Schemes Automation In the Digital Age
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
With a UK schemes market of more than £8b, the opportunity for growth is tremendous. But challenges persist around the profitability of schemes, due to processes and governance. Full digitisation is the only option and....
Making sense of your data
One of the biggest challenges insurers face, is the unstructured nature of data. For example, failure to adopt standardised bordereaux submissions, as Lloyds have, kills efficiency. If that data can become structured, the possibilities extrapolate exponentially.
Utilising solutions such as Safe Software's FME Server or Quantemplate, help insurers combat this problem. You can structure mixed data through automated workflows from many sources. The drag and drop nature of such solutions offers limitless flexibility.
By reshaping data received via an API, insurers can abolish bordereauxs. They'd automate the workflow to pull the required data at pre-determined intervals. That data is then distributed to the relevant parts of the business in a common format. If the format of the data needs to change, it gets reshaped again, back out through a workflow. A good rule of thumb is that; "If it doesn't have an API, we must not use it under any circumstances"
Be aware of the latest technology
Companies like Giroux are helping insurers render visual representations of that data. Picture a central scheme dashboard showing real time performance across key metrics. Claims. Growth. Conversion. Costs. Even performance against technical rates. The schemes team can have a real-time, high level view of their business.
Further afield, fraudulent claim detection from Shift Technology will reduce claims costs. TrackMyRisks will help end customers practice better risk management. Internet Surveys can assist you in increasing premium by tackling underinsurance. Brief Your Market can help your customers develop targeted marketing campaigns. Cytora can use your data to improve loss ratios, grow premium and tackle expense ratios. And finally, platforms such as Brolly and Worry+Peace can offer new routes to market.
These are but a handful of the solutions available. The opportunity to integrate bleeding-edge technology into processes will win back insurer's agility.
Bypassing Delegated Authority
One of many solutions is to turn the delegated authority model on it's head. Insurers can issue bespoke and tailored products from a centrally-managed system such as Moore Stephens' RuleBook or SchemeServe. By customising a product, the broker gets something unique to them, without ever issuing a DA and incurring all of that additional cost.
Furthermore, integrating the single system into your own ecosystem comes with obvious benefits. You can manage referrals in-house, automate claims feeds and change rates in real-time. You would never conduct an external audit again. The system provided would quote, or not quote. Platforms already and technology exist that can make this happen overnight.
Building An Ecosystem
Why not build your own schemes system that you can roll out as part of your proposition, trim commission and provide a ready-made IT solution. When pitching to customers on existing schemes, 'proof of concept' their products. Product configurators can work with underwriting teams to define schemes, direct to system, making changes in real time.
Schemes become a living, breathing part of your ecosystem and not a separate function. Better yet, give your schemes owners high level management information and dashboards to understand, in real time, how schemes are performing.
Make smaller schemes affordable
Whilst this will all reduce cost, some schemes are just too small. But what is stopping them getting bigger? Do you have a team whose sole function it is to work with these clients to understand their pinch points? If you don't understand them, what if you're overlooking low-hanging fruit that could double, or treble the size of smaller schemes?
Leverage social media to the fullest
For goodness sake, will you please provide people with training on social media and how to leverage that channel?! In a previous role, 70% of the leads I closed came from social media. Being #1 on Google is all well and good, but it's a lot of work and expenses, particularly in more saturated areas. Social media is an incredible channel to use, but just a quick flick down your timeline now, will show you just how poorly the majority of your staff are using it.
Be careful picking a system
If your technology isn't working for you, what are you doing to understand these frustrations? Are you capturing day to day grips? Are you trying to improve things? Or are you just accepting that "this is how it's always been done"?
Now roll back to the very start. Honestly how many people did you engage in the process of picking a system? How many requirements did you truly take time to understand? Did you really get the bottom of what data Jim in accounts needs to do his job day to day? Did you let Mandy from underwriting have an input on what slows her down?
WRITTEN BY ED HALSEY
Any opinions expressed here are my own and not the views of any of my employers. They are personal views based upon a 15-year career in insurance across underwriting and sales roles at mainstream insurers, consultancy firms and technology providers.