Online payments for policyholders launched on November 19. In the two months since, we have received positive feedback from you and your clients. We have also received some questions about this new service - and payments in general - and want to share answers to the most common ones.
Top Seven Questions:
1. Can agents use the new online payment website?
No. This service is for policyholders only. Agents can still make electronic payments on behalf of their clients through TWIA Policy Center.
2. Are there any fees associated with policyholder online payments?
It depends on what payment method the policyholder chooses:
- Echeck: No fee
- Credit, debit, or ATM card: The policyholder will be charged 1.99-2.99% of the policy premium payment (see percentages here). This is a convenience fee charged by the credit card processing company and TWIA does not receive any funds from it. The fee is non-refundable.
3. How will agents know if their policyholder’s online payment went through?
The best way to know a policyholder’s payment status is to check their policy status in Policy Center (please refer to the New Business Submissions and Renewal Status job aids for details on how to check a policy status). As was the case before policyholder online payments, agents are not notified when TWIA receives a payment from a policyholder regardless of whether we receive it by mailed check or through the online payment website. However, agents do receive a notification when the policyholder’s Declarations page is available in TWIA Policy Center after TWIA receives the payment and issues the policy.
4. Where can policyholders and agents find the TWIA account number policyholders use to make their online payment?
The TWIA online account number can be found on the payment coupon mailed to policyholders in their renewal packet, on the billing statement, or on the notice of cancellation (see an example coupon here). Digital copies of correspondence to policyholders are available to agents in TWIA Policy Center.
5. How long after the agent submits an application until the policyholder can make an online payment? How long until TWIA receives the payment?
TWIA’s systems update the third-party online payment website three times a day: at 6:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. CT. Policy applications become available for online payment after the next file transfer time. Renewals become available for online payment 60 days before the policy expiration date.
Payments submitted after 5:00 p.m. CT will be processed the next business day according to Underwriting guidelines. Payments will be posted using the date they were submitted in the online payment website.
6. Will the policyholder be notified of any changes to their policy application that are made after the renewal offer is mailed?
No. If the agent makes a change to the policy application after the renewal offer is mailed, the policyholder will not be notified of the change – or how it affects the premium payment amount due. This is important because the policyholder may make a payment for the amount due in their renewal offer without realizing that additional money is still owed. And they will not know additional money is still owed until they receive a Notice of Cancellation. Please alert your policyholders if you make any such changes to their application. Agents can access the policyholder’s Billing Statement to verify any amount still owed in Policy Center and send policyholders a copy.
Renewal offer letters are mailed 60 days before the policy expiration date.
7. What is the maximum ACH payment amount agents can make to TWIA through Policy Center?
Effective January 14, 2021, agents can make ACH payments by Echeck or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) up to $99,999. Before January 14, 2021, the maximum was $20,000.
Resources for Agents
Still have questions? Some of these resources may have the answers:
- These questions and others are posted with their answers here.
- The TWIA Agent Training Center includes a recorded training webinar and PDF of its slides.
- The TWIA Payments webpage includes information about payment methods, installments, and mailing methods.
- This webpost includes information about payment mailing methods.
As always, our Agent Services team is also available to help. They are available at email@example.com or (800) 788-8247.