4 Critical Traits of a Successful Digital Innovation Partner
A persistent soft market and a crop of new start-ups are driving competition among insurers all vying for customers’ attention and loyalty. Given the challenging environment, digitization has become a critical strategy for insurers of all sizes.
Small and medium sized companies leverage technology to get a leg up on the big players still grappling with legacy systems. But bigger and older carriers can likewise hold on to their competitive edge by taking advantage of modern tools and embracing digitization.
Cutting out manual, paper-based methods maximizes efficiency, but it also eases communication with brokers and insureds, improves overall customer experience, and helps to attract and retain talent.
An explosion of InsureTech companies have burst onto the scene – roughly 1,000 so far – to meet the demand for technology solutions. But do they really check all the boxes insurers need?
To harness the benefits of digital innovation, insurers require a technology partner that understands their business and brings multiple best-in-class capabilities to the table.
Excellent user experience is a critical piece of modern technology platforms that legacy systems sorely lack.
Policy administration systems that are accessible by desktop computer, laptop, tablet and cell phones allow users more flexibility. Integration with the web through an online portal not only makes device independence possible, but also allows for communication with other admin systems in separate departments.
“Legacy systems often can’t communicate with each other,” said John Flavin, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer, Delphi Technology. “Sharing policy updates with stakeholders across departments is a long and cumbersome process with these monolithic systems that can’t talk to one another.”
Along with flexibility and convenience, a modern user experience also provides greater speed and consistency. Web integration allows for real time updates, so users see the most updated version of a policy or product definition every time they log on.
“Customers expect that processing be done in real time. Whether it’s real time quoting or real time access to policy information, they expect to see the point-in-time view of a product when they log into the portal,” Flavin said.
Speed allows for faster collaboration on a product and the ability to make changes quickly, which ultimately allows insurers to get to the market faster.
Self- Service and Flexible Configurations
A modern system that allows communication between policy administration systems and multiple stakeholders also enables a degree of self-service by both underwriters and policyholders.
“Typically, if you want to know if a product manager has filed a rate revision or made any updates to a policy, you would have to contact them directly, and that can lead to a game of phone tag. What we’ve done with our Delphi Accelerator workbench tool is allow visualization of the data for all parties,” Flavin said. “A standalone product workbench designed to interface or integrate with any policy admin system is a new concept.”
Stakeholders can view product definitions, coverages, rates and forms and other filings without disturbing the product manager, potentially saving a significant chunk of time. Product managers in turn can take advantage of flexible system configurations to make adjustments in the product workbench and deploy it to multiple admins systems, rather than having to reconfigure products in each system separately.
“Generally what happens today is the configuration happens in the policy admin system, and medium to large insurance carrier may have anywhere from five to ten policy admin systems. They would need to configure a product in each system individually according to its unique tools,” Flavin said. “What we’re trying to do with Delphi Accelerator is eliminate that configuration, and allow product managers to do that configuration one time and then publish it to the five of the ten different systems that they have.”
Likewise, agents and policyholders can access their insurer much more readily using digital tools and online portals.
“Digital innovation has allowed carriers to provide better service to customers at times that are convenient for them,” Flavin said.
Technology partners who deliver the best customer experience also have deep knowledge of the insurance industry. This is where InsureTech companies often can’t compete. As pure technology companies, they sometimes lack an understanding of the processes and needs of insurance carriers looking to modernize old methods.
“Having the tools to digitize processes is all well and good, but understanding of the insurance marketplace and regulations is necessary in order to use those tools effectively,” Flavin said,
“The insurance business is still about the people, the product and the process, and digital tools should exist to aid those processes, not replace them,” he added. “Tools should help insurers connect with their customers in the way that customers want to connect, and deliver products in the way customers want to receive them.”
Technology providers with an acute sense of what product managers need can develop the tools that best soothe those pain points.
Leverage Industry Data
The ability to pull in industry standards definitions and updates, and then layer in carrier-specific definitions, is another advantage of modern tools.
“No longer do product managers have to read through paper pages of bulletins and circulars from industry-standard rating agencies like ISO and NAAS,” Flavin said.
The Delphi Accelerator workbench tool can import that data and centralize it, making it easier for managers to analyze and reconfigure as necessary to meet carrier-defined specifications. Then, Delphi Accelerator can export that data to Delphi Policy.
Delphi Policy is designed to be flexible and configurable. It can not only accept and use the content that Delphi Accelerator provides to it, but also allow for external data sources to help pre-fill external applications or supply the underwriter with additional data so they can make more timely decisions regarding risk eligibility and acceptability.
Delphi Accelerator and Delphi Policy were built to support a number of different data providers. Their ability to import and export data lets the system act as a central data hub and the primary site for policy changes.
“Digital innovation for insurance companies will largely take place behind the scenes. With Delphi Accelerator and Delphi Policy, it’s about creating the product offering and tweaking it before it’s exposed to the market,” Flavin said.
Modern, digital tools that open up communication between multiple parties, increase ease of doing business, and cut out paperwork helps to create space for innovation.
In a fast-paced world where technology changes almost daily, insurers need to innovate to survive, especially with increasing competitive pressure from startups and nonconventional insurers who are better positioned to take advantage of the latest tech.
To learn more about Delphi Policy, visit www.Delphi-Tech.com.
This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Delphi Technology Inc. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.