Frequently Asked Questions
And, more importantly, answers.
Q. What components make up NextAgency?
There will eventually be three of them. Right now there’s NextBroker, our agency management system, and NextHR, our employee management system. In 2018 we expect to launch NextMarket, where you and your clients will find products and services to help you grow your businesses. To learn more, please use this site’s navigation menu to visit the NextBroker and NextHR pages .
Q. What’s the difference between NextBroker and NextHR?
NextBroker is an agency management system that helps brokers sell more easily and effectively. NextHR is a basic and straightforward employee management system that makes it easier for your clients to track employees time and attendance, onboard new employees and send employee data to vendors like payroll companies.
Q. What does NextBroker do?
NextBroker helps you sell more business, more easily and provide better service to your clients. It also helps you operate more effectively and efficiently — a critical advantage in today’s market.
NextBroker is a powerful agency management system (AMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. With NextBroker you can:
- Grow sales with powerful CRM tools to track prospects from lead through sale
- Focus your team on what’s important with shared notes and tasks
- Improve customer service with our unique service pipeline
- Find the forms and files you need when and where you need them with our online agency library
- Keep commitments with comprehensive follow-up tools, including personalized to-do lists for your entire team
- Receive the compensation you’ve earned with commission tracking and reports
- Deliver greater value to clients by providing them with free employee management software
You’re already successful. You shouldn’t have to adapt the way you do business to fit your insurance agency software; that software should adapt to the way you do business. That’s why we built NextBroker to be simple and flexible. We also built it to be private and secure. After all, it’s your business. We make sure it’s protected.
Q. What does NextHR do?
NextHR helps your clients focus on their business by reducing the hassle of HR and benefits administration. Our time tracking tools enables employers to easily track time worked (and time taken off). We recognize your clients work with many different payroll companies, insurance carriers, ACA compliance firms and other vendors. That’s why NextHR’s powerful workflow engine and custom report generator empowers them to export this data in the right format to the service providers of their choice.
NextHR also helps your clients more easily bring aboard new hires, create libraries of benefit information and HR policies, and reach out to you through NextChat, our in-system messaging tool.
Best of all, you can provide NextHR for free to as many clients as you like, regardless of the number of employees they have. And their NextHR installation will feature your branding so your clients will know who to thank.
Q. What will NextMarket do?
NextMarket will provide you and your clients with the tools, services and products needed to succeed, often at a discount. For example, you and your clients will be able to find and save on web design and hosting services, find affordable legal help, discover voluntary and specialty benefits, and evaluate broker-friendly payroll systems and PEOs.
At NextAgency we understand and respect that the companies you introduce to NextHR are your clients. They rely on your advice and guidance. We don’t interfere with that relationship; we strengthen it. So you control which products and services your clients can access through NextMarket. Have your own preferred payroll company? They won’t see ours.
Q. How much does NextAgency cost?
NextAgency is a great investment because it’s both powerful and “simply affordable.” To see the pricing schedule please visit our pricing page. Please note, only users purchasing a broker’s license pay the licensing fee. Support staff are free.
There’s a variety of ways to save on our Standard Licensing fees. NAHU members save approximately 20%. And anyone can save by purchasing a longer license. (We offer monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annual payment options).
Q. Does each broker in my agency need a license?
Yes. Your agency will need to purchase a NextAgency license for each Writing Broker and Administrative Broker using the platform. Support Staff may use the system for free.
Just because an individual is licensed as an insurance agent or broker does not mean they are considered a broker in our system. You may find that signing up a licensed agent as support staff works just fine. Our on-boarding team can help you decide.
Q. If I’m a Admin Broker can I make anyone I want a Writing Broker?
Yes, you can purchase a NextAgency license for anyone in your agency and assign them the role of Writing Broker or Admin Broker (please see the “Roles and Permissions” FAQs for more details). Please know, however, users you sign-up as a broker-user will appear on homepage of your clients’ NextHR platform. Consequently, broker-users should be licensed agents.
Q. Is there a single agency bill or are brokers invoiced separately?
Your agency receives a single invoice showing all the users in your agency. We charge a single credit card for all the brokers (Administrative or Writing) associated with your agency. There’s no charge for Support Staff.
Q. Can I pay for our licenses by check?
For now we only accept American Express, Mastercard and VISA. No checks.
Q. How do I or my Writing Brokers claim the NAHU discount?
When you sign-up for NextAgency you’ll indicate whether you’re a member in good standing in the National Association of Health Underwriters. We immediately apply the discount (which amounts to about 20%). Then we check with NAHU and confirm you’re a member. If you’re not showing as a member we’ll contact you so you can work things out with NAHU. If it turns out a user is not eligible for the discount, we’ll charge the agency’s credit card for the difference.
Q. I’m not a NAHU member now, but I’d like to join. How do I do that?
When you sign-up for NextAgency you’ll be able to join your local NAHU chapter as part of the process. Or you can join now at NAHU.org. In many states, the discount we offer NAHU members more than covers their NAHU dues. Even if it doesn’t, NAHU is a tremendous value. NAHU represents brokers’ interests in Washington and your state capital, provides powerful education and compliance tools and offers the chance to network with professional colleagues.
Q. I pay annually, what if I hire a Writing Broker in the middle of my license year?
We pro-rate license fees so all the brokers in your agency have the same renewal date. New users are pro-rated whether you pay for a month, quarter, semi-annual, annual or two-year license.
Q. What if somone leaves my agency, can I use their NextAgency license for another broker?
Yes. When you remove a broker from NextAgency mid-license period you’ll receive a credit equal to the unused term of the departing broker’s license period. We’ll apply that credit to any new brokers you add to the system and your credit card will be charged only the remainder.
Q. What happens if I cancel my subscription?
Unlike some vendors that try to lock you into multi-year contracts, you can cancel your NextAgency subscription any time. Your subscription will remain active through the billing period you have paid for. During this time you can continue to use NextAgency or export your data. (If you need extra time to off-load your data, call us. We’ll work something out). At the end of your billing period your subscription is deactivated.
Roles and Permission
Q. User roles within NextAgency clearly matters. Why?
To protect sensitive information and allow users to focus on what data they need to see, NextAgency provides you and your clients the ability to restrict who sees what inside NextBroker and NextAgency.
In NextBroker, users are either: Administrative Brokers; Writing Brokers; or Support Staff.
Your agency must invest in a license for Administrative Brokers and Writing Brokers. Support Staff, however, are may use NextBroker for free. (Please see the Pricing FAQs for details).
Q. Who are Writing Brokers?
Writing Brokers are brokers signing up under an agency set-up by an Administrative Broker. Their name appears on all communications with their clients and on their clients’ NextHR portal. At its simplest, people in your agency writing business in their own name are Writing Brokers. Writing Brokers have access only to the data their Admin Broker permits, which by default is just the Writing Broker’s own data. While Writing Brokers can invite support staff onto the platform, a Writing Broker’s support staff can only access data their Writing Broker can access.
A license must be purchased by Administrative Brokers and Writing Brokers, but not for Sales Support.
Q. Support Staff use NextBroker for free? Who are they?
Yes, there’s no additional charge for your Support Staff to use NextAgency. They have the same access as the Writing Broker or Administrative Broker with which they’re associated. However, Support Staff’s name and contact information do not appear in your client’s NextHR portal nor do they appear on forms. In addition, Support Staff cannot add or modify NextBroker users.
Q. Who are Administrative Brokers?
Administrative Brokers are the power users in your agency. They assign roles, can add and terminate users and have access to all your agency’s NextAgency data.
The first person in your agency to sign-up with NextAgency is given Administrative Broker status (this status can be changed later). This individual invites others onto the NextAgency platform. Administrative Brokers can assign others in the agency as Writing Brokers, Support Staff or even as other Administrative Brokers.
Be careful in assigning the Administrative Broker role, Writing Brokers have access only to the data of clients assigned to them, Administrative Brokers have access to all information associated with all clients.
A license must be purchased by Administrative Brokers and Writing Brokers, but not for Sales Support.
Q. Who assigns roles in my agency?
Administrative Brokers have the authority to invite Writing Brokers, Sales Support and other Administrative Brokers onto your agency’s NextAgency account. Writing Brokers can invite Sales Support users onto the platform. Sales Support users cannot assign roles.
Q. How do I assign a role?
- Log onto NextBroker and click on the down arrow next to your name in the header. Select “Account Settings” from the drop down menu.
- Scroll down to the “User Management” section (the third section on the right) and click on the “View/Edit Authorized Users” link.
- Click on the “ADD AN AUTHORIZED USER” button.
- Select the appropriate role from the drop down menu.
To change a current user’s role, simply click the pencil in the Actions column next to the user’s name.
Q. How do you protect data from hackers?
We can’t guarantee that information during electronic or email transmission or digital storage mechanism can never be hacked, but we take our responsibility to protect the data you and your clients entrust to us very seriously. When you or your clients enter sensitive information (such as sign-in credentials) our security protocols kick in. We adhere to among the highest available encryption standards, 256-bit SSL encryption. Data is transferred with high-grade TLS and multi-layered encryption at rest with AES-128. Encryption keys are stored separately from your data. Our employee’s access to sensitive data requires multiple authentications and is restricted to a limited number of authorized personnel performing specific tasks for our customers. When our personnel do not need access to critical data the information is either fully-or-partially redacted. For example, customer service reps will be presented with only the last four digits of an employee’s social security number whenever feasible.
Q. Is NextAgency HIPAA compliant?
Yes. As part of the sign-up process you and your clients will sign a business associate agreement with us. We then limit access to unencrypted versions of this information to only those needing such access. Of course, our ability to protect PHI is limited to protecting the information on our service. Once it is transferred or made available to you, your agency, your clients or authorized third-parties you or they are responsible for protecting your clients’ PHI.
Q. Who owns my client data?
You and your client do, not us. You give us permission to use the data to provide services, but you retain all ownership of it.
Q. What can NextAgency use client data for?
We use the data to make NextAgency useful to you and your clients. We allow those users with appropriate permission to view client data, print reports and the like.
Q. Will you communicate directly with my clients?
We will not send marketing messages to your clients without your permission. The only direct communication we have with your clients concerns the NextAgency platform. For example, we’ll provide them with information they need to use of the platform, let them know when maintenance is being done, and make them aware of NextAgency enhancements.
Q. Can NextAgency personnel access financial information of my client’s employees?
Our Customer Service personnel see only encrypted or masked versions of private data (e.g., only the last four digits of a social security number or the last five digits of a credit card number). Even our software developers cannot access unencrypted versions of social security numbers, credit cards, bank account information, and the like. Our IT engineers may be able to access this information, but only when required and subject to strict limitations and logging requirements.
If you or your clients voluntarily sign-up for our optional concierge onboarding service, our concierges may access sensitive data. This service uploads employee information (including benefits and payroll data) into the system. All of our concierge teams are based in the United States and subject to U.S. laws and regulations.
Q. Can I access the financial data of my clients and their employees?
No, unless they explicitly give you this access. Information your clients enter into NextHR such as their employee’s banking information is private. We know some of our competitors allow you and your staff to access this information, but we think this creates a serious liability for you. In the event of a data breach at your office you’ll need to justify the need for you and your staff to access your clients’ sensitive data. The authorities may not look kindly on your privacy practices if your clients don’t know you have access to this kind of information. That’s why we allow your clients to provide you access (by creating an account for you on their NextHR installation), but they have to make the decision to do so.
Q. What encryption does NextAgency use?
We encrypt user’s data—from login to logout—with one of the highest encryption standards available, including 256-bit SSL encryption (the same technology that banks use to keep your account information safe). Our in-house security team regularly reviews every security aspect of NextAgency. We also keep a real-time audit log of all data access and changes made by administrators, employers, brokers’ employees and our automated system. We also use outside parties to test our security and report to us any vulnerabilities they discover. We act quickly to address their findings.