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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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The Profession

The risk manager for Boyd Gaming Corp. says curiosity keeps him engaged, and continual education will be the key to managing emerging risks.
By: | May 1, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

I was trained as an accountant, worked in public accounting and became a CPA. Being comfortable with numbers is helpful in my current role, and obviously, the language of business is financial statements, so it helps.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

Working in finance in the corporate environment included the review of budgets and the analysis of business expenses. I quickly found the area of benefits and insurance — and how “accepting risk” impacted those expenses — to be fascinating. I asked a lot of questions. Be careful what you ask for — I soon found myself responsible for those insurance areas and haven’t looked back!

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

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I have found the risk management community to be a close-knit group, whether that’s industry professionals, risk managers with other companies or support organizations like RIMS and other regional groups. The expertise of the carriers and specialty vendors to develop new products and programs, along with the appropriate education, will continue to be of key importance to companies going forward.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

As I’m sure many in the insurance field would agree, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 changed our world and our industry. It was a particularly intense time and certainly a baptism by fire for people like me who were relatively new to the industry. This event clearly accelerated the switch to the acceptance of more risk, which impacted mitigation strategies and programs.

Bob Berglund, vice president, benefits and insurance, Boyd Gaming Corp.

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

The fast-paced threat that cyber security represents today. Our company, like so many companies, is reliant upon computers, software and IT expertise in our everyday existence. This new risk has forged an even stronger relationship between risk management and our IT department as we work together to address this growing threat.

Additionally, the shooting event in Las Vegas in 2017 will have an enduring impact on firms that host large gatherings and arena-style events all over the world, and our company is no exception.

R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?

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With the various types of insurance programs we employ, I have been fortunate to work with most of the large national and international carriers — all of whom employ talented people with a vast array of resources.

R&I:  How much business do you do direct versus going through a broker?

We use brokers for many of our professional coverages, such as property, casualty, D&O and cyber. We are self-insured under our health plans, with close to 25,000 members. We tend to manage those programs internally and utilize direct relationships with carriers and specialty vendors to tailor a plan that works best for team members.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

I have been fortunate to have worked alongside some smart and insightful people during my career. A key piece of advice, said in many different ways, has served me well. Simply stated: “Seek to understand before being understood.”

What this has meant to me is try everything you can to learn about something, new or old. After you have gained this knowledge, you can begin to access and maybe suggest changes or adjustments. Being curious has always been a personal enjoyment for me in business, and I have found people are more than willing to lend a hand, offer information and advice — you just need to ask. Building those alliances and foundations of knowledge on a subject matter makes tackling the future more exciting and fruitful.

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

Our benefit health plan is much more than handing out an insurance card at the beginning of the year. We encourage our team members and their families to learn about their personal health, get engaged in a variety of health and wellness programs and try to live life in the healthiest possible way. The result of that is literally hundreds of testimonials from our members every year on how they have lost weight, changed their lifestyle and gotten off medications. It is extremely rewarding and is a testament to [our] close-knit corporate culture.

R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?

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Some will remember the volcano eruption in Iceland in spring of 2010. I was just finishing a week of meetings in London with Lloyd’s syndicates related to our property insurance placement when the airspace in England and most of northern Europe was shut down — no airplanes in or out! Flights were ultimately canceled for the following five days. Therefore, with a few other stranded visitors like myself, we experimented and tried out new restaurants every day until we could leave. It was a very interesting time!

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

I am originally from Canada, and I played ice hockey from the time I was four years old up until quite recently. Too many surgeries sadly forced my recent retirement.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

That’s a funny one … I am a CPA working in the casino industry, doing insurance and risk management, so neighbors and acquaintances think I either do tax returns or they think I’m a blackjack dealer at the casino!




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