Prevent Duplicate Files When Processing Downloads

When you process downloads, it is very important to recognize instances where duplicates in customers and policies may occur. Some agents input the customer and policy information as they sell the policy or import it over from a rater. Others add the customer when they take a payment. This creates customer records in the database that the actual company download may or may not recognize depending on the customer’s name, exact policy number, or exact address.

For Example:
Joe Smith came in to pay for a policy premium. The CSR added him in the database as Smith, Joe living at 123 Main St. When the policy came across from the download the company had him listed as Joe R. Smith living at 123 Main Street. Although we know they are the same person and same address, computers look at technicalities such as the middle initial and “street” being spelled out instead of abbreviated. .

When the download comes across and you are viewing it in the download manager, the policy may say Smith, Joe R. and be listed as New Business. It won’t be giving you an error message saying “Error Customer Not Found” or “Error Policy Not Found” because it is assuming that as a New Business transaction it will just create a new customer file. Here is where the duplication would occur. The download manager isn’t giving an error message, but if it is common practice in your business to add customers to the database as they come in the door, make payments, or add them to the database via rating software, then all New Businesses need to be looked at and processed accordingly.

You would need to double-click on the Smith, Joe R. record selector and then from the drop down box under WinAA Data (in the center of the screen) choose Smith, Joe from your list of customers. This will prevent the program from creating a duplicate customer entry. Depending on whether or not you entered a policy or not, will determine how you handle the policy drop down box.

As a general rule, you do NOT want to select policies from the drop down if you are processing a New Business and Renewals. HOWEVER, in the example we are using today, you are allowed to select the policy from the list IF you want to overwrite what is in the database currently. If you used a rater to import the policy over, and want to replace that data with the information coming from the company, then yes, you would select a policy from this drop down as well.

Pushing the receive button at the bottom will post this data to the database, overwriting and replacing current data as specified. It will not create a duplicate entry.

As mentioned in the “Handling Discrepancies” of the “Processing Daily Downloads” article, here are a few tips to determine when you need to match up customer name and policy information.

  • If you want to replace the data (like in the examples used in this article), match up the customer name AND customer policy number – it will overwrite all data in the current policy.
  • If the Download Manager doesn’t detect an existing customer folder or if they aren’t in the drop down list, the Download Manager will create a new one for you.
  • If the customer has been detected, but the policy number isn’t in there, leave it blank, the Download Manager will create a new policy for you.

When you get an error message “Error customer not found” or “Error policy not found” as a general rule, the only time you will select Customer Name only is with Renewals and New Business. For Policy Changes and Cancellations, you would select the Name and attempt to select the matching policy from the list. As always, if you cannot find the person or the policy that this download is referencing, leave it blank and it will create it for you.

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