division, tariff type, special agreements relevant to premiums or commissions)
- Annual premium
- Beginning date of insurance
- For life insurance contracts: insured amount, starting age of policyholder and duration of contract
- Additionally for life insurance contracts with dynamization: increase of insured amount, time of increase and increase of annual premium
- In the event of cancellations: date of cancellation, reasons for cancellation and type of conservation measures taken.
This indicates that the book excerpt must represent a clear, organized overview. The agent is given a comprehensive opportunity for inspection and this must be clear. However, the obtainment of all data is a real challenge for many companies. These difficulties arise, for example, from inflexible old systems, faulty migrations or agreements on commissions and special payments that can no longer be found in their entirety. Ambiguous posts by employees who have long since left the company additionally provide for incorrect information and delays when creating the book excerpt.
Modern IT structure in specialist departments
The next challenge is to show this data in a logical and clear manner. Many companies are far away from a "book excerpt at the touch a button".
In principle, the book excerpt reflects the diligence of the company in dealing with agents and the consistency of the IT systems. The main responsibility for the creation of the book excerpt is in the system(s) for the calculation and billing of commissions.
The main reason for this is that data that is not available in the commission system cannot be processed correctly either. A specialist department that handles sales and commissions on a daily basis is definitely the correct partner for providing data for book excerpts. The specialist department can provide internal consultation for the legal department regarding all data that must be found in the book excerpt. Nevertheless, incorrect book excerpts are issued that exist due to unclear distributions of competencies in companies, affiliated IT systems and different interpretations of data.
In order to prevent this, a specialist department for commissions must work with modern commissions software and can then bring this data into an understandable and verifiable form. Changes and adjustments to the book excerpt, for example, due to legal provisions and decisions, must be made quickly, because this is the only way legal uncertainty can be avoided.
Book excerpt "at the touch a button"
If the "book excerpt at the touch the button" is a goal for a company, an examination of all relevant processes is a good start. There will be a simplification of the work processes throughout the project and at latest after the successful implementation of supporting software. This change is exciting and requires good and experienced change management. This process is successful if the specialist department can press the "right button" in the system in the end and immediately have access to a book excerpt from every agent and the data can be explained in correct form by the specialist department.
This transformation towards strengthening specialist departments is connected with a necessary change in culture. The winners of digitalization are qualified employees from specialist departments who can quickly and correctly perform complex tasks with modern system such as creating a book excerpt and can provide information about this. A win for every company and their reputation!