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7 Ways Insurance Technology Enables End-to-End Digital Insurance

Article

Insurance lags behind other industries when it comes to modernization and digitization. Many processes are still largely manual and paper-based, making them slow, costly and frustrating. Insurers have long recognized the need for digital transformation to address these challenges, but until recently, progress has been slow. In the past year, however, pandemic challenges that require customer interactions at a distance have accelerated the need for the quick implementation of digital solutions--to enable all stakeholders to continue developing new business and service existing policies.

Digital transformation is happening ahead of schedule

The pandemic acceleration has collapsed implementation timelines. Modernization projects that may have happened in 3-5 years, are being fast-tracked to begin immediately and finish in just months. Plans are being accelerated. Investments are being re-prioritized. As a result, those carriers who don’t engage in the transformation, risk being left behind.

So, what technology opportunities exist to help carriers revolutionize the end-to-end insurance policy lifecycle?

7 ways tech optimizes the insurance lifecycle

1. Accelerate product development

Carriers need to be agile enough to make frequent product changes or launch new products in reaction to changes like low interest rates, regulatory changes and evolving customer expectations. But rapid product development is often hamstrung by legacy policy admin systems (PAS) which require base code changes every time products are modified.

The best modern PAS platforms enable business units to drive product development, because of built-in business functionality. Time-to-market can be slashed from 12 months to a few weeks.

2. Leverage data analytics

Insurance carriers are built on data. They are storehouses of this critical strategic asset that could be mined to predict trends, identify opportunities, and precisely target marketing and product development to emerging client needs. Unfortunately, yesterday’s aging policy admin systems are a barrier to harvesting the data that will power those revolutionary advances.

To harness the full potential of their vast data reserves, carriers need PAS solutions that enable modern APIs and free the flow of data into the data analytics engines that will elevate all carrier capabilities.

3. Create superior digital customer experiences

Today’s insurance customers expect the same real-time, personalized experiences they get in every other type of online transaction. Unfortunately, the slow pace of technological evolution in insurance has not kept up with those evolving expectations.

An integrated suite of illustration and eApplication solutions will streamline the application process and speed the time to issue. Advisor and client self-service portals enable easy, real-time changes to policy information—reducing client frustration.

4. Ensure compliance

Regulations governing carrier, distributor and advisor sales behavior require documentation to create demonstrable audit trails. Manual, paper-based approaches make this is a cumbersome, frustrating process, and create real compliance risk.

Integrated digital sales tools, coupled with advisor-specific CRM and financial planning solutions, enable advisors to automate compliance and ease the burden on their practice.

5. Accelerate commission payments

All industry stakeholders feel the pain of calculating and paying accurate commissions in a timely manner when largely manual processes are employed.

Modern agency management tools create data flows between stakeholders and automate complicated commission payment workflows—reducing friction in the value chain and enhancing accuracy.

6. Increase advisor productivity

Many advisors still rely on paper-based, manual approaches to manage their practices. Sales growth is limited by the amount of time left over to spend with prospects and clients.

Insurance advisor-specific CRMs and integrated planning tools free advisors from administrative tasks so they can focus on what they do best—helping their clients.

7. Optimize operational efficiency

Insurance operations are complex and often burdened by manual workflows that create a headwind, slowing everything from product innovation to policy approval.

All stakeholders in the value chain are challenged to re-examine their legacy processes and systems. Implementing modern PAS and front-end tools will remove the reliance on paper, increase efficiency and greatly reduce costs.

Today’s decisions determine next generation success

The time is right for insurance carriers and distributors to define their unique roadmap for digital transformation. The first step could be a foundational shift from legacy PAS to a modern policy admin system, or it might be a quicker implementation of digital sales and service tools that will support new business growth. The choice depends on each organization’s current IT infrastructure, budget and strategic priorities. But the undeniable truth is that change in the industry is well underway, and those who put off these important decisions will begin to lag behind the rest of the market.

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