Sponsored: Delphi Technology Inc.

Digitization and Automation: Bringing Speed Where it’s Needed

The Delphi Accelerator product workbench provides an automated approach that can give carriers a significant competitive advantage.
By: | October 25, 2016 • 6 min read

thinkstockphotos-125558951_700x525Technology offers advantages of speed, efficiency and accessibility, but it can also be a disruptive force. Insurance has struggled to keep up with the pace of advancing technology. As an industry, it manages vast amounts of data but also contends with bulky legacy systems that make it difficult to implement new solutions.

On the other side of the coin, technology acts as an equalizer for newer, smaller carriers that are better positioned to implement the latest tools, allowing them to compete on the same playing field as larger players.

When speed to market offers a critical competitive advantage, large carriers have to find ways to update old processes and harness technology’s benefits.

Product managers in particular shoulder the largely manual process of importing industry-standard updates, analyzing them, and implementing any changes needed to existing coverages. The multi-step process is both time-consuming and expensive.

“According to Novarica research commissioned by the ISO, any carrier performing this in a manual way without any electronic means to do the analysis and evaluation are about half as current and are spending twice as much money as carriers using some automation,” said John Flavin, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer, Delphi Technology, a provider of business software solutions to the insurance industry.

Large carriers with many product lines in multiple territories could be receiving circulars from The Insurance Services Office (ISO) on a weekly basis. Each one contains product definition updates that the carrier may have to implement either to stay compliant or simply to stay competitive.

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John Flavin, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer

Product managers have to compare the updates to their current product and examine what underwriting rules, rating algorithms and forms may need to change if the update is implemented — and how those changes will impact their book of business. They need input from internal stakeholders, including underwriting, legal, marketing, IT and actuarial representatives. And don’t forget external approval from regulators. All this before policy administration systems can be updated with the correct product information.

Completing each step of this process manually can take months, and a lot of dollars.

“On average, based on industry research performed for ISO, implementing an ISO circular completely manually costs about $45,000,” Flavin said.

In the meantime, companies with digitized methods are getting to the market sooner and nibbling away at market share.

Accelerating Product Management

Delphi Accelerator helps to digitize and automate this process.

Delphi Accelerator product workbench allows imports of ISO ERC and AAIS product data and rate tables into a central dashboard — a self-contained area where product managers have easy access to the information and tools they need to configure and maintain insurance products. Importing industry standard or proprietary content digitizes the content, making it easy to analyze and manipulate.

Key product processes can then be carried out in the dashboard: comparison and analysis of product definition changes for rate maintenance, configuration of product definitions to carrier-specific conditions, sharing with stakeholders and obtaining approvals.

Finally, updated definitions can be deployed from one central dashboard to many policy admin or point-of-sale systems. When done manually, there is no way to mass export new information to many systems from one source. Using Delphi Accelerator cuts down on the time it takes to make new product definitions available for the market.

This digitized process not only cuts months of work down into just weeks or days, but also yields significant cost savings.

“Using electronic means, ISO circular implementation costs 60 to 85 percent less than the manual method, according to research done for ISO by Novarica,” Flavin said.

Any new or updated products of course need both internal and external approval before they can be deployed. The sheer number of stakeholders involved in decisions to implement ISO changes, or launch or consolidate products, is perhaps the biggest speedbump for the insurance industry.

Delphi Accelerator’s dashboard packages new ISO, AAIS or proprietary content, product comparisons and impact analyses into a centralized and easy-to-navigate space where internal stakeholders can review proposed changes easily and deploy and maintain products. Without Delphi Accelerator, product managers have to configure carrier-specific product definitions separately on each policy admin system for different parties to see.

Quick Comparison

While there are many benefits of this technology, one of its most impactful features is its comparison tool.

“If ISO publishes a circular with rate changes, product managers can quickly compare the proposed changes to the policy definition that’s in place already,” Flavin said. “They’re able to see key pieces of information that make up the product definition, including coverages, rates, algorithms and domains.”

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Figure 1 – Rate Table Comparison Details – shows Deductible Factor differences between the Product Manager’s override in the “Factor” column and the industry standard table in column “A”.

The comparison tool helps product managers determine quickly whether or not a change needs to be implemented, but it also expedites the process of launching new products or consolidating existing ones.

“If a product manager is debating launching into a new territory, they could easily pull down that state’s industry standard product definition, layer on their own carrier-specific configurations, and start to run test quotes within Delphi Accelerator,” Flavin said.

Without automation, gathering ISO data and assembling test quotes to share with stakeholders would require a large chunk of IT resources, and a lot of time. Delphi Accelerator allows decision-makers to see proposed quotes in a test environment before publishing those quotes to a network of policy admin systems.

Improving the Bottom Line

Delphi Accelerator’s analysis features also help carriers capitalize on business opportunities by facilitating product consolidation.

More carriers are looking for ways to deliver the same coverages in a more efficient way in order to reduce expenses. In the current low interest rate environment, insurers can’t rely on investment income to bolster their expense ratios. Merging product lines offers a way to trim overhead expenses without compromising coverage or sacrificing premium dollars.

Take for example a business owner’s policy. Traditionally, this policy covers all the exposures that a small- to medium-sized Main Street storefront businesses might face — general liability, property, crime, business interruption, etc. Over time, though, the product has expanded in the market to cover independent contractors and various business services. Many BOPs now resemble a commercial package policy that is geared more towards more complex and specialized risks.

“Rather than maintain both a business owner’s and a commercial package policy, product managers may look into joining the two into a single product. This would cut down overall expenses while meeting the needs of both target markets,” Flavin said.

Delphi Accelerator’ s rating impact analysis tool allows product manager to create benchmark pricing for the new product and compare it to the books of business for the two original products.

“The rating impact analysis will help users to understand what the true premium change will be and how that impacts the overall book of business,” Flavin said.

“The gains in efficiency offered by automation are clear. The old paper processes simply won’t cut it anymore,” Flavin said. “Any carrier that can maintain, manipulate and share their content efficiently in a cost-effective manner will win the day.”

To learn more about Delphi Technology, visit http://delphi-tech.com/.

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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.




Delphi Technology is the recognized leader in technology solutions for medical professional liability insurance and an emerging provider of technology solutions for property and casualty insurance.

Risk Management

The Profession

As a professor of business, Jack Hampton knows firsthand the positive impact education has on risk managers as they tackle growing risks.
By: | April 9, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

Ellen Thrower, president (retired), The College of Insurance, introduced me to the importance of insurance as a component of risk management. Further, she encouraged me to explore strategic and operational risk as foundation topics shaping the role of the modern risk manager.

Chris Mandel, former president of RIMS and Risk Manager of the Year, introduced me to the emerging area of enterprise risk management. He helped me recognize the need to align hazard, strategic, operational and financial risk into a single framework. He gave me the perspective of ERM in a high-tech environment, using USAA as a model program that later won an excellence award for innovation.

Bob Morrell, founder and former CEO of Riskonnect, showed me how technology could be applied to solving serious risk management and governance problems. He created a platform that made some of my ideas practical and extended them into a highly-successful enterprise that served risk and governance management needs of major corporations.

R&I: How did you come to work in this industry?

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From a background in corporate finance and commercial banking, I accepted the position of provost of The College of Insurance. Recognizing my limited prior knowledge in the field, I became a student of insurance and risk management leading to authorship of books on hazard and financial risk. This led to industry consulting, as well as to the development of graduate-level courses and concentrations in MBA programs.

R&I: What was your first job?

The provost position was the first job I had in the industry, after serving as dean of the Seton Hall University School of Business and founding The Princeton Consulting Group. Earlier positions were in business development with Marine Transport Lines, consulting in commercial banking and college professorships.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

Creating a risk management concentration in the MBA program at Saint Peter’s, co-founding the Russian Risk Management Society (RUSRISK), and writing “Fundamentals of Enterprise Risk Management” and the “AMA Handbook of Financial Risk Management.”

A few years ago, I expanded into risk management in higher education. From 2017 into 2018, Rowman and Littlefield published my four books that address risks facing colleges and universities, professors, students and parents.

Jack Hampton, Professor of Business, St. Peter’s University

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

The Godfather. I see it as a story of managing risk, even as the behavior of its leading characters create risk for others.

R&I: What is your favorite drink?

Jameson’s Irish whiskey. Mixed with a little ice, it is a serious rival for Johnny Walker Gold scotch and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

Mount Etna, Taormina, and Agrigento, Sicily. I actually supervised an MBA program in Siracusa and learned about risk from a new perspective.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

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Army Airborne training and jumping out of an airplane. Fortunately, I never had to do it in combat even though I served in Vietnam.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

George C. Marshall, one of the most decorated military leaders in American history, architect of the economic recovery program for Europe after World War II, and recipient of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize. For Marshall, it was not just about winning the war. It was also about winning the peace.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

Sharing lessons with colleagues and students by writing, publishing and teaching. A professor with a knowledge of risk management does not only share lessons. The professor is also a student when MBA candidates talk about the risks they manage every day.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

Sensitizing for-profit, nonprofit and governmental agencies to the exposures and complexities facing their organizations. Sometimes we focus too much on strategies that sound good but do not withstand closer examination. Risk managers help organizations make better decisions.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

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Developing executive training programs to help risk managers assume C-suite positions in organizations. Insurance may be a good place to start but so is an MBA degree. The Risk and Insurance Management Society recognizes the importance of a wide range of risk knowledge. Colleges and universities need to catch up with RIMS.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

Cyber risk and its impact on hazard, operational and financial strategies. A terrorist can take down a building. A cyber-criminal can take down much more.

R&I: What does your family think you do?

My family members think I’m a professor. They do not seem to be too interested in my views on risk management.




Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]