Sponsored: Delphi Technology Inc.

Insurers Challenged By New Technology Driven Landscape

A legacy administration platform that is modern and adaptable to ever-changing market conditions is critical to P&C insurers.
By: | February 1, 2017 • 5 min read

A host of new technologies is creating a new reality for insurers; one that includes competition from non-traditional players and small carriers, and one where speed to market is more critical than ever to gain an advantage.

Technology has made it easier for more entities to enter the market. Smaller, newer insurers typically have more updated systems and can adapt to change more nimbly, giving them an edge over their larger and older counterparts. Non-traditional companies, specializing in the creation of new tools, apps and software, are starting to fill a need for customers and agents that previously fell to insurers who now may be struggling to keep up.

“Carriers are under siege from non-traditional players,” said John J. Flavin, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer, Delphi Technology. “They’re starting to edge in to provide modern systems and additional data sources for the industry, agents’ manual processes for collecting information are fading out.”

As with any change, those who can’t adapt quickly stand to fall behind.

To succeed in this new reality, insurers need to shed the constraints of their legacy administration systems in exchange for a more modern, flexible platform that conforms to changing customer demand quickly and can get products to market ahead of the competition.

Overcoming Cumbersome Systems

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John Flavin, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer

Legacy policy administration systems are built on code and can only be changed with the help of a skilled programmer changing code by hand on the back end. No handy user interface here. Updating and maintaining products means enlisting the IT department, and the process can be complex and time consuming.

Additionally, legacy systems allow little room for communication and collaboration with either internal stakeholders or external parties like agents. This adds even more time to the project of updating a policy and gaining approval from those parties. Collecting data from agents and input from other stakeholders, and incorporating that information into the product through a legacy system is time-consuming. Those delays matter when speed to market is a key competitive factor.

A flexible, rules-and-tools based system, on the other hand, can more easily conform to a carrier’s workflow and adapt to change.

Delphi Policy, built on Delphi Technology’s new Velocity platform, provides that flexibility.

“Delphi Policy is a rules and tools based modern platform that allows carriers to respond to market needs and connect with their customers more easily. It becomes the central point of contact from a point-of-sale perspective for underwriters to do business,” Flavin said.

A flexible platform like Velocity can support both a collaborative workflow as well as increasingly popular straight-through processing. Straight-through processing, or automated underwriting, allows policy submissions or renewals to be processed start to finish almost entirely untouched by human hands.

As long as a submission meets criteria set by the underwriter, the system can generate a quote, bind the coverage and issue a policy. The underwriter would only have to look at those outlier submissions that trigger what Flavin calls underwriting referrals or “knockout” questions: responses that fail to meet certain criteria like loss ratio, premium, class code or loss history threshold requirements.

With a modern system, underwriting management has more freedom to set underwriting  criteria and mandatory questions themselves. This increases the quality of submissions, processing efficiency and the performance of the underwriter.

Modern systems can integrate with 3rd party data sources to pre-fill submissions, which significantly cuts down on the time it takes to collect relevant information and provides the user with a better online experience.

Delphi Policy’s ability to import and export data to other modules so other parties can view it also allows for communication and collaboration between underwriter, claims examiner, billing manager and agent. This makes for a more interactive user experience for colleagues, agents and customers and allows the underwriter to quickly resolve any questions.

“Policyholders are getting used to communicating with agents and carriers in a variety of electronic methods,” Flavin said. “The Velocity platform supports that collaboration, exchange of information and interaction with role based, context sensitive access to information.

Prepping New Products with Delphi Policy

In conjunction with Delphi’s Accelerator product workbench, underwriters can maintain rates, rules and forms for existing products or create new ones in a “sandbox” environment, allowing them to test launch and share new policies with stakeholders before going to production. The Delphi Accelerator dashboard — a central, business-friendly work area that provides access to multiple tools and modules simultaneously — deploys products directly to Delphi Policy when they’re ready for production.

“It takes months of code and/or configuration in order to create and launch products in a test environment with legacy systems. It takes a lot more research and business planning to decide if you want to deploy your resources to create a test bed of any kind,” Flavin said.

With Delphi Accelerator, it’s easier to react to market demands. Product managers can test out new deductible or coverage options, and model a book of business based on the changes. And because changes can be made using a built-in tool, rather than through adjusting code in the back end, business users don’t need to call in IT to get the job done.

Because Delphi Policy is available as a cloud-based solution, it can take hardware maintenance out of the equation altogether. And with the integration of Delphi’s claims and billing modules, it provides a one-stop-shop suite of tools for full policy lifecycle management.

To learn more about Delphi Policy, visit www.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.

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4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.

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That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.

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Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]