Article | July 20, 2022
The worldwide marketplace is undergoing a host of structural changes and insurance companies are consistently working to capitalize on them. The past few years posed a number of new challenges. For an industry whose primary promise is to “be there when customers need us,” delivering top-notch timely services is not only crucial for business continuity but the most urgent goal. Inspiring trust through every process of the policy lifecycle is a significant factor for insurers to be able to maintain goodwill in the market. Recent pressures proved that the industry needs a systemic metamorphosis and digital solutions may be able to provide them.
This is also why many industries are jumping on the bandwagon of digital transformation and insurance is no different. With a barrage of new technologies, solutions and software, it has become easier to automate processes and eliminate inefficiencies that hamper day-to-day-operations. One such area of transformation is insurance policy management. Forward-looking insurers today, can start by rethinking their policy management framework.
The Importance of Automated Policy Management
Simplifying all internal processes is a priority for many insurance providers worldwide. Much of the insurer’s business outcome hinges on streamlined workflows, seamless document management and effective use of different tools. In policy management, mitigating risk is another significant aspect that impacts the bottom line. Today, insurers are heavily investing in new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotic process automation, data analytics and much more.
Policy management entails the comprehensive process of administering policies. From pre-sale to renewal to claims, at every stage of the policy lifecycle, insurers must ensure a smooth process at every stage. Some of the stages of policy management that can be enhanced by using automated policy management tools which include:
It’s clear that insurance policy administration system (pas) encompasses all the main business processes of an insurance company and the importance of policy management is enough to invest in high-quality solutions that span the policy lifecycle.
The Must-Haves of Policy Management Software
A smart insurance policy management simplifies the process for both the insurer and the insured. For insurers, it should be able to optimize resources and save time in administering policies. For example, life insurance policy management system can help a provider scale their operation, introduce flexibility and administrative simplicity. Here are the components of a policy management solution that is a must-have for every insurance provider. For the insured, the solution can help organizations not only provide a smooth experience
Policy Issuance, Update and Cancellation
The most significant must have that an effective policy management solution should have, is the ability to digitalize every aspect of policy administration. This includes being able to generate documentation, centralize records and oversee all operations across the policy lifecycle.
For instance, everything should be synced so that any updates are made universally across all documents. This eliminates doing manual changes to all the records. In addition, with technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), repetitive tasks can be automated and reduce the time it takes to process documentation.
Underwriting is a process where individuals or firms take financial risk for a fee. In insurance, underwriters are responsible for evaluating the degree of risk to the insurer’s business. It is in essence a manual process that comprises extensive research and assessment of the prospective policy holder. For instance, medical underwriting consisted of ascertaining the charges to levy or even whether to provider coverage to them based on an applicant’s health condition.
Even though underwriting is a time-consuming process, it doesn’t have to be tedious. Underwriters need to access data that is spread across a range of different platforms and sources. Automated policy management enables organizations to accelerate the process of data collection and collation. This is why, automation in underwriting functionalities is one of the most important features of a policy management software that is a must-have.
Estimates and Quotes
Holistic policy management tools are incomplete without quote estimate capabilities. Quoting allows insurers to generate leads. With automated quoting features, insurers can provide estimates without having to directly contact customers, saving time and money in cold calling. In addition, it helps insurers to gather the information they need to then target their leads and tailor solutions that meet consumer expectations.
Quality policy management systems include these capabilities. They work by letting customer input their information and receive a quote estimate based on it. For insurers, in addition to providing leads, it lets them engage customers from the start itself.
Renewals is a critical stage in the policy lifecycle. Overseeing renewals and reducing customer churn is something every insurer must prioritize. Renewals handling amplifies the importance of policy management software that offer renewals management tools.
Renewals management features allow insurers to alert policy holders about the ending of their coverage and provides a timely reminder to renew it. Since renewals management tools offer ready information for insurers to access, customers need to update fewer fields. It not only reduces customer churn but contributes to an easy, fast, and customer-friendly process.
Claims processing is when an insurer reviews a claim process to verify and authenticate the claim made by the policy holder. As a core business process, claims management and processing needs intelligent systemization. Insurance policy management tools that integrate claims processing will enable insurers to automate the settlement process.
Modern policy management tools sync different systems so insurers have a centralized database and can simplify tasks like assigning claims, detecting fraud, record payments issued and automatically generate reports.
Regulations and Compliance
Insurance is a heavily regulated industry and insurers must keep up with the many compliance and location-specific regulations to avoid hefty fines. Regulatory policies are also subject to change and can often realign processes to protect consumers. This may sometimes cause insurers financially. However, complying with new regulations is a business necessity and policy compliance management solutions help immensely.
Insurers must be able to monitor any changes in global and local policies or keep an eye out for announcements regarding the change in rates or regulations. Many insurers have a team to do this but maintaining a team is costly and causes operational complexities.
Modern policy management tools offer the automation capabilities that eliminate the need for extensive overhaul or insurers to keep up with new regulations. These policy compliance management tools help in detecting breach and minimizing it. They also enable better resource allocation as teams no longer need to monitor new and upcoming regulations and plan for implementing the change.
Customer support is one of the most critical aspects of policy management. Beyond software and applications, being able to meet your customers’ demands, address their concerns throughout the customer lifecycle is vital in order to meet business objectives on time.
With digitalization transcending platforms and devices, policy management tools today need to be able to keep up to meet customer demands. This is why mobile-ready policy management solutions are a must. They allow insurers to respond to customers quickly and keep channels of communication open and flowing. In addition, features like quoting estimates and claims processing that accelerate policy administration and management in a streamlined manner are bound to keep customers happy and reduce churn.
Some policy management tools come with marketing automation capabilities as well as a CRM that lets insurers deliver a great experience right from buying decision to ongoing support.
There is no denying that digitalization is the future and insurers need to be ready to adapt to new challenges and evolving demands from consumers. Policy management tools not only enable insurers to overhaul their core process but simplify it and eliminate operational inefficiencies.
The importance of policy management cannot be understated. Age-old challenges and bottlenecks of managing millions of policies can be mitigated with comprehensive policy management solutions. The above components are the most critical process your organization should look to simplify. These essential features ensure you are able to optimize resources, improve operational efficiencies, streamline processes and translate all these into enhanced customer experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does insurance policy management differ from other policy management tools?
Insurance policy management is a specialized solution that caters to insurance companies and enables them to manage renewals, claims, underwriting and all other processes associated with managing an insurance policy for their customers. Other policy management tools help organizations frame policies and management internal policy documents.
What is an insurance policy lifecycle?
An insurance policy lifecycle starts with generating a quote for the customer, onboarding the customer’s application, and finally setting the payment of premiums and renewals. When a policyholder claims insurance, the insurer has to process the claim, verify its authenticity then accept the claim fully or partially or reject it.
What are the ways the insured can choose to pay for the insurance policy?
The insured can either pay a lump sum amount or choose to pay monthly, yearly or quarterly. These payments are called premiums and are calculated based on certain condition set by the insurer.
Article | July 19, 2022
Automated claims processing, price comparison platforms, mobile bill paying—these are just some of the digital services that insurance customers expect and insurers want to provide. As the demand for digital skyrockets, so does the need for insurers to invest in IT. In the past seven years, the share of IT in total operating costs of property-and-casualty (P&C) insurers increased 22 percent. The rise of digital means technology is no longer a cost center. Rather, it is an asset that, if managed well, can increase growth and profitability.
But do these IT investments pay off? As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates already increasing cost pressures, insurers’ IT budgets are under scrutiny; they want to see the business impact of their IT investments.
Insurers with targeted IT investments achieve better growth and performance
Data from McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking survey provide strong evidence of the positive business impact of targeted IT investments. In fact, insurers that invest more in technology outpace competitors that don’t pursue targeted investments in business measures such as gross written premium (GWP) growth, return to shareholders, and expense and loss ratio (exhibit).
As an example, in life insurance, companies that invested more in IT saw a greater reduction in expense ratios (by 2.0 percentage points) and higher returns on technical reserves2 (1.7 percentage points) when compared with insurers with lower IT investments. Insurers achieved these outcomes within three to five years of making their investments.
For P&C insurers, those with high IT investments achieved approximately twice the top-line GWP growth of low IT investors. High IT investments also produced a greater reduction in combined ratios when compared with those with low IT investment.
Four areas for targeted IT investment
So what kinds of technology investments can help insurers achieve growth and improve productivity and performance? Investments in four areas are critical:
Marketing and sales: Marketing technology solutions can increase sales and processing efficiency, improve the quality of core customer-facing processes such as policy inquiries and policy applications, and improve customers’ overall experiences. McKinsey’s Insurance 360° benchmarking data show that tech investments in this category can facilitate top-line growth for P&C insurers by up to 20–40 percent; for life insurers, that growth could be 10–25 percent over a three- to five-year period.
Underwriting and pricing: Automated underwriting fraud detection can improve the likelihood that insurers correctly identify fraud and set accurate prices. A pricing tool kit that analyzes pricing across competitors and enables a flexible, more segmented market versus technical pricing further improves profit margins. Insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 10–15 percent in P&C insurance and 3–5 percent in life insurance.
Policy servicing: Workflow automation, artificial intelligence–based decision support, and user experience technologies in policy servicing and within IT can improve the customer self-service experience and automate back-office processes, thus reducing IT and operations expenses. And state-of-the-art self-servicing options will reduce processing times and even improve customer experience. An analysis of programs for large-scale insurance IT modernization finds that insurers that deploy these and other product, pricing, and underwriting technologies have seen improvements in their profit margins by 5–10 percent in P&C insurance and 10–15 percent in life insurance.
Claims: P&C insurers can use automated case processing—machine-learning technology trained to process basic claims cases—to segment more complex cases and significantly improve claims accuracy. Combined with better partner integration and steering technologies embedded in a transformation of the claims operating model, such technologies can help P&C insurers improve profit margins by 25–40 percent, according to McKinsey analysis of large-scale IT modernization programs.
To realize the full value of IT investments, insurers must strategically allocate their resources and view tech as an asset, not a tool.
Core Insurance, Risk Management
Article | August 4, 2022
In the financial services industry, reliance on big data has been increasing at a global level. The usage is not limited to marketing purposes alone but extends to fraud and risk prevention. Customer demand for personalised products is responsible for this shift. The future of insurance is also being shaped differently due to this. The current lengthy questionnaires won’t be needed at all. Just the data collected will help to accurately predict risk and create policies customised to the person’s needs.
Article | July 15, 2022
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations have increasingly entered the mainstream of investment discussions, both through routine incorporation into traditional investment processes and through distinct sustainable or impact investing styles. Recent and current global conditions, such as extreme weather events, the inequitable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising distrust of government institutions, and geopolitical challenges to a rules-based world order, have accelerated this trend, emphasizing the direct relevance of ESG and sustainability to understanding long-term market risks and opportunities.
Until recently, equity investors were more concerned with ESG and sustainability than their fixed-income counterparts. That is, however, beginning to change, and at a rapid pace. ESG and sustainability have gained significant traction among bond investors, particularly since the implementation of COVID-19, and are now widely regarded as essential components of fixed income investing. For example, global sustainable debt issuance reached a new high of over US$1.6 trillion in 2021 and is expected to rise further in the coming years. Notably, we believe that ESG integration and sustainable fixed-income investing require a very deliberate, thoughtful approach — one that varies significantly from one fixed-income sector to the next.
ESG and sustainability:
At a high level, researchers believe that increased awareness of ESG and sustainability benefits global markets in two ways:
1. ESG integration allows market participants to think more holistically about the types of financially material risks and opportunities — such as physical, reputational, and (geo)political — that should ideally be reflected in asset valuations and taken into account during the routine portfolio construction and management process.
2. Furthermore, the conversation about sustainable investing is encouraging more market participants to look beyond narrow, issuer-specific investment thesis to consider how market participants' behaviors affect the broader systems and structures (e.g., climate stability, institutional strength) whose long-term viability is critical for the long-term health of economies and markets.
We, like many others, believe that a stable global climate, clean air and water for all, adherence to the rule of law, strong institutions with broad public legitimacy, and broad-based access to economic opportunity are valuable public goods from which market participants would benefit collectively over time. As a result, a central goal of sustainable investing is to assist markets in evolving toward rewarding participants for exercising responsible stewardship of these public goods, which are critical to pursuing favorable long-term outcomes for the real people who are the ultimate beneficiaries of markets. This framing of sustainability highlights why fixed income is so important in moving global markets and economies in a more sustainable direction.