Caribbean Insurance Leader, Family Guardian, Begins Policy Administration Modernization with Equisoft

Family Guardian, a leading provider of financial services in The Bahamas since 1965, needed to modernize its aging legacy insurance policy administration systems.

Now 30-to-40 years-old, the company’s outdated infrastructure was proving to be an increasing liability when it came to finding operational efficiencies and improving the company’s ability to provide world-class experiences for its customers—two critical business drivers if they were going to stay at the top of the Bahamian market.

Home-grown legacy system headaches

Family Guardian’s policy admin system was a home-grown solution—built specifically to service the “Home Service Distribution Model” in which agents sell insurance, collect initial premiums and renewals in person.

The core systems supported this traditional method of selling and servicing insurance but, over the years the company had broadened its scope and reach, introducing new product lines to better serve their clients’ financial needs—including Financial Services and Group Life and Health. The core systems needed to be able to support all of those business lines, and those that would be created in the future.

Unfortunately, the aging infrastructure put limits on the amount of innovation and new product development that Family Guardian could pursue. Like most legacy solutions, the Family Guardian admin system was built on a closed architecture that made it difficult to easily access data and move it between systems.

Changes to the system, to update products or create new ones, required writing new core application code, which was slow and resource intensive. And, especially important in a cost-intensive model like Home Service, the legacy systems made it difficult to reduce costs by automating processes and finding greater efficiencies.

Family Guardian had reached a tipping point at which the costs, risks and inefficiencies created by their aging infrastructure outweighed the benefits it used to deliver.

After more than 30 years on the old core systems, Family Guardian decided it needed to replace its core systems with a state-of-the-art insurance policy admin solution.

Requirements for a modern policy admin system

When Family Guardian began to research possible insurance policy administration system modernization solutions they identified several critical requirements. Family Guardian wanted to retire their 30-year-old legacy system. They needed a new core system that could:

  • Streamline operational processes
  • Improve operational efficiency and reduce total cost of ownership
  • Increase speed to market by leveraging business rules for product updates
  • Accelerate new product development through reuse of rules and templates
  • Lower the cost of updating and maintaining policy administration system
  • Service customers and sales channels through real-time access to policy data.
  • Improve compliance with a detailed audit trail of every transaction.
  • Allow a single view of all clients for total risk exposure and administrative support.

The data migration challenge

Even if a new system were implemented, Family Guardian still faced a significant issue—successfully migrating all of their blocks of business and client data from the legacy platform to the new solution. Potential issues that would have to be addressed during the migration included:

  • Loss of data
  • Data corruption
  • Time and resources need for the migration

For many companies these data migration risks can be paralyzing—causing them to put off modernization entirely for fear of disrupting their existing business.

What Family Guardian needed was a vendor partner with proven data migration experience and the right methodology and tools for successfully moving all blocks of business to the new core system.

An end-to-end modernization solution

When identifying its requirements Family Guardian recognized that it wanted to use the Oracle Insurance Policy Administration for Life and Annuity platform (OIPA) as its new back-office solution. The company needed to find the best partner for implementing that solution, including migrating all of their data from the legacy system to OIPA.

During the vendor selection process Family Guardian considered a number of companies. The final decision to partner with Equisoft was made based on several critical criteria.

Equisoft is a premier integration partner with Oracle, fully accredited on the latest version, and has demonstrated the ability to deliver on modernization projects for companies around the world. Equisoft has 25 years of experience in the industry and has completed over than 300 Life & Annuity Projects—including more than 25 OIPA Integrations.

In particular, the fact that Equisoft had successfully completed an OIPA implementation project with NCB Jamaica, showed that Equisoft was capable of deploying a similar solution in the Caribbean. Also important was the fact that Equisoft had worked with a long list of Canadian insurers. The Caribbean insurance regulations are largely based on the Canadian model, and Equisoft’s deep experience with the regulatory framework was an advantage.

As well, Equisoft would be able to perform the data migration piece through its subsidiary, UCT-- a leading insurance-focused data migration company that has worked with hundreds of companies with a 100% success rate.

Phase 1: OIPA implementation

Family Guardian’s Home Service Division has come a long way in the past few years—transforming its infrastructure from a homegrown system to a state-of-the-art solution. During phase one of the modernization project,

Equisoft teams implemented a full-integrated OIPA platform for Family Guardian’s Home Service Division. In addition to replacing the legacy platform, the project included a successful data migration process conducted by UCT.

“We are very excited with these new technological developments and how they will create efficiencies and enhanced service delivery for our customers,” says Family Guardian President, Glen O. A. Ritchie, CPA.

Phase 2 and Beyond: multiple lines of business and a digital front-end

Now Family Guardian and Equisoft are looking forward to the next phases of the modernization project. In phase two Equisoft will be adding Family Guardian’s Financial Services products, such as Whole Life and UL, to the same OIPA platform now used by Home Services.

As well, Equisoft has been mandated by Family Guardian to modernize a number of front-end tools over the next few years.

Equisoft’s solution will enable Family Guardian to:

  • Simplify front-end processes
  • Reduce complexity with a single application for life, health and annuity product lines.
  • Streamline digital customer experience across the full sales process.
  • Generate the best documents and graphics of illustration results.
  • Provide new and effective upsell opportunities.
  • Provide a superior user experience

“Working as a strategic partner for Family Guardian allows us to develop effective solutions that better address future business and digital challenges,” says Ruben Veerasamy, Vice President, Consulting & Account Management at Equisoft. “Adding Family Guardian to our already prestigious list of customers makes us extremely proud, and we are committed to continue to build a strong presence in the Caribbean.”

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