Insurers Challenged By New Technology Driven Landscape
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
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.
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.